x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Call for register of homes worth preserving

A reader says certain villas in Abu Dhabi should be saved from redevelopment. Other topics: marriage, cricket and maids' wages.

A reader calls for a register of houses in Abu Dhabi that should be spared redevelopment. Silvia Razgova / The National
A reader calls for a register of houses in Abu Dhabi that should be spared redevelopment. Silvia Razgova / The National

I am writing with a plea to save some of the beautiful houses of the UAE.

It's not only famous structures like the Aldar building or Etihad Towers that make Abu Dhabi beautiful.

There are many outstanding "ordinary" houses, but sadly many gems are being pulled down to make room for taller buildings.

We need to decide now which buildings are worth preserving, or they will soon be gone, and with them part of Abu Dhabi's history.

Preserving and maintaining these villas would be cheaper than having to recreate them later.

Among the buildings I think are worth saving are the row of houses in the same style along 11th Street between 4th and Sheikh Zayed Street, along with the villas that still remain on Corniche Road. There are many more.

I would be happy to volunteer my services registering beautiful houses.

Elena Braestrup, Abu Dhabi

Cricket's no longer gentlemen's game

The blog post, Cricket - is it for real or just theatre? by Ajay Jacob (June 5), has certainly captured the feelings of some cricket lovers.

There used to be a certain innocence and gentlemanliness about cricket. However, that seems to be gone now. May cricket's soul rest in peace. F Paulson, UK


Marriage starts with honesty

I am writing in reference to Ola Salem's opinion article, Women are still too often the losers in divorce matters (June 9).

The reason the divorce rate was low or non-existent back in the day is not because people were happy. It was because women did not have a voice and were seen as the property of their husbands.

I imagine that there were a lot of unhappy married women. They just did not have a say in the matter, or any options if they left a marriage, such as education opportunities or shelters.

People go into marriage with the mindset of "what can this person do for me?"

Many men and women are not honest with each other, and they have unrealistic, hyper-romanticised ideals of what marriage is about - until reality hits.

I say: work on yourself first and be the best possible person for yourself, and then you will attract the type of person you need in your life.

A Williams, US


I am from the US - where the divorce rate is said to be as high as 60 per cent - but I have never met anyone who thought about divorce when courting for marriage.

Divorce happens. I am a divorcee; I'm not proud of it, but I'm not ashamed of it.

I sense, however, that there is a disapproval of divorce in UAE society. A few remarks have been made to me, but I think they are more restrained because I am American.

My child has a father; that hasn't changed. And some statistics suggest that children of single-parent households are smarter, more mature, more responsible, higher achievers and far more successful than children of two-parent households.

Warring parents in a marriage are damaging and unproductive, especially where the children are concerned. Long-term damage cannot be undone, no matter how much the children are shielded or told they are loved.

Monica Carver, Dubai

Concerns about desalinated water

I am writing in reference to Children show hope for a green future (June 9), about young people planting trees.

This is very commendable. However, trees need water - and that water is coming from desalination plants, which pose a threat to the marine environment.

Name withheld by request

Maids deserve a minimum wage

I refer to FNC to debate maids' minimum wage (May 20).

The minimum wage is more than fair - if the housemaids actually get paid that much.

Maids are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they are lucky if they get half a day off per week.

Often maids are not allowed to have mobile phones, and can only call home once a month. They do everything for their employers: clean their bathrooms, cook and raise their children.

Please, pay them what they're worth and - even more importantly - treat them with some kindness.

Chris Murray, Abu Dhabi