x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Real-life Iron Man's story inspires

A reader says Robert Downey Jr's triumph over addiction is worth a movie all on its own. Other letter topics: India's political dynasty, surfing goats, volunteering and Ramadan.

A reader is inspired by Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr's real-life victory over addiction. Kevin Winter / Getty Images
A reader is inspired by Iron Man star Robert Downey Jr's real-life victory over addiction. Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Your story Rahul, the heir not so apparent (July 16) was an interesting read. Ever since Nehru was elected prime minister in 1947 - to be followed by his daughter Indira Gandhi and grandson Rajiv Gandhi - India has had dynastic politics.

Now, the fact that the government is projecting Rahul, the grandson of the late Indira Gandhi, indicates an attitude that only this family should rule.

If India is the largest democratic country in the world, democracy is a funny thing.

K Ragavan, India

No need to spread alarmist nonsense

I am writing in reference to James Zogby's commentary, A looney 'Muslim Brotherhood' plot betrays US xenophobia (July 15), about Michele Bachmann calling for an investigation into whether "operations conducted by individuals and organisations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood ... had an impact on the federal government's national security policies".

This sort of nonsense should not be allowed to flourish among our elected representatives - people who are supposed to embody the best of our qualities, not our pettiness, our fearfulness and our ignorance.

Please, everyone, tell them firmly, kindly and using clear words to stop before they destroy their own reputations as well as harming the people they're accusing.

Maya Bohnhoff, US

Ramadan a time to think of others

I wish everybody a peaceful and healthy Ramadan, and ask that they please respect the holy month by refraining from daytime eating in public and indecent dressing.

As we are aware, a lot of cooked food goes into rubbish bins all over the world every day, despite millions of people lacking food and water just for survival.

Please avoid wastage and forward excess food items, clothes and money to the poor, and keep the fasting spirit throughout the holy Ramadan days. We should also continue to do the same throughout our lives.

KP Muhammad, Abu Dhabi

Thoughts are with family of victim

Regarding Readers rally to help struck Kenya family (July 16), what a horrible way for murder victim Esther Mwikamba's life to end at such a young age as 26.

My heart and prayers go out to her family and friends.

Perhaps just as sad and disheartening is the apparently loose state of justice here in the UAE.

Let's hope someone will take notice of this and set things right.

Bassem P Fakhry, Dubai

Superstar's story is inspirational

It seems like there will be no end of superheroes to save the world in years to come (Iron Man takes on Comic-Con as Marvel announces film slate, July 16).

I saw some video footage of Robert Downey Jr's appearance at Comic-Con and I was impressed at how in control he was, and how he played the crowd after making a big entrance wearing his Iron Man glove.

Then I remembered how it wasn't so long ago that he was an "untouchable" in Hollywood because of his addiction problems.

Perhaps rather than taking inspiration from his character, the billionaire who turns himself into a superhero, we should be taking inspiration from Downey himself, who is sober and doing very well indeed.

In fact, the story of how he rehabilitated himself from addictions that started at an early age, got a second (or maybe it was third or fourth) chance, and went on to become one of the most "bankable" stars in the world, would make a great movie.

Michael Peterson, Dubai

Volunteering tips are appreciated

I was very pleased to read How to ... be a voluntary worker in the UAE (July 16).

Like many other expatriates in this city, I have some spare time on my hands, along with the desire to "give back" to this country.

It is sometimes difficult to obtain information like this. By spelling out the needs, and providing the relevant contact numbers and internet sites, you have made my job easier.

All I have to do now is get out of my chair and make a phone call. Chris Thompson, Abu Dhabi

Surfing animals get reader's goat

I knew it was officially summer when I saw a picture of two goats on a surfboard (Goats surfing, we kid you not, July 14).

I realise it's meant to be fun, but I do worry when I see animals doing human-like things, then read how much they "enjoy" it.

How do we know that - and what other choice do they have?

Margaret Smith, Dubai