Regarding Taniya Dutta's article Floods and landslides kill at least 50 people in India (August 22): the rains have been especially severe this year in many parts of India. The report on the damage in the country's northern and eastern states was comprehensive. That a 64-year rainfall record was broken in Dharamshala, a beautiful town with the highest cricket pitch in the world, is remarkable.
It's not a healthy sign though that the aftermath of the monsoon season has been so deadly. Speedy arrangements from several state governments have helped people in the affected areas where houses have been washed away and families have lost loved ones. Infrastructure, like the roads, has been badly damaged. No one can stop the fury of nature. I pray for respite in the coming days even though the forecast is bleak. The authorities should gear up to expect a rise in causalities.
K Ragavan, Bengaluru, India
An inspirational post-pandemic revival
With reference to Fareed Rahman's report Dubai wins bids to host 99 major conferences and meetings amid economic rebound (August 23): This is a very positive sign. For business leaders across the world, Dubai is like a dream destination. More broadly, the UAE has demonstrated how economies can recover and regain their pre-Covid-19 positions by putting people first. Inspiring leadership inspires people to do their best.
Jussi Myllymaa, Fuengirola, Spain
The UAE gave us a life
I write to you in reference to the piece First US ambassador to Sudan in 25 years arrives in Khartoum (August 24): A few decades ago, my family decided to leave our home in the city of Kassala in Eastern Sudan. This was the result of our father's employment situation. Like thousands of his colleagues in the military and civil service, he was laid off due to a so-called public interest law which was established in Sudan in 1989.
Huge numbers of the finest personnel in the judicial, military and civil service were dismissed and rendered unemployed overnight. Thus, a large number of them were forced to relocate. Some moved to Europe, the US, Australia. Others chose the Gulf countries, which were popular due to their proximity to Sudan and the familiarity of the Arab and Islamic culture to many Sudanese. My father’s destination was the gulf: Saudi Arabia first and then the UAE. The gulf states were experiencing an economic and construction boom when we moved. My father worked first as a translator and then as a lawyer when we settled in our beloved UAE.
I studied at an intermediate school for three years before moving on to high school. During my school years, the UAE was witnessing increasing prosperity and diversity due to its openness to cultures from around the world.
I will never forget the excellent education and support we received, including free school fees, free transport and good subsidised meals. After I scored 86.7 per cent, I continued my education at the University of Khartoum, where I majored in Library Studies. Today I am a librarian in the UAE.
Many poets are apprehensive about alienation. They write about "estrangement" and "strangeness". Al Imam Al Shafi wrote about people abandoning their homelands in pursuit of glory and travel. Travel releases us, gives us a livelihood, knowledge and education. However, for me, despite our imposed exile, the UAE has been very kind to us. My parents attached a great deal of importance to our education and always motivated us to strive for more. I am indebted to them and grateful to this country.
Samir Babiker, Abu Dhabi