Tabalatronic in Abu Dhabi – an international musical fusion event

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Tabalatronic by Subash Dhunoohchand and Ramesh Menon

Alliance Française Abu Dhabi is organizing Tablatronic, an international musical fusion event, on Friday, 30th September 2016 at Novotel Al Bustan Ballroom, Abu Dhabi.

The event will have Subhash Dhunoohchand (from Réunion Island) and Ramesh Menon (from Abu Dhabi), performing on various percussion instruments at this cine-concert of worldwide music and an exhibition of fascinating images of Réunion Island.

Performing on stage along with them will be Solange and Nino, the singers of Gayamb, a Creole band that used to play in Reunion Island many years ago. They play original and traditional songs with this particular rhythm from the Indian Ocean called “Sega”: a music mixed from African, Indian and European origins, reflecting the great melting pot of people in Réunion Island that live together for centuries in harmony. Their recent performances included Southern Africa, Bahrain, Oman as well as in UAE.

Tabalatronic tickets can be availed online on Time Out (online) and at Alliance Francaise (paper ticket – contact 02 6122900).

If you, or any of your friends are interested, kindly extend the invitation to them. I will be happy to arrange passes for them to be attend.

Thanks and sincere regards for your support.


Ramesh Menon given Ministry of Interior Excellence Award

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Transcript of an interview taken for Arabic media after the Award Ceremony:

Age, job, number of years in the UAE?

I am 47 years and working as Communications Coordinator for Total, French Oil Company. I have been a resident of UAE since 1988. My wife, Rajashree Menon and myself live in Abu Dhabi.

The Award : Ministry of Interior Excellence Award

Why were you given an award by the MoI?

It was for my continuous contribution to the MOI on several subjects with a qualitative outlook intended to improve the harmonious living of the residents, both locals and expat in Abu Dhabi and UAE in general.

When did you receive a call from the police? What was your initial reaction?

The award ceremony was on Thursday, 5th February 2015 and I received a call from a lady Lieutenant colonel who introduced herself and verified me before she said to me about it.

It was a totally unexpected call and I was a bit surprised and made sure it was me she was trying to contact. I then asked her details about the award and which suggestion of mine has been selected. Her reply was that I am a regular contributor and hence there were more than one of merit that made them consider me for it.

When you were at the capital police HQ how did you feel, as the awards were for the police and other individuals? I believe there were a few or no Asians apart from you. How honored were you being among the award recipients?

It was indeed a special feeling to go to the premises of Capital Police on that day. Reaching there, I found myself to be the one of the only Asian expatriate among the lineup of police personnel in uniform and in civil dress.

I realized it was something special to be among them. They were from different emirates. Talking to some of them and watching them interacting with each other I realized, we all carried the same zest for Safety. We all considered it as our responsibility to act with diligence on whatever subject we handled.

It also confirmed one common truth that each one of us did our individual actions without ever thinking of any remote possibility of being selected for such a prestigious award!.

Now can you tell us when you started providing suggestions and proposals to the police? Were most of the suggestions pertaining to road safety? Can you tell us

It is a continuous process started way back from 2006, when I was awarded by Dubai Municipality as Distinguished Contributor for their Have Your Say Programmes. It was followed in 2007 too.

The dedicated Have Your Say programmes by the authorities are a useful platform for those who wish to contribute towards the betterment of community. Abu Dhabi Police’s website and the contact centre abudhabi.ae is of real help for community oriented persons like me. I use various options like the contact centre website and email, then over phone directly to the helpline numbers and also through the Community Police department.

Road safety is one of my primary target. However, it doesn’t end there. I contribute and communicate to them in various other subjects such as hygiene issues etc as and when I get to see an alarming situation, which needs to be highlighted to the authorities.

Some of them are at times considered risky and my sense of commitment to adhere towards community safety have prevailed over personal safety and resulted in me communicating with the authorities. It has never been done with a felicitation oriented approach.

Ramesh Menon by IreneleonMy Objectives:

I have always strived myself to promote safety aspects at all time and believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to create a safe environment, whether it on the road, or elsewhere in the community.

My actions therefore have been initiated to support the authorities and administration to propagate effectively their messages to more public through writing or other communication means.

It is a two way process to alert the authorities whenever I witness and confirm authentically it is an anomaly which requires rectification. At the same time an alert is passed on to the community to warn them about any danger if it exists. Focus is maintained on this objective and all available platforms are utilized.

