x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 January 2018

Campaigns can curb smoking

A reader says stepping up anti-smoking campaigns will help yield desired results. Other letter topics include traditional attire, Syria, shops, ad campaign, Dubizzle

A reader believes campaigns can be the most effective tool to curb smoking. Jaime Puebla / The National
A reader believes campaigns can be the most effective tool to curb smoking. Jaime Puebla / The National

Traditional attire can uphold the feminist cause

Shoba Narayan's opinion article The sari is neatly woven into my country's social fabric (August 28) beautifully described the traditional Indian attire.

Over time western outfits have come to signify female empowerment and free will almost in the entire world. But traditional clothing can be just as liberating and empowering for a woman; I feel the same way about my sheyla abaya.

Men take me more seriously and treat me with greater respect whenever I wear it. You can indeed dress traditionally and uphold the feminist cause.

Seema Anjum, Dubai

Step up drives against smoking

The article Scepticism over ban on smoking in cars (August 26), followed by the editorial, Getting tough on an antisocial habit (August 27) and the excellent letter by Laura Easton, This is a very simple message (August 28) prove that The National, as well as a number of its readers, are serious about cracking down on the habit of smoking.

Earlier, people expressed concern about parents and adults who continue to smoke shisha in cafes when young children are present. That's as dangerous as lighting up in a car that has a child passenger. Therefore, the law should be extended to cafes as well.

However, as the articles point out, enforcing the ban can prove to be difficult.

While focusing on legal measures we must also remember that most often parents inadvertently cause harm to their children. Nothing can match parental love. I believe in most cases people who smoke in the presence of children are ignorant.

The police, health authorities and civil societies can best contribute to the cause with more aggressive awareness campaigns.

Baquer Namazi, Dubai

West needs to be cautious on Syria

I refer to the news article UN security council fails to agree on Syria action (August 29).

Western countries should exercise caution regarding any direct armed intervention in Syria. Past experiences in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan have shown that such direct actions have rarely yielded the desired results. On the contrary, armed interventions can exacerbate the situations.

I urge the western powers to heed the advice of Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has been advocating a political solution to the protracted conflict in Syria.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

It is distressing that the United States is once again able to convince the world to justify its decision to strike Syria.

Regardless of the fact that the current decision is based on the same pretext that the US relied on to attack Iraq, we are coaxed into believing that the Syrian regime is behind the recent chemical weapon attack.

The UN visit is nothing but a ploy to justify military action against the regime. Yet again, the decision had been taken long ago with its old accomplice, Britain.

Any western military action on Syria will bring catastrophe not only to the US and its allies, but to the whole of the Middle East.

Iraq is in tatters. Where is the United States now?

Iris Smith, UK

Identify shops that pose health risks

The news article Shops fined in Sharjah for turning off fridges (August 12) mentions the number of shops that have been fined for turning off refrigerators used to store food. But why isn't the list of the errant stores mentioned?

That would have helped us to avoid them. Isn't that what public health is all about - warning the consumer against things that are potentially dangerous?

William Cooper, Sharjah

Ad campaign makes us sad

The video of a man supposedly making a failed marriage proposal in a Dubai shopping mall has turned out to be a Cadbury advert (Is viral video of spurned mall proposal all it seems? August 28).

If advertisements are about intelligent ways to attract people's attention, this one might be successful. But there are enough things in the world that make you feel uncomfortable or sad. Why invent scenes to add to that?

Christie King Eckardt, Dubai

Dubizzle founders stand out in crowd

Sim Whatley and JC Butler, the founders of Dubizzle, filled a huge gap in the market (Dubizzle founders hand over the reins to new leadership, August 27).

They were great entrepreneurs who made things really easy for all the users.

Sajjad Rizvi, Dubai