x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Helping Europeans see this region

A reader's memory, prodded by ourstory about Wilfred Thesiger, brings forth a thought-provoking TE Lawrence quote. Other letter topics: Algeria's views on Libya, "broken Britain" and e-books.

The British army officer TE Lawrence (
The British army officer TE Lawrence ("of Arabia") wrote that his adventures in the Arab world were a cure to his western sensibilities. One reader calls on modern day explorers to look at the region with the same awe. (AP Photo)

I refer to the story Attacks kill more than 60; Iraqis' confidence shaken (August 16).

As I understand it, Nouri Al Maliki lost the last election. Eight months later he was allowed to stay as prime minister as long as his key ministers were selected from the other, winning, party.

His refusal to select a minister of defence or of the interior, keeping these positions for himself, breaks the terms of his remaining as prime minster. Those who brokered the deal should enforce the terms, or void the deal.

No wonder Iraq is not settling down to a peaceful post-Saddam life.

Liz Carter, UK

No premium prices for e-books

Your story Jashanmal launches e-book reader with a difference (August 17) makes me wonder if this company is trying to lose money.

For a product that has a zero cost for distribution, there's a 15 per cent premium? If there is anything that publishers in North America and Europe have learnt about e-books it is that pricing an e-book the same as a paper book almost guarantees few or no sales.

I like Jashanmal's concept, but the pricing structure is off base. If prices were set at a significant discount to the paper book (25 or 50 per cent), then I could see people loading up on titles.

But paying a premium for a book you can't even give to charity is no deal at all.

James O'Hearn, Dubai

Algerian support for Libya is clear

This is a response by the The Embassy of Algeria in the United Arab Emirates to the article Algerian regime shows itself to be a true friend to Qaddafi (July 3).

It seemed necessary to the Embassy to highlight clarifications in order to dissipate any misunderstanding about Algeria's position towards the Libyan crisis.

Algeria has always been firmly behind UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 and supports the African Union road map, a document that is a clear option for peace and which preserves the Libyan people's sovereignty. During the 17th African summit in Malabo in July, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika reiterated the support of this Algerian position.

Algeria has never ended its calls for a negotiated solution between all concerned Libyan parties and has expressed its support for an end of the hostilities and the opening of a national dialogue.

The Algerian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has repeatedly and vigorously denounced the insidious allegations concerning the involvement of our country in any sending or transporting of mercenaries to Libya and has denied, on July 23, reports of a weapons shipment from the Djendjen Port to Libya.

As for the untrue assertion that Algeria has sent fighters from the PoilsarioFront to Libya, it will be useful to refer to the Sahrawi Ministry of Information declaration in February, denying this false information.

Fully aware of the human tragedy that is occurring in Libya, Algeria has been at the forefront of international and regional humanitarian assistance to the displaced persons.

Algeria has and is still providing all necessary assistance by receiving, lodging, feeding and treating people who continue to flow in large numbers towards its boarders.

Finally, let us underline that Algeria will back any cease-fire initiative based on negotiations between all Libyans and through the AU, the UN and the Arab League.

Mostefa Zeghlache, Minister Plenipotentiary, Algerian Embassy, UAE

Seeing the world from the East

The article The last of the great explorers (August 16) reminds me of what TE Lawrence wrote in his book Seven Pillars of Wisdom: (Spending time in the Arab world) "... quitted me of my English self and let me look at the West and its conventions with new eyes: They destroyed it all for me."

Angelika Lancsak, Austria

Discounting fines is wrong message

In reference to the story Traffic fines reduced 30 per cent for three months (August 17) does the concept of "discount for traffic fines" bother anyone besides me? It sends the wrong message. Fines should be doubled ... not "discounted".

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

The joy of family gatherings for iftar

The first person account Ramadan: A lesson in humility best enjoyed with family (August 15) was very well-written. I liked the way it summed up the essence of Ramadan: "Routine tasks that take up most of our daily activities are put aside ... all of us gather at the dining-table." That's what I love the most about Ramadan.

Mehr Kahn, Abu Dhabi