x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Emiratis do learn history

UAE university students are taught about the Bedouin past, a well-informed reader writes. Other letter topics today: India's political system, corporal punishment in schools and Iraqi oil.

History curricula in the UAE are vital to the nation's next generation, readers comment. AP Photo
History curricula in the UAE are vital to the nation's next generation, readers comment. AP Photo

History is important, but so, too, is getting facts right. (History is a closed book for most of us, new study finds, May 13).

Zayed University Abu Dhabi has an entire undergraduate programme dedicated to the history and heritage of the UAE. It is called Emirati Studies.

The students study the amazing archaeological record of the country, the history from the arrival of Islam, the coming of the British and the numerous treaties that gave the region the name of the Trucial States.

Other courses are: the legacy of Sheikh Zayed, the political history of the UAE, heritage of the Gulf, Bedouin society and socio-economic trends.

Emirati Studies students at ZU not only appreciate their history, they know it.

Jane Bristol-Rhys, Dubai

I'm afraid that this article reflects a global trend.

All over the world, school systems are scaling back history teaching to make classroom time for training in social media, gender studies and other airy generalities that amount to a feel-good message.

Where history is emphasised in schools, it is usually a chorus of grievances and half-truths aimed at supporting a government's foreign policy agenda, rather than a dispassionate balanced account buttressed by facts.

Lewis Palanz, Dubai

Democracies can lack political will

Thank you for Parliament's anniversary marked by calls for fewer disruptions (May 14).

On the one hand, India's strength is its democracy. But on the other hand, policy implementation often falls short due to lack of political will.

K Ragavan, India

Oil majors cool off on projects in Iraq

Shell seeks to cut targets in Iraq (May 14) reveals the true cost to the people of Iraq of all the power-grabbing at the top of that society.

The story mentions "export bottlenecks and a precarious security situation", a fine euphemism for the corruption, lack of an oil law and calculated sectarian violence in Nouri Al Maliki's Iraq.

As oil companies lose enthusiasm, Iraq's revenue will fall. This is a disgrace.

John Donnelly, Abu Dhabi

Use dumped gas to generate power

In your article on gas recovery at Al Qusais waste dump site (Pilot project bids to reduce fire risks, May 14), I was disappointed to read that the gas will be simply burnt.

However, the report says there are plans to use it to generate electricity.

In fact, why not use all daily waste being dumped to generate electricity?

With the stated 7,000 tonnes of waste daily, it would be possible to generate over 10MW of electricity - and greatly reduce the waste to be disposed of.

Amet Kianin, Dubai

No need to make airport purchases

Your story Abu Dhabi sets sights on UK airports (May 15) got me thinking. The ability or opportunity to say or do something does not mean you must say or do it.

Yes, Abu Dhabi has the money and influence to buy airports just about anywhere.

But, why? More money, more prestige, more publicity, more bragging rights?

Tom Pattillo, Canada

Teacher should lose her licence

A cruel teacher standing atop the body of a six-year-old made to lie on the floor (Pupil says teacher stood on him, May 7) is such a horrifying and despicable act.

And in spite of the multitude of complaints of such brutal acts from other students, this person continues even after months to teach at the same school.

Where is the justice to the boy whose body and feelings were trampled upon?

What good are the school authorities if they cannot sack one of their own staff for such behaviour?

Sacking alone doesn't solve the problem, as the teacher could continue with the same merciless behaviour in the next school.

The teaching licences of such unethical teachers should be permanently revoked.

F Baasleim, Dubai

Helping others deserves praise

I write regarding your story, Expat pays for stranded men's flights (May 14). Thank you, Rubina Umer, for carrying on such a noble cause.

In today's world where many people don't have time to care for their close ones, you are going out and helping less-fortunate souls.

May God help give you more strength to keep going.

Sajeed Ahmed, Dubai