Opinion 2013

Volcano Fountain – a humble call to bring it back

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Any expat or Emirati family who was here before it was demolished in 2004 remembers the 80 foot fountain right by the Gulf. It was common to see families relaxing while the kids ran around the fountain or friends met to catch up. For many years, the Volcano Fountain which got the name from its cone – like shape and the electric lights that looked like lava at night was the place for National Day festivities and other traditional events, a part of the heritage and culture and a prime spot for visitors to the UAE. However, it was removed during the expansion of the Corniche and so far has not found a place in the new scheme of developments in the capital.
Many in Abu Dhabi especially those who grew up seeing the fountain miss it. But one man has decided to take the initiative to bring this beautiful fountain back. Ramesh Menon, an Indian who works in the capital, has sent a petition to the authorities in Abu Dhabi asking them to find the right place to restore this grand monument to the city. “This will make a differenced in Abu Dhabi; it will keep a lot of memories alive and attract various people. There are many who have taken interest and joined in this petition. As lovers of this country, tradition, and historical growth, we all want the Volcano Fountain to be restored, rebuilt anywhere in the new Corniche or any other befitting place in Abu Dhabi, says Menon. “How can we forget that Abu Dhabi was synonymous with this fountain until 2004, and now it’s gone,” Menon reminds us who has been in the city for decades.
A committee is currently looking into the situation, and Menon is working to spread the message and gain more support to ensure that his mission succeeds.

Gulf News reader for 24 years says, ‘I absolutely love the newspaper’

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Gulf News reader for 24 years says, ‘I absolutely love the newspaper’

Ramesh Menon talks about his journey with Gulf News and what has made him a devoted reader
  • By Donia Jenabzadeh, Special to Gulf News
  • Published: 21:00 September 28, 2013
Dubai: It is quite striking as to what extent a reader’s devotion can reach. Speaking to Ramesh Menon, 46, we get to know that there is no limit. He has followed Gulf News since his first day of arriving in the UAE 24 years ago.
When asked about his journey with the paper, the Indian national said: “At the time when I first arrived in the UAE in 1989, there were limited sources for quality news, and that is when I developed my keen interest in Gulf News, as it was the only paper at the time that would deliver quality and reliable news.”
Upon his arrival, Menon first stayed in Abu Dhabi, then moved to Dubai and later Sharjah, before moving back to Abu Dhabi in 2000, and that is where he has been based for the past 13 years.
Over all these changes, one of the factors that have been consistent in his life isGulf News. And he charted the changes in the paper keenly.
He said: “The breakthrough came when each section [of the newspaper] got separated, which added consistency to the paper as it made it easier for readers to pull out that particular section, which he or she is interested in. Although I always read the whole paper, I find this very convenient as I can choose the news I want to read first.”
He is a determined reader with great enthusiasm for news, and he does not settle for anything less than perfection, which is evident in his constant interactivity with the newspaper’s Readers Desk. He said: “Most of the staff know me by now, as I am constantly interacting with their work by giving them my suggestions.”
Menon got married in 1991 and became a father in 1992. His second child was born in 1995. His two sons are now pursuing undergraduate studies in engineering and management. While he is based in Abu Dhabi, where he works as a technical officer for an oil company, his wife and elder son are currently living in India, while his younger son is studying in the UK.
Marking the 35th anniversary of Gulf News, Menon said that the key reason for the newspaper’s success is that “it is a reader interactive newspaper. This is evident in the community reports, which is the voice of the reader on certain issues that need to be highlighted. Facebook and Twitter are constantly being updated and this is a great opportunity for the reader to follow up and get instant news as well as to interact with the paper.”
His daily routine includes reading the printed edition of paper in the morning and then moving on to online updates on gulfnews.com during the day. He finds the online version very helpful, especially when travelling but also for being prepared as to what will be in the news the coming day.
The very reason he started reading the newspaper in the first place, as a 22-year-old, when he initially came to the UAE in 1989. He said: “Gulf News is a beautiful paper, I absolutely love the newspaper, and it will always be my number one source of news.”

