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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Kofi Annan, an angel of peace, led the UN with sober dignity

Our readers have their say on Kofi Annan, school holidays, Kerala, Bahrain and AI

Ghana's national flags fly at half-mast in honour of the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Francis Kokoroko / Reuters
Ghana's national flags fly at half-mast in honour of the late Kofi Annan, former United Nations secretary general and Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Francis Kokoroko / Reuters

Thanks for the beautiful article by Saeed Saeed From dance-hall to Sesame Street: Kofi Annan’s pop culture moments (August 19). The piece introduced us to the multi-faceted personality of the wise and sagacious Kofi Annan, who led the United Nations with sober dignity and aplomb. He believed in quiet diplomacy, infinite patience and the virtues of silence in the midst of conflict. He was truly an angel of peace and his heart and soul were in the mission of the United Nations.

Rajendra Aneja, Dubai

School holidays should be based on weather patterns

I write in reference to Justin Thomas’s opinion piece Why pupils might benefit from swapping the long summer holidays for a winter break instead (August 20): I think this should vary by country. Wherever winters are harsh, holidays should be in the winter. And when summers are harsh, they should fall during the summer. That would ensure concentration levels do not dip due to tough weather.

Asif Malik, Pakistan

Thanks to the UAE for its generous help to Kerala

I write in reference to your ongoing coverage of the devastating floods in Kerala: the UAE government deserves great praise for the generous help it has given to Kerala. Naturally, such appreciation from the public eventually subsides. God blesses those who do good work without self-interest. Many thanks to the UAE.

Jagdip Vaishnav, Mumbai

Bahrain ban is a rebuke of Qatar’s rulers, not its people

With reference to your article Bahrain stops issuing visas for Qatari nationals (August 22), The National’s article was good to read. The recent ban on visas for Qatari nationals imposed by Manama, which excludes existing students, is a good development for the Middle East. Bahrain’s decision reflects the hostile behaviour of Qatar and is therefore a rebuke of the Qatari goernment, not its people.Doha’s recent attitudes and its failure to follow accepted international norms are the primary reasons for Bahrain taking this action.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

The UAE is on to a winner with artificial intelligence

I have been reading with keen interest your articles on the UAE’s investment in artificial intelligence. I really do think that, with this particular strategy, they might have picked a winner. Clearly the massive investment the UAE has already made in universities has paid off, since many Emiratis are managers and control large workforces.

If you now add to this the advantages of AI, you could well replace the need to draw intelligence from other nations while still allowing your wonderful fleet of managers to sit back and relax or focus on growth, while a computer does the hard graft. I look forward to seeing your nation thrive when the demand for oil runs out.

Glen Carruthers, California

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