x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Pedestrian conduct

There is a shared responsibility in making roads safe, and that goes for pedestrians as well as for drivers, says a reader. Other letter topics today: cheaper rents, crisis in Syria, education failures, dangerous dogs and Israel's military threat.

Reckless drivers are often blamed for causing havoc on the roads, but a reader says pedestrians have a responsibility to be safe as well. Jaime Puebla / The National
Reckless drivers are often blamed for causing havoc on the roads, but a reader says pedestrians have a responsibility to be safe as well. Jaime Puebla / The National

Regarding your story about rules on illegally subdivided villas, I wouldn't only blame unequal salaries and high rents but a highly unbalanced real-estate environment (New rules clarify law on illegally subdivided villas, February 7).

Just about anybody who falls in the middle-class population knows that apart from labour accommodation and premium and luxury high-rises and villas, there's really nothing in the market that can accommodates their housing needs and salaries. Not only does one have to struggle to find a good affordable place to live, coming up with a year's worth of rent to pay upfront is the next biggest obstacle.

F Baasleim, Abu Dhabi

A new world divide emerging

Assad seizes chance to destroy Homs (February 7) is bad news.

With Russia and China on one side and the rest of the world on the other with respect to Syria - and with cynicism accompanying the hope that by some miracle Egypt and Libya (or Iraq and Afghanistan) will automatically turn into functioning democracies overnight - I can see the world slipping into the same nightmare that led someone to say "the lights are going out all over Europe" shortly before World War I.

One thing is certain: There will never be another because there will be nothing left to fight for.

Thomas Bleser, Abu Dhabi

Credit for inquest into education

Give credit where credit is due, and hold responsible those who gave the incorrect advice (Education minister faces grilling, February 8).

Unless all the advice came from the website, it is important to see the rationale for the change to three school-terms from two. Also, the reporting methodology is questionable. Where was the input from school teachers and administrators from the very beginning? What was their ongoing involvement? Was there even a problem? Change for the sake of change is wrong when you are working with the lives of children, their parents and their teachers. And survey results must be from for an outside source.

Tom Pattillo, Abu Dhabi

Inspections must be unannounced

In reference to Teachers take aim at 'laborious' school inspections (February 1), I firmly believe that inspections and teacher observations should be unannounced.

Inspectors and observers want to know what's really happening in the classroom. They don't want a show put on for their own benefit. This may sound scary to those being evaluated, but it makes more sense and is, in the end, more fair.

Rachel Lange, Abu Dhabi

Jay-walkers are the ones at fault

Crossing a highway is illegal (Two Al Ittihad Road jaywalkers hit by car traveling at more than 100kph, February 7).

The women should be charged with endangering the life of motorists and they should be heavily fined for their reckless actions which put their lives and the lives of others in danger.

Ziad Q, Dubai

Owner to blame for dog's actions

This is definitely not the pit bull's fault (Safety test for pet show's killer dog, February 6) .

The responsibility should fall on the owner, organisers and municipality inspectors. Pit bulls are known the world over for their aggression towards other dogs. Had the pit bull been muzzled, the poodle would have survived and we wouldn't be reading about this.

I think the pit bull should be taken away from it's owner and given to a more experienced and responsible person. Don't put it to sleep.

Essam Adnan, Dubai

Israel's nuclear arsenal is a worry

Every legislator of every democratic country should support the movement to make the Middle East a Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, and that specifically applies to both Israel and Iran.

Instead, we continue to allow our governments to enter into defence contracts with Israeli military agencies: sensitive contracts that are essential to our national security thereby allowing our electorates to be exposed to the extreme political agenda of Israel's governing Likud party. That agenda includes the denial of any Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza or East Jerusalem by through illegal settlement of Israelis.

Israel is now alleged to have secretly built an undeclared nuclear weapons arsenal that exceeds the size of that of the UK.

In future years we will look back in amazement at the naivety and credulity of our governments, particularly in Britain and the EU.

Douglas Reed, UK