x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Photographer's view of history

A reader praises the work of Indian photographer Homai Vyarawalla. Other letters comment on a missing ship captain, amnesty in Yemen, Croatia, Abu Dhabi airport and the ICC.

A reader praises the life and work of Homai Vyarawalla, India's first female photojournalist, who died this month at the age of 98. (Sam Panthaky / AFP)
A reader praises the life and work of Homai Vyarawalla, India's first female photojournalist, who died this month at the age of 98. (Sam Panthaky / AFP)

Your story Captain missing after storm sinks ship (January 24) really got me thinking.

We don't know what really happened when that little ship sank off Sharjah, but we know the crewmen survived and the captain is presumed dead. Heroism? Bad luck? Something else?

But what a contrast with the recent story of the Costa Concordia, where the captain wasted no time saving himself and the bodies are still being recovered.

Javed Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

Good riddance to Yemeni dictator

The editorial Yemen is a partial success at best (January 24) reflects the classic problem: how do you get rid of a dictator?

Giving amnesty to someone like Ali Abdullah Saleh, to say nothing of his cronies and relatives, sticks in the throat of anyone who wants justice. However, if amnesty will get the country out of his clutches, then it is a small price to pay.

There's a Chinese proverb: "For a fleeing enemy, make a golden bridge."

Ted Henderson, Abu Dhabi

Airport expansion urgently needed

Of all those spending plans announced this week (Abu Dhabi approves raft of new projects, January 24), I think the most pressing is the new airport terminal.

The queues to embark seem to be getting steadily worse.

Karen Quinn, Abu Dhabi

Old photos bring the past to life

The display of photos taken by Homai Vyarawalla (First lady of the lens, January 24) was really wonderful. My husband and I spent a long time with those photos of the famous.

We also enjoy the weekly local historical photo in the Review section of the paper.

Could The National find a way to publish historical photos more often? These pictures are a great way to stay in touch with the past.

Willa Dilthey, Abu Dhabi

Athletes must respect officials

Sport is a metaphor for society, except that in sport it is easier to make sure people obey the law. So when an athlete blatantly insults a referee, he must be punished.

So I was glad you published The footballer who went head to head with the ref (January 24) on page one. Luis Jiminez, and other athletes, need to know they can't get away with assaulting a referee.

Whitney Caulins, Dubai

Croatia votes to enter the EU

EU membership will not automatically lead Croatia to prosperity (Croat vote on EU membership could be close, January 23).

But the voters there seem to have pronounced themselves in favour of joining the EU, by a margin of about two to one, which is a larger majority than experts were expecting. So we can presume that accession will proceed.

If they are to enter the EU, the country's people - Croats and Serbs - will have to to share certain EU fundamental values like democracy and human rights.

Croats seem to hope that inside the EU their country will have stronger influence in the Balkan region and in the world, without losing its tradition and national identity.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Families are key to urban progress

I enjoyed reading Rym Ghazal's article Far from our families' homes, we still yearn for one of our own (January 19).

The UAE is a country of opportunity for expatriates, notably those from its Arab neighbours, who come here seeking security and a sense of belonging. A home.

It is all about families. Families are the glue that hold great urban centres together. They provide stability, and generate employment. A society which finds ways to make families welcome will reap the benefits.

David Whitting, Dubai

Let Libyans decide about justice

How amazing to read that the International Criminal Court thinks it should decide what the Libyan people do about Saif Al Islam (Court denies allowing Libya to try Qaddafi son, January 24.)

The arrogance of those people is breathtaking. What kind of new-colonial mindset makes these people think they're better than the Libyans? Legal bureaucrats far away are not better qualified to dispense justice than the people who suffered under the Qaddafi clan.

Leaving a "suspect" in a comfortable European cell while many lawyers run up fat fees is not justice. Not even close.

Wallace Corley, US