x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Apple’s iPad Air fails to impress

A reader has doubts about the new Apple iPad Air. Other topics: psychology in the classroom, tribalism, Rihanna and care for the elderly.

A reader is unimpressed by the new iPad Air launched by Apple CEO Tim Cook. Noah Berger/Bloomberg
A reader is unimpressed by the new iPad Air launched by Apple CEO Tim Cook. Noah Berger/Bloomberg
Letters to the Editor
I refer to the online story, Apple’s iPad Air: Countdown on for super slim tablet (October 23).
I’ve looked at the iPad Air and there’s nothing amazing there, so I’m not going to bother with it.
Steve McT, Scotland
Family must play the main role in shaping children
I refer to Psychology can help in school, say experts (October 21).
I agree that education psychology can help teachers to control classes and communicate better, and to recognise the more gifted students who are often neglected. Therapy and counselling can also help with managing the frustration and confidence of teachers. 
However, as for stress management of students, this is up to the individual and their family. I do not see how massages and a multi-sensory room for relaxation will be beneficial in the long term.
School is not only about academic education, it educates the individual in the self-discipline needed for the workplace, where they are unlikely to receive massages when work becomes demanding.
The behaviour and endeavours of students is contingent on their home environment, where they receive the necessary discipline of routine with regard to play, homework, meal times and sleep.
It is important that children feel safe at home, without too many loud expressions of differing opinions between parents and siblings. Arguments at home can disrupt sleep patterns which impair memory, shrink the brain and raise stress levels.
Teachers who become frustrated with students need psychological help, perhaps to become more assertive in the classroom and know how to dispense appropriate discipline.
Students need the reinforcement of positive behaviour. Good grades will lift their self-esteem and self-efficacy once they know their school’s parameters, which must be consistently enforced for all.
J Richmond, psychologist, Dubai
Accepting others doesn’t change us
I am writing in reference to Ayesha Al Khoori’s well-written and well-thought-out blog post, My struggle with tribalism (September 26).
We can’t eliminate tribalism from UAE society as it is part of our national and cultural identity.
I understand the negative attitude that a person has to face just because of his or her last name. But, on the other hand, I feel it depends more on the individual.
Ms Al Khoori says she dealt with negative attitudes with dignity and not by being passive aggressive. She was able to do so because her family gave her self-esteem and confidence in being herself.
If all families raise their children to be compassionate and humble, then we would start accepting ourselves and others as they are. Education can change opinions but, frankly speaking, our forefathers were more generous in accepting and accommodating others as compared to the modern “educated” generation.
They didn’t have recognised university degrees, but they did have open minds, hearts full of hospitality and accommodating attitudes that helped them establish ties with people who were alien to their land, tongue and culture.
We all have prejudices of various kinds but being “educated and accommodating” means not letting these prejudices belittle fellow humans based on tribe, race or gender.
Our society is still in flux and so are our emotions and attitudes. We need to understand that accepting others won’t decrease our identity and prestige. We have to shed the fear of losing identity by mingling with and accepting those with a different last name.
A rainbow enhances the beauty of individual colours to boost its own splendour; and the UAE is a rainbow full of tribal colours.
Um Wahab, Abu Dhabi
Nations owe duty of care to elderly
I refer to Millions of elderly worldwide suffer in silence (October 20), about the neglect of parents.
The first and foremost duty of care lies with the children. But there are a few unfortunate people who don’t have children or are estranged from them.
Then there are the unfortunate parents whose children are not ready to shoulder their responsibility towards them, for whatever reason.
Should such people be left alone to suffer?
No. In most cases these people have given their life, work and service to their country, and now it is the country’s duty to care for and honour them.
We should acknowledge the fact that many western governments do take care of and support their senior citizens.
Mohammed Munir, Sharjah
Rihanna’s picture was disrespectful
Shame on you Rihanna ( Fans are at odds over singer’s photo shoot, October 21).
The Grand Mosque is a place of worship; posing so seductively in front of it was disrespectful.
Sadik Rawan, France
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The recent finding of World Health Organisation on the increasing lifestyle diseases in Asian countries is indeed shocking. 
 
There are multiple reasons causing the health disorder in modern society, mainly due to change in lifestyle; however, physical inactivity is the key factor behind this alarming trend. It is a fact that the increasing population in Asian countries gives less priority to live healthy, in which individual responsibility and commitment plays an active role. 
 
Even though the work environment has been in better-quality in many aspects with more dependability on technology-based approach, a stressful work culture continues to be the reality of modern offices.  This growing menace is equally evidenced in developed and developing countries across the world.  While lack of awareness on the part of responsible adults is a major issue causing the spread of such diseases, it is felt that community-based influence can correct the situation to a great extent.
Ramachandran Nair, Oman
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