Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 July 2019

If we do not know the past, we are doomed to repeat it

Our readers have their say on Trump, earthquakes and gender equality

US President Donald Trump waving from the White House lawn. Alex Edelman / AFP
US President Donald Trump waving from the White House lawn. Alex Edelman / AFP

Last week, while reading from a teleprompter, US President Donald Trump stated that the Continental Army “took over the airports” from the British Army during the American Revolutionary War. This statement will keep cartoonists and comedians busy for a long while. But this is not just a matter of fake news, or one of Mr Trump’s 10,000 “false or misleading” claims that the Washington Post has counted. The real issue is the number of people who will not know the difference, since although people claim great pride in their history, they often know very little of it.

As a science teacher, I had an activity where I gave students a jumbled list of inventions and dates and swiftly found that few students had any idea of the progression of human discoveries. History teachers should not just be explaining previous revolutions, but starting their own, to properly teach children about the past. For the reason, look to Edmund Burke, who said: “Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.”

The next challenge for history is to properly celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and convince the doubters that it did actually happen. Don’t worry about planting the American flag on Mars, Mr President, when there is so much to be done to protect this planet and its fragile environment as well as the people on it.

Let’s learn about the past and tell the truth as well. It shouldn’t be that hard to do.

Dennis Fitzgerald, Melbourne

Women deserve better education and opportunities

I write to you in reference to Ramola Talwar Badam’s article Indian maids lured to UAE by recruitment gang tell of abuse and ‘inhumane hours’ (July 6). These gangs of unscrupulous recruiters are a menace to vulnerable women all over the world, not just in India. Had these women been given access to education, they could have pursued good opportunities in their country. This is so sad.

Aziza Al Busaidy, Dubai

The citizens of California can do little about earthquakes

I write in reference to your online article California earthquake: officials say months of aftershocks could follow (July 7). California is in a tectonic danger zone and is sitting on a rocking chair. Under such circumstances, its citizens can almost do virtually nothing but wait and watch. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again.

Nazim Hasan Khan, India

Updated: July 8, 2019 07:13 PM

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