x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Readers comment on the closure of bookstores

Letters to the editor consider the "war on terror", planned utility cuts and the volume of a mosque's call to prayer.

Readers are disappointed by the closure of familiar bookshops like MacGrudy's. Sammy Dallal / The National
Readers are disappointed by the closure of familiar bookshops like MacGrudy's. Sammy Dallal / The National

The whole of America erupted in celebrations as soon as the news of Osama bin Laden's death broke and it was indeed a matter of great satisfaction for all the peace-loving people of the world.

But the Muslim world did not feel as euphoric as Americans did. How could one be happy after having watched the most violent response by Americans in the wake of the 9/11 attacks? America under the former president George W Bush acted in the most violent and arrogant way and went on to destroy two countries on the pretext of fighting terrorism and "making the world a safer place to live in".

How could one celebrate bin Laden's death when it came only after uncounted human lives were lost in the the pursuit of the world's most dangerous terrorist?

Now after his death, the wise men are advising the US and others to continue the "war on terror". Undoubtedly, it would be in the best of interests of the world to do this.

But now the war on terror should include war on the use of unilateral, disproportionate force against civilians. More and more emphasis should be put on the peaceful way of resolving problems. The world needs to usher in a new civilisation where violence is considered illegal, immoral and inhumane whether resorted to by state or non-state actors.

Muneer Ahmed, Abu Dhabi

Uncertain future for bookshops

The article The bookshop is dead? Read on ... (May 8) reported that small local bookshops are under pressure from big international chains. While I enjoyed reading Preeti Kannan's article and acknowledge the points she raised, particularly the issue about competition being good, she surely failed to make her readers aware of the flip side of competition in this instance - how the weak are weeded out and fall by the wayside.

The weak in this sense are bookshops like Magrudy's and Jashanmal which have certainly felt the pinch from a big outfit like Kinokuniya. The former two bookstores over the last decade have offered an increasingly diluted - in genre and number - product that has largely failed to catch the customer's eye.

Conversely, Kinokuniya offers a wide range of product in a huge setting that allows many lavishly stocked subsections. It's no surprise that I, and others that I know, who used to patronise Magrudy's and Jashanmal have left them for greener pastures.

At the end of the day, the decision to close bookstores rests on the inability to compete and sell product.

Graham Wride, Abu Dhabi

This article was sad to read. The name Magrudy is famous in the UAE for readers longing for good books. Unfortunately, because of exorbitant rents, they had to close three of their outlets.

The government should give some consideration about the rent for certain establishments like bookshops.

The UAE is always highlighting the importance of education. Bookshops come under the area of education where people can enrich their knowledge.

K Ragavan, India

Not the best time for power cuts

I refer to the article Abu Dhabi residents warned of power cuts as system is updated (May 5). Why has the Abu Dhabi Distribution Company (ADDC) chosen the hottest time of the year to do this? Why not in winter? And up to eight hours at a time?

So what does this mean, that we should go hang out in malls all day while they fix possible problems?

Chris M, Abu Dhabi

If the ADDC has been working on this for the past two years, how come they decided to implement these power cuts now when the outside temperature easily reaches 45 degrees, if not higher?

EM, Abu Dhabi

All that is required is respect

I refer to the article Fresh check on volume of mosque's prayer call (May 8) which reported that some residents of the Meadows area of Dubai had complained that a nearby mosque's prayer call was too loud.

These complaining residents should definitely respect the UAE's way of life. Living here helps you escape the taxes, terrorism, crime and poverty of your countries.

All the UAE asks in return is your respect for its traditions, laws and religion.

Maam A, Dubai

Build leadership with Lego bricks

The article Workshop builds leaders with Lego (May 3) described how students took part in a Lego Serious Play leadership workshop. This is a great idea, and I shall see that it is introduced at my college. Many of our students would enjoy the chance to experiment with Lego bricks and build their own country's future at the same time.

Steven Wade, Abu Dhabi