x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Egypt's people must be answered

Egypt is one of the oldest civilised nations on the earth. Will the present administration step down and make way for a new Egypt, in accordance with the people's verdict?

Your article, Egyptian military deploys in Cairo to enforce curfew as protests rage on (January 29) was sad and painful to read. For the past few days, Egypt has experienced a great deal of tension and turmoil. More than three decades of a single ruling administration have led to a nationwide call by the people: they want change.

Due to the political unrest, draconian curfews have been imposed. But people are tired of stagnant economic policies and ongoing American influence.

Egypt is one of the oldest civilised nations on the earth. Will the present administration step down and make way for a new Egypt, in accordance with the people's verdict?

K Ragavan, India

Neo-con backing for regional splits

The crisis in Lebanon is far more than the death of the former prime minister, Rafik Hariri Syria's delight at new Lebanese PM means dismay in US (January 27).

It started years ago, when Mr Bill Clinton was the US president. A group of wonks drew up a grandiose plan of American, and Israeli, domination of the Middle East. These "experts" in politics and the media became known as the neocons. When September 11 occurred, they were able to put their schemes into play.

The war on terror was the excuse to invade Iraq. Iran and Hamas were next. But Iraq didn't go as well as the neocons promised. In the occupation, the US sought to blame others for this failure; Syria became the next target for regime change. When Hariri was killed, the US saw it as a chance to get at Syria, and to help Israel get Hezbollah. The withdrawal of Syrian forces was supposed to lead to the Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad's fall. When that did not materialise, the US pushed the investigation tribunal to get Syria.

With Syria on the ropes, the US gave support to Israel to eliminate Hizbollah. The 2006 war was to provide the end of resistance to the US domination of Lebanon. However, Hizbollah was not exterminated. Badly bruised, it survived.

As more questions arose concerning the conduct of the Hariri investigation, the US exerted pressure on Lebanon over the investigation. That brought about the breach and Hizbollah's withdrawal from the government. It is American interference that has abetted the recent violence.

America's neocon policy has done a great deal of harm to the Middle East in the shortest amount of time.

Joseph Elias, Dubai

Speed cameras need back up

On a receent trip from Al Ain to Abu Dhabi Speed cameras to alert passing police soon (January 28), I was following a police vehicle.

We were both doing 135km/h. In the fast lane, right next to the police car, a car with heavily tinted windows came right up behind another vehicle which was travelling next to the police car, bullying it to moving over. The other car nearly hit the police car as it was forced to take evasive action as the other driver forced past.

The faster car then sped past and disappeared into the distance. The police response, however, was disappointing. Three infringements that I could see gave them room to act.

The police must show a willingness to act to change dangerous driving habits in order for these laws to have a real impact.

Liz Z, Abu Dhabi

Modesty is also a virtue for men

I would like to thank Asmaa Saif al Hamely for her Comment Column Modesty is a forgotten virtue on our nation's campuses (January 26). I wanted to add that this concept is very important in Islam, and it applies to men and women alike.

Foz Ahmed, Dubai

Rising food prices and new solutions

We thank The National newspaper for their concern about rising food prices, Ministry of Economy to control food costs (January 25).

The writer, however mixed a political situation in Tunisia with the regional increase in food prices. The UAE is no exception to global challenges over shared wealth.

Respectfully, the writer mentioned that the region imports most of their food supply, but infact the example of a pomegranate was used to illustrate how we could balance price differentials with behavioural changes.

As the UAE Consumer Society, we cannot affect the price of commodities in a free market, but we do, nevertheless continue to discuss the matter with the Ministry of Economics, which continues to engage responsively. The policy in UAE is not to subsidise food, as if they do that, food importing sharks will increase the price. The Government is certainly taking the forthcoming situation seriously.

Dr Juma Bilal Fairouz, Chairperson, UAE Consumer Protection Society