It is not beyond the realm of possibilities that the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri Al Maliki, will ask the US President Barack Obama to keep his troops in the country after December 31, despite the fact that this deadline was agreed to by both countries with a 2008 deal (Iraq divided over pull-out of US troops, October 17).
US fatalities in Iraq have been falling since Washington officially ended its military operations last August, but nonetheless, the killing of five American soldiers last week does indicate that even the training and advisory role of the US soldiers is not welcomed in Iraq any more.
But while Mr Al Maliki and Mr Obama would both like to adhere to the deadline so as not to lose the support of their political bases, ongoing challenges such as sectarian violence, government instability and disputes over the Kirkuk oil area could force these two leaders to revise their decisions.
Ali Budak, Abu Dhabi
Taylor's pearls are still breathtaking
I'm a big fan of pearl jewellery and you certainly can't top the grandiosity of the pearls worn by Elizabeth Taylor (Elizabeth Taylor's jewellery to be displayed in Dubai, October 17). She was a style icon and some of the pearl necklaces and earrings that she wore were breathtaking.
Leo Parker, UK
Janet at Yas lived up to expectations
I really don't know what show your recent anonymous letter writer saw (The Janet Jackson concert failed to live up to a letter-writer's hopes, October 16) but I was at the same show and thought it was spectacular. I'm not a "crazy" Janet fan. But I have to admit it was amazing. Two thumbs up!
Phyllis B, Dubai
Guarding against a rush to blame
I write in reference to Faisal Al Yafai's column, Evidence does not support belligerence over Iran plot, (October 18). We are all well aware of how the US has exaggerated events in Iraq; Al Yafai is right about how much more we will be fooled by the US stance on assumed scenarios in the case of Iran.
It is high time that the world stops being silent on how the US conducts itself, and becomes an active participant in the major decisions that, if taken in haste, will alter not only the present state of affairs but the forthcoming generation.
Zahra Khan, Abu Dhabi
Challenges with hiring teachers
I support the letter, Ask teachers why they opt to quit (October 18). This is a serious issue that has to be addressed by the UAE Government.
Just take for example, a well known and top education provider hired a bunch of school teachers in Dubai for the start of school last month.
Guess how much each teacher was given? A mere Dh3,000 as a starting salary. Is this enough for a teacher to run her monthly expenses? Teachers are treated worse than manual labourers.
Name withheld by request
I write in reference to your news story, Wanted: 2,350 new teachers for Abu Dhabi (October 16).
I've noticed a lot of very young teachers being brought to the capital from overseas, particularly with recruiters such as Teach Away.
Unfortunately, many of these new teachers do not have experience and just come over for a fast buck. They then find out that it's more of a challenge teaching than just laying around on the beach.
I feel bad for many of the Arab teachers who are being pushed aside or are being trained in some cases by these young teachers who are seen as better qualified only because they're from the West.
From what I've heard, some of these schools pay very well, so a young person between 22 and 25 years old might feel they've hit the jackpot.
It used to be so hard to get a teaching job in the Middle East, not because employers wanted teachers with advanced degrees, but because experience counted more than anything.
Chris M, Abu Dhabi
Dogs deserve the safety of shelter
As a dog owner myself I could not help but feel sad for these beautiful pups (Video: Rescued animals find solace in Abu Dhabi shelter, October 10).
I hope they get adopted fast by people who will love them as I love my own.
Elcy Suleiman, Abu Dhabi