Other Awards and Achievements:

I am an active participant in various HAVE YOUR SAY Programmes happening within UAE and around. This has resulted in winning a few prestigious achievements over the last few years

Photo and Text Credits: MOI and Irene Leon (for The National) and WAM/HotelandRest.com

UAE’s STEM education objectives foster positive results

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The study results on pupils interest in STEM subject is interesting but not surprising.

The two category of students evaluated speaks for the results itself.

Expatriates children normally come from parents of high professional background and will have always an orientation for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subjects as these are part of their daily life, whereas local pupil are gradually getting in to the STEM world as the generation progress.

Irrespective of this, children now know really well that there is no more “Wasta” culture for success in life. They have to study and work hard, be innovative and keep on improvising and adapting to the changes.

There is a lot of interest among local students to take up STEM subjects. This can be seen by the active participation of students in the annual Think Science Competitions organized by Emirates Foundation. Child prodigy and emirati inventor Adeeb Alblooshi is an inspiration to many young local pupil to follow STEM for their success in future. Destination Medicine Summit by Al Jalila Foundation inspires Emirati youth to pursue medicine under the slogan “today’s students, tomorrow’s doctors.

All these shows that a conducive environment that supports science, at home and at school is being created for the young with sustained and dedicated efforts. I am happy to see that corporate bodies are actively supporting these initiatives to make it a success. Total, is an example, by partnering with Emirates Foundation and Al Jalila Foundation through its Corporate Social Responsibility objectives.

Thoughts on :

Study finds GCC pupils place less importance on Stem than expat peers

EK 521 Incident – Efficient Crisis Management & Communication by Emirates Airlines

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Dubai, Wednesday, 3rd August 2016

3 August 2016 - Mind Speaks - EK521 Incident

Emirates flight EK521 took off from Trivandrum in India while landing at Dubai International Airport on August 3, 2016 at about 12.45pm local time met with an emergency situation.

This is an age of swift and uninterrupted electronic communication. Dubai is an extremely busy city and its airport being open and visible from several points within the city.

  1. The airlines tweeted about this incident immediately.  As soon as news broke of the incident, Emirates airlines official social media pages on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter changed their logo to a grey and white picture.As the news broke out and evolved, social media photos started coming out which showed thick plumes of black smoke rising from the burning plane.
  1. Within almost 1 hour of the incident, i.e. at 2pm Emirates put out a tweet saying, “We can confirm that there are no fatalities among our passengers and crew. All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe. #EK521”. Emirates confirmed that there were 282 passengers and 18 crew on board. They also confirmed that emergency response teams at Dubai Airport had fully extinguished the fire on the Emirates plane.
  1. The Airline’s well-trained crew were quick and safely evacuated all the 300 passengers including the 18 member crew from the plane in a matter of 46 seconds! (as tweeted by one user on Twitter).
  1. The nationalities of the passengers were announced on Facebook at 3pm. Dubai Airports offered refreshments across all terminals throughout the day. Passengers were just asked to present their ticket or boarding card.
  1. At 4.10pm Emirates put out an official statement on their website and Youtube page by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman & Chief Executive on incident involving EK521. “We can confirm that there are no fatalities among our passengers and crew. All passengers and crew are accounted for and safe,” he said.
  2. At 5.30pm, Emirates cancelled 42 flights at Dubai International.  Dubai Media office tweeted at 5.50pm that specialized teams at Dubai Airports worked simultaneously to ensure safety & comfort of all passengers following the incident.  The media office also tweeted that DXB will resume departure operations starting 18.30 UAE local time with larger aircraft given first priority. They also tweeted that all Emirates passengers who had purchased tickets on or before 3rd August will have rebooking; re-issue & cancellation charges waived.
  3. The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) confirmed at 7.22pm that a fire fighter Jasim Issa Mohammad Hassan attached to Dubai Airports lost his life during firefighting operations. “He died while doing his duty and while evacuating the people to safety. On behalf of the General Civil Aviation Authority, I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of deceased. I salute his ultimate sacrifice that kept many from harm’s way. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family”, said the director general of GCAA. At the 7.30pm press conference Ahmed bin Saeed Al Makhtoum said: “We pay tribute to the firefighter who lost his life fighting the blaze. We thank all teams that dealt with the incident. He also paid tribute to the pilot who was instrumental in saving the passengers lives. The flight pilot is a well experienced Emirati national with more than 7000 flight hour. Medical teams dealt with 13 persons with minor injuries, who left after a short time.

