I refer to Gaza fishermen risk lives for survival (January 27). On January 28, the Free Gaza Movement and the Turkish Relief Foundation announced a joint venture. They are sending 10 boats in the spring of 2010 to the besieged Gaza Strip. Organisations from Greece, Ireland and Sweden have also promised to send boats to join the flotilla. Martina Lauer, Canada
I would like to address the the security of local banks. I have been receiving demands for repayment of loan accounts and threats of legal action for non-payment from Emirates NBD for the last three months or so. I do not have a loan account with this bank and the number given to contact the department concerned is continuously engaged, so there has been no opportunity to advise them of their mistake. I was able finally to get through to the National Bank of Abu Dhabi last month, on a separate mission, to advise them that the salary deposit statement and withdrawal notices that were being sent by text message to my mobile phone were not in fact of any interest to me, as I do not have an account with that bank either. Two separate cases of incorrect information raises the question of how secure our general banking system here actually is.
Is my banking business being shared with others as their's has been with me? How common are these mistakes? Are bank account holders able to supply fictitious mobile telephone contact details without any follow up from the banks? It is hardly surprising that the banks complain about the numbers of defaulters, if the approval process is as weak as it appears to be from these two instances. Fraser M Martin, Dubai
In reference to the article Couple to sue Tamweel over 'unfair' home loan (January 27), we will be seeing more such cases. The main issue here is why did the couple take a loan that they certainly knew that they couldn't afford. Some might give a counter-argument that there should be more conservative criteria for mortgages. In the developed world, if you take a loan, you are liable for it. Does this couple think that they should be bailed out? The funny issue here is that many foreigners have taken up loans and have fled Dubai thinking that no one would chase them. I doubt that the couple will win their case. Name Withheld by Request
With reference to the article New parking fees, same congestion (January 31): while many people may complain they don't like to pay for parking, surely a few dirhams is worthwhile to rid public parking lots of cars that often sit "stored" for weeks and months, taking up valuable parking space that shoppers, visitors and residents desperately need. If the capital really wants to improve the parking situation, tow cars in violation of parking rules. That will certainly scare off drivers who think it's OK to leave their vehicles parked haphazardly, selfishly blocking the way of other more courteous drivers. Based on my experience in other countries, the threat of towing truly works. MC, Dubai
I refer to the article Child dies in latest of hundreds of fatal falls from windows (January 22). For parents: bolt the windows of apartments with child-proof locks to avoid tragedies of children falling from balconies. For the municipality: raise the safety standards of building construction and ensure every apartment has a safe balcony with rails or walls of adequate height that would prevent children from climbing and falling. The majority of the buildings that have been built in the last decade or so are without balconies but with windows that pose a high risk of young children falling. Tessy Anthony, Abu Dhabi
In reference to the article Filipinos organise beauty contest (January 31), it's good to hear there are efforts like the "Maid in the Philippines, UAE 2010" event to boost morale among the low-income bracket within the Filipino community. One other way to boost morale, however, is through increased confidence in the way you integrate yourself into the entire UAE community and not just within your own national group. Encourage our amazing blue-collar Filipino workers to be proud of our Philippine culture and show the rest of the UAE community that we are more than our occupations - a rich society full of culture and heritage.
Name Withheld by Request