x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

A revolution in free-fall

Egypt's military is hijacking the country's revolution, replacing one figurehead with another, a reader argues. Other letter topics today: stigmatising single women, Cambodia's pain and the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah.

Violence again troubles Tahrir Square, and readers warn that Egypt's revolution is in jeopardy. Khalil Hamra / AP
Violence again troubles Tahrir Square, and readers warn that Egypt's revolution is in jeopardy. Khalil Hamra / AP

I am a regular reader of Rym Ghazal's Single in the city column. Cynical and funny.

I'm a 34 year old single woman living in Dubai. I've always imagined myself to be normal, someone who has lived abroad for some time and came back to the Middle East.

My female friends are pretty, gorgeous, clever and very funny. They balance life very well in Dubai through various ways: they exercise, read, socialise and embark on strange adventures to keep their adrenalin up. I often ask myself when I am with these girls, "Why are we all single?"

Have we become so work-focused, making enough money that we have become spoilt and selfish? Or is it simply that marriage no longer offers security and stability?

I finally came to a conclusion that we all want to be in relationships but we now have terms and conditions and the Arab men in the UAE have different ideas than ours. Most expatriates who live in the UAE come here to make money and in most cases the men send money back home to support families in dire need of help.

Men feel threatened by women like us: we are independent, self sufficient and enjoy life. Men feel that what we are offering ourselves is more than they could offer us. This doesn't mean that we automatically expect men to treat us the same way we treat ourselves.

I do not expect a hard working man who is decent enough to take care of his family back home to provide me with the luxuries I provide myself with. I am a working person and I can do what I want. What I expect is to be treated with respect and admiration.

Most men think a 34-year-old unmarried woman is strange, that something must be "wrong" with us. Men, on the other hand, can go unscathed up to the age of 40 or so before people identify them as weird or wrong. Double standards apply in the region and that doesn't make me happy at all.

Karine Ataya, Dubai

Healing wounds from long ago

The article Start of Khmer Rouge trial opens vignettes of the terror (November 22) was quite encouraging not only for Cambodians who suffered severe physical and psychological damage once the Khmer Rouge seized power but also for international civil society representatives, civil parties and news media.

It is heartbreaking to learn that nearly one quarter of the entire population of Cambodia at the time, two million people, died from execution, starvation, disease and overwork during the ruthless Khmer Rouge regime. This is obviously one of the worst horrors in modern history.

This UN-backed trial of the three most senior surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge will hopefully be fair enough and that all aspects of life in Cambodia that was once under the control of this brutal regime will be surrounded with freedom, justice and peace again.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

A building offers window to future

I am very pleased with the news that Kingdom Tower is going to be built (Work on new tallest tower set for January, November 15).

It will spur a building revolution. Better concrete, stronger pumps will allow building ever higher.

The Middle East is pioneering ecological vertical building and Jeddah Kingdom Tower is the 22nd century brought into ours.

The observation platform could consist of layered glass and polycarbonate to achieve high strength and breathtaking results: looking to your feet, peering almost 700 meters into the depth - amazing.

The sheer beauty of Kingdom Tower will match that of the Burj Khalifa and the Pyramids of Egypt as great works.

Anthonie van Vliet, Netherlands

Egypt's revolution is doomed to fail

Faisal Al Yafai's article Egypt's army fails to grasp the post-Mubarak realities (November 22) is well-argued but I am afraid his optimism is misplaced. Egypt's so-called "revolution" is nothing of the sort. What the ruling junta has done is merely replace one figurehead with another one of their own people. I am impressed and saddened at the same time by the brave Egyptians who are fighting for their legitimate rights.

But I think they are doomed to fail. There is too much money and power involved in ruling Egypt. Even if they change the face of the man in charge, the army will never give up that power.

Julian Landry, Abu Dhabi

Cartoon captures Egypt's revolution

Shadi Ghanim's cartoon on November 22 summed up the situation of Egypt's revolution. Now we are back to square one.

Ever since Mr Mubarak was unceremoniously tossed out of office, the situation in the country has moved from bad to worse. Violence and instability is all the Egyptians have reaped.

David Wrightman, Dubai