Sultan Al Qassemi's opinion article An entrepreneurial spark brightens the region's future (November 14) focused on Entrepreneurship Week in Dubai. I was privileged to be at both the Young Arab Leaders and the Celebration of Entrepreneurship 2010 events, and I can say that these meetings were pivotal after the recent UAE recovery even as the US and Europe now face double dip recessions, and the G20 meeting ended inconclusively.
The inclusiveness and open discussion of what ails economies and what the solutions might be was indeed eye-opening. Truly, there are now many more entrepreneurship opportunities as the Gulf has avoided a downturn with its leadership's vision. There is still much hand-wringing about past real estate follies, public gloom-and-doom being greatest at the turnaround point, but the above public events were testimony to the optimism and resilience of the Gulf's young and restless.
I see these young entrepreneurs with their energy and creative new ideas as the Gulf's new civil society, for they can bring change through personal action when others have mostly paid lip service or just complained.
Government is not the answer, but neither is someone else's Silicon Valley. The Gulf should now build its own Silicon Oasis and experiment with its own needs and resources.
Athar Mian, Abu Dhabi
The right view about Pakistan
Nowadays Pakistan has become a flash point in the world of news. The newspapers throw light upon suicide attacks, bloodshed, corruption and lawlessness in Pakistan. Under such circumstances, a negative image about Pakistan has been built up among people living outside the country.
And yet the people of Pakistan themselves are being threatened by internal terror. The world must understand the limitations and sacrifices of Pakistan in its efforts to root out terrorism in the region in the teeth of dangerous threats and lethal consequences by the extremists fighting in Pakistan. No war in this region can easily be fought and won without the help of Pakistan. It was Pakistan which assisted the US to cope with the Russian aggression on Afghanistan. Pakistan has sent its armed forces to its own northern regions where soldiers laid down their lives to fight the war on terror. These terrorists are a menace for the peace of the entire world. Above all, Pakistan is itself the prey of terrorism.
One must know that Pakistan is an ally and must be assisted in letter and spirit rather than suffer criticism.
Malik Khurran, Dubai
The duel that might have been
A tactical decision by the Ferrari team may have resulted in the championship contender emerging right into the middle of traffic, but given that the Yas Marina Circuit has been designed to optimise opportunities for drivers to attempt to overtake, the inability for Fernando Alonso to even attempt to take on Vitaly Petrov has left many with frustrated disappointment at what should have been a far more exciting classic race finale.
In the end young Sebastian Vettel won (and deservedly so), but Alonso is not alone as the big loser that night as many fans feel shortchanged.
Mohamed Kanoo, Abu Dhabi
The complex history of the hijab
There has been a misunderstanding of the veil or hijab. The veil can be traced back to 13th century BC in ancient Assyria as a mark of social class and not religion. Beginning with Judaism, wearing a veil took on religious significance as a symbol of propriety and modesty. The Virgin Mary is often depicted in works of art with her head covered. In fact, it used to be obligatory for Catholic women to don a headscarf in church. Finally, traditional Hindu women also wear head coverings, further highlighting that the hijab is not exclusive to Islam.
One step towards Big Brother
The news article The speed trap you can't evade (November 14) focused on various ways to coerce drivers into better behaviour. The technology has been there for ages but no country in the world is misguided enough to force its citizens to use it. Where do you stop? Have the car drive itself to the police station every time you exceed the speed limit? Or maybe install cameras in cars to monitor if the drivers have their seat belts on?
Once you have such devices, what prevents others from tracking your every single move? How do you guarantee such technology will not be abused? As bad as speeding is, to err is what makes us human and creating a society of robots is not the solution. The academics quoted in the article should be in the forefront of defending people's privacy and not advocating for a Big Brother society.
Ash Alta, Abu Dhabi