Russians, like many Arab peoples, will no longer meekly accept bad governance, as recent anti-Vladimir-Putin protests show.
Is this a Russian Spring?
How interesting - and surprising - to read Russians rally across the country as anger rises (December 11). Like many others I have long assumed that Russians, with no history of democracy to speak of, just stoically accepted authoritarian rule, which Vladimir Putin has certainly imposed.
As I was reading your report this morning, I realised that many people long assumed that many Arab peoples, too, were just as accepting of bad government.
But this year has disproved that convincingly, and now Russians, too, are speaking up. It's wonderful to see.
Joseph Batros, Dubai
Not all volunteers are well-meaning
I must challenge the assumption in your headline More well-meaning celebrities head for Haiti (December 11).
If they were really well-meaning they would spend a long time in Haiti, without special treatment and without a media entourage, quietly building houses or otherwise improving life for the people of that desperate country. Plenty of ordinary people do that.
But the Kim Kardashians of this world are there for 20 minutes, never break a sweat, smile for the photographers and get back in their limousines to return to their private planes.
Let's face it, these people are exploiting Haiti's desperation.
Dieudonné Maceno, US
India is right to censor internet
I refer to India's plan for web censorship met with criticism (December 7).
Freedom of speech and expression is the most important right in a democracy. No society can really mature and flourish without this.
But many people are using the internet and social networking in the most irresponsible manner. There are vulgar, obscene, inflammatory contents including inappropriate images of religious figures.
I believe that the government of India is right in seeking to censor the most offensive and objectionable content appearing in online media. No responsible government can ignore something that has the potential to cause tensions in society.
Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi airport at full capacity
I was not surprised to read that Abu Dhabi's airport is now handling so many flyers ('Million a month' use capital airport, December 11).
At least a million people are in the same queues with me every time I use the airport.
I'll certainly be glad when the new facilities open.
Helena Rochester, Abu Dhabi
Tunisia needs new leadership group
Your comment article From petty bribes to crooked cabinets, corruption thrives (December 8) leads me to observe that corruption in Tunisia cannot be fought by old regime throwbacks.
They are too bound by the past and its decadent practices to try to build a better future for the country.
Tunisia will set the tone for the region by letting a new generation of anti-corruption activists, who are untainted by the past, lead the cause of transparency.
Name withheld by request
All must help to develop recycling
I commend The National for using recycled paper (Recycling's future is in your hands, December 11).
But we should all do more to recycle. For example, on the Palm the closest recycling bin is located in Knowledge Village.
I consider myself to be environmentally responsible, and on occasion we pack up bags of paper, plastic and tins and take them to Knowledge Village. But we would make many more deposits if a bin were placed outside our building.
I think most people would like to see their waste recycled, but the required infrastructure must be easily accessible.
In addition, I would like to see more supermarkets and retail outlets introduce biodegradable bags.
The burden should not fall solely on the government and this is a great opportunity for private enterprise to cash in by supplying bins, collecting, sorting, bundling and operating recycling plants.
Randall Mohammed, Dubai
Carbon capture not a sure thing
There are still a lot of questions to be answered before carbon capture and sequestration (Once captured, carbon needs a good scrub, December 11) can be counted on to help with global warming.
There's something counter-intuitive about pumping gas into a hole in the ground, sticking a cork in it and forgetting it.
David Otomo, Dubai