x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dark clouds over Syria

Just because Bashar Al Assad is likely to fall does not mean Syria's future will be any more democratic, a reader warns. Other letter topics today: a new airline for India, road safely during Ramadan, and earning success in business.

What comes after Bashar Al Assad will not necessarily be in Syria's best interests, one reader warns. Reuters
What comes after Bashar Al Assad will not necessarily be in Syria's best interests, one reader warns. Reuters

Well done Yusuffali MA (Lulu chief quits Air India as new airline nears lift-off, July 22). You have done a good deed in the Holy Month of Ramadan by quitting from the Air India board of directors.

It should have been done much earlier but better late than never. By doing this you've become more popular among Indians such as myself. We Keralites will benefit from your proposed new airline serving all of Kerala's presently underserved sectors.

But, if your new airline does come to fruition, might I make the following suggestions:

First, your management and board should all hail from Kerala and not include any politicians.

Second, you should make staff facilities and duties clear before employees join.

And third, it will be important to offer convenient service schedules and more stable ticket fares.

KP Muhammad, Abu Dhabi

Men don't have all the answer in life

In one instance people talk of the problem of unmarried women and greater numbers of women pursuing careers, and the next minute we complain of social ills as a by-product of an imbalanced life.

Now we have the likes of Ladyland (Sci-fi tale Ladyland offers a lesson in gender utopia, July 21).

No one is saying women can't be in public space or work, but it seems to me that some have opted for a western model of society that dictates that the only way to be a progressive society is for women to abandon their homes and family life.

Simply be a man to be a successful woman, the idea seems to be.

It's an unfortunate belief.

Name withheld by request

Message of safety for Holy Month

The Holy Month of Ramadan is underway and with it comes renewed worries over road safety.

This year will be one of the hottest and longest Ramadan fasting periods in recent memory; it is a matter of concern for all who are on the road during the period just before breaking the fast.

On the first day of Ramadan, I happened to witness and experience at least three near misses on roads in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.

Watching these dangerous driving habits made me think that it would be helpful for authorities to come out with stricter rules and fines for those who drive dangerously prior to iftar.

In addition, it would be a great move if warnings and messages about the dangers of speeding during this time were made at various iftar tents and prayer halls around the country. It would also be appropriate for religious scholars to offer messages about the dangers of careless driving.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

No guarantee of calm after Assad

Contrary to the opinion offered by Ferry Biedermann (Myth of the 'soft landing' for Syria prevents real solutions, July 22), Syria is a poor country and poor countries seldom adhere to democratic models. People are too preoccupied with making money to become involved in politics.

So don't blame Bashar Al Assad that Syria is not democratic. And be realistic: if Mr Al Assad is thrown out of office Syria very likely will not end up democratic either.

US President Barack Obama must have been out of his mind when he demanded that Mr Al Assad should go. That is not for him to say. And by saying it he has obstructed any solution from the present impasse.

We can see in Kosovo what international guarantees mean for minorities that Washington does not like. After the war ended there, some 230,000 people from minority groups were driven out under the eye of large numbers of Nato troops who mostly sat on their hands claiming they were not police.

Wim Roffel, Netherlands

Skill still trumps desire in business

It would be impossible to write a more superficial business management article than the one offered by Tommy Weir (On leadership: Reasons to be cheerful, July 22).

As a basketball coach I learnt that while external motivation is nice, it can never replace ability, practice and confidence gained from successful performance. I have met too many "trainers" who naively believe that being a member of the "positive attitude" club is the only or best way to succeed.

It takes 10,000 hours, Tommy, 10,000 hours. The cheerleaders are for the audience; cheerleading is a sport in itself. Cheerleaders are delightful, usually photogenic and serious athletes in their own right.

While I have no problem recognising the concept of "home court advantage", scientific studies don't bear this out. Assuming no illegalities, it is always higher skill - or in the case of equal skills, fortuitous events - and superb coaching that rules the day.

Tom Pattillo, Canada