x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Film Festival is the place to be

There's lots going on at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival, a reader says happily. Other letter topics today deal with bilingual education, prolonged shopping, food prices and breast cancer.

Fans snap photos as Richard Gere arrives at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival on Friday. The festival offers both hard-to-find movies and also a lively scene, a reader says. Lee Hoagland / The National
Fans snap photos as Richard Gere arrives at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival on Friday. The festival offers both hard-to-find movies and also a lively scene, a reader says. Lee Hoagland / The National

Lots of news at film festival

I have been enjoying the notes and small news bits from the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Festival Notes, October 15).

I was able to get tickets for a lot of hard-to-find films and have been enjoying the whole busy scene.

I would be interested in hearing more of the reactions of ordinary filmgoers, as well as reviewers.

Susan Meyer, Abu Dhabi

Teach English separately from science and maths

On the subject of schooling in Arabic (Abu Dhabi parents: 'Teach our children in Arabic', October 14), it is important that we listen to the voice of the people.

I believe that English is quite important as a language. But it is not wise to listen to and follow those who cannot comprehend the importance of the Arabic language in our religion and culture.

If, as Dr Christina Gitsaki says in your article, mathematics as a subject has a very low language content, then why not teach it in Arabic?

If we start to extinguish the candle of Arabic language for our children, then the gap in Arabic resources and scholarly articles will just widen.

In my opinion the way to move forward is to stick to our mother tongue and teach English as a language only, without interrupting the other subjects.

Huthaifa Al Kendi, Dubai

I wonder why so many parents want their children to learn maths and sciences in Arabic.

After all, many Emirati students attend private schools offering English education - at a considerable cost. And fluency in the mother tongue rests with the family more than with any school.

In any case, the new school model should, in theory, provide adequate opportunity for students to work successfully in both English and Arabic. But perhaps Adec and school leaders need to rethink things. Is the system organised to benefit the students, or to placate the teachers?

The argument that Arabic language and culture are being neglected in schools is unproven. It is not fair to blame educational dissatisfaction on English.

AM Currie, Canada

Clerks deserve their extra pay

I refer to Wages set to soar for Eid 24-hour shopping (October 15).

This seems to me to be a very small price for employers to pay for these hardworking, ever-smiling shop attendants from many countries.

They deserve double pay. Whatever would the UAE do without them?

I understand that most of these clerks are supporting large families back home, so we should be generous and treat them with respect, during Eid and always.

Shamal Karim, Abu Dhabi

Thank goodness there will be 24-hour-a-day shopping in Dubai during the upcoming holiday. Why sleep when you can shop?

Really, is there no limit? We keep learning of new malls, mall expansions and now expanded hours. Where will it all end?

Lynne Carpeneto, Dubai

Breast cancer a year-round worry

The account about Peter Campbell and his family (Expat's battle to fly dying wife home, October 14) was timely.

In October, breast cancer month, people try to paint everything pink. But afterwards, concern can fade away. I know this; we will soon mark the first anniversary of the death of my wife's mother. whose breast cancer was detected late.

Women of all ages should carry out self-examination, and if any small irregularity is seen, they should come forward at once for a mammogram. Most doctors are compassionate and experienced and will do their best to help.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Some food prices are going up

Your food-price survey (Prices still cheaper than abroad, October 15) was quite interesting.

But has anyone thought that while a few items are controlled, many others are not?

This means that the prices on those items are no doubt higher here than they are abroad, and also that they are rising more rapidly here.

That's because retailers have to make up their margin somehow, and will find a way to do so.

They are in business to make money, after all.

Peter Burrell, Dubai

Marketers move in on camels

I loved the story about hair-care products for camels (What every camel wants: that fresh-from-the-salon look, October 14).

This story was nicely written and the subject was amusing. It's a little depressing that the power of marketing is now extending even to livestock grooming, but I still enjoyed the story and photos.

Karen Quinn, Abu Dhabi