Ras Al Khaimah marvels the world with spectacular New Year’s eve fireworks.
Ras Al Khaimah marvels the world with spectacular New Year’s eve fireworks. Image Credit: Twitter/WAM

2020: New hope for India?

By Yousuff Sait

We are blessed to live in the UAE, and I would like to thank the vision of the UAE’s founding fathers, and for the Rulers of this land, who think of the well-being of the people in the country.

These are leaders with unending love for everyone without any bias, who treasure their love for humanity, respect elders and build the nation for their children.

This sets an examples for others to lead with tolerance.

I’m not concerned to make any resolutions for 2020, because the recent past has been extremely troublesome. I want hope that the New Year brings a new peaceful chapter in our lives. I sincerely pray for peace in 2020 and harmony with love and respect for the sake of our children and their children.

Unfortunately, looking forward for 2020 seems rather grim where some leaders around the world are lying. The security personnel whose prime duty is to safeguard its citizens and property are rampaging to hurt the middle class. These acts can’t be concealed in today’s world of fast communication! Dividing the society on religious beliefs is a forgone myth. Undesirably some leaders continue to use this rather sensitive tool to divide the society!

As expats living in the UAE, we all feel extremely welcome here as one ‘big family’. The multi-culturalism and feeling of security, is something no other country can offer.

The key difference lies in the hands of the leadership, to drive society to stay focused to work for the growth and wellbeing of all. Why create new laws that defy the constitutional definition of who belongs where? How did people infiltrate into another land; were the border forces so weak? Why are leaders marginalising religious minorities? The vision of the founding fathers of India, and of the people who fought for freedom are lost because of an election manifesto. The reports of sectarian lynchings and attacks, and the censorship of minorities continues.

Times change but values shouldn’t! Leaders elsewhere must see the good in other human beings, show compassion and stay humble. They have forgotten good values that is most needed. Our elders taught us to play fair and keep promises. Good leaders must stop lying and lead by example, learn from mistakes rather than covering up. I pray that God blesses people and helps them learn to be more honest, and tell the truth for the best of society. May everyone have a peaceful 2020.

- The reader is a Dubai-based engineer.

New Year resolutions to have...

By Eappen Elias

This year has been a fruitful and blessed year for me. I could reconnect with several friends I made long ago, in 1977, thanks to social media. I could connect and meet a few friends through Facebook this year and this was thanks to technology. I felt the warmth and love, which I have always cherished. Some friends which we consider to be of the same wavelength for years, turned out to be not so genuine. You realise who your true friends are and treat them like family.

It’s not the long years which should be counted but the essence of the relationship and truthfulness, which we should take into consideration.

I am proud to be in UAE because this country ranks first in the region for tolerance. UAE has set an example and has more than 200 nationalities living in peace and harmony respecting the cultural values of each other.

Even though we are in the modern era of digital technology of sending messages and pictures, I managed to post around 360 New Year cards to friends and relatives globally.

People watch fireworks during New Year celebration in downtown St.Petersburg, Russia.
People watch fireworks during New Year celebration in downtown St.Petersburg, Russia. Image Credit: AP

My New Year resolution is to avoid the use of plastic bags. Now I make sure to carry items in my backpack or ask for paper bags. I ask my children to follow the same. When I give gifts to friends most of the time I try to use paper bags, which is a habit I tried to inculcate within my family and friends.

Gulf News gave me a platform to express my views on various topics - right from environment to politics, to the refugee crisis to poverty. Dubai has helped me grow in many ways and cherish every moment spent here. I hope the New Year will usher in peace and happiness not only for me and my family, but also for everyone in this world. May we all have a peaceful, healthy and prosperous 2020.

- The reader is a logistics manager based in Dubai.

Memorable take-aways for 2019

By Aishwarya Satish

The year 2019 has been a whirlwind, in terms of professional and personal developments. The changes I have undergone through this year is something I could have never imagined in my wildest dreams.

I started working as a part-time researcher at a university, to figure out if research was something I wanted to pursue. I realised very quickly that while I do have a nack for research, I did not quite like it as much as I thought I did. Waking up every day, I used to think “Do I really have to go to the lab today?” and at that point I knew I needed a change. The job search was a struggle, filled with rejections and failed interviews. Until a chance encounter with someone from my current company.

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After one conversation with this person, an interview was set up and I immediately got the job! It was also a job that was as far away from research as it could be. This made me realise that sometimes, in addition to hard work, your exam scores and interview skills, a little bit of luck plays a role. Another takeaway is that not everything can be controlled. Do not over think it and burden yourself.

The people you meet on your journey through life have an impact on you. Some are here to stay, some teach you a lesson. I think I have truly understood this fact in 2019. I have made mistakes in terms of who to keep close and at a distance. But, I am happy to say that at the end of the year, the answers became clear to me. As difficult as it is, let go of people who have turned toxic. Never believe just one side of the story and never compromise on your integrity for someone else’s sake.

This year has changed me into a more confident person, who has become a bit more comfortable in her own skin and is not afraid to speak her mind. I do not believe in having New Year resolutions since a person can have new short term or long term goals and aspirations at any time of the year. I am just going to carry the lessons I have learned over to the next year.

- The reader is an outsourcing manager based in New York.