Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 June 2019

Ramadan is a time for contemplation, not excess

Our readers have their say about food waste, terrorism, and the role of art in promoting peace

Food outlets are being urged to cut Ramadan food waste. Pawan Singh / The National 
Food outlets are being urged to cut Ramadan food waste. Pawan Singh / The National 

I refer to your excellent ­editorial Food wastage goes against the ­essence of Ramadan (May 20).

This week, our Friday sermon concerned the topic of food. The imam said: “We always hear people saying Ramadan brings so many blessings and we get a wonderful variety of foods to eat, from fruits to sweet delights.”

He went on to explain that actually, it was the other way around – that this is supposed to be a month of contemplation and abstinence, patience, soul-mending, introspection, meditating and speaking less

Arif Khan, India

Stop hosting such huge iftar parties – keep it simple or a la carte, so that people eat only what they need

Sammira Mohiadeen, London

I can completely understand how this happens. In my house, if we celebrate for one day, we end up with enough food left for a week.

Marisa Zanella, Dubai

The international community must overcome terrorism

I refer to your article Egypt’s spirit must remain undimmed (May 20), covering the recent roadside bomb in Giza, near the famous pyramids. This destination is visited by millions of tourists every year. The international community should come together to address the world’s terrorism issues uniformly.

K Ragavan, Bengaluru

Music can help promote tolerance and coexistence

Having read a great deal about the Eurovision Song contest, held in Tel Aviv last week, I would like to say that I would love to see people ­genuinely coming together through music. One such initiative is the West-Eastern Diwan Orchestra, which comprises Palestinian and Israeli members. Its original founders were the Palestinian academic Edward Said and the Israeli pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim.

Those who took part in this endeavour recall that at the beginning of their musical training, they felt they were sitting next to their enemy, but once they started playing, they forgot about their political differences. Playing music together allowed them to develop a team spirit, as well as promote respect and appreciation for each other’s work.

Nonetheless, Mr Barenboim said that the Diwan is “not the story of peace”. Art cannot achieve peace, only a political settlement can. The project was meant to be against ignorance and prejudice. Music may not be the best solution to end conflicts, but it can be a platform for people to find common grounds and promote tolerance.

Noura S. Al Mazrouei, Assistant Professor at Emirates Diplomatic Academy, Abu Dhabi

Updated: May 29, 2019 01:58 PM

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