To read it in original, please visit Gulf News online

Gulf News Reader pictures of the week – :07 September 22, 2013

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Gulf News reader Ramesh Menon took this picture at the Abu Dhabi International Hunting & Equestrian Exhibition. Falcons are an integral part of desert life in the UAE for centuries. Originally, falcons were used for hunting, to supplement the Bedouin diet with some meat, such as hare and houbara.

To view it in original, please visit Gulf News online.

Onam Kerala’s harvest festival – Dt. 17-09-2013 Gulf News – Readers Picture

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Onam Kerala’s harvest festival – Dt. 17-09-2013 Gulf News – Readers Picture

Gulf News reader Ramesh Menon took pictures of Onam decorations in Thrissur, Kerala, India

To read it online, please visit GULF NEWS online.
Gulf News reader Ramesh Menon took pictures of Onam decorations in Thrissur, Kerala, India. He said: “Onam – the traditional festival of harvest for Keralites is the most celebrated festival of the year. The festival marks the arrival of the mythical king called Mahabali. People from different walks of life come together and celebrate this day with family and friends over a luxurious feast. People decorate their houses with symbolic items, including day-to-day household utensils, vegetables and flowers. In the olden days, flowers used for decorations were picked fresh from people’s gardens, but now there are huge markets where people can buy all kinds of decorative items.Children are most excited for Onam, as they get gifts from their elders. I remember my childhood days in a small village named Urakam in Thrissur, where the decorations were very elaborate and the entire city seemed to be jumping with joy and excitement. Over time, the number of nuclear families is increasing and regional associations are gaining prominence, because of which people tend to celebrate these festivities at their respective associations and gatherings outside home. Let harmony and joy prevail with goodwill for all as envisaged by the great king Mahabali.”
Expatriate residents in the UAE, from the Indian state of Kerala, celebrated the festival yesterday.

Awareness drives can curb diseases

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Awareness drives can curb diseases

The Muntada event on Alzheimer’s and diabetes, organised by Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation was an eye opener for all those who attended it (Doctors warn of growing risk of Alzheimer’s disease, September 16).

Lifestyle plays a crucial role in preventing both diseases. I sincerely thank the organisers for bringing in experts who helped the participants better understand these diseases with their clear presentation and interaction.

More awareness campaigns are needed on these health issues, especially among school and universitie communities.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi
The National Dt. 17 Sept 2013

To read it in original, please visit THE NATIONAL online

Emiratis and Expats : Bridging the gap – Gulf News Dt. 11.09.2013

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Understanding the culture
A thought provoking article of contemporary relevance, as UAE is looking to progress in all fields. An individual of any nationality undergoes the same dilemma expressed by the writer. It is true that a certain cultural inhibition is there in most of us. However, I believe that each individual needs to put in effort to learn and understand the local language and tradition of the country, to feel a part of it. As a member of the India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC), Abu Dhabi, I would like to appreciate the effort of ISC to conduct Arabic language courses for its members and their families. This has made a significant impact in the community. Involvement of police and other local humanitarian associations in club events has also given expatriates an opportunity to understand the local culture.
From Mr Ramesh Menon
Abu Dhabi
To read it in original, please visit Gulf News online.

Safety campaign needed at schools

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Safety campaign needed at schools 

Schools have opened after the long summer and Eid holiday break.

As there are now many new residents in the country, it is important to start traffic safety campaigns so everyone is aware of the dos and don’ts – especially mothers who are dropping off and picking up their children.

I have found that many of these drivers are not wearing seat belts.

Why not introduce a campaign where the road-safety checks are made by female police officers?

I feel they will be more effective when it comes to imparting knowledge to women and children about the dangers of not following traffic rules and regulations.

It will also give added prominence and recognition to the female members of the country’s police forces.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

The National Dt 04 September 2013 
To read it online, please visit THE NATIONAL online

Gulf News – Readers use pictures to tell a story – First Place Dt. 17 August 2013

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And the page which lead to the winning entry is:
Thank you GULF NEWS.