x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Iraqis long for stability

Other letters comment on identifying wrong-doers, difficulties in finding jobs, misplaced advert and the next pandemic.

A reader says some Iraqis miss the stability of the era of Saddam, who was toppled in 2003. Philippe Demazes / AFP
A reader says some Iraqis miss the stability of the era of Saddam, who was toppled in 2003. Philippe Demazes / AFP

Peter Hellyer's article Year of protests ends with fear and new uncertainties (December 27) was very insightful and merits consideration by Nato policy makers.

It was rather naive on the part of policymakers to presume that the removal of strong rulers and dictators like Saddam Hussein, Hosni Mubarak and Muammar Qaddafi would automatically result in the victory of secular, democratic parties.

The people of a country have to be ready for democracy, in terms of both education and attitude. People in many Arab countries are still struggling for a livelihood and a home. If their dictatorial leaders had assured them of these basic needs and improved the infrastructure in their countries, they might not have had to face the wrath of their peoples.

Iraq is already falling apart after the departure of American troops. Some Iraqi friends of mine now see Saddam Hussein as a great unifier of the country.

Many Arab countries in the Middle East are not yet ready for pristine democracy.

So Nato and its allies should be prepared for the emergence of fundamentalist religious parties  in the elections and an increase in terrorism due to absence of strong governance.

Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai

Nationality was not mentioned

In the article Joyrider, 16, in a fatal hit-and-run (December 26), it mentions that the dead pedestrian was an Indian, but never said anything about the nationality of the 16-year-old boy with no licence blamed for the hit-and-run accident.

Samar Al Husseini, Abu Dhabi

High qualifications but no proper job

The article Emirati jobs target 'will fail without subsidies' made me think about the difficulty Emiratis have finding a job.

I honestly find this extremely unusual. I know people who have a reputable degree and have been trying to get a job for God knows how many months or even years.

I even have a friend who was very fortunate to find a job but is working for free. On top of that, he has to pay for rent, transportation and living expenses. He still relies on his parents.

I feel sad when I hear of all these people who have spent so much time and money earning a prestigious degree and who might be more qualified than others, but are not finding jobs.

Faisal El Hoseni, Abu Dhabi

Controversy over ad is misplaced

I refer to the article Chinese restaurant ad causes controversy (December 23). People seem to be taking the term "racism" to another level. I think taking offence at the depiction of Chinese eyes in a commercial ad is, first of all, racist in and of itself. It also diminishes the true racism in which a race is labelled and treated differently by way of discriminatory violence or by depriving them of their rights.

But people tend to misplace their fears. There is sort of an intimidation against expressing anything that could sound racist. Most people mean well and truly do not want to be offensive.

The ad is meant to be funny, just like the sketches of the Canadian stand-up comedian Russell Peters. Indeed, Mr Peters' image is far more "offensive" than the ad's content.

People should draw a line between being funny and being racist; to me, the line is thick.

Abduljabbar Saleh, Jordan

Quell the source of a pandemic

Next pandemic is 'not a matter of if' (November 11) is an excellent article. The last scene of Contagion - the Hollywood blockbuster, made by Abu Dhabi production house Imagenation - shows why the pandemic started: there are no veterinarians and no enforcement of bio-security standards.

Nobody tells the livestock yard to keep the bats out. Nobody requires a veterinary inspection before an animal is sold. Humans have more direct contact with livestock than with wildlife. As is shown in the film, pathogens often go from wildlife to livestock to humans.

Nearly all pandemic diseases come from animals. So a pandemic in humans is inevitable if we make no effort to prevent it by disease control in animals.

We don't invest in developing countries' capacity to prevent pandemics at their animal source at all. Actual spending on animal disease surveillance and control is minimal.

The measures discussed by medical experts will not prevent a pandemic. As the article notes, the efficacy of these measures may be very limited.

For instance, the lack of a vaccine for six months means a pandemic would have done great harm already. Add to that limited vaccine availability. This makes pandemic prevention by control of the disease at the animal source all the more relevant.

Ian Rybnik, Dubai