In love with the UAE
I came to the UAE more than two decades ago after my husband's posting from London. In no time, I fell in love with this country. I came with two very young children and did not know anyone living in Dubai when I first arrived but settling in was easy. I am grateful to the Almighty that my children could attend a fantastic British-curriculum school in primary and secondary schools. The UAE schools facilitated a breadth of extracurricular activities and opportunities, including the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Award. The unique opportunity to live in the Middle East allowed my children to learn about the region's culture through Arabic and Islamic education studies. I embraced the opportunity of learning Arabic and the unique Emirati culture. Additionally, for our family, hearing the Azaan (prayer call) five times a day was a blessing. After 24 years in Dubai, the beautiful friends we've made have become like family. I find Dubai to be one of the safest cities in the world. With my husband spending much of the year travelling for business, I have always felt very safe and secure living alone with kids. Another vital aspect to me was the cleanliness of the city, which is remarkable. I have never stopped to marvel at the progress the UAE has acquired. It's a comparatively young country, but the opportunities and developments have been enormous. The credit of its success goes to its leaders' vision and their commitments to progress, advancement, knowledge, and growth. In my two decades here, I have been amazed by the growth, impressive infrastructure, and visible achievements in various fields. When I first arrived here, the World Trade Centre on Sheikh Zayed Road was the tallest building. Soon we developed a fabulous skyline and witnessed the most dashing architectural masterpieces in both Dubai and Abu Dhabi. While the country has seen a rise in architecture, it's not deprived of natural beauty in its landscape, consisting of beautiful wadis, deserts, beaches, and mountainous landscapes.
Dubai holds a special place in our family's hearts, and its journey is personal to us. We rejoice on National Day and feel pure pride and admiration whenever the UAE amazes the world. The culture here encourages knowledge-seeking, preservation of history, innovation, art, literature, and design festivals. It's a hub for some of the biggest concerts, sports events, exhibitions, and conferences. Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding is such a great opportunity to learn about the country's heritage, language, and culture. UAE also launched their reconnaissance satellite mission, the Hope Probe, and last week it becomes the first Arab and Islamic country to reach Mars. I was proud to watch this historical achievement live on television in unity with the whole country and prayed for its success. As a woman, I feel proud that this wonderful country is an excellent example of progression. Gender equality is prevalent with women in important roles and positions in all industries. Furthermore, the UAE gives aid wholeheartedly to other countries at a humanitarian level, being one of the top donors. UAE is additionally the best example of tolerance. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UAE's COVID-19 management and the virus's handling has been exemplary. The UAE stayed resilient and proactive in the face of the pandemic. Recently, I was speaking at an international conference on the psychosocial impact of COVID-19 and was asked what more could the UAE do? I said proudly, that what we did in March and April 2020 is what many developed countries are doing now! They showed how to fight COVID-19 with appropriate regulation, enforcement, and the disinfection drive, and a world-leading vaccination programme. Its leaders' vision, values, optimism, growth, and strong institutions and laws seem to be UAE's strength. Thank you, UAE.
From Ms Fariha Khan
UAE, a safe country
In the UAE, the government is taking all the precautions to curb the COVID-19 pandemic (“UAE is one of the safest and most secure countries in the world: says Sheikh Mohammed”, Gulf News, January 16). I want to appreciate all frontline workers for their efforts. They provide free treatments, and now the coronavirus recovery rates are high. I feel happy and safe in this country. I am thankful to the Rulers of this great country for ensuring our safety and security. I thank not just our past heroes but also the frontline workers, who serve tirelessly in hospitals, testing centers, airports, and offices to protect our lives, giving us hope during these challenging times.
From Ms Ripa Shah
Second Test: R Ashwin spins India into ascendency against England
Hats off to Indian Cricket team, especially to Ravichandran Ashwin for his 29th five-wicket haul to bundle out the England team for a paltry score of 134 to gain 195 runs lead (“India move in for the kill after Ashwin century flattens England”, Gulf News, February 15). With his fiver, he has surpassed Harbajan Singh's record of 265 wickets in India. At this rate before the end of this series, he could surpass 400 wickets in Test cricket. Incidentally, it seems Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 58 runs has given him enough confidence to pouch two excellent leg-side catches to hasten to root out Joe Root and his boys to put our Indian team in driver's seat. This augurs well, not only for Pant but also for the Indian team to scale higher. At the same time, Pant should take some pains to sharpen his wicket-keeping skills for spinners. I wish the team the very best during the Second Test and also the remaining two Tests at Ahmedabad to win the series and enter the World Test Championship in style.
From Mr N Mahadevan
India v England 2021
Hats off to the Indian Cricket team, especially to Ravichandran Ashwin, for his 29th five-wicket haul to bundle out the England team for a paltry score of 134 to gain 195 runs lead. With his fiver, he has surpassed Harbajan Singh's record of 265 wickets in India. At this rate, before the end of this series, he could surpass 400 wickets in Test cricket. Incidentally, it seems as though Rishabh Pant's unbeaten 58 runs have given him enough confidence to pouch two excellent leg-side catches, putting the Indian team in driver's seat. This augurs well, not only for Pant but also for the Indian team to scale higher. At the same time, Pant should take some pains to sharpen his wicket-keeping skills for spinners. I wish the team the very best during the Second Test and also the remaining two Tests at Ahmedabad to win the series and enter the World Test Championship in style.
From Mr N V Krishnan