x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Afghan polls make strong statement

A reader applauds Afghans put all odds behind on Saturday to exercise their democratic rights. Other letter topics: UAE's national dress, school dropouts, IPL, Palestine

A reader says the Afghan elections made an emphatic statement about the people’s aspirations. S Sabawoon / EPA
A reader says the Afghan elections made an emphatic statement about the people’s aspirations. S Sabawoon / EPA

The editorial Afghans vote for stability over terror (April 7) has aptly pointed out what ordinary Afghans aspire to – peace, stability and prosperity.

Surely Afghans do not want their administrators to be militants, who would never care about their sentiments.

Violence has been continuously hurting the country and undermining its rich heritage. A peaceful life has proved to be an elusive dream for Afghans. A large number of people struggle to make ends meet. They have no access or means to pursue education. In this condition, how can one expect Afghanistan to become a modern and prosperous country?

That an unexpectedly high number of the population cast their ballots in this election is an indication that they are now more resolved than ever to change the course of their destiny. The international community must extend as much support as possible to help them realise their dreams.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

It’s not attire but integrity that’s important

I enjoyed reading Khalid Al Ameri’s opinion article, National dress is important, but it doesn’t define who we are (April 7).

In my opinion, Mr Al Ameri is one of the best columnists of The National. He is able to see all aspects of a news item and make statements that support both his views and those of others, and he can get his message across in a diplomatic way.

I wholeheartedly agree with the points made in this particular article. It is not the clothes that make the man, nor can a book be judged by its cover. It’s the integrity of an individual that counts.

Nonetheless, I must say the traditional dress makes both men and women look very elegant and distinguished and it would be a shame if Emiratis discarded this for a more western look. However, I do understand that in some professions it would be impractical to wear this attire.

Name withheld by request

Address problem, not symptom

The school dropout problem is a symptom of a deeper issue within the family unit (School drop out problem keeps Emiratisation from fully succeeding, April 6).

Emirati parents give ambiguous messages to their young children about the workplace, which results in only 30 per cent of Emiratis enrolled in higher education being men and only 20 per cent of high school leavers are eligible to commence their study at universities and institutes of higher education without an expensive academic bridge programme.

Putting the onus on employers to “fix” the problem is a naive approach to an issue with much deeper causes.

Name withheld by request

IPL tickets issue disappointed fans

Ticket sale for the Indian Premier League cricket matches did not start in a smooth manner (It’s just not cricket ... yet: fans are frustrated by delay in ticket sales, April 7).

The website did not list some of the available ticket options for the general public. Fans in the UAE should get the privilege of purchasing tickets of all categories. Currently, tickets for select sections are not available, which was the case even during the opening hours of sale.

Such a denial has deeply disappointed cricket buffs in the UAE. International Cricket Council and other concerned authorities in the UAE, kindly take note.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Claims contradict historical facts

It’s not right to claim that “the awareness that Palestine was distinct from Syria and Lebanon is said to have always been present in the Arab and Muslim consciousness” (History shines light on the true borders of Palestine, April 2).

An early 19th-century Egyptian historian, Abd ar-Rahman Al Jabarti, referred to the inhabitants of El Arish in the Sinai Peninsula as Syrians. Palestine was called Southern Syria first in French, then in other languages, including Arabic. Indeed, from the moment Prince Faysal set up a government in Damascus in October 1918, he stressed that Palestine was a part of Syria.

At the Paris Peace Conference, where the British, French and Americans sorted out their interests after the war, Prince Faysal called Palestine his “right hand” and promised to work for it as he would for Syria and Iraq. “I assure you, according to the wishes of its people, Palestine will be a part of Syria,” he said. Three months later, Faysal wrote to Gen Edmund Allenby that Palestine “is an inseperable [sic] part of Syria”.

It’s also wrong to say that “Transjordan, unlike Palestine, was never occupied by British troops and during the mandatory period there was no ‘overlapping’, either at a legal or practical level, between the two areas.”

The Arab Legion was formed in Transjordan in 1923 and financed by Britain and commanded by British officers under Captain Frederick Peake. Transjordan was always included in the annual Report for the Mandate for Palestine presented to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission.

David Singer, Dubai