x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Arab uprising goes beyond sectarian divides

Readers respond to The National's coverage

A mannequin holds an anti-aircraft weapon at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. A reader stresses the security and economic benefits of the event. Lee Hoagland / The National
A mannequin holds an anti-aircraft weapon at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference in Abu Dhabi. A reader stresses the security and economic benefits of the event. Lee Hoagland / The National

The opinion article by Michael Young Lebanon's feuding sides draw rival inspirations from Egypt (February 17) has, I believe, cast the shadow of the Sunni-Shiite divide upon the current uprising sweeping the Arab world, but it is at variance with reality.

It had been the clandestine tactics practised by dictators to create cracks and divides among Muslims in the name of Sunni and Shiite. This is only aimed at safeguarding their power. They had even gone to the extent of cultivating a band of religious scholars to cook up various edicts to suit their intentions.

Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali led garrison states of status quo rule. Neither of them had embodied the values of the protesters, nor did they have the right to side with either Sunni or Shiite since their affiliation has been with their allies in the West.

In Lebanon, Saad Hariri and associates indeed have the right to exult at the outcome of the current uprising but his plan to gain political mileage by capitalising on the unrest to unseat the Hizbollah-backed government will never bear fruit.

The conclusion of marking the events as a Sunni ascendancy over the political clout assumed by Iran also falls short of reality as the leaders of fallen regimes had boasted of being champions of the Sunnis and a bulwark against Iran's Shiite menace. Now they have been pitifully toppled by their own people.

Abdul Lateef Koladikkal, Abu Dhabi

Don't see humour in geek glee

I was intrigued by Sean McLain's report on his day out at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference: Not just for soldiers - Idex is a playground for gadget geeks (February 24). The principal aim of national and regional defence doctrine is deterrence rather than conflict. Shows like Idex help to enable stability through security while promoting industrial development and economic growth.

I am not surprised that the lady at the weapons stand was unimpressed by someone who by his own admission was equally excited by an iPad. Companies pay a lot of money and have a short time to demonstrate their capability to legitimate end users. Companies should be allowed to display in "geek free" pavilions, allowing them to focus on their core objectives and not have to have their time wasted by non-defence thrill seekers.

Matt Rufus, UK

Golf rules for camera phones

The sports article Lee Westwood sees the funny side of a tough week (February 14) reported that the professional golfer was angry that on the 18th hole of the Dubai Desert Classic a spectator took a shot of him on his iPhone while he was on the upswing, breaking his concentration.

I know the guy who took the photo at the 18th hole and he was really upset that he upset Westwood. As Westwood said, he was rather too eager to take a photo and also he forgot to switch his iPhone to silent. I am guessing he won't ever do that in the future.

It does raise an interesting question, though, about cameras at this sort of event. Should not they be allowed in a designated area so that people do not upset the players? Given that everyone has a camera on their phone now, perhaps a warning to switch them to silent like in the cinema should be given when entering the event by the ticket seller.

Robert Duce, Dubai

Many causes of food poisoning

In reference to Restaurant staff accused in death (February 22), Amro Alazhari and his fiance ate seafood and duck liver and left the hotel restaurant at midnight. Why did his fiance not develop symptoms?

Mr Alazhari felt pain immediately after leaving the restaurant.A bacterial food poisoning need an incubation period which varies largely by the bacterial species, but at least one hour, and hence it will manifest itself progressively by vomiting which is the first indicator of bacterial toxins in the food.

The full story should be examined more closely, and I have advice for the chef who said that it was last quantity of food which was prepared.

In these days, and because of tons of petrol and toxic heavy metals that contaminate our seafood, some persons develop allergic or toxic shock symptoms to such materials like arsenic, mercury and cadmium. These elements are not analysed by the food industry. The European Union mandates analysis of these metals in drinking water only. Recent cases of high allergy to such contaminants were recently published.

So the chef must always keep samples of seafood aside to prove that he was on the safe side, and no bacterial growth happened in his kitchen. Advanced laboratories can then give results about toxic or allergic contents in seafood. The duck liver might also be implicated since ducks can consume contaminated water.

Khaldoun Masoud, Syria

 

The sports article Lee Westwood sees the funny side of a tough week (February 14) reported that the professional golfer was angry that on the 18th hole of the Dubai Desert Classic a spectator took a shot of him on his iPhone while he was on