x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

A much-needed picture of joy

A reader says the picture of Miss Philippines is a refreshing change from those of conflict and violence. Other letter topics include: Israel, non-violence, niqab, property transfer fees

A reader is all praise for Megan Young, who has been crowned Miss Philippines this week. Made Nagi / EPA
A reader is all praise for Megan Young, who has been crowned Miss Philippines this week. Made Nagi / EPA

I am commenting on the article Miss Philippines Megan Young crowned Miss World 2013 in Bali (September 29).

It’s a well-deserved title and the runners-up are also beautiful. What a pretty picture. Enough of trouble, conflict and hatred around the world.

Name withheld by request

Israel must abide by norms of the global community

I refer to the news article Netanyahu scorns Iranian “sweet talk” (September 30). Israel’s Likud coalition government that is intent on attacking Iran, but is unable to do so without America, is now left isolated as the US and Iran start a historic co-operation. The thaw in relations will lead to Iran being committed never to embark on a nuclear weapons programme. This leaves Israel as the only state in the Middle East with nuclear weapons.

Furthermore, Israel is the only country in the Middle East that still refuses to be a party to the Non Proliferation Treaty, which requires inspection of all nuclear weapons by the IAEA. It also refuses to be a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention, which together ban the use of these terrible weapons of mass destruction.

This is an untenable situation whereby a lone state is not bound by any of the international agreements on WMD (of which America, Russia and EU Member States are all signatories) even though it remains free to conduct international trade. As a result it is concealing a nuclear arsenal and operating a clandestine fleet of nuclear-armed submarines in the Mediterranean and the Gulf – that is patently a potential threat to world peace.

The world must act now to bring Israel into line with the will of the international community and its imperative for world peace. Otherwise, there might be no world for any of our children, whether Christian, Muslim or Jew.

Anthony Bellchambers, UK

Spread message of non-violence

Mahatma Gandhi stood for non-violence throughout his life and he proved that one can achieve one’s goals with this principle.

On June 15, 2007, the United Nations General Assembly declared the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi on October 2 as International Day of Non-Violence.

This day is particularly relevant and important in today’s world, where violence of all kinds – political, domestic and social – has been increasing.

Many organisations in the GCC countries are planning to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday. But few of them are ready to mark it as International Day of Non-Violence.

The message of non-violence can be delivered to more than 150 nationalities living in this region appropriately if organisations, as well as educational institutions, attach due importance to the occasion by marking it as International Day of Non-Violence.

Many youngsters are not aware of Gandhi’s philosophy. Events such as essay competitions and debates can help them learn about it, which might help change the present condition.

I request every member of the community to propagate Mahatma Gandhi’s message.

KV Shamsudheen, Sharjah

Facial expressions have importance

I refer to the opinion article UK niqab row opens unsettlintg discourse (September 19) by Shelina Zahra Janmohammed.

The author has a way of simplifying all things Islamic and pitting disagreements as “us” (Muslims) versus “them” (others), which is just not the case in this instance. 

As the non-Muslim world attempts to understand its Muslim cohabitants, it also gets “red herrings” thrown its way and one such red herring is the “religious” characterisation of wearing the niqab.

Facial expressions are a meaningful part of life. There are actual psychological, social and security-driven benefits in seeing the faces of others.

Name withheld by request

Transfer decision a little too quick

I am commenting on the imminent increase in transfer fees (Stampede to complete Dubai property deals before transfer fees double, September 28).

Dubai is doing a lot to protect its population and maintain a sustainable growth by setting up new laws. As an expatriate from Europe, I am thankful for that. Even though I do not think that new regulations should be debated for months they should not, however, be implemented in such a short time frame.

Investing in a property with money earned from hard labour is something you have to plan and organise financially.

I have just signed an MoU and such a last-minute increase in fees is putting me in a difficult situation.

A one-month grace period would be really appreciated.

Gilles Dumont, Dubai