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Animals need to be protected


by samama reza


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Newspaper Writer, Columnist, Reviewer Dubai Sharja

Tablets and video games are affecting children today. I think this issue should come to the surface more as I have friends and relatives who have been negatively affected by tablets and by the games on them.


I believe that tablets are mainly designed for adults and so are the games on them. We can handle and control our addictiveness towards each and every game and app we use, but children cannot. My relative, who is about 13 years old now, is terribly addicted to her tablet and its video games. Before her addiction she used to be a wonderful and bright student who used to get A’s in all her subjects in school. Her mother tried to stop her from playing games at all times by breaking the tablet as she started getting lower grades in school. But, the girl lost her temper and tried to commit suicide, because her tablet was taken away from her. When she got a new tablet back she threatened her mother not to come near her or else she would try to kill herself again. She tried to commit suicide a few more times when her mother disconnected the internet from their house and when she took away the charger to charge her own phone.


Now my cousin just stays in her room all the time and plays games. She barely speaks to anyone and eats very little. When she was taken to a physiatrist and checked out, she was said to have an addiction towards her games and tablet just as some adults have addictions towards drugs. It had badly affected her brain. It was suggested to let her keep playing her games and hopefully her addiction would subside slowly.


I suggest all parents to not let their children play games for too long or to hand them tablets unless it is extremely necessary for school work. It would be good for them.


Is education too stressful now?


by samama reza


The education system these days is ruining the lives of children in one way or the other. Children are always stressed about getting the best scores in school that they forget to fully live their childhood.

One of my very close friends, who used to live in the UAE two years ago, moved back to her hometown with her family after her father decided they couldn’t live here forever. Advertisement


She was a very bright student and she loved the UAE very much. She had lived here all her life. The sudden lifestyle changes saddened her but she never expressed it to anyone.

When she took admission in a new school, everything about her life changed. The subjects and teaching methods were different. She struggled with the language and teachers weren’t helpful either. She used to get mocked by them for not knowing parts of the syllabus that she had missed. She used to get bad marks for the mathematics she was never taught. She tried really hard to get good marks but it seemed impossible. She had to take extra tuition morning and evening because her parents asked when the other students can cope, why couldn’t she?

A few months later during her class; she suddenly felt terribly ill. She started vomiting severely and fainted. After waiting for two hours, an ambulance arrived and she was taken to the hospital. She passed away in the hospital. Her last words were “I tried” and “why couldn’t you come early dad?”


She was buried in her hometown. The cause of her death was unknown. When the father wanted to file a case against the school, he was told by the lawyer that the court might exhume his daughter’s body for the forensic report. He decided against it.

The family came back to UAE and the father now works in Dubai.

We should never force our children into studying all the time. They deserve relaxation and peace, too. We shouldn’t force our dreams on our children either. One cannot be good at something if one has no interest in it.

Children read all types of books, whether its old or new. I think they should continue to read these books and parents should highlight the racism in them, so that the children can learn. It’s time for the new generation to be different. As they grow older, they will be able to spot it but as children it will be difficult to identify the tones of racism or slavery. They should read and learn as much as they can.


They might read a storybook, which has a racist backdrop, for example, but as they grow up, they know what is wrong and right. But at the same time, if you think about it, at that moment when they read a book which shows slavery or racism, they think the characters are happy as slaves and what we put in children’s minds stays for a very long time.


I agree that most readers aren’t aware of the hidden racism in story plots and other social issues in it. I, too, have read books where I found the characters are racist or chauvinistic. For example, some characters in Shakespeare novels are quite chauvinistic, which annoyed me.


The problem arises when parents don’t read the books themselves. Once they have read a book, only then should they give it to their children. I don’t think parents are very concerned by it, but it is quite a big issue as you will have children growing up behaving in a racist manner.

Despite all the challenges, I think children should read more books, which teach them better things. They should be taught to read from the very beginning, so that when they grow up they can face the world confidently.

Pets can change our lives


by samama reza


Our pets slowly changes our lives but we never notice it. When we come home from a hard day of work, seeing our pets takes away all our stress and sadness. They always want our attention and we always know that no matter what happens, our pets would always love us unconditionally, and we would love them back.


I want to share a story. A man used to walk by the same road every day, he used to see a homeless man sitting on the corner of a road smiling and greeting everyone with his golden retriever dog by his side.


