14e2b0851b868210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q3Until they are aware of the stakes, 'boys will be boys'c0e2b0851b868210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____Until they are aware of the stakes, 'boys will be boys'The tragic death of three young Emirati sisters has shocked the country and I hope it will also start a serious debate about young men and fast cars.<p>The tragic death of three young Emirati sisters has shocked the country and I hope it will also start a serious debate about young men and fast cars.
As my colleague Matthew Chung reported at the weekend, speeding is the number one cause of road traffic accidents.
According to the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi, 89 per cent of those who died on the roads in 2007 were male.
There are plenty of reckless drivers in this country but the combination of fast cars and a sense of invincibility among young people, especially men, is particularly dangerous. It is the same the world over. There is just something about being young and male that makes them take silly risks.</p>
<p>My younger brother has spent his late teens and 20s driving a succession of sports cars, preferably with a manual transmission so that my mother and sister (who only drive automatic) could not borrow his car and also because he can drive more recklessly. He always drives in the far left lane, sometimes weaves through traffic and turns the stereo to full volume for the complete boy racer experience. But my brother has never been in a car accident beyond a fender bender and rarely gets a speeding ticket.</p>
<p>The difference between him and the young men I see on the roads here is that my brother knows there are strict legal and social boundaries of what is acceptable behaviour. It has kept him in check on Canada's roads. If he gets too many black points he will lose his licence. No amount of wasta will get it back.
If he gets a speeding ticket my parents would never dream of paying it. If his car is damaged in a crash he would have to take a bus until he saves up enough money to buy a new one. If he tailgated or flashed his lights at other cars on the roads of Toronto he'd be pulled over by a police officer. These are all pretty strong deterrents.</p>
<p>But it is not just one person's responsibility. The Government must draw up traffic laws that must be strictly enforced by the police. But none of that will matter a whit unless parents raise their children to be good citizens and to take responsibility for their mistakes.
Boys will be boys, the old saying goes, but when the stakes are this high, it is time to stop indulging them.</p>
<p>Saddam Hussein was as famous for his taste in garish palaces as he was for oppressing his people.
Dozens of luxury villas and mansions fitted with gold taps, rooftop swimming pools and terrible art (remember those fantasy murals?) sprang up across the country during his rule. He pretty much ruined Iraq's honourable reputation as an ancient centre of sophisticated culture - in the popular western mind at least.
Thanks to a series of interviews conducted by the FBI after his capture in 2003 and released by the National Security Archive last week we know more about why he built those awful palaces as his people starved.</p>
<p>He told his interviewer that before 1968 Iraqi homes were "primitive" and "made of mud". In the West architects developed their skills and designs by building castles and so Saddam's palaces were an opportunity for Iraqi architects to hone their talents, which would be transfered to the building of homes for ordinary Iraqi citizens. These palaces, he maintained, always "belonged to the nation".
So this explains the style.</p>
<p>As for the sheer number, he explained that the country's leadership needed many options to hold meetings in case they were being tracked by America and Israel. If there were only one or two palaces it would be easy to identify and possibly kill off all of Iraq's leaders.
Saddam claimed that he preferred to live in a "simple home" and eat what his security guards ate.
It is almost plausible.