Month: March 2011

WORLD CUP FINALE – My Letters – Khaleej Times Dt. 27.03.2011

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WORLD CUP FINALE – My Letters – Khaleej Times Dt. 27.03.2011
27 March 2011

What at an exciting game of knockout matches happening at World Cup 2011. The Australian team was really floored by both Pakistan and India in consecutive matches. Each player acted responsibly and played a pre-defined plan to perfection.
Whether India wins the semi final match against Pakistan or not, the tournament has been given a momentum by the attitude of the attitude to win by those eight teams. They have already captured the hearts of millions of cricket fans, irrespective of whether they come from India, Pakistan, England, and Australia or wherever.
I hope Mahindra Singh Dhoni and Indian Team think tank take a final look at the non-performers before they go into the field for the match with Pakistan. By all means, Sreesanth deserves a chance to prove that it was a one-off day for him against Bangladesh. If Dhoni persists on sidelining him once again, it will be a demoralising factor for the player, who could come out with unplayable deliveries consecutively. Even if it does happen, for a player of his caliber, it will not be the end of the world. Looking forward to an interesting end to the World Cup.
Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit Khaleej Times Online.

Mind Speaks – Looking forward to ICC 2011 World Cup India – Pakistan Semi Finals / Sreesanth should be given a chance

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Mind Speaks – Looking forward to ICC 2011 World Cup India – Pakistan Semi Finals / Sreesanth should be given a chance.
 

Well, well, well. What at an exciting game of knock-out matches happening at WC 2011. Australian team were really floored by both Pakistan and India in consecutive matches. Each
player looked responsible and played a pre-defined plan to perfection. The exuberance of confidence and focus level shown by Yuvraj Singh was are getting to its timely peak for a go at the cup this time.
Whether we win the semi final match against Pakistan or not, the tournament has been given a momentum by the attitude of the attitude to win by those 8 teams. They have already
captured the hearts of millions of Cricket fans, irrespective of whether they come from India, Pakistan, England, Australia or wherever.
I hope Mahindra Singh Dhoni and Indian Team think tank take a final look at the non-performers before they go in to the field for the match with Pakistan. By all means, Sreesanth deserves a chance to prove that it was a one-off day for him against Bangladesh. If Dhoni, persists on sidelining him once again, it will be demoralising factor for the player, who could come out with unplayable deliveries consecutively. Even if it does happen, for a player of his caliber, it will not be the end of the world.
Looking forward to an interesting end to WC 2011.

Ramesh Menon

PS: I know it is an extremely dangerous act to write a commentary supporting Sreesanth. God willing if given a chance and he gets on to the playing eleven, my prayers are he keeps his cool and take wickets, a bag full. My Short Take Published in Gulf Today of 26th March is thus dedicated to him.

Cool Factor – Short Take – GULF TODAY – Dt. 26.03.2011

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Short Take – GULF TODAY – Dt. 26.03.2011 – Cool Factor

Cool factor

What at an exciting game of knock-out matches happening at WC 2011. Australian team were really floored by both Pakistan and India in consecutive matches. Keeping the nerves and keeping cool is an important element, required all the time in life to achieve success and victory.
Not many people practise this art or at least even attempt to learn it. Till some time ago, I myself was one who never achieved this target. Or even now, I can openly admit. It is easy to get intimidated or distracted and lose the focus of our objectives.
In life, everyone has to have a smaller objective and Bigger Objective. While working short term for the smaller objectives, our prime focus should be on the Bigger version of it.
The pace and methodology with which we should go about should be strategically developed for the execution of such a strategy. But many times, we tend to focus on the smaller objectives which will totally take us out and away from our Bigger objectives. We can illustrate this situation many times by small events happening in our life.
One such incident happened to me recently. I was driving down the highway early morning towards Dubai from Abu Dhabi. With not much traffic and with music on, my concentration was to watch out for a diversion to particular place I had to go. I was almost sure that I was nearer to that diversion and at this time, I happened to watch closely in the side mirror a beautiful car approaching mine. With a passion for automobiles, I was unable to take my eyes of her, slowed down the speed and watched the beautiful Blue Rolls Royce Phantom passing me like a race horse. I took a closer look at it, the number, the model and even the driver. All this happened within a matter of 1 or 2 minutes at the speed of 120 km approved speed limit on the highway.
In the same instance I realised I missed my important turning, crossing it, making me drive for a retour and valuable time of almost 45 minutes.
Ramesh Menon
To read it in original, please visit GULF TODAY online.

