Do not multitask
Often, I come across letters wherein readers complain about seeing motorists using mobile phones while driving. Additionally, I have read several reports about accidents caused by distracted drivers or motorists who have the habit of gesturing with their hands, when talking on the phone. But the risk of collisions increases further when motorists have to negotiate a turn or when they approach a traffic light. In fact, I have seen women applying lipstick while simultaneously speaking on their mobile phones and driving. Why do they do this when hands-free devices have become widely available? Such gadgets help reduce the risk of accidents and allow motorists to drive safely.
From Mr M.K. Zaman

Put away grudges
Currenty, the United States seems to have no hesitation to approach the very countries it had previously condemned seeking help for financial bailout ("Obama discusses financial meltdown with world leaders", Gulf News, November 8). This change in attitude was long overdue. The US needs to rise above its perception of other nations and cooperate with them with the intention of overcoming the market meltdown.
From Ms Shemi K.

Driving troubles
As a motorist for the past 15 years, I found that my long drives came to a sudden halt when I arrived in Dubai. I hold a valid licence from both the US and Pakistan. Moreover, when I visited Dubai, I was even able to travel in a rented car without any problems. However, as I have now obtained an employment visa, I am not permitted to drive. In order to acquire a licence, I have to enroll for 40 lessons, before passing a road test. Despite the exorbitant fees, starting from Dh75 per class, I was told there was a three-to- four-month waiting period. Why is there a shortage of driving schools?
From Mr Tayyeb Rashid

Difficult task
Finding a taxi during peak hours is a difficult task. When one dials a taxi company, either the line is engaged or no one answers the call. Regardless of whether one books the taxi or not, the passenger does not receive the service he or she requires. Often, taxi drivers refuse to drop passengers at their destination. The number of taxis available in Dubai must be increased in order to provide efficient services. Additionally, some taxis should be assigned to specific routes so that passengers would definitely be able to commute if they call the taxi company.
From Mr Shubhankan Mukherjee

Editor's note: The complaint was forwarded to the management of Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) for comments. However, despite repeated reminders they failed to respond.

Health is wealth
Our health is our real wealth and the issue regarding children's food must be given top priority ("How about healthy portions?", Gulf News, November 4). I commend the authorities' decision for promoting healthy food in schools. The eating habits of children are a matter of great concern for parents. My children are not permitted to eat food outside. Rather, they are sent to school with food prepared from home. I believe it is the duty of parents to monitor the food that their children eat in school cafeterias. Curbing unhealth eating habits at an early stage would help eliminate obesity and other food-related diseases predominant among children.
From Mr K. N. Vasudevan

Avid reader
I would like to congratulate Gulf News on its 30th anniversary, and the success that it has achieved throughout this period. As a resident of Dubai for the past 14 years, I must admit that I was not a regular reader of Gulf News, as I preferred reading Arabic newspapers. However, after reading a very interesting report in Gulf News about Azerbaijan, my homeland, I have become an avid reader of the newspaper. I hope Gulf News will continue to grow and attract more readers through the coming years.
From Mr Samir Imanov

Time for change
The victory of Barack Obama in the US elections is a clear triumph over former US president George W. Bush and the Republican party ("US President-Elect Barack Obama rocked the vote", Gulf News, November 8). The change occurred because of what Bush did during his two terms at the White House and his policies in the name of the so-called "war on terror". Of course, a change was inevitable. The whole world has welcomed the arrival of Obama as president.
From Mr Barkatullah Marwat

Shining example
US President-elect Barack Obama is a shining example of the fact that anything and everything is possible. All one must do is plan ahead and work hard to reach his or her goal. I congratulate Obama for becoming the US president and truly hope he brings peace to the world.
From Ms Selva Prakash

Awakened hope
US foreign policies have truly upset me over the past few years. The country did nothing to make me believe that it cares for others or has their best interests at heart. However, I admit that I have started to think a little bit differently after the election of Barack Obama. I do not think the policies would change soon, but by electing an African-American as president, they have won our votes, too. I can't help but respect and admire the latest decision of the Americans.
From Mr Sulaiman Zabian

Dreams fulfilled
The world prayed for a change and the euphoria over Barack Obama's victory in different parts of the world was moving. It seems like a dream come true for all of the known and unknown people throughout history, who struggled for one cause. The long and fruitful campaigning is over. Now, it is time for governing. As he hails from a multicultural background, I believe it would be quite interesting to see Obama's approach regarding foreign policies. No other nation possesses such allure, where the fate of the world depends on the election of one worthy man.
From Ms Mashkura Faisal

A proud American
As Americans, we told the world that we are in for a change. Eight years of isolation from the global community pushed us to the edge and voting for Barack Obama was inevitable. We thank all those who endured the rain and the cold and voted for change. President Obama would revive the image of the US throughout the world, and would hopefully bring peace and prosperity everywhere. I congratulate all Americans who voted for this change.
From Mr Mohammad Ali

