x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

A chance for the UAE to lead

Working for better schooling for girls everywhere would be a fine way to honour Malala Yousufzai, a reader says. Other letter topics: window-washers, strange coffee, homework, bullies and stop signs.

Malala Yousufzai deserves support, a reader says. AFP / Queen Elizabeth Hospital/University Hospitals Birmingham
Malala Yousufzai deserves support, a reader says. AFP / Queen Elizabeth Hospital/University Hospitals Birmingham

I read Sheikh Abdullah praises courageous Taliban shooting victim (October 30) with interest.

The UAE's Foreign Minister, along with ministers from Pakistan and the UK, visited the hospital where the brave 15-year-old Malala Yousufzai is being treated, showing their support for the rights of education for girls.

Islamic teachings place emphasis on the promotion of education for all. It is time to put a stop to the outrageous violation of this basic tenet.

The appalling shooting of Malala has aroused indignation throughout the world and among Muslims across the globe. This tragedy, created by extremists' hatred, creates an opportunity to mobilise public opinion to soundly reject such criminal acts perpetrated in the name of Islam.

The UAE has the resources and the political will to lead such an initiative. I invite prominent women in the UAE to encourage and energise their government in this effort.

Baquer Namazi, Dubai

Window-washers need to be safe

Cleaning firm scraps high-rise cradles (October 30) appears to be good news, although not being familiar with the engineering science behind window washing, I can't say for sure.

However, if operators are adopting safer practices that will prevent further loss of life, we should applaud them for doing something positive.

The company involved also deserves credit for acting reasonably quickly to compensate the families of the two men who died in Abu Dhabi on October 16.

But nothing can replace a human life, and I hope the safety message is being heeded, not only by window-washing firms but by employers in all industries.

M Tucker, Abu Dhabi

China, too, moves to coffee culture

Regarding Battle of the beverages (October 30), I want to note that India is not the only tea-drinking country that is adopting the coffee culture.

When I was in Shanghai recently, it seemed that there was an American-style coffee outlet on every street corner. "All the tea in China" may be less than it used to be.

Michael Peterson, Dubai

Homework is not a good use of time

Parental guidance (October 30) asks if helping children with their homework is a good idea.

Here's a better question: is homework a good idea?

I think we should take seriously the suggestion from French President François Hollande to ban homework. What is the point of setting tasks to be completed after school when children should be devoting themselves to family and social activities?

By all means, make the school day more intensive, but give children the time at home to grow as human beings.

Terri Holt, Dubai

What does the word 'stop' mean?

News reports of Hurricane Sandy (Sandy batters US coast as parts of New York plunge into darkness, October 29) reminded me of a storm that I witnessed in the US.

The traffic lights were dead, because of a power failure, but at each crossroads the traffic flowed smoothly. No one honked. No one went out of turn. Every driver acted as if there were stop signs, and all followed the right-of-way system.

Soon thereafter, back in the UAE, I tried to make a full stop at a stop sign and very nearly got hit from behind, while loud horns greeted me.

What does a stop sign mean, exactly, in the UAE?

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

There are two types of bullies

I refer tothe story A new champion in the battle against bullying (September 10).

Here in the US there appears to be a difference between youths who are bullies but can be corrected with guidance and discipline, and another group with more deep-seated problems.

These issues, often related to violence in the home, begin at an early age and are difficult to remedy.

These youths need more intensive services, including family therapy.

Dr Kathryn Seifert, US

Strange coffee can't be for real

Sorry, but I don't believe that people will really drink kopi luwak coffee (Something big is brewing, but can you stomach it?, October 31), and even less that people will pay Dh735 a kilo for it.

I know "foodies" like novelty and that exotic products have snob appeal, but this is ridiculous. A fool and his money are soon parted.

VJ Mehta, Dubai