The man wondered how the homeless man stayed so happy. One day after work he decided to stay and chat. He asked the homeless man how he stays so happy all the time and smile at strangers. He said it’s because he has someone who loves him unconditionally, his dog. Whatever money he got he always bought something to eat for both of them. When it was cold outside they would sleep together in the street to stay warm. This dog had once saved the homeless man’s life when he felt lonely and wanted to commit suicide.


When people share news of a pet going missing or dying, we wonder why it affects the human family so much. It was just a pet after all. We can never really understand until feeling the love that these pets give us. We can never know one’s love and pain until we don’t experience it. As time passes we can never even imagine them going away from us.

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Beware of tablets in the hands of children


by samama reza


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Are Children Stories Racist?


by samama reza

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Should good books be adapted for the big screen?


by samama reza


As an avid reader, it's definitely a nightmare for me to see my favourite books turned into movies.

A book takes us away from reality, into a world where things look so much better, or so much worse. depending on the plot. But the point is that books takes us places we'll never go in real life. And when we compare those amazing pieces of literary work to their movies, it completely ruins the book and confuses readers.


As an example, the Harry Potter book series were, according to me, one of the best fantasy novels ever written. It was so good it made me wish I studied in Hogwarts! The Harry Potter movies weren't the worst, but they couldn't bring out the actual colours that filled my heart and soul when I read the books. The characters felt kind of anonymous and the movies seemed kind of boring.

A Series of Unfortunate Events was a long, sad and somewhat quirky series of novels that I loved reading. But I did not like the movie at all. The only character who portrayed himself perfectly was Count Olaf (played by Jim Carrey). The other characters were not chosen correctly, therefore making the movie lose the main point of the story.


And when talking about good books being turned into nightmarish movies, how can I not mention the Twilight saga? While Edward Cullen was my first fictional crush, he was poorly portrayed in the movies. He had lost all his charms and intelligence and I barely understood what the characters "whispered" about in the last five movies. It was an extreme disappointment.

Although most movie adaptations of books don't do that well, according to me, there are a few that are better than the book - like The Fault in our Stars.

My conclusion is that good books should never be adapted for the big screen, no matter how intriguing the story might be. Let the beautiful world of each story stay in our minds the way we designed it.

All women should have the right to choose their own future, they should never be forced into something they don’t feel right about. Some women still get forced to marry at a young age when they want to study. Women still don’t get enough freedom within their families, and even if they do they don’t get enough freedom in society. We constantly get told by others what to wear, what to do and what not to even though it’s irrelevant to anything with their lives.


All women must get enough freedom to first understand and love themselves before being forced into relationships and traditions where they need to love others first.


A friend of mine was not allowed to go to school and study because she was eve-teased and stalked by few bad men outside her school. All she used to do was walk her way from home to school, and instead of concentrating in her studies she was mostly worried about how she would avoid these men on her way back. After having enough of their disturbance, she complained to her parents. Instead of them taking actions against these men, they forced her to stop studying and stay at home.


She did not get enough freedom to live and study freely from her parents nor did she get any freedom from the society.


Why are such rules only applicable to women? Why are women told to learn how to cook and keep things well-ordered from an early age while men are never told to start earning money from their early age?


Even though I get enough freedom from my family and my small group of friends, I expect all women to get them as well. Someday they will, we should never stop hoping.

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Women should be free to choose


by samama reza


As a child I always used to look forward to buying new school books so that I could take them with me to school like my brothers did, but the maximum number of books I needed back then were only six, and those too were very thin.


And as I’ve finally and rather happily ended my school years, I remember studies being kind of difficult, but carrying the bags was never an issue.


A few days back I saw a five-year-old in my neighbourhood putting a lot of effort into carrying her bag, I thought of helping her by carrying it for her. With a lot of confidence I told her I could pick her bag up with just two of my fingers, but as soon as I did it I realised I shouldn’t have, it felt like a bag full of bricks. Later when I asked her if she was actually carrying bricks she opened up the bag for me to see the number of books in there. I suddenly felt sorry for her,


At five she was carrying such a heavy load on her little shoulders.


We must not fill our children’s mind with “data” before they even need it. They must learn everything during a gradual learning process. Giving children so much work to do at such a young age is not going to help them become any better.


