x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Animals deserve strong protection

A reader raises concern over the plight of animals. Other topics: driving, Laura Robson, Dubai Zoo, Palestinians

A reader expresses concern for the animals that are used for entertainment near Marina Mall. Nicole Hill / The National
A reader expresses concern for the animals that are used for entertainment near Marina Mall. Nicole Hill / The National

Just outside Marina Mall I saw a strange sad sight on Wednesday night. Beside the shiny high-tech mall, adjacent to the gleaming sterility of the car park, stood a white horse and a smaller animal, a pony or perhaps a donkey, also white.

I suppose they were part of some exhibition or concession, but there were no signs and I didn’t notice an attendant. The two animals stood still, heads down, impassive.

I’m no animal rights zealot, but I felt sorry for these two creatures, so far from their natural environment.

Stanley Ortheris, Abu Dhabi

Is it wise to lower legal driving age?

I applaud the decision of the traffic council to lower the legal driving age (Traffic council approves reduction in UAE legal driving age, February 17).

In fact I think it is mature drivers who are involved in more accidents. Though I don’t have statistics to prove it, some of those who started driving at age 40 seem to be a nightmare to road safety.

Further, I have seen a 13-year-old kid taking driving lessons, and he drove perfectly well. If Akbar can become a king of the Indian subcontinent at 13 – and history shows that he was a great king – then age is just a number.

Zia Shadab, Dubai

I don’t understand why the driving age in the UAE should be lowered, especially when we are always complaining about too many cars on the already congested roads, and too many cars per capita in Dubai alone.

It makes little sense to me. Instead, we should try to raise the driving age. And the authorities should overhaul driver training. I would like to mention here that I have been driving my whole life, since I was super young as I grew up on a farm.

I have never had a traffic fine or an accident, and I am on the list of nationalities that can convert their driver’s licence. But please do not lower the driving age here.

Diana Phelps, Dubai

The issues concerning the driving schools need to be first sorted out. I see many driving instructors talk on their phones and read newspapers during lessons, thereby teaching bad habits.

Wendy Dickson, Abu Dhabi

Only the other day I heard the authorities talk about too many motorists on the roads, the need to increase the price of parking tickets and improve the metro. It sounds so confusing to me.

Eloise Leask, Dubai

Include Robson in new talent list

The article The generation game of tennis has new contenders (February 17) should have included Laura Robson among the newcomers.

She has had injury issues, but I recall that she beat Kim Clijsters and Li Na handily. She possesses the most perfectly struck forehand on the tour and serves big as well.

Name withheld by request

Does Dubai Zoo have new plans?

I am curious as to what is the latest plan for the Dubai Zoo. I have lived in the UAE for 20 years and every three or four years new plans for this much-needed project are published in the media, but nothing seems to have happened.

Also what happened to the 40 missing cats in Jebel Ali (Dubai residents baffled by mysterious disappearance of neighbourhood cats, February 6)? All forgotten now?

Lorraine Ludman, Dubai

Don’t deny water to Palestinians

The EU president, Martin Schultz, recently spoke to the Israeli Knesset and asked his audience: “How can it be that an Israeli is allowed to use 70 litres of water per day, but a Palestinian only 17?”

Zionism is a modern-day neocolonial political movement that has dispossessed millions of people and, by its continuing illegal settlement and water policies, will almost certainly precipitate conflict..

I believe political Zionism should be designated a proscribed organisation by the United Nations. If The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (Aipac) forces the US government to veto such a resolution in the UN Security Council then it should be put before the UN General Assembly.  

If, and when, it is passed by a three-quarters majority, that resolution would then be binding and become part of international law.

The state of Israel would then be required to amend its constitution as a multi-ethnic state with freedom of worship and movement for all its citizens. Maybe then all its citizens will be allowed 70 litres of water a day.

Anthony Bellchambers, UK