Lectures on Down Syndrome organised by SCHS’s Al Wafaa School for Developmental Training

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Lectures on Down Syndrome organised by SCHS’s Al Wafaa School for Developmental Training

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), a non-profit organization located in the United Arab Emirates celebrates World Down Syndrome Day on the 21st of March every year.

This date (21/3) is symbolic for the 3 copies of chromosome 21, unique to people with Down Syndrome. The aim of the World Down Syndrome Day celebration is to promote awareness, understanding, seek international support, and to achieve dignity, equal rights, and a better life for people with Down Syndrome globally.
SCHS’s Al Wafaa School for Developmental Training organized two lectures by Dr. Latifah Rashed, Nutritionist at Al Qasimi Hospital, and Dr. Eman Kashef, a Social Worker from Egypt, at Sharjah Supreme Family Council on Monday, March 21st.
Mrs. Mona Abdel Kareem, Head of SCHS’s Al Wafaa School for Developmental Training, introduced lecturers to the audience. In her introduction, Mrs. Mona Abdel Kareem emphasized that, “Actions speak louder than words. Therefore, all institutes should work together in order to improve the lives of people with Down Syndrome”.

 

Dr. Latifah began the lecture by stating that genes that obtain an extra copy of chromosome 21 are responsible for all characteristics associated with Down Syndrome. Normally, each human cell contains 23 pairs of different chromosomes. Each chromosome carries genes, which are needed for proper development and maintenance of our bodies. At conception, an individual inherits 23 chromosomes from the mother (through the egg cell) and 23 chromosomes from the father (through the sperm cell). However, sometimes a person inherits an extra chromosome from one of the parents. In Down Syndrome, an individual most often inherits two copies of chromosome 21 from the mother and one chromosome 21 from the father for a total of three chromosomes. Down Syndrome is caused by the inheritance of three chromosomes 21, the disorder is also called trisomy 21. About 95% of individuals with Down Syndrome inherit an entire extra chromosome 21. The lecturer added that babies with Down Syndrome may be very challenging to breastfeed. It takes a great deal of patience to teach the baby to suck properly (and strongly) to obtain a milk ejection reflex and to stimulate your milk supply. For these babies, it is recommended that you begin by hand-expressing your breast to start the milk flow and hold the breast firmly so that the nipple doesn’t slip out of the baby’s mouth. It is also critical that you give good support to the head, jaw, and body of a baby with Down Syndrome, as they display general body hypotonia, or low-tone. If you prop the baby firmly with a pillow in your lap or use a sling baby carrier, you will have a hand available to hold the baby’s jaw and your breast. It may take a few days to familiarize yourself to this technique, but once you’ve got a position that you’re both comfortable with, stick with it!
Dr. Latifah concluded the lecture by saying that children with Down Syndrome are more likely than their unaffected siblings to have higher levels of a hormone associated with obesity, according to pediatric researchers. The hormone, leptin, may contribute to the known higher risk of obesity among children and adults with Down Syndrome. Therefore, parents should pay particular attention to their nutrition and health.
In the second lecture, Dr. Eman said that for children and adults with Down Syndrome, social understanding is usually a strength, beginning with infancy. Many of the cues which indicate how someone is feeling are non-verbal, for example, tone of voice, facial expression and body posture, so that even when a child or adult does not understand all the spoken language being used in a social situation they are still able to pick up the main messages about feelings and behave in an appropriate way, despite the delays in their development of spoken language skills. This has led a number of authors to emphasize the agreeable social skills, empathy and social competence of most children and adults with Down Syndrome. They tend to have better social understanding and social behavior than other children with similar levels of cognitive and communication delay and this can help them to be successful in community activities and in an inclusive education.
Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) is a non-profit organization located in the United Arab Emirates who aims at providing education, advocacy, and independence for people with disabilities under the General Directorship of Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. To know more about it, please visit http://http://www.schs.ae/

