x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Encourage youth to study fine arts

A reader says more youths should be encouraged to pursue careers in fine arts. Other topics include: India, Pakistan, terrorism, schools.

Activists stage a demonstration in New Delhi over the killing of the Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan. A Reader says such incidents should not overshadow the relations between the two countries. Mansi Thapliyal / Reuters
Activists stage a demonstration in New Delhi over the killing of the Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in Pakistan. A Reader says such incidents should not overshadow the relations between the two countries. Mansi Thapliyal / Reuters

I am delighted to learn about Guggenheim Abu Dhabi: Talking Art Series (Art world comes to Guggenheim, May 3). Art lovers in the UAE like me are fortunate to have this opportunity to view the works of some of the well-known contemporary artists.

But it's disappointing that not many youngsters in the UAE seem to be interested in pursuing careers in fine arts. They have limited options.

A society that depends entirely on science and technology will not experience a balanced development. Colleges and universities can introduce courses in art and encourage students to explore their talent. It's easier for the UAE to do so than many other countries in the region, as it is blessed with world-class museums and some great art galleries.

Not every individual has interest or aptitude for science.

Robert Rex, Dubai

India and Pakistan must develop ties

The death of the Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh in a Pakistani jail is a tragedy (Anger in India over prisoner death in Pakistan, May 3). He was brutally attacked by inmates 10 days ago. His death has added to tensions between the two neighbouring countries.

While the Indian authorities have lodged a strong protest with Pakistan on Sarabjit's death, a Pakistani prisoner, Sanaullah, has been critically injured after being attacked by a prison inmate in Indian Kashmir. That attacker is said to be a former Indian army soldier.

But we must understand that the eye-for-an-eye formula can only lead to more violence and security problems for prisoners in the two countries.

These incidents are affecting relations. This violence should be condemned and security of the prisoners must be ensured - for the sake of everyone involved.

Rabia Rizwan, Dubai

Sarabjit Singh might have lived longer if the Indian government made an effort to bring him back to the country. It's sad that no action was taken in spite of his family repeatedly requesting the government to try to bring him to India for treatment.

K Ragavan, India

Don't divert focus after terror attacks

I refer to the letter Bombings not in the name of Islam (May 3).

First, it's not correct to say that the word "Islam" means "peace". "Submission" would be a more accurate translation. This is a common misunderstanding.

Secondly, the American news media never called the bombers "Muslim terrorists" as was suggested in the letter.

It was rather the global news media (including Arab media) that described the men as Muslims. But that was based on the Tsarnaev brothers' religious claims. It is not the media's job to examine religious books and determine whether people are really following their faith. The Tsaernev brothers claimed to be Muslims, and that's what the media reported.

Finally, in the same week as the Boston bombing, there were more than 20 bomb attacks across the Muslim world.

Over 100 innocent people died in those attacks. Why are we worried about what the West thinks of the Boston bombing, yet remain so unconcerned when innocent people are killed right in the Muslim world?

FJ Abu Shanab, Qatar

Compel schools to perform well

The performance of Dubai's schools is extremely disappointing to say the least (Progress of Dubai private schools at a standstill, say inspectors, April 29).

In other emirates I am sure the scenario is no better. Thousands of people spend huge sums to educate their children in schools in the UAE. Expats are really helpless in this matter.

It is a responsibility of the education authorities to address this issue and penalise underperforming schools.

Many schools in the UAE are run like any other business. School owners should certainly think of profit, but not at the expense of children's futures.

When academic institutions are run by people who are more passionate about building business empires, the results are there for all to see.

In most schools, children neither learn to respect their teachers nor do they develop any sort of bond with their institution.

Many of the schools, especially some of the Asian schools, do not have adequate facilities for children. Still they are allowed to function and hike tuition fees. Why?

Is it possible that the education authorities have no knowledge about them.

Name withheld by request