x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

At 40, the UAE is a country all of us can take pride in

A letter-writer, an expatriate, says everyone can take pleasure and pride in the UAE. Other letters today touch on an Olympic boycott, Australian immigration, Oliver Reed's wrestling partner, and embassy closures.

The welcoming nature of the UAE, one reader says, is one reason to be proud of the country. Sammy Dallal / The National
The welcoming nature of the UAE, one reader says, is one reason to be proud of the country. Sammy Dallal / The National

The people of the UAE are celebrating the 40th National Day with unprecedented zeal and fervour.

As an expatriate here, it feels good to see and be part of the celebrations.

I am proud of this country, which is an oasis of peace and stability in an unstable region. Regardless of their different religious, racial and cultural backgrounds, people live here in harmony.

Standards of sanitation, education and access to health care are high. Living conditions for labourers have greatly improved, thanks to the wise leadership of the country, and this is much appreciated.

These are the reasons why the UAE ranks very high on the UN's Human Development Index. This is a country to be proud of.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

Olympic boycott would be wrong

Some 8,000 people died because of the 1984 tragedy at Bhopal, but I must question the wisdom of the idea that India should boycott the 2012 Olympic in London (India to vote on boycott of London Olympics, December 1).

This proposal is based on the fact that Dow Chemical, an Olympic sponsor, is the successor company to Union Carbide, which owned the Bhopal plant at the time of the chemical leak. Dow's name will be on the Olympic stadium.

But asking for millions more now from the current owners is unfair.

A settlement was reached with Union Carbide in 1989, by which $470 million (Dh1.73bn) was paid to survivors and the victims' heirs.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi

Wrong Alan in wrestling scene

Tributes to the 'unique' and 'innovative' director Ken Russell (November 30) was splendid until the claim that in Russell's 1969 movie Women In Love, Oliver Reed wrestles with Alan Bennett.

The image of the tiny bespectacled Yorkshire playwright grappling with the force of nature that was Mr Reed made my day.

Last time I watched the film, it was Alan Bates who was Reed's fighting partner.

Steven Gibson, Dubai

Australia's X-ray policy disgrace

It is quite shocking to learn that the Australian federal police used wrist-bone X-rays to decide whether to place people in child or adult prison cells (Australia's migrant policy under scrutiny, December 1). The test, now discredited, may have wrongly put many children in adult prison with paedophiles and murderers.

If this is proved, the government of Julia Gillard, the prime minister, will have serious problems.

The immediate concern is the young Indonesians who were arrested working as crew on immigration-seekers' boats, but the question is what more just process will Australia now adopt.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Make US pilot explain himself

I refer to Pilot asked for Emirati students' removal from plane (November 30).

The airline should apologise for hiring the pilot and he should be forced to explain himself and apologise. If there is any reason other than racism for his behaviour then he should come forward and say it.

If not, then he and people like him will continue to make life miserable for innocent people.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Get tough with brothel operator

The culprit referred to in the headline Housewife who ran brothel loses appeal case (November 27) deserves heavy exemplary public punishment.

It makes no difference if the crime is committed by men or women.

Anyone who abuses the weaker and vulnerable members of society deserves no sympathy.

Joe Burns, Abu Dhabi

No safe havens if euro fails

Your article French property back in vogue (November 29) was of course right to underline the inherent financial instability of France (and the whole eurozone).

But then we must also consider that in case of a collapse of the euro, nowhere would be safe for property investment.

Simon Oliver, France

Closed embassies signal failure

Britain has ordered Iran's embassy in London closed (Britain hits back after mob attacks embassy, December 1). This is a civilised but foolish response to Iran's foolish and uncivilised sacking of the UK embassy in Tehran.

Embassies may not matter much in the internet age, but a closed embassy is a symbol of failure.

Emil Lang, UK