x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Attitudes towards dogs differ

There are reasons why some Muslims prefer to avoid contact with pets, a reader notes. Other letter topics: the Dubai fire, National Day celebrations and Steinway pianos.

A reader notes that there are reasons why many Muslims prefer to keep their pets outside. Jamie Puebla / The National
A reader notes that there are reasons why many Muslims prefer to keep their pets outside. Jamie Puebla / The National

Many lessons to be learnt from fire

As a former Tamweel Tower tenant, I am outraged at the treatment of displaced residents (Tower tenants sift through ashes, November 20).

It is highly irregular and inconsiderate on the part of the concerned parties, including the insurers, to ask people to pay upfront for alternative accommodation, food, security deposits, car rental and so on, saying that they will be reimbursed.

I'm sure there will be plenty of conditions and delays in getting the money back, by which time a family could be out Dh10,000 or more in extraordinary expenses, just in the first month.

And that's not including utility bills and other monthly expenses.

In this situation, having paid a year's rental in advance, I would expect to be compensated in advance, not reimbursed.

Moreover, I would expect the utilities, phone companies and the banks or mortgage companies to immediately suspend all collection of outstanding payments until life has returned to normal.

Those who suggest that it is better to live on the lower floors of a high-rise should consider that all residents of Tamweel Tower were evacuated and displaced, regardless of which floor they lived on.

The fire took eight hours to essentially burn itself out, largely because of the cladding that covered 75 per cent of the building.

After the fire started, it moved up and down the outside of the building, practically unchecked.

This was a wake-up call for high-rise residents and the authorities, who will need to take swift corrective action.

Basseem Fakhry, Dubai

Attitudes towards dogs can differ

I'd like to add to Ali Al Saloom's comments about dogs (Canny canine etiquette when walking the dog, November 23).

From a Muslim's point of view, dogs should be kept outside where possible.

They are viewed as unclean and, in certain situations when they come into contact with a Muslim's person or clothing, they may invalidate the state of wudu (the washing required before prayer).

Dogs are valuable additions to society - especially as guard dogs, sniffer dogs, hunting dogs and dogs for the blind.

However, you may note that some Muslims will avoid contact with them. Amal Loring, Dubai


Observations on National Day

Regarding Strict rules on National Day car modifications (November 23), I like the wonderful decorations on cars.

I hope that does not change.

B von Bulow, Dubai

While I understand the need to uphold the law 365 days a year, it would be a shame if police officers were too heavy-handed over the National Day holiday.

With the large crowds expected for the celebrations, keeping everyone safe should be the police's first priority.

James Peterson, Abu Dhabi


I was interested to read A long weekend for National Day (November 23).

Many of those employed in the construction industry will have to work on this extra holiday, so there will be no "long weekend" for them.

S Wardman, Abu Dhabi

Brotherhood has 'hijacked' Egypt

I am writing about Egypt divides over Morsi moves (November 24).

The people of Egypt - including members of every social group, every faith, party and sect except the Muslim Brotherhood, who laid low until the heavy lifting was finished - drove Hosni Mubarak out of power, only to have been hijacked by the Brotherhood.

Now the president who acted like he was above the law has declared himself to be above the law, and free from any checks and balances.

Frank Burkhardt, US

President Mohammed Morsi has exceeded the world's expectations.

I hope he does not now spoil what he has achieved and continues to rule for all Egyptians.

K Blake, Dubai

Celebration of a very grand piano

I greatly enjoyed Keys to success (November 24), about the composers and musicians who used pianos from Steinway & Sons.

One, admittedly little known, artist who didn't make your list is the British comedian Earl Okin, who had a brief period of fame with his parodies of popular songs.

I saw Okin in concert about 15 years ago, and he lamented the fact that because pianos are not very portable, he was at the mercy of the venue to provide a suitable instrument for his performance.

This gave rise to a song performed to the tune of the Frank Sinatra classic My Way, which Okinretitled I Want a Steinway.

Wouldn't we all love to own one of these wonderful instruments?

Ken Douglas, Abu Dhabi