x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Diwali a festival to look forward to

A reader conveys Diwali greetings to everyone. Other letter topics: Iran, Allah, public transport in India.

Buying gold during Diwali is a tradition among Indians. A reader says it is a festival that every Indian looks forward to. Pawan Singh / The National
Buying gold during Diwali is a tradition among Indians. A reader says it is a festival that every Indian looks forward to. Pawan Singh / The National

Diwali is here again. Every year the young and old alike wait for this festival when people exchange gifts, and buy clothes and jewellery.

Shopping malls across the UAE are selling sweets, savouries and decorations for the festival. Varieties may be lesser than back home, but we have managed to get plenty of our favourites. This is one of the occasions that children look forward to. Like every year, they are excited to light diyas (earthen lamps) to welcome Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth. I am hoping to have an enjoyable Diwali and I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy Diwali.

Sunita Joshi, Dubai

It’s hard for many to cope with family demands

I refer to the article Spiralling debts and shame drive dozens of Indians to suicide in UAE (October 30). I am deeply upset after reading this news.

It reminded me of a particular day when I was travelling in a taxi. The driver was having a heated argument on his phone with a woman. I could hear her loud voice but it was all in Hindi so I did not understand.

When he finally ended his call I asked what was happening and he told me that his wife would always call him to ask for more money and that he was at the end of his tether. He said he worked 14 hours a day trying to earn a good living and sending most of his income back home, but it was never enough.

I think many people who come to the UAE do not even want to be here but they have to be here because of family pressures. Another worker I know (he works in our building) told me that he is the sole provider for his wife, children, mother, father, parents-in-law and a dozen cousins. This man has no life whatsoever.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

I read another report on India recently, which mentioned that suicide is common among Indian expatriates. One of the reasons could be that most of us who work here think that we have become rich.

Yet our reality is different, because life here is expensive compared to many other parts of the world. House rent is the biggest killer.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Abu Dhabi

Iran not in position to support others

I refer to the news article Iran secret weapons shipments to Syria on US agenda during Maliki visit (October 31).

The route of the “secret flights” to Syria via Iraq raises questions. Why wouldn’t the Iranians just fly directly to an available airport in Syria, as they were earlier accused of doing? And when have the Iranians refused to land for a search? The answer is: they haven’t, even without the threat of interception.

It’s difficult to believe that a country where “sanctions are really biting”, which is reportedly sending shipments of free oil to Syria to get rid of their difficulties, and where artists can’t buy sidewalk chalk, is funding, supplying and manning one of the world’s most active fronts for terrorism.

Baldur Dasche, US

Can everyone use the word Allah?

I fully agree with the views expressed in the editorial Word ‘Allah’ is not exclusive to Islam (October 14).

The comment is not in any way intended only against Malaysia, which is one of the most progressive Islamic countries in the world. I recently responded to a comment by Sarah Palin on Syria, where she said: “Let Allah sort it out”, objecting to the sarcastic tone of the statement and informing the readers that Allah is Arabic for God Almighty.

Ahmoodi, US

India should focus on public safety

I am commenting on the article Speeding Indian bus crashes, killing 45 in inferno (October 30). It’s a terrible tragedy. Bus accidents are not uncommon in India, but even by Indian standards, fatalities were very high.

Public transport in India is often unsafe. The governments of respective states need to do more to ensure the safety of people travelling by bus and taxi. Human lives are precious. The relatives of victims might receive compensation, but no amount can make up for the loss of lives. I pray for the victims.

K Ragavan, India