x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Bonaparte was no monster

A reader asserts that nobody should compare Napoleon I of France with Adolf Hitler. More contemporary letter topics include the Dubai opera house, racetrack fashion, commuting, used-car dealerships, and 'ninja assassins'.

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As an architect, art lover and UAE resident since 2008, I am pleased by the recently announced opera house and contemporary-art museum project (Art lovers welcome plan for new music venue, April 1).

Apart from being a great tourist attraction, an enhancement for the community, and a venue for theatre, ballet and musical productions, this will be another Dubai icon - a truly original piece of architecture.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Choose a beach without blood

I have a suggestion for the writer of Travelling with Kids: Sri Lanka worth throwing caution to the wind (March 31):

If you want to travel to some place where you can go from a guesthouse to the beaches, there are umpteen places in the world.

But Sri Lanka should not be on your list. It is run by a regime that has been responsible for killing its own citizens indiscriminately.

For your daughter and husband, a beach is a beach wherever it is.

Sandy Vadi, Canada

Was there a race at fashion show?

The Dubai World Cup is a wonderful social moment, as your photos of women in western fashions and silly hats show (Hats off (and on) to the World Cup, April 1).

The event is a real highlight of the social calendar. And I understand there was a horse race, too.

JP Asselin, Dubai

Short commute is the best one

As a veteran of commuting to work in Chicago and London, I was bemused by The daily commute brings us together and builds character (April 1).

I understand the writer's point, that some Emiratis need to learn the discipline of getting up and going to work each day.

But the idea that commuting is good for anyone reminds me of Friedrich Nietzsche's dictum that "anything that doesn't kill me makes me stronger".

Now I live six floors above my office, and that's just about the right commute for me.

Bernard Tremblay, Dubai

Napoleon was nothing like Hitler

I resent the suggestion, contained in Napoleon's next battle - with Mickey Mouse (March 29) that the Emperor Napoleon I can be compared with Adolf Hitler.

Bonaparte committed no genocide, no ethnic cleansing. Unlike Hitler he was a true military genius. He perhaps became mad with power in a way, but he was a creation of his times; a midwife of modernity who swept away so much that was old and moribund, making way for new and better ways of doing things.

The idea of a theme park may be foolish, but Napoleon deserves to be known, understood, and on balance respected.

James Meanie, Canada

Good riddance to car dealers

In my neighbourhood there are many used-car dealerships, and they make it nearly impossible for other residents to find parking. So I was glad to read Used-car dealers driven out of capital (April 1).

But exiling these people to a place where they must pay very much higher rents seems like a recipe for driving them all out of business.

All the new regulations on small retailers are making it harder and harder to do business unless you're a national brand and can afford to set up in a mall.

Sami Daoud, Abu Dhabi

If used-car dealers must pay higher rents to relocate to a new place far away from their customers, won't this drive up the prices they must charge?

Mohammad Al Masr, Abu Dhabi

Who will provide media content?

Alex Ritman used humour to make a serious point in The Future of Content (April 1). At this rate there truly will soon be only one "content provider" and countless channels for that trickle of content.

When Marshall McLuhan said "the medium is the message" he probably didn't foresee the time when media would be all medium and almost no message.

Bernard Kennedy, Dubai

'Ninja assassin' story was fiction

Iran kicks back over ninja assassins (April 1) reminded me of the 2009 movie Ninja Assassin by the Australian director James McTeigue.

Whether Iran is to be considered the world's foremost state sponsor of terrorism or not, this "she-ninjas" story is quite different and, like the movie, hard to take seriously.

Ali Sedat Budak, Abu Dhabi