I write in reference to the Comment article Turbulent year in Middle East hid deeper political currents (December 25).
Obviously, the strategically located Middle East region was not at all flourishing during the year, since it was hit by different forms of violence right from the beginning.
The Egyptians were coming to terms with the new regime that came to power. The conflict in Syria dragged on, and every initiative to resolve the bloody conflict is costing the traditionally rich Syrians heavily.
At the same time, the fate of common people in Yemen, Libya and Tunisia is still unclear.
The so-called Arab Spring is already part of the region's history. But it will take years to come to know the true aftermath of these conflicts that continue to threaten the region's prosperity.
Sovereignty cannot be forced upon people; it needs to be imparted in such a way that makes everyone comfortable under an acceptable leadership.
Regretfully, many of the new leaders of conflict-hit countries in the region have failed to recognise their own people during the last year of unrest and revolution.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
One more tragedy in India rape case
Indian policeman beaten in gang-rape protest dies was sad and painful to read (December 25).
The recent protest by women and students turned violent because some police mishandled the situation. Still, I pray for the grieving family members of the police and speedy recovery for the injured in the protest.
K Ragavan, India
Gridlock in Dubai for some residents
Traffic around the Dubai Mall is a colossal mess, especially for residents of Old Town and the Burj Residence areas.
Dubai Mall parking exit on Financial Centre road, for instance, needs be closed as it leads to 20 or 25 minute traffic jams for people trying to get to Emaar Boulevard. Thursdays are a special fiasco.
Now comes news that among public transportation working overtime on New Year's Eve, there will also be road closures from 6pm onwards (Dubai Metro to run 24 hours to ring in the new year, December 23).
It appears no special provisions are being made for residents, who are constantly being inconvenienced due to tourist traffic, as it is. That's not the best way to start the new year.
Name withheld by request
Safety of women should be priority
At risk of sounding ultra-orthodox or hypocritical, I want to point out that women should realise that the current situation is much different than before; safety can not always be guaranteed in a crowded mess of people. (Women grabbed in UAE National Day crowds, December 5).
Indeed, while safety and security regulations aim to protect everyone, they never will. This is especially true in places where many men mix with women.
There are a lot of other ways to enjoy instead of getting inside a crowd deliberately. Women must first think of safety.
Moiz SA, Sharjah
Tunnels in capital help traffic flow
It's great that the tunnel is finally completed, but the surrounding road works also need to be completed to put the city back to normal in the Tourist Club area (Tunnel vision is eye opener for Abu Dhabi motorists, December 26).
The one-way system actually has been working well; perhaps this is the way to go to keep Abu Dhabi as a fast and upcoming city.
Nad Ahmad, Abu Dhabi
Thanks for the honest beach staff
Last Friday, as I do most Friday mornings, I met a couple of friends at Al Bateen Beach for a long bicycle ride on the surrounding streets. It's a great way to end the week, and start the weekend.
So thrilled was I to have gotten a long, 30-kilometre ride in, that I completely forgot to put my bike - my rather expensive road bike - back into my car. I left it, leaning against a kerb, and drove off.
When I realised my error two hours later, horrified at the idea of losing my Friday morning activity, I raced back to where I'd left it.
I've lost valuable things in the past: wallets, keys, mobile phones. In most cities no sooner had they hit the ground then would they be in someone else's pocket, bag or backseat, never to be seen again.
But not here. To my great relief the honest and professional staff at Al Bateen had found my bike and kept it safe. Not only that, they quizzed me quite completely before handing it over, just to be sure it was going to the right owner.
So thank you, Al Bateen staff. I'll see you on Friday.
Name withheld by request