x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Mosques need not all look the same

A reader says there is no reason not to use traditional Chinese architecture for mosques in China. Other letter topics: recycling, sand cats, drag racing and over-the-counter medicines.

A reader approves of mosques of non-Arabic design, such as this one in Beijing. Daniel Bardsley/The National
A reader approves of mosques of non-Arabic design, such as this one in Beijing. Daniel Bardsley/The National

I write in reference to Ramadan recycling no waste of time or of money (July 19).

Growing up in Canada when efforts like recycling and multiculturalism were introduced, it was we, the children, who learnt in school about these things and educated our parents and families.

There is certainly a role for public education and awareness campaigns, along with fines for littering and programmes to give people incentives to recycle, but to become an eco-friendly society requires a broader social engineering programme that starts with young people in schools.

The distribution of recycling bins to homes and free pickup would also make it easier for people to recycle.

I am lucky to live in a community that offers home pickup for recycled paper, plastic and metal, and, while the cost is reflected in our service fees, it undoubtedly offers the best return for our money.

Élan Fabbri, Dubai

Non-residents are pushing up peso

Regarding Filipino expats feed building boom (July 8), the rise in the peso is because of an influx of $40 billion from non-residents to short-term government bonds, not on account of the property boom.

The Bangko Sentral in Manila is aware of this, and has stopped accepting non-resident funds because it might lead to currency speculation.

J Hammer, Abu Dhabi

Sand cats are cute, but they are wild

Congratulations on Zoo's fight to save rare sand cats (July 21).

While these felines certainly do look very much like their domestic cousins, I do hope people heed the advice given in the story by the Al Ain Wildlife Park and Resort supervisor, Rashad Al Qamzi: "They are not pets and none of the wild cats should ever be kept as pets. They always end up ill, mishandled or even abused due to ignorance."

They are wild animals; please adore and protect them from afar but let them roam free.

Margaret Smith, Dubai

Mosques need not all look the same

Regarding China's shift to 'authentic' mosques (July 18), there is nothing that states mosque should look Arabian.

Throughout history, mosque design has reflected local culture and its artistic values.

Islam is not separate but is part of Chinese history dating back many centuries.

It is good to have one or two Chinese Arabic-style mosques but as a whole it should not be seen as a must or the way forward.

Joe Burns, Abu Dhabi

Drag racing will end in a tragedy

In Satisfying the need for speed (July 20), one of the illegal drag racers says he will be careful.

A car is a machine and when, not if, you lose control of it speeding at those limits, there is no way you can ensure "carefulness" for yourself and bystanders.

Andrea Tee, Abu Dhabi

I was shocked that one of the men engaged in drag racing claims to be an off-duty police officer.

Surely participating in this activity would, at the very least, disqualify him from being in the police force. Ian Dunn, Abu Dhabi


Boat was a matter for UAE authorities

I am writing about the US Navy's shooting at an Emirati boat, which killed one man (US pact means charges unlikely,July 19).

The Americans should have alerted the UAE coastguard if the fishing boat was in UAE waters, and told them if they believed it was not friendly. Mohammad Fuad Mustafa, Abu Dhabi


Many people like America, not for what it does to them, but for what it doesn't.

U Ubaid, Abu Dhabi

A touching story from the heart

I was touched by Frank Kane's story An event to light up the Games when my boy carries Olympic torch (July 18).

The best stories are close to the heart and home, and this is both.

Your pride is not misplaced.

Peter Cooper, Dubai

Doctor's advice is best prescription

The headline says it all: Patients go straight to chemists, not doctors, in worrying trend (July 21).

While pharmacists are generally well trained and have a vast knowledge of medicines, it is only doctors who have the qualifications to make sure that the drugs you are taking are right for your particular medical condition.

Mary Morris, Dubai