Most of us expected that there would be traffic congestion at Dubai Mall, as it was clear that vehicles were moving extremely slowly ("Motorists stuck in traffic jams as Dubai Mall attracts visitors", Gulf News, Nov 7). Commuters will continue to face this ordeal when they try to go to the mall, especially over the weekend. However, once shoppers go inside, it is worth all the effort!
From Mr Wigger

India on the right path
India's moon mission is of great importance to the country and the research associated with it would be beneficial for the whole world (“India launches unmanned moon mission,'' Gulf News, October 22). India's potential, in terms of scientific and technical talent, would make the country a sought-after destination for advanced research in aeronautics and business. If anyone thinks that the Indian government should focus only on other social issues, they are completely mistaken. The contributions that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has made to the country are tremendous. It has made every Indian proud. Distance educational programmes, broadcasted through television, have made higher education accessible and affordable to the masses —this was unimaginable before. Moreover, the ISRO has hooked up hundreds of isolated medical centers across the length and breadth of the country with leading medical institutes through a telemedicine network. This has helped men in villages to get expert opinion from doctors who might be miles away. The credit for tremendous growth in electronic media and entertainment goes to the ISRO. Space research has also contributed to India's growth and has saved billions in foreign exchange. Today, we have world-class industries in public and private sectors participating internationally in the space and defense industry. A large and diverse country, with a population of over a billion people, can only address its social issues through growth — and space research has a great role to play. I am sure that research is moving in the right direction and hope the Indian government continues supporting it.
From Mr Satheesh Krishnan

Open trade
As a Kashmiri living in the UAE, I would like to comment on the issue of a divided Kashmir (“India, Pakistan open trade route across Kashmir,'' Gulf News, October 21). Trade agreements were moving at a very slow pace between India and Pakistan, until the recent disturbance in Kashmir. Peaceful protesters started demanding the opening of a trade route between two areas in Kashmir, which were promised, but never delivered upon. Citizens of the two countries may or may not benefit from the process, but there would be substantial economic growth for the already economically depressed Kashmiris, if no further hurdles were created in the easy transition of goods between the two controlled parts of Kashmir. This may not have a direct impact on the issue but economic independence may be the first step towards resolution in Kashmir. Kashmir's issues do not just relate to India and Pakistan, but matter to the disputed land's inhabitants.
From Mr A. Ahmad

Leave and let live
Residents of Dubai should stop grumbling about the rent hike. Perhaps they could instead move to Ras Al Khaimah, where rent is quite affordable. There, they would be able to enjoy life to the fullest, as I found the situation to be the same during my visit to Europe. In such countries, people work hard during the day and enjoy in the evening. In Ras Al Khaimah, besides the rent being affordable, one can buy cinema tickets for a cheaper rate. Moreover, they could commute to cities such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi during the week.
From Mr N. Manoharan

I found Gulf News's comment on the credit crunch highly insulting (“Bitten by the Global Credit Crunch,'' Gulf News, October 11). It subtly tapped into the myriad of negative stereotypes about Americans not being intelligent, making poor decisions and being so parochial that an injured dog is a trigger for an unwise assumption of debt. This way of thinking essentially mirrors those who would blame the less affluent for daring to be upwardly mobile by leveraging themselves. Incidentally, this is a popular tactic played by affluent people who attempt to become even more so, through private equity. It absolves investment banks, who turn a relatively small number of bad loans into a global credit crunch. As an American, I feel the comment reeked of the attitude so cleverly described as ‘rest-of-the-world arrogance'. But it is alright. I guess everyone needs a scapegoat.
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Parents all over the world are concerned about the issue of melamine in milk (“Chinese government admits fault in milk scandal,'' Gulf News, October 18). Immediate action must be taken. Parents are often indecisive about whether they could continue feeding their children with powdered milk. The authorities should clear this issue and the media should also play an active role.
From Mr Sorforaz Khan

This is in reference to the report on Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan's Temptations concert (“Pandemonium reigns at Shah Rukh press meeting,'' Gulf News, October 25). I attended the concert and was bitterly disappointed. When will our Subcontinent or ‘desi' stars realise that they cannot get away with substandard performance? The seating was abysmally organised. People who spent Dh500 per ticket were fighting over plastic chairs, as they had no place to sit! Shah Rukh should realise that people spend their hard-earned money to see him and not members of the public, who make fools of themselves on stage. It just seemed a marketing ploy for the actor's upcoming property development. I do not think I will ever attend a Bollywood show again.
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Traffic chaos
Although I am a resident of Sharjah, I work in Dubai. During Ramadan, I used to board the public bus at 5.10am from Sharjah and reach Dubai between 6.20am and 6.30am. This arrangement was absolutely fine with me. However, things have gone topsy-turvy after Ramadan. Due to traffic, I have to catch the bus at 4.10am or 4.20am so that I am able to reach Dubai by 5am.
From Mr Vincent Joseph