x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Ramadan is a time for giving thanks

A reader praises Sheikh Zayed's efforts in building the UAE. Other topics: Iraq, employment and labourers' welfare.

Sheikh Khalifa said that establishing 2018 as the Year of Zayed reflected the unique standing that the late leader held in the hearts of every Emirati.
Sheikh Khalifa said that establishing 2018 as the Year of Zayed reflected the unique standing that the late leader held in the hearts of every Emirati.

Letters to the Editor

As I approach another Ramadan in the UAE, I am filled with thanks for the people, the different cultures and the abiding peace, all of which are nurtured and protected by the country’s leaders.

The UAE is truly exceptional in its economic growth and advancement of health care and education.

The UAE we see today and the one emerging into tomorrow started in the oasis city of Al Ain. The late Sheikh Zayed, along with his brothers, began to see a vision of opportunity for his people. He was an exceptional leader.

When oil began to flow, Sheikh Zayed envisioned cities in the desert with water, green spaces, electricity, roads, houses and places of worship for all people. He understood the importance of caring for the physical and spiritual needs of his people and bringing in those individuals who were needed to make his vision become reality.

His vision has been entrusted to Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. Together, they have embraced, advanced and enlarged that great vision.

May Ramadan be a time of remembering the spiritual and physical needs of every person. May it also be a time for each of us to thank a loving God for the goodness in our daily lives.

David Printy, president emeritus, Oasis Hospital, Al Ain

Maliki’s policies paved the way for ISIL insurgency

Another human catastrophe is ­unfolding in Iraq (Claims of mass killings by Iraq militants, June 16).

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has taken control of a large swath of the northern Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis are leaving their homes for safer places.

A ­major confrontation between the government forces and ISIL is looming, because the latter has threatened to advance on ­Baghdad.

A bad decision by US president George W Bush to invade Iraq in 2003 on false grounds destroyed the country and its institutions. Then Nouri Al Maliki became the prime minister and he destroyed the plurality of the country, marginalised the Sunnis and oversaw the Shia-fication of the security forces.

Mr Al Maliki’s policy of Shia dominance and repression of Sunnis paved the way for the re-emergence of Al Qaeda.

The situation is explosive and more complicated than ever. The US cannot abdicate its responsibility to fix the problems in the region. But whatever is done now should be done responsibly, and any future solution of Iraq should be found on the basis of inclusiveness and plurality.

No one should be left marginalised or disenfranchised.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

Backpacker fits employer’s bill

I have something to say about the article in the Money section, Feather your own nest be­fore tak­ing flight (June 13).

In the article it was stated that the exceptional man who left his comfortable life to go on a backpacking spree for four years had committed “career suicide”.

Being a manager at a company in the Netherlands, I have had to hire quite a lot of people – and, in my experience, it is exactly this type of person who fits the bill if one is looking for creative, out-of-the-box-thinking employees. These are the people I need for corporate trajectories that require change and innovation.

I have learnt that people who have done something extra­ordinary with their lives more often than not prove to be the ­exceptional employees we are looking for.

H Theunissen, The Netherlands

Muslims in Sri Lanka attacked

I want to highlight the violence against Muslims in Sri Lanka this week.

More than 10 houses, seven shops and several vehicles were burnt. Several mosques were targeted and Muslims were dragged out of buses and attacked.

There have been more than 250 incidents of violence against Muslims in the recent past, and many people have sought ­shelter in schools.

Name withheld by request

Workers’ health must be priority

I am writing about Not all UAE workers ­benefit from midday break (June 15).

It is important for every person who works outdoors in the scorching heat to be allowed to rest during the afternoon, regardless of everything else.

It is sad that they have just two-and-a-half hours in which to have their lunch and rest. It makes it worse that some labourers are not even allowed to take this break. Fatima Suhail, Sharjah