A reader notes that South Africa's ruling ANC has not generated the social progress people expected from Nelson Mandela's heirs. Other topics: Arabic, the NFL, and the scalped-man photo.
ANC hasn't kept Mandela promise
I could not agree more with Christopher Morrow's article A multilingual nation, where Arabic is not the victim (January 9). It's disappointing sometimes to be calling a service centre in the UAE where there is no one who speaks Arabic, when in fact it's an Arab country.
Also it is very disappointing to see how many young students prefer to speak English instead of Arabic, and some do not actually know how to read formal Arabic or from the Holy Quran script, when in fact they should be proud of their language and heritage.
I believe that all formal papers and work should be handled in Arabic. People should make an effort to learn our language when they live here. I know many who have been living in the country for years but do not know a single word of Arabic. When we travel we make an effort to speak some words of the countries we are visiting, and we do not mind when the signs and language used in formal places does not include Arabic. The same should apply here.
Manar al Hinai, Abu Dhabi
Mandela's party must forge ahead
The article Joy and tears as Mandela's party is 100 (January 9) argues that after the dancing and chanting of tens of thousands, thoughts now turn to the struggles still faced in South Africa due to the ANC's failure to bring a better life to South Africans.
It is sad to witness the fact that although apartheid fell in 1994 following Mr Mandela's release from prison in 1990, the ANC has still not been able to improve the situation on poverty, crime and corruption.
I do appreciate Mr Mandela's life and legacy, but I condemn his followers for not learning from his experiences.
He was a revolutionary and a radical when he entered prison, but he was more willing to compromise and to end apartheid peacefully, to inspire public optimism and social solidarity smoothly when he left prison.
I hope that in the near future, South Africa will have leaders who have the courage to promote peace, democracy and freedom for all regardless of the colour of their skin, background or religion.
Gaye Caglayan, Dubai
ESPN blackout needs clarity
Thank you for publishing the article about Etisalat's contractual issues over ESPN (TV blackout for NFL fans on playoff weekend, January 9).
From a transparency standpoint, a simple explanation from Etisalat customer service that the interruption is due to a contractual issue rather than a technical issue would have helped in building trust and confidence with their customer base.
Furthermore, the article correctly identified sports fans missing the NFL playoff games but failed to mention them missing all of the major College Football Bowl Games including Sunday night's BCS National Championship Game. My University of Oregon Ducks won the Rose Bowl for the first time in 95 years and I wasn't able to see it. I want my ESPN!
Daniel Hall, Abu Dhabi
Scalping photo out of character
We live in Dubai and have subscribed to your newspaper now for three years and are very happy with the quality and variety of the articles.
But the cover story photo showing a poor Indian man's scalp being torn off by a leopard really is disgusting (Big cat on the rampage, January 8). I don't understand the need to display these brutal pictures.
You manage to report about the critical and violent situations in the neighbouring Arab countries without dropping to this brutal level. I hope this picture doesn't stand for The National's style in 2012.
Barbara Gerhards, Dubai
Article tarnished all Liverpool fans
The Kop in a world of denial (January 9) states that "Perhaps the Kop had no idea that Adeyemi had allegedly suffered racist abuse, and was simply using the break in play to voice support for a player they believe has been unjustly treated".
That's exactly what happened. I was in the Kop and the vast majority of us had no idea what had happened. I assumed something had been thrown on the pitch.
There are so many generalisations in this article it would take me too long to refute them all.
David Carr, UK
Offensive blogs anger Muslims
Anti-Islamic websites come under greater scrutiny in Germany (January 9 ) was very well written.
In the few months that I have been reading blogs related to Islam I find that the discussion is getting more and more heated.
No wonder the question always arises why some Muslims are offended by the West.
Usman Ahmad, Abu Dhabi