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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

KhalifaSat is a testament to the power of co-operation

Our readers have their say on the UAE, refugees and space

An H-2A rocket, carrying a government information gathering radar satellite, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima space centre on the Japanese island of Tanegashima in March, 2017. KhalifaSat will be launched from the same site on a similar rocket. Kyodo / Reuters
An H-2A rocket, carrying a government information gathering radar satellite, lifts off from the launching pad at Tanegashima space centre on the Japanese island of Tanegashima in March, 2017. KhalifaSat will be launched from the same site on a similar rocket. Kyodo / Reuters

I write in reference to your article Space diplomacy propels KhalifaSat (October 28): this article on the latest development with the first Emirati satellite was both meaningful and highly thought-provoking. With the collaboration of South Korea, KhalifaSat will be launched from Japan today. The UAE has many honours and achievements to its name and this satellite launching is not only another feather in its cap but also reflects and will promote further international co-operation, which is too often in short supply today. Kudos to the UAE.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Thank you to the UAE, the only home I have ever known

To me, the UAE is uniquely special in the global landscape. This year has been declared as the Year of Zayed to honour the achievements of the late Founding Father, Sheikh Zayed, who unified separate emirates into a single country, which has progressed rapidly since. The level of development and modernisation that has swept this once barren desert is awe-inspiring.

But that is not why I hold the UAE in such high regard. The reason is that it has always been my home. Despite being Indian, no other country has ever felt like home. I am proud of my Indian roots but visiting India seems like just that – a visit. I feel like an outsider in my mother country, instead finding true comfort in the country that has been home for all 16 years of my life. I felt the need to express these feelings on my 16th birthday and the country’s 47th birthday. The journey of life might lead me to migrate away from the UAE, my friends and my school. It fills me with excitement but also with a twinge of trepidation and plenty of nostalgia.

So I want to thank the UAE, the country I owe so much to, for giving me a globalised upbringing, innumerable opportunities and most of all, a lifetime’s worth of unforgettable memories, to take with me wherever life takes me next.

Prerana Pai, Dubai

It is time for world powers to take action on refugees

I write in reference to your editorial Refugee deaths in Libya highlight the world’s complacency (October 28): the abysmal conditions of refugees in Libya require us to be sympathetic to our fellow human beings, fighting for their right to survive. It seems mankind has lost its fundamental ability to realise the hardship of people who are trapped, through no fault of their own. Many countries are hit by famine and conflicts, pushing thousands of civilians across borders to safety, yet developed nations and charitable organisations still find it difficult to provide the basic requirements for their survival. Every developed country, as well as the UN, has an obligation to safeguard the large number of civilians fleeing their home countries. The EU has saved the lives of many who make the perilous journey across the sea but many of those who survive are forced to live in squalor. People who have been labelled illegal migrants must be accepted and allowed to live peacefully.

Ramachandran Nair, Muscat