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

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Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services Celebrates World Down Syndrome Day

Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), a non-profit organization located in the United Arab Emirates celebrates World Down Syndrome Day on 21 March every year.
This date (21/3) is symbolic for the 3 copies of chromosome 21, unique to people with Down syndrome. The aim of the World Down Syndrome Day celebration is to promote awareness, understanding, seek international support, and to achieve dignity, equal rights, and a better life for people with Down syndrome globally.
SCHS’s Al Wafaa School for Developmental Training decided to organize activities during the week of 21/3. Activities include sports at Al Thiqa Club for the Handicapped and Sharjah Ladies Club in which SCHS’s Down Syndrome students will participate. On Monday, March 21st, Dr. Latifah Rashied, Nutritionist at Al Qasimi Hospital, will provide a lecture to mothers of Down Syndrome children regarding healthy food. In addition, Dr. Eman Kashif, a Social Worker from Egypt, will provide a lecture regarding socialization in relation to Down Syndrome.
On Tuesday, 22nd, Dr. Eman will provide consultation to mothers of Down Syndrome children in private sessions. The sessions will take place in Parents of the Disabled Association. The week will be concluded by 24 of SCHS’s Down Syndrome students participating in a football match between Sharjah team and Al Ain team. Students from SCHS will accompany players when entering the field. The match is sponsored by National Soil Investigation and Bldg Materials Lab, Al-Romaizan for Gold & Jewellery, Al Thiqa Club for the Handicapped, and Parents of the Disabled Association.
Mrs. Mona Abdel Kareem, Head of SCHS’s Al Wafaa School for Developmental Training, considers this celebration a reminder of the importance of providing community assistance to this community. After all, it is a joint responsibility. She advices experts who work in hospitals and private clinics of the importance of benefitting the public in a scientifically positive fashion. They should focus on the mothers who have given birth to Down Syndrome babies in order to avoid trauma and its negative effects. This is to be done by giving parents accurate information about the condition of their infants. The positive effects of early intervention should be emphasized as well. Specialists must work diligently in order to help parents overcome this difficult time.
Mrs. Mona Abdel Kareem mentioned that the vital role of the community in raising Down Syndrome children with in a strong familial environment. The initial acceptance into society for children with Down Syndrome should begin with the medical crew who should try to instill the importance of parents accepting their child’s condition. The next step is to provide families with accurate and up to date information regarding the Down Syndrome. Parents should be aware of the significance that early intervention and a proper education can do to improve the quality of life for a child with Down Syndrome . These children need a great amount of care and passion. In this way they will develop socially, emotionally, and linguistically. In addition, they will learn how to become more independent. Moreover, the members of the community must respect the feelings of these families. The general view towards the disabled has become better over time due to the cooperation between various institutions.
Children with down syndrome tend to be compassionate and obedient, and often allows for much of the community to be compassionate towards them. If they receive the proper attention, they have the capability to learn. “Our children are persistent, innovative, and capable when the circumstances are optimal” said Mrs. Mona Abdel Kareem.
She advised mothers of the disabled not to be remorseful or embarrassed by their children. They should educate themselves by reading books and surfing the net for the latest information about Down Syndrome. Creating and maintaining communication with other families that have Down Syndrome children is very important in lessening the psychological burden imposed by disability. Recent researches show the social and psychological characteristics of children with Down Syndrome prove that children with Down Syndrome are often social, tender, merry, and have repetitive mannerisms. They are shy in front of visitors.
Individuals with Down syndrome may vary significantly in terms of physical and psychological characteristics. The list of possible characteristics however should not obscure two important facts: clearly individuals with Down syndrome are first and foremost people who have similar needs, desires, and rights as others; and, the effects of intensive interventions with young Down Syndrome children are only now being evaluated, but also making many historical descriptions of Down Syndrome no longer accurate. Some of the physical characteristics observed in persons with Down Syndrome include the following: the back of the head is often flattened, the eyelids may be slightly slanted, small skin folds at the inner corners of the eyes may be present, the nasal bridge is slightly depressed, and the nose and ears are usually somewhat smaller. In the newborn there is often an excess of skin at the back of the neck. The hands and feet are small and the fingerprints are often different from chromosomally normal children. Individuals with Down syndrome have loose ligaments and their muscle strength and tone are usually reduced. If the ligaments between the first two neck bones are loose, there may be a condition referred to as Atlanto-Axial Instability. About one-third of children with Down syndrome have congenital heart disease. Other congenital defects such as blockage in the bowels and cataracts, although rare, may also be present. Hearing deficits, visual problems, and thyroid dysfunction are also often observed in persons with Down syndrome.
Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS) is a non-profit organization located in the United Arab Emirates who aims at providing education, advocacy, and independence for people with disabilities under the General Directorship of Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi. To know more about it, please visit http://http://www.schs.ae/

