x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Praise and prayers for Malala

A teacher at the Sorbonne Abu Dhabi says she is inspired by her female students. Other topics: seat belts, Canada's immigration rules and Lance Armstrong.

As Pakistanis pray for Malala Yousufzai, a UAE teacher expresses pride in her female students. Shakil Adil / AP
As Pakistanis pray for Malala Yousufzai, a UAE teacher expresses pride in her female students. Shakil Adil / AP

Safety belts are essential in the front and back

It should be mandatory for every person riding in a vehicle to be secured with seat belts and appropriate car seats (Danger of not wearing seat belts, October 12).

You wouldn't put your best china on the back seat of a car and not expect it to get broken in an accident. Why should passengers in the back seat be unsecured?

As it is in many other countries, it should be the law here for everybody in a car to wear a seat belt. When will people learn?

A Williams, Dubai

If taxis are going to be recalled to fix the window problem (Toyota recalls 65,000 cars over fire hazard, October 11), perhaps the authorities should take the opportunity to insist that all the seat belts are in working order before the vehicle is returned to the driver.

Michael Jones, Abu Dhabi

Immigration rules need tightening

As a Canadian, I'm tired of people taking our citizenship because it's "convenient" (Thousands fear losing Canadian residency, October 9).

Three years of residency is not enough; five-plus years should be required - along with random interviews during that period.

Applicants should be required to show they are positive contributors to society (have a steady job, no criminal activities, and so on), and that they genuinely know about the country and its culture.

M Christopher, Canada

Educated women are an inspiration

It was after I arrived home from the Sorbonne Abu Dhabi, where I have the honour and the pleasure to teach, that I heard the terrifying news reported in Dubai prepares for Taliban victim, 14 (October 11).

Malala Yousufzai's aggressors claim that she is leading a campaign against Islam, and should be punished for that.

I thought of my female students in Abu Dhabi, who are intelligent women, committed, curious and ready to debate on any subject.

I thought about the fantastic effort they make to learn a new language, French, in order to be able to think and work in that language. I remembered the pride my students and their families felt last year during their graduation ceremony.

I thought of our conversations after class, in which they helped me understand a culture that is not mine, and what their faith meant to them.

How can these men claim to be part of this religion in order to try to kill a young girl who is fighting for education?

Catherine Herbert, Abu Dhabi

EU should ensure Israel keeps peace

Now that the EU has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize (Peace prize for EU ignites a war of words, October 13), it is the opportune time to set an example to the world.

It can do this by it stopping bilateral trade with Israel until such time as the Netanyahu government repatriates all illegal settlers back to Israel and undertakes to stop all settlement activity that is a violation of international law.

The EU needs to set an example that criminal activity will not be encouraged. That is the only way to remove this threat to world peace that is rapidly escalating.

Douglas Reed, UK

Don't expect to be pampered

Thanks for the coverage on how the three Gulf airlines have been initiated into the fold of the "old-boy network" of Qantas, KLM-Air France and the One World alliance (Gulf trio have arrived in the world of aviation, October 11).

Just thought I should add a word of caution: don't be too optimistic about Qatar Airways.

This is especially the case when you talk about "shaving an olive off the salad".

Have you tried missing one of their flights? How about contacting their customer service department?

Pampering is an alien word under these circumstances.

Nnamdi Madichie, Sharjah

Armstrong gives fuel for thought

So, Lance Armstrong has been conclusively found to have cheated his way to seven consecutive Tour de France championship titles by indulging in a highly sophisticated doping programme (Damning indictment of a fallen cycling idol, October 12).

While his reasons for doing so may never be known, the news has deeply disappointed millions of people across the globe who held him as a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for the way he fought and beat the advanced stages of testicular cancer.

After Tiger Woods, another big-time, real-life superhero has been found to be wanting.

In regard to Armstrong, it was not about the bike, it was about the adulterated fuel that helped that bike win. Amitabh Saxena, Dubai