Mathew Mathew Image Credit: Supplied

FIRST: Mathew Mathew

Published on December 20, 2017

Mathew Mathew, an operations manager based in Ajman, raised the issue of littering at Al Qudra Lake in Dubai. He praised the authorities for placing restrictions on camping and barbecue in the area and hopes that people will be more careful in the future to avoid affecting the animals in the area.

At a personal level, he enjoys writing, because he believes that there is nothing like “putting one’s thoughts and opinions in black and white”.

He said: “I love to read anything and everything and keep myself abreast with current affairs. I am an avid off-roader with almost every Friday being spent in the desert, wadis or mountains.”

He believes that the community reports are a good platform to get messages across to other people with ease.

He said: “It is a great initiative by Gulf News, and I am sure many issues have been highlighted and resolved only because somebody wrote about it. I would urge Gulf News to not just publish the reports, but also to pursue the news value of such reports and do a journalistic report on issues that need to be taken up with the authorities.”

After his report was published in Gulf News, he received a lot of feedback from those around him.

He said: “I received both bouquets as well as brickbats! Bouquets from people who felt the same about the issue and felt a strict intervention from the authorities was long overdue. Brickbats from people who got irritated at having lost a place to camp and barbecue.”

SECOND: Syed Huzaifah and Syeda Murjan

Published on December 16, 2017

Syed Huzaifah and Syeda Murjan, siblings and pupils based in Sharjah, wrote about their experience of saving abandoned kittens in the neighbourhood. Through their report, they hoped to raise awareness about abandoned animals and encouraged people to rescue a stray instead of buying pets from stores.

Huzaifah loves to write because it allows him to express himself.

He said: “It is a way to keep yourself busy and also improves vocabulary. My favourite subject in school is science, though, because it is very interesting to know more about your surroundings.”

Apart from writing, he also enjoys reading all kinds of books, sprinting and making video blogs.

His sister, Murjan, is a little more hesitant about writing as she believes she isn’t “that good a writer”. But, she also loves to read, especially fiction.

She said: “I have a few hobbies. I like all kinds of art, especially sketching and painting, and decorating things. I also enjoy making videos with my brother and friends.”

They both believe that such reports allow them to send their message out with ease and plan to continue writing in the future.

THIRD: Mohammad Ejaz Ahmad

Published on December 13, 2017

Mohammad Ejaz Ahmad, a business owner based in Dubai, raised the issue of telephone booths in Sharjah being used as trash cans. These old booths, which hadn’t been maintained by the telecommunication company for a while, were filled with empty cups and other litter. However, when Gulf News raised his concerns with Etisalat, they immediately investigated and cleaned most booths and even replaced some of the handsets.

As a part of the Gulf News Readers’ Club since 2006, Ahmad has been writing to the newspaper for many years.

He said: “I enjoy writing, because I think I can express myself more explicitly. I have written around 100 letters to various newspapers in my home country, too. My hobbies include reading the newspaper and listening to or watching the news. I like to stay updated and also follow sports, particularly cricket.”

He believes that the community reports are the “best platform” to raise issues that people living in the UAE come across.

He said: “I am glad that the concerned authorities and institutions, particularly banks, quickly respond to queries or issues raised through Gulf News. Soon after my report was published, I received calls and messages from a few friends who appreciated my concerns and agreed that the phonebooths have lost their utility.”

— Profiles compiled by Rabab Khan/Community Interactivity Editor