Reaching for the stars

We are accustomed in the UAE to accomplishing international achievements and having permanent ambitions exceeding impossible barriers (“September 25 UAE astronaut’s lift-off: It’s all systems go”, Gulf News, September 23). His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai said: “The word impossible does not exist in our dictionary in the UAE.” There is only one day separating us from a global pivotal event awaited by people all over the UAE, as well as the Arab world. The arrival of the first Emirati astronaut, Hazza Al Mansoori to the international space station (ISS) will prove to the whole world that the ambitions of Emirati people surpass all limits. This is due to the wise and farsighted leadership of the UAE. This a clear-cut message to all of us in the UAE, not to limit our ambitions. I thank God that we are living in a country pursuing success in all domains. This is not strange for a country that has evolved into a place of innovation and the future. Congratulations to the UAE for this remarkable achievement and congratulations to Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center (MBRSC) for this resounding historic success.

By Ms Fatima Al Marzooqi


Service centre changes

I am writing about the rankings of UAE government service centres and highly appreciate the initiative by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai (“Sheikh Mohammed reveals UAE’s best service centres”, Gulf News, September 15).

This move was made to improve the quality of service rendered to UAE nationals and residents alike. One of the worst service centres named is Muhaisnah Preventive Medicine Centre-Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, and I am not surprised this entity appeared in the top three worst performing centres.

Those who go every year to this office know what they have to go through. Sometimes, your submitted documents do not reach you by email or by courier services, and then when you visit the office, customers have to spend hours tracing them. I’ve been frustrated with the service they have provided. Being the largest and busiest centre who cater to the most of UAE’s expatriate community on a 24 hour basis, they should have a very clean place to offer the services. One cannot travel to this office again and again to get work done. I also hope the authorities do something to light up the Muhaisnah Labour camp.

From Mr Shabir Zain Al Deen


Illegal apartments, residents suffer

The government should register the case and take legal action against all officials who granted permission to build illegal apartments flats in Maradu (“Chief minister’s silence in Kerala flats demolition questioned”, Gulf News, September 15). The Supreme Court of India already ruled that the apartments built violated Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) and were constructed illegally. But, at the same time the Supreme Court should have considered the feelings of the people who are staying there. If the apartments are demolished hundreds of families will lose their earned savings. The government should provide alternative solutions to the affected families.

From Mr Eappen Elias


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Drive safe

Through the columns of your esteemed newspaper, I would like to draw the attention of the public towards reckless driving (“UAE weather report: Increase in humidity and fog”, Gulf News, September 18). Most of the accidents happen due to unsafe driving. One of the major steps in building a safe environment is to take preventive measures. Traffic rules are important rules to be followed in a city with busy roads. This should not only be the responsibility of the police or government to constantly ensure. All they can do is give fines or traffic tickets, in order to prevent oneself and others from becoming prey of accidents, one needs to follow rules. One of my opinions is stay calm while driving and don’t use mobile phones. Hence, to remain safe these rules should be followed.

From Ms Adora Jimix


An end of an era 

An era has come to an end with the passing away of India’s criminal lawyers, former union minister, and social activist Ram Jethmalani (“Eminent lawyer and former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani passes away at 95”, Gulf News, September 9). He was an institution in himself, who shaped the criminal law system in post-independence India. During seven decades of his distinguished legal profession, he fought several high profile cases, beginning with the famous K.M. Nanavati case, in which he led the prosecution. He has been an integral part of the system. Jethmalani’s persona was his ability to speak his mind fearlessly, uncaring of consequences and helping the needy. His fight for public liberties will be most remembered. He was known to have friends across the political spectrum, castes and religions.

He was one of the most prominent public figures of India, who made a rich contribution in court, parliament and public life. His void would be hard to fill, and his name will be written in golden words as a legal luminary of India.

From Mr Ramesh G. Jethwani

Bangalore, India

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One country, many languages

The statement made by Amit Shah the Home Minister of India about India being “one country one language” was a denial of the constitutional principles of India, which consists of various types of religions and people with different heritages and languages (“#StopHindilmposition: Indian tweeps respond to Amit Shah’s ‘Hindi as national language’ comment”, Gulf News, September 15). Therefore it is not practicable for India to have one language. This great country of ancient culture will falter and fall down if they follow the policies of their home minister. The Prime Minister Narendra Modi will do well to advise other ministers not to indulge in such irresponsible statements and divide the country further.

From Mr Thomas Matthew Parackel

Kochi, India

A distraction in India

Car sales are sinking like never before, capital investments have plunged and global investors are a disillusioned lot. Jobs are scarce and unemployment is on the rise. The banking system leaves plenty to be desired and oil prices have increased. The minorities are worried about what may befall them and the roads are in such a mess that they resemble the moon. The less said about inflation in India, the better. A hundred rupees (Dh5.16) just about gets you a semi-decent cup of coffee. The boarders are tense and war cannot be written off. Innumerable pre-selection promises have been forgotten and everyone is confused. Then there is the news that infiltration will cause an attack in some parts of the country.

A distraction may do the trick because we cannot afford to let the common man get disillusioned can we? A ploy is the answer. Something so disturbing that it will get people talking. Maybe if Hindi is imposed all over the country as the national language, it will cure all ills. Or maybe, at least it will get people so engrossed in the debate that all else will be either forgotten or put on the back burner for some time.

I am not into politics, and I don’t support any particular political party. I’m just an Indian with a thought in my mind. I’m thinking out loud. Are you?

From Mr Michael Guzder


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A creative environment for children

On June 17, 2019, Gulf News had published an article in the Young Editor’s column about having a pet corner in a classroom (“How about a pet corner in the classroom?”, Gulf News June 18). I am sending this letter to you to appreciate the idea of creating an environment where classrooms are friendly and students have a sense of belonging within the class. One of the statements, which I personally liked from that article was: “It’s my opinion that classrooms should be designed in such a way that the children no longer perceive school as a confinement cell. To overcome this perception, I think schools should surround themselves with positive and welcoming vibes.” In this statement we can see that you are encouraging many to see the school with a positive thought rather than as a boring “cell”.

I really hope that this article reaches many people and there is a change brought about in the classroom so that school is a happier learning space for children.

From Ms Remy Jerry


Interviews make or break people

At school, I recently read the book ‘Interviews’ by Christopher Silvester and would like to shed light on the not so pleasant part of it. Interviews are mainly performed for job purposes in which they are a necessity, but they are also done to learn more about celebrities. Almost every celebrity has been interviewed more than once in their lives. Unfortunately, several celebrities have been misconstrued for their remarks, painting them in a hue that is dark and unjust. Be it Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar, Indian actress Kangana Ranaut, or Indian politician Shashi Tharoor, to name a few. A novelist and playwright, Saul Bellow, used the expression “thumbprints on his windpipe”, to describe the feeling of discomfort and pressure he felt during interviews. Yes, I believe that interviews are often an unwanted intervention into people’s personal lives. Interviews have the power to create an image in the minds of readers and viewers. Keeping this in mind, interviewers should be mindful of this fact. Interviewers must ensure they use their power wisely, while respecting their interviewees.

From Ms Natasha Pais


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