Expect the unexpected
Congratulations to Saudi Arabia for their incredible win over world champion team Argentina in the ongoing FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 (“Qatar World Cup 2022: A picture-perfect performance from Saudi Arabia against Argentina”, Gulf News,November 22). After taking a goal lead, Argentina relaxed a bit. The Saudi Arabia team capitalised on this and went full throttle to equalise and take a 2-1 lead immediately. Then their defence stood like a rock of Gibraltar to bring down Argentina’s efforts to equalise till the final whistle. It should be noted that they have qualified six times for the World Cup and won the Asian Championships three times. Well done, team Saudi Arabia.
From Mr N Mahadevan
Why book fairs?
Are book fairs still crucial in this digital age(“ UAE: 2.17 million visitors throng Sharjah International Book Fair 2022”, Gulf News, November 11)? My family and I are regular visitors of the Sharjah International Book Fair, and my children love to be there. So, naturally, since the COVID-19 protocol was eased, there was a huge crowd. Reading a book is something which ignites our minds and enriches our thoughts. There are seminars, panels discussions, presentations, author meet-ups, and so on to keep the exhibitors and visitors engaged and to spread knowledge. Book fairs also help in teaching reading habits among people of all age groups. Many schools bring their students to book fairs, which helps in creating interest among children to pick up books of their choice. Of course, there are bargain sales to look out for. But genuine book lovers can find books of their choice at such events. So it is for book lovers. Reading helps us to grow. It is a beautiful experience when you go through every word and visualise it. ‘Spread the word’ was the theme this year, and it’s true. I have friends on social media who recommend good titles, which also helped me select good books. I congratulate the organisers for allowing us to have this event and connecting the world.
From Mr Eappen Elias
Road trip season is here
The weather is changing in the UAE (“Road trips with the family: UAE mum lists hidden gems across the Emirates”, Gulf News, May 06). I’m looking forward to the winters as my family and friends are coming to spend the holidays. My cousin and I are planning a road trip as the temperatures have fallen. There are no destinations decided yet, but we will camp in Jebel Al Jais. I love road trips, because you are free to be adventurous. You can travel anywhere your car can take you and bring whatever fits in the trunk. There is nowhere you have to be, so you can put a pause on all of life’s expectations and enjoy the moment. You can wander, get lost, and connect with the world. For better or worse, a road trip means a long time spent driving in a car. So you must have good company and all the needed accessories to make your trip comfortable. This is an excellent opportunity to embrace doing absolutely nothing. You can let your mind soak up the scenery and know there is no place you have to be and nothing you have to be doing.
From Mr Akhil B
Climate, environment and COP 27
As expected, another COP (Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) 27 summit concluded in Egypt with a known outcome and without addressing the modalities to reach the emission target by 2050 (“Dubai students’ sustainability message to be seen by world leaders at COP27 climate summit in Egypt”, Gulf News, November 04). Only a gradual descent will ensure a soft landing. Even the proposed compensation fund needs more clarity, regarding who will be the beneficiaries; who will contribute; and how much it would be.
The issues before COP28, to be held in UAE in 2023, should include the following decisive milestones to make the next climate conference meaningful, binding and result oriented. Set the net zero target uniformly among all countries. Replace carbon-intensive energy with renewable energy in a phased manner and monitor the progress. Set the thresholds for gradual reduction of fossil fuels production and consumption — synchronise the activities of producers and consumers to strike a balance between lowering demand and supply. Invest heavily in agriculture as this key sector alone will generate the largest employment opportunities during the transition and beyond. Vulnerable countries should join together to act as a pressure group. Discuss the impact of massive job losses and rehabilitation during the transition, and possible punitive action against violators. Like energy security, discuss food security of all nations, especially those countries where regular farming is impossible. If there are no human beings on the Earth, nothing will happen. Nature will become greener with pure air and water. It will once again restore its lost glory. It is better to correct ourselves before nature corrects us.
From Mr Girish R Edathitta