x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

A few of her favourite things

I refer to UAE is top Arab state to live in, study finds (October 28). I love how easy it is to practice my Muslim religion. I enjoy all the events that take place around the year that bring us the biggest names in sports, entertainment and literature. I love how secure my female friends and I feel when we're out as late as 2am at a concert.

US singer Beyonce performs at a recent concert in Singapore.
US singer Beyonce performs at a recent concert in Singapore.

I refer to UAE is top Arab state to live in, study finds (October 28). I love how easy it is to practice my Muslim religion. I enjoy all the events that take place around the year that bring us the biggest names in sports, entertainment and literature. I love how secure my female friends and I feel when we're out as late as 2am at a concert. SA, Abu Dhabi

With reference to James Zogby's opinion article Arabs and Jews must build their future together (October 26), the emergence of the more moderate J Street lobbying group as a counter-weight to the supremely powerful force of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) is encouraging, as are the joint discussions with Arab-American interest groups. What is seriously lacking is any strength in the Palestinian negotiations. Israel does not need a peace treaty as they have imprisoned Palestinians to remove the threat of violence. Yet there has seldom ever been so much sympathy for the Palestinian cause. Where is the strategy to mobilise this sympathy into a movement equal to the anti-apartheid movement of the 1970s and 80s that led to reform in South Africa? While there are well-meaning politicians, it is public opinion that empowers them. Tim Crowe, Dubai

I refer to Emile Hokayem's opinion article Turkey looks to the East (October 21). Some Turks may feel disappointed with the snobbery of Europe but the reality is that the prospect of EU membership has just been a vehicle for Turks. The ultimate destination for Turkey has always been the high standards the leading contemporary civilisations enjoy in the West. Yet this was never going to stop Turkey from making and keeping friends in the East.

I therefore welcome the Turkish government's efforts to rebuild the centuries-old friendship and camaraderie along its eastern borders. Turkey is at home in the Middle East in many ways whereas it is still being perceived to be an outsider in some parts of Europe. This is not to say, however, the European ideals that have shaped Kemal Ataturk's Turkey are finished. These include democratic freedoms along with the liberation of Turkish hearts and minds from restrictive interpretations of religion, emancipation of Turkish women and advances in industry, science and technology. These are precious contributions to Turkey from Europe and very much the essence of the confidence and dynamism that enable her to scale new heights in the Middle East and on the world stage. Chinar Yazici, Abu Dhabi

In reference to Gulf due for central credit body (October 25), while cultural factors and the inherent conservatism of family businesses has limited transparency in the past, it is now clearly in the longer term interests of all businesses (no matter what their structure) to increase disclosure and transparency and even to see a formal credit rating. While it may take time, this is the inevitable trend and those who fail to adapt will find access to funding much more difficult. However, transparency cannot be limited to financial data - it must include corporate governance as well. Rory Keelan, India

Arabic is important and necessary. But failures in learning are hardly unconstitutional. The vision for education is that UAE citizens can become involved in the global community. Problem solving and interactive learning is fundamental to innovation and life skills. In Europe it is not uncommon for citizens to speak two or three languages, with English being one.

The new curriculum is an important step. But one that will take some time. Change can be difficult and there are no studies to show that comprehension is weaker. In fact, there are many studies showing that enquiry-based learning improves comprehension as the student learns details that are often truncated in text books. Arabic is important and parents,teachers and community must be in partnership to allow children to learn. And not only at school. Aaron Smith, Australia

I can't agree more with Mohammed Kazim's opinion article Bridge the gulf between peoples of the Gulf (October 19). The simplest form of breaking down barriers would be for parents to allow their sons and daughters to be part of families from different Gulf states. After all, we share a religion and language. Hind al Yousef, Abu Dhabi