UAE’s humanitarian efforts
I would like to express my immense admiration for the UAE’s magnanimous efforts reflected in the humanitarian help extended towards common welfare ("How the UAE became the hub of global humanitarian work", Gulf News ) Amidst the mounting uncertainties during the year 2020, through foresight and profundity, the government strived to support other countries too. Proud to be a part of UAE!
From Ms Anam Fatima
Year 2020 in review
The year 2020 was one in which a sense of helplessness prevailed universally, affecting everyone (“2020 in review: ‘Whirlwind’ or ‘reflective’? Or both? UAE residents sum up the year 2020 with a single word”, Gulf News, December 20). I want to erase memories of this year, and I am fortunate to have survived this pandemic so far. It was a highly disruptive year, which led to the global economic downfall, worldwide lockdowns, and subsequent protests. Thousands of people lost their jobs, and hundreds were displaced and died of starvation. The COVID-19 brought about many changes and forced us to adapt to working from home and homeschooling– things we considered practically impossible in the past. It has become a way of life, along with using masks and hand sanitizers. Home became the safest place, and family bonding became stronger during this period. We have to live with COVID-19 for the rest of our lives until everyone is vaccinated or immune. Besides COVID-19, this year witnessed the Australian wildfires, which was an alert for better environmental policy. The death of George Floyd reminded us that racial discrimination still prevails in this world. I am proud to be in the UAE because this country ranks first in the region for tolerance. The UAE has set an example globally, paving the way for permanent peace in the middle east. This country has more than 200 nationalities living in harmony, respecting the cultural values of each other. Despite the pandemic, it was an outstanding achievement that Sharjah International Book Fair could connect the world through books, and I could visit. Even though we are in the modern era of digital technology, sending text messages and pictures, I managed to send around 400 new year cards to friends and relatives globally. I don’t have any resolutions for the new year. However, I want to travel again globally once the pandemic ends and visit our dear ones and friends far away. Gulf News gave me a platform to express my views on various topics. Dubai has helped me grow in many ways, and cherish every moment spent here. Hope the New Year will usher in peace and happiness not only for my family and me but also for everyone in this world. Let our new normal be with hugs and handshakes, and may we all have a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous year ahead.
From Mr Eappen Elias
Hoping for a better tomorrow
So much misery, suffering, unhappiness, and overwhelming experiences, the year 2020 has meted out to us that if it were possible, we would have deleted it from the calendar. It has been one of the most challenging years in the recent past. The unprecedented pandemic that made its foray has turned our life topsy-turvy. It has changed hope into despair, cheer into fear, health to diseases and ailments, bringing stability agony, pain, and helplessness and dumping us into an economic whirlpool. The devastating blows the year has brought with it cannot be summed up in words. Along with human-made and natural disasters, economic and psychological collapse, stress, strain, and loss of human lives, is what the year gave us. Many of us have lost our loved ones. As the year is about to end and as we usher in a brand New Year, let us hope and pray that 2021 will bring with it hope and repel uncertainty or fear, and fill our life with joy and positivity. Let us learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope for a better tomorrow with the coming year. May the coming year help us weather tempests and spot rainbows.
From Ms Jayashree Kulkarni
Life in a small Indian city during COVID-19
We all know how COVID-19 has disturbed our lives and all aspects of it. It is sad, but due to this deadly invisible virus millions of people lost their lives, and it has affected our economy as well. This pandemic has affected our mental wellbeing also. But with wise decisions, smart governance and by following safety guidelines, finally, life seems to be getting back on track. I live in Kotdwara city in the Indian state of ? for the past few years. Though not a very big place yet this city is developing swiftly. This year, The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) set up one of their examination centres in Kotdwara. This is the first time authorities have decided to set up an exam centre here due to COVID-19. My daughter, who wrote her intermediate group – 1 test was also one of the examinees in the same centre. The examination centre was a school, and the way their school management had done the arrangements was laudable. All precautions and safety guidelines were followed. During the lockdown, like other places in India, Kotdwara’s doctors, health staff, police authorities and administration did their job exceptionally well in the prevention of COVID-19. Hopefully, soon we will get an effective yet safe vaccine, and by following safety guidelines, this pandemic will be over. We all will be back in our old, normal lives, but till then we need to take extra precautions and handle this situation smartly.
From Ms Renu Kala