x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Long wait for weight-loss contest

Do the latest round of peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians have any prospects of success, a reader asks. Other topics: a long wait to enter a wait-loss competition, Sharjah royal is a role model, and children need to avoid late nights.

A reader says trying to win gold in a weight-loss contest was an ordeal before the dieting. Duncan Chard / The National
A reader says trying to win gold in a weight-loss contest was an ordeal before the dieting. Duncan Chard / The National

Is there any value to these latest peace talks?

With the convening of direct peace-talks, the expectations of the world - and in particular the Palestinians - surge yet again, setting their hopes on how not to fail them this time round.

But in principle, does the credibility of holding peace-talks after three years of hibernation hold any real value?

Although the untiring efforts of the US Secretary of State are commendable, the current Middle East crisis prompts one to speculate on the entire process and its efficacy.

The US's unwarranted support has seen the threats to Israel diminish.

Moreover, with the Israeli economy booming, thanks in no small part to the US military and economic aid and support, the stage is set with Israel to have the clear advantage on deciding to negotiate terms with Palestine.

It remains to be seen how effectively the US can actually push Israel into discussing the two critical issues upon which hangs the outcome of the peace talks and ultimately the crisis: a curb on illegal settlements and the two-state solution with the 1967 boundaries.

Earlier talks failed essentially due to the inability of the US, who as a mediator and arbitrator was biased and supported Israel in both these issues.

Bilal Farooq, Abu Dhabi

Diet challenge is already an ordeal

My sister and I went to Zabeel park Gate 3 on Saturday to sign up for the weight loss challenge. (Cash in your spare pounds for gold in Dubai. July 17)

At 6.30pm, there was already a queue. We waited in line until 8.30pm, at which point we were informed there are power problems, then suddenly the line started moving.

Our turn came at around 9.15pm and after more than two and a half hours, we had our weight measured but our Emirates IDs were not checked, no other information was compiled and no pictures were taken.

The next day I received a call from the organisers confirming we are registered but the whole experience was much more difficult than we had hoped it would be.

Nishah Charania, Dubai

Sharjah royal is a fitness role model

Wow! I am deeply impressed with the dedication shown by Shaikha Al Qassemi and her attitude to live a healthy lifestyle during this fasting time. (Fast, pray, eat, lift: Sharjah royal shows how it's done. July 21)

Most of us would find a thousand excuses not to do any exercise.

Jill Thompson, Dubai

Children need to avoid late nights

Back in the old days, the residents of Arabia would go to bed soon after their night prayer. (UAE children need to get more sleep, doctors warn. July 20)

Unfortunately like most things, the holistic approach has been replaced with a hyper consumerist society.

The cafes are open till late at any time of the year and even later in the month of Ramadhan. Instead of people exerting themselves in prayer, many of them simply use their time to do the opposite.

There is a need to impose some sort of limitation as to how long public areas such as parks are to be kept open and even more so when young children are concerned.

If parents are unwilling to take action, then the Government has to step in with laws or rules that are enenforced.

Child welfare is not just about prevention of physical abuse but also entails prevention of bad parenting

Joe Burns, Sharjah

Everyone has a role to cut crime

To cut India's crime rate, it's not only the leaders but also the public at large who are responsible.

It only takes a small group of people to start to develop a platform to stop crimes related to corruption and they will get public support, then the authorities will be forced to listen. In the end, it's the public which has to play its role in Indian society or in any other part of the world where disparity exists. Muhammad N ul Fateh, Islamabad

Mammograms are essential over 40

With reference to Daman shakes up policy structure (July 18), with the amount of female expats why do they not cover mammograms as a part of their health coverage for females over 40?. F Joseph, Dubai