An excellent example of Crisis Management

Emirates 3

My sincere congratulations to Emirates Airline EK521 Captain and Crew for handling the Crisis exceedingly well. Highest level of praise also goes to the Dubai Airport Emergency Response Team, who handled the situation and made sure the incident was brought under control. As regards to Emirates Airline Crisis Management and Communication Team, this is an excellent example for all global Comms/Crisis Management Teams to observe and follow how effectively and efficiently a major crisis can be handled and communicated.

Proof of Efficient Crisis Communication from Emirates

Emirates 4Everyone will agree and accept that this is not an easy task these days, when all are on social media and dissemination of information is just within the press of our fingers. On behalf of Emirates, the press conference and address by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Emirates’ Chairman & Chief Executive was very clear and matter of fact. The airline also came out with timely developing statements to avoid any rumors and feed stakeholders with right information.

Jasim Issa Mohammad Hassan – A great hero born!

Emirates 2.jpgLast but not the least, as a fitting tribute to the brave firefighter Jasim Issa Mohammad Hassan who lost his life, several high authorities from UAE government, including H.H. Vice President and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, H.H. General Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces attended his funeral and offered condolences to his family and friends.  His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, offered his sincere condolences and sympathy to the family and friends of the martyr of the nation, firefighter Jassim Issa Al Balooshi, who was martyred while extinguishing the fire, which involved Emirates Airline plane on Wednesday. In his account on the social networking “Twitter” said, “We offer our condolences to the family and friends of the martyr of the nation, firefighter, Jassim Issa Al Balooshi. And we ask God to bestow patience and solace on his bereaved family.” He added, “As far as our grief on Jassim, however we are proud of our youth and their sacrifices while performing their duties in protecting the lives and saving people. This country has men to be proud of.


Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

@rameshmenonauh /3rd August 2016

{Compilation of information from: Various news media – Khaleej Times, Gulf News, The National/Twitter/Emirates Airlines site etc}

#EK521 #EmiratesAirlines #CrisisManagement #CrisisCommunication #HSE


Petrol prices should flow

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Petrol prices should flow

I am very happy that fuel prices will be reduced by 15 fils per litre in August (UAE petrol prices to fall for first time in five months, July 28).

As a consumer, it is refreshing to note that this critical item will be cheaper, especially at a time that many daily consumables are becoming more expensive.

My hope is that this discount is reflected in the cost of other products. Lower prices would be a great relief to many in society.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Letters to the Editor/The National :

UAE petrol prices to fall for first time in five months

Mind Speaks: E-volution to excessiveness

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Photo Speaks - Presentation1 - E-volution to excessiveness

E-volution to excessiveness

It was lying idle for quite some time. To be fair to that time limit, it has remained not in use for more than 5 years now.  During its days, it was a king on its own merit.

You must be wondering, what I am talking about?

It is nothing but a 1 GB Desktop, I assembled and used for a long time. It had some of the best features handpicked and assembled including the high end hard disk, memory cards, a good resolution graphic card and monitor.

Today, I thought, I find time to re-assemble it once again. It used to be a hobby once upon a time to assemble PCs of choice.

Dissecting it into pieces brought again lot of memories.

What significantly stood out was the floppy disk option it had.

Suddenly, I thought about the 1980s, when all the computing work was done using an 8 inch floppy diskette. It was big and fragile and could handle about 500 KB of data. Imagine those days the accounting activities were more manual and some used Lotus 123. Both sides of the floppy diskettes were used and it writes data into the diskette with a loud noise! Those were also the days the data was stored only in floppy disks.

Years passed and then the 5 1/4 inch floppy diskettes arrive with more data space, at times up to 1200 KB (1.2 MB).

Then the 3½ inch compact floppy disks with 1.44 MB space arrived.

There has been no dearth in terms of storage options with hard disks coming out with bigger in terms of storage space and smaller in terms of physical size.

Now USB storage disks come in small size with 2 TB size even.

Life goes on and what used to be once an integral part of my professional and personal computing activities have now become redundant and retired.

What next? Everything is in unclear and remains suspense as in the cloud!

Remain Green.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

30th July 2016

Photo Speaks – Delegate & Relax

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Are you working under pressure? Then Delegate & Relax!    RM

I love photography and I believe

Every photo clicked is a history. One will never be able to re-create that precious moment.

Let these photos and quotes make your day inspiring.

Like it and share it.