Let them learn, study and live their life at their pace so they can understand everything they learn in life before they have to give an exam for what they memorised.


Why are school bags so heavy now?


by samama reza


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I’ve seen plenty of beautiful trees being cut down right in front of me many a times in my life. I remember the first time I genuinely felt sad about it was when I first saw hundreds of trees in a line being cut in the same day near my grandmother’s house.


Every single tree that was being destroyed, was full of life, bright, huge and comforting especially because it was near a long river. It was the best place to sit and enjoy life, and I always looked forward to walking under that long line of beautifully scented trees and breathing the fresh healthy air Nature gifted us.


However, some people are never appreciative towards the gifts they get from life. They ruin it and don’t even regret it.


I agree that manya times we need to cut down trees to help us for a lot of necessary things and it provides us with paper that is required for education. Wood from trees helps us in uncountable ways. But cutting trees in a massive amount in the same day for no specific reason is bad. The trees I cared about weren’t disturbing anyone and they weren’t on the road to disturb any pedestrians or drivers. They were all cut at the same time because of greed. We must find alternatives.


Now when I visit that riverside I only feel the sun’s heat and see the unfortunate ends of all the trees that were cut down that day. It doesn’t look good, nor does it feel good. We would never exactly know how much Nature is helping our health, so we should always appreciate the Nature we have around us and take care of it.

Stop cutting trees



by samama reza


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Reading new books takes us on an adventures that we should all experience at least once in our lives. Everyone can be an avid reader, we just have to find the right book to read.


How do we inspire children to read books? First of all, we should not give children books that are difficult as this can discourage them. We should give the children a chance to choose what they want to read, and we should ask them for their preference. Even if the book they choose has more illustrations than words, it is okay as at an early age, they’ll need pictures to know what and how to imagine a situation. As they grow older, they’ll figure out how and what to think while reading about a situation in a book.


Secondly, we should try to be readers as well. We should try to narrate bedtime stories for children so that they not only fall in love with books and fiction, but also fall in love with the sweet childhood memories they’ll have with you.


Thirdly (and probably not lastly because we can never really stop finding new ways for inspiring children into reading), if we can, we should recommend hosting festivals on books at least once every month that should consist of numerous entertaining activities for children, and book offers and sales (for us) and we should certainly add reading or writing competitions for children to enhance the world of literature for them.


Let us let them read freely so they can live their lives freely too.


How do we inspire children to be readers in UAE?


by samama reza

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Women deserve to be loved and respected, especially when they leave their life behind to get married and get settled in a new world and lifestyle.


A woman goes to a new home with a lot of dreams and hopes. But some unfortunate women don’t even get respected there. They get mentally abused, and if that’s not enough they even get physically abused in their married life.


Let me tell you a story. A girl went back to her village for a university break and her parents emotionally blackmailed her to get married to an ‘eligible suitor’ before she got ‘too old’ to get married. She did what she was told to do because the happiness of her parents meant everything to her. But she wasn’t very happy. A few weeks after getting married she was mentally abused by her in-laws and there came a point where she got physically abused by her husband for dowry, despite the practice being illegal. She was locked up and left alone. She eventually agreed to bring the dowry from her parents but she wanted to go there herself and bring it. The in-laws finally agreed and let her out. She ran to her parents and told them everything.


Fortunately her parents went to the police and they were tremendously helpful. They went to her in-laws house and arrested them. We always ask women why they don’t leave when they get abused, but do we ever ask men why they would treat their life partner like this? We should start asking.


Women must not settle


by samama reza


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Animals have the kindest of hearts. If you show them your love and affection, they will always love you back without reluctance.


About five years ago on a rainy winter evening while on holiday, I went out for a walk. A few minutes away from my room I saw a few children who were around seven or eight ears old trying to drown a kitten in a puddle.


Now you must be thinking that these children were monsters but before you judge them, they weren’t taught how to handle animals.


I yelled at them but it worked in vain, they didn’t understand what I meant nor did they get scared when I told them to stop.


My father and I took the beautiful little grey and white kitten back home to dry it up and give it some food. But the kitten was in terrible pain and couldn’t eat or drink anything. We couldn’t find its mother either.


A night after we took the kitten to the vet the poor soul couldn’t survive. We should try and teach children to love and respect all creatures.

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