Hazzaa Image Credit: Nasa screengrab

UAE in space: A milestone

UAE residents got a chance to ask Hazzaa AlMansoori, the first Emirati astronaut questions, while he was onboard the International Space Station (ISS) (“UAE in space: Can you guess the place astronaut Hazzaa AlMansoori took a picture of from space?”, Gulf News, October 1). The article published about this in Gulf News was a good read and this was a dramatic development in the UAE’s history. The country has eradicated the desert concept and made the UAE, a destination for the world to live. The space mission is another feather in the cap of the astronauts. Today, the UAE has been identified on the global map for all areas, be it in the health, transport or education sector.

From Mr K. Ragavan

Bengaluru, India

Hazzaa Image Credit: Nasa screengrab

A good move from the government

In reference to your article regarding the role and responsibilities of home owner associations, this is a welcome development - if enforced (“Dubai developers cannot dictate terms to owner associations”, Gulf News, September 25). I was elected to my Home Owner’s Association board in 2010, yet the developer refused to work with us, continues to this day to run the community management, sole sourcing subcontracts to companies they own without competitive bidding. We receive zero communication from them; they in turn told the Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) in Dubai that we are “difficult”. If taking our responsibilities seriously by requesting documentation and good governance for our community is “difficult”, imagine their response if we requested a policies and procedures audit! They flat out refused to conduct a financial audit and a discreet assessment indicated that the service fees paid by owners subsidises amenities.

Most of us are satisfied with the state of the community, it is the heavy-handed and arbitrary posture that the developer assumes towards those who own property in its developments, investors and clients, that we object to, as well as being forced to accept their choices made on our behalf without any consultation or say. So, I genuinely hope that this law will be enforced across all developers and developments, not selectively, so that home owners in Dubai will have a greater say in and, therefore, emotional investment in, our communities.

From Ms Elan Fabbri


Modi Image Credit: File photo

What constitutes as ‘anti-national’ in India?

I wish to draw attention to a recent article written by Indian politician, Shashi Tharoor, published on September 15 (“Modi and the changing character of India’s democracy”, Gulf News, September 15).

Tharoor, without a doubt, is a learned personality with great deal of experience. However, more importantly, he is currently a political leader from the opposition party in India. I think his analysis of the current situation in India is politically biased as one would expect from an opposition leader. The problem I have with his article is he is presenting the facts incorrectly.

Firstly, my understanding of democracy is a place or a system where people exercise their opinions through ballot and via independent and fearless voting. The current ruling government in India has recently been re-elected for the second time in a row. It is a clear sign of leadership contrary to what Tharoor is projecting in his article.

Being a leader of the opposition party, he is bound to perceive things through a political lens but without disrespecting the mass mandate of the public that is given to the ruling government. This government was re-elected with both the Triple Talaq bill and the Abrogation of Article 370 on its election manifesto.

From Mr Chander Sangra

Dublin, Ireland

Heal your heart

While we observed World Heart Day on September 29, it’s alarming to know that globally, the number of deaths due to heart failure is very high (“Dubai residents urged to screen heart health, Gulf News, September 29). In India 15 per cent of deaths are due to heart failure and the highest is in Kerala. This year the theme was: “My heart your heart”. It meant and emphasised on the need to get a better understanding on what is required to fuel our heart. Cardiovascular disease occurs due to sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise and unhealthy eating habits.

I had undergone a Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting (CABG) surgery in the year 2011, at the age of 44 and after that, I controlled my eating habits, took medication, followed up with doctors at regular intervals and took up some daily exercise. I am now able to lead a normal life. Regular medical check-ups, controlled diet, exercise and yoga can control this disease. Regular check-ups can help identify the problems in the function of the heart so that either we can take medication or undergo surgery and live healthy lives. Diabetics and hypertension also leads to heart attack, if not treated at an early age, it may risk our lives. So, this year, we should make it a point to spread the word of awareness among our friends and relatives about this disease so that many precious lives can be saved. Prevention is definitely better than cure.

From Mr Eappen Elias


1910012 amitabh bachchan
Image Credit: AFP

Amitabh Bachchan deserves top honours!

It is heartening to learn that Bollywood’s most iconic actor, Amitabh Bachchan has been unanimously selected with this year’s Dadasaheb Phalke award (“Amitabh Bachchan humbled by Dadasaheb Phalke honour”, Gulf News, September 25). He is being recognised for his outstanding contribution to films. In my opinion, for Bachchan, this award comes late in his career.

The Dadasaheb Phalke award is India’s highest and most prestigious cinema award for artists, which is given in the name of Dadasaheb Phalke, for his lifetime contribution to Indian cinema. It was instituted in 1969.

Bachchan rose to stardom in Hindi cinema with his ‘angry young man’ persona. His stellar roles captured the audience’s heart in his hit films like Zanzeer, Deewar and Sholay. Despite being a huge star, he appears on television as the host of the popular television show, Kaun Banega Crorepati, India’s version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

He is still the same charismatic performer that he was five decades ago and is equally popular in Pakistan and the UAE.

In a career spanning five decades, Bachchan has given memorable performances and has been awarded the National Film Award, Padma Shri (1984),Padma Bhushan (2001) and Padma Vibhushan (2015). Bachchan’s Dadasaheb Phalke award is much deserved.

From Mr Ramesh G. Jethwani

Bengaluru, India

Films that go beyond just stories

There are movies, which you can’t stop yourself from watching again. Alpha is one such movie. It has a wonderful story about man and wolf, which teaches us many important lessons in life. No matter how many times I watch the film, I keep feeling like I’m learning something new and understanding it better.

When the man falls from the cliff, in the movie, leaving his family to assume he died, he manages to survive from the edge of the cliff despite injuring his leg and hands. And when he arrives at a land, a group of wolves attack him.

What can we learn from that? Often, when we come out of one problem, others problems are waiting for us. But life is about how we take things and approach obstacles. The hand which man raises to kill the world, turns into one which eventually takes care of it. Very rare people in this world will think of others in spite of themselves suffering pain. Keeping hope that thing will work and following your instinct is very important when you are in a bad phase of your life.

This is a wonderful story! It is a story about survival, the story about following your instincts, and is a story about a beautiful bond between man and a predator. It shows the viewer the importance of being kind, even during adverse times.

From Ms Tejal Shah


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