x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Doing the Ban Ki-moon dance

A reader questions the UN secretary general's interest in the Gangham Style video. Other topics: Canadian immigration, maids' contracts and fog lights.

A reader questions Ban Ki-moon's enthusiasm for the hit South Korean pop video Gangnam Style. Ian Langsdon / EPA
A reader questions Ban Ki-moon's enthusiasm for the hit South Korean pop video Gangnam Style. Ian Langsdon / EPA

Shot schoolgirl was determined to make a difference

I absolutely fail to understand the motive behind the attack on Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai (Dubai prepares for Taliban victim, 14, October 11)

She had no political involvement and was merely fighting for her right to be able to acquire knowledge and attend school in her native town.

She didn't deserve this at all.

I wonder if this attack was carried out to destabilise the government of Pakistan by spreading extreme fear within the country. Or was it simply because the attackers do not want the youth of Pakistan to make progress?

Whatever the case may be, it is clearly an act committed out of fear of a young girl who was determined to make a difference by raising the concerns of many other Pashtun girls.

F Suhail, Dubai

Gangnam Style, but no substance

Poor Ban Ki-moon. The UN secretary general can't do much about Syria, or North Korea, so he busies himself with nonsense (Gangnam Style gets UN seal of approval, October 11).

Does he really believe that a mindless, though amusing, video can help the cause of world peace?

J Ryan, Dubai

Is Canada just too convenient?

It's about time that the government of Canada wised up to the abuses of citizenship and residence permits (Thousands fear losing Canadian residency, October 9).

And people from Lebanon and the Middle East are not the most numerous offenders.

When I lived in Vancouver, there were reports of many from the Far East who somehow got "landed immigrant" status or citizenship but never lived there. They were using Canada as a potential bolt hole in case of trouble at home.

David Kingsley, Dubai

One person quoted in news reports said the United States and Canada were his "top selections" but the processing time for Canada was quicker.

Great. Welcome to my country. I'm glad you decided to be with us because we were more convenient.

M MacLenna, Dubai

Contract might change attitudes

Saudi Filipino workers decision applauded (October 10) asks if there should be a standard contract for maids in the UAE.

Absolutely yes. And if prospective employers cannot or will not adhere to its specifications, then they should be made to bear all expenses related to breach of contract.

We need to do something to stop the slave-labour mentality that exists in some quarters. Monica Carver, Abu Dhabi

 

Promises usually count for nothing

The writer of Republican vision for Middle East at odds with reality (October 11) seems to think that American presidential candidates mean what they say when campaigning.

History is full of examples of candidates campaigning on a set of promises and then governing with quite different priorities.

Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama have promised to "do what we must" to stop Iran from getting the nuclear bomb.

That sounds good, but nobody knows what it will mean.

What if it turns out, for example, that they "must" subject the world to another oil shock and a depression? Would either of them do that? I doubt it.

Ted Freylinhaus, Abu Dhabi

Support for cafe smoking ban

Non-smokers understand the need to ban smoking in public places (Takings stubbed out at mall cafes after smoking ban, October 1).

We hope the ban will be enforced, as these are places where families, including children, meet. Their health shouldn't have to suffer due to a smoker's poor choice. Asma Nabeel, Dubai

Prose poem offers food for thought

I always enjoy Arva Ahmed's column Food Obsession, but she outdid herself with her prose poem in praise of pastry (Moroccan b'stilla, October 11).

Descriptions like "crushed almonds danced about like pixies" made me laugh out loud. Made me hungry, too.

Michelle Khoury, Abu Dhabi

Drivers haven't the foggiest idea

I'm not surprised that there were 140 accidents in the fog (Motorists are warned that fog will continue, October 11).

Nobody seems to use fog lights when they're supposed to. B Derodra, Dubai