x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Get your facts right on Eid delicacies

A reader says many Eid dishes that are popular in the UAE and in other parts of the Middle East have their roots elsewhere. Other letter topics include: products, Syrian war, Emiratisation

Dubai, August 1, 2013 - A diner scoops lamb ouzi, a traditional Ramadan dish available at an iftar buffet spread at Chef's House in Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City, August 1, 2013. (Photo by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: N/A) *** Local Caption *** SDEA020813-ramadan_oldnew04.JPG
Dubai, August 1, 2013 - A diner scoops lamb ouzi, a traditional Ramadan dish available at an iftar buffet spread at Chef's House in Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Media City, August 1, 2013. (Photo by: Sarah Dea/The National, Story by: N/A) *** Local Caption *** SDEA020813-ramadan_oldnew04.JPG

We must know how to tackle road emergencies

The news article Two die in Eid accident after driver falls asleep at wheel in Sharjah (August 12) states: "This month, in the final week of Ramadan, five people including a baby were killed in a crash on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. The accident happened after a burst tyre forced a car to stop in the middle of the road and another vehicle smashed into it."

For the benefit of the readers, it is important to note that a burst (or flat) tyre does not force one to stop where one is, especially if one is in the middle of the road.

It is possible to continue to drive on a burst or flat tyre and to move the vehicle to a safe location.

Regrettably, it seems that this accident was largely caused by a lack of knowledge about what to do when you have tyre problems. In 55 years of driving and after numerous punctures and blow-outs I have never once found it necessary to stop in the middle of the motorway and have always been able to easily move my car to a safe location to fix a problem.

David Pryce, Dubai

Concrete action needed on Syria

There is no end in sight to the suffering caused by the two-year old Syrian conflict (Even if Assad loses, Iran gains from its support of Shia militias August 12).

It is distressing to see that religious fundamentalism is steadily taking shape in the region. The Iranian involvement in Syria is a good example.

Such interferences in the sovereignty of other countries will only lead to an escalation of tension in the region.

The Syrian war has inflicted huge casualties, both in terms of life and culture. Responsible governments cannot overlook all this.

It is unfortunate that there has been no evidence of any collective effort to address the Syrian issue.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Emiratisation plan has complexities

I am commenting on the news article Gulf nations 'being let down' by private sector firms (August 11).

While money may be an issue for the private sector for not providing sufficient employment for nationals, it is not the main factor. Public holidays in the private sector are much shorter than those in the government sector. There is also the issue of longer working hours, and in some cases, work weeks. In order to attract employees, you have to motivate them and work on retaining them as well.

Unlike in the UAE, people work longer hours in many other countries. That doesn't mean that professionals in the UAE are less productive or lazy. It's just how things are.

A lot of importance is attached to social and family commitments. Likewise, a proper work-life balance is one of the major considerations here. Longer hours don't necessarily translate into higher productivity.

Another matter people seem to overlook is the limited pool of qualified Emiratis within the workforce.

The seven emirates are competing for a small number of skilled and professional workers. The more the demand for professional skills for a position, the lesser the number of available candidates.

Since many organisations look to increase their Emiratisation levels, a rise in one sector could mean a drop in another. This is a much more complex matter than is being presented, and needs a serious review and overhaul of a lot of the current policies and business practices.

Ahmed Al Hashemi, Abu Dhabi

Know the facts on popular delicacies

I would like to clarify some points in the article A taste of traditions: Emirati Eid Al Fitr menu (August 6).

Ouzi, an Eid delicacy that is popular in the UAE, did not originate in this country.

Similarly, to call luqaimat or kaimat Emirati dishes is misleading. Even the so-called chai karak and balaleet are not Emirati dishes, but were brought in the region by Indians. Now they are popular all over the Gulf.

Papa roti, originally called pa roti, are sweet bread rolls which we used to get in Bahrain and Oman long ago in souq and bakeries.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai