x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

In defence of the rhinoceros

An "armchair environmentalist" is inspired by a book review to add his voice to those wanting to save the rhino. Other letter topics: smoke-free restaurants, football, table tennis and the aftermath of flooding in the Philippines.

A reader applauds efforts to save rhinos such as this one at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda. The Washington Post
A reader applauds efforts to save rhinos such as this one at Ziwa Rhino Sanctuary, Uganda. The Washington Post

I don't understand why it is so difficult to introduce a blanket no-smoking rule in public places in Abu Dhabi (Smoking ban 'no threat to profits', August 10).

While business owners may regard it as a "hindrance", as your article says, the fact is that no cafe or restaurant owner will be disadvantaged if the law applies to all and is strictly enforced.

I hope Dr Sara Karrar and her team at the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi get all the cooperation they need in making sure our malls are smoke-free, for the enjoyment and good health of all customers.

James Peterson, Abu Dhabi

Inspired by fight to save the rhino

Thank you for the wonderful article, Defending a behemoth (August 11). It was soul-searching and cleansing even for a self-confessed armchair conservationist.

I will order Lawrence Anthony's book, The Last Rhinos: My Battle to Save One of the World's Greatest Creatures.

Mamba Sna, Dubai

Mosque burning due to ignorance

Regarding Mosque burning alarms US Muslims (August 9), a lack of education can lead to people mishandling their differences.

Uncontrolled fears can trigger unacceptable behaviours. Education is the key to living respectfully together, embracing our differences as a strength not a threat.

Vincent Aymard, Abu Dhabi

Table tennis fan on the defensive

As much as I don't like to agree with An unfulfilling treat on table (August 1), the author has a point.

To the "average" viewer - the one who knows little or nothing about the game - table tennis is a bit of a bore. For those of us who know the game, it's a different matter.

Can the average guy on the street appreciate a well-executed fifth ball attack, or a deceptive serve, or the magic that was Swedish champion Jan-Ove Waldner?

Chris Depe, US

Song rumours may be off tune

I am writing in reference to Song has agreed terms with Barca (August 11). If, as you say, Barca has agreed personal terms with Alex Song, even though he has two or three years to run on his present Arsenal contract, is this not "tapping up"?

How can any club approach another club's long-term contracted players, without first approaching the parent club?

Or are you suggesting that Arsenal allowed Barca to approach Song?

Peter Weeda, UK

I'll make a bet that Song doesn't go to Barca. There are at least two years left on his contract and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger won't sell him to Barcelona this year.

DJ Smith, Philippines

New fire response system needed

Regarding Neighbours pay tribute to family killed in fire (August 8), my condolences go out to this family, and I hope the surviving son can find peace in his heart.

My thoughts are also with the families of the housemaids from Ethiopia and Indonesia.

I believe an updated emergency services telephone system should be implemented here, similar to the one used in the US where they can pinpoint a location.

However, I'm sure the emergency services did everything they could in the circumstances.

Tricia Sutherland, Dubai

Sanctions not the right answer

In reference to Standard Chartered share price hammered (August 8), maybe other countries are tired of being told who they can do business with, especially by the US.

The damage being done through sanctions is a very sad story.

Frederick Melick, Australia

Writer's witticisms much appreciated

The enduring magic of The Phantom of the Opera (July 29) was an absolutely riveting article.

I find myself laughing out loud at Lavanya Malhotra's cheerful little witticisms, brightening my day measurably.

S Markani, Dubai

Thoughts are with victims of floods

Your story about the tragic floods in the Philippines (UAE Filipinos to aid floor victims, August 9) was sad and painful to read.

I applaud the help being given to the victims by UAE residents.

This is one of the major disasters of recent times, and I hope the Philippines can return to normality soon.

K Ragavan, India