Support is needed for non-profit community initiatives – Community Report – Gulf News Dt. 19.03.2011

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Community Report – Gulf News Dt. 19.03.2011 – Support is needed for non-profit community initiatives

The success of the Fourth Used Book Fair in Sharjah could have been even more far-reaching with help from sponsors and volunteers, reader says.

The recently concluded Fourth Used Book Fair in Sharjah, organised by the City for Humanitarian Services, calls for several interesting observations.
The intensive presence of visitors from day one of the fair was highly motivational to volunteers, who dedicated a lot of time and effort to make the event a success.
Visiting the fair and keenly following the activities showed that events of  this nature do not normally generate generous sponsors and sponsorships from organisations. They usually come forward to donate gifts and memorabilia in abundance when events involve film actors or other celebrities.
It was wonderful to see volunteers forgetting their physical challenges, carrying books to numerous stalls and neatly displaying them for sale. They were found competing with each other to showcase their skills in generating revenue for their own cause.
I wish major organisations take a cue from the collective efforts of the organisers of this event and the volunteers who made it a success and support them in the future by coming forward without hesitation in every possible way.

In addition, I feel a strong need by the respectable authorities to initiate a nominal ‘Social Service Contribution’ of say 0.5 per cent to 1 per cent on ticket costs for events that have a high expense. This could then be made a mandatory distribution to an established charity fund.

The fund could then be allocated proportionately and utilised for the day-to-day running of various charity institutions and organisations within the UAE, who are genuinely in need of more support. This way, everyone will become contributors to humanitarian causes, willingly or not.

It would also be a good idea to complement the effort of these charity organisations by providing them reduction in charges on utility services like telephones, electricity and water bills.

– The reader is a technical officer based in Abu Dhabi

– Be a citizen reporter. Tell us what is happening in your community. Write to us and send us your videos and pictures

To read it in original, please visit GULF NEWS Online.

Short Take – Gulf Today Dt. 19.03.2011 – Nature’s wrath

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Short Take – Gulf Today Dt. 19.03.2011 – Nature’s wrath

Life on a Friday usually is quiet and relaxed at home, helping with family and greeting and treating occasional friends. But, Friday March 11 turned out to be a different one. Switching on the TV casually around 11 am, I was alerted about the evolving news of the tragedy happening in Japan at that moment.
Japan experienced the worst ever earthquake disaster in its modern history followed by a deadly tsunami leading to massive destruction in the northern part of the country. All happiness suddenly vanished as we watched with awe the reality happening in front of us through available TV channels transmitting the tragedy — our helplessness in front of Mother Nature on fully fury.
Boats, ships and cars were floating like they were made of paper. There was absolutely no question of human power against that rage. Every witness remained silent without knowing what to do next. All available modern technology were used to forewarn the danger to its next destination and although it saved many life from other parts, what happened in those few hours in Japan will remain forever in our mind.
Several times we, mankind boast of our knowledge and technology power. This tragedy happened like a warning to us that Mother Nature is beyond our control. Our silent prayers, sympathy and condolences are with the entire nation. Japan will recover and come back from this tragedy very fast. They have the will power and mental strength to regroup from tragedies. They have proved it before and we pray silently for all those affected to rebuild themselves and their dreams once again.
Ramesh Menon
19.03.2011

To read it in original, please GULF TODAY online.