x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Reasons to be cheerful

A British expatriate says others should stop complaining and embrace the culture of the UAE. Other letters topics: Gaza, education and Emiratisation.

A reader says National Day offers expatriates a chance to embrace UAE traditions. Silvia Razgova / The National
A reader says National Day offers expatriates a chance to embrace UAE traditions. Silvia Razgova / The National

Will nobody hold Israel to account over Palestine?

The wounds inflicted on Gaza by Israel in 2008 and the tragic deaths of 1,400 Palestinians are still fresh in our minds.

However, using the same "right to defend itself", Israel has begun to write another chapter of savagery (Palestinian death toll rises as Israel strikes continue, November 18). Forty people, including innocent children, have died in just three days of air strikes.

Why shouldn't Israel do it again? Were any lessons learnt from the last invasion? Was any Israeli leader held accountable for the crimes against humanity committed in 2008? Were any concrete steps taken to prevent any such attacks in future?

Of course not.

The Arab League offered a peace plan to Israel, recognising its right to exist, which Israel has rejected. Since then, complacency seems to have overtaken those who sympathise with the Palestinians.

It is, of course, foolishness on the part of Hamas to send missiles into Israel. Nevertheless, allowing Israel to respond with such ferocity, using deadly warplanes in response to low-intensity missiles, is definitely an act of great injustice.

This is a one-sided war, between unequal parties. But one party knows that it can get away with acts causing indescribable pain and suffering to others.

No stone should be left unturned to stop further escalation of the war and ceaseless efforts should be made to bring about a permanent solution to the problem.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

The attack on Gaza is targeting all past initiatives to bring peace to the occupied territories and elsewhere in the region.

The long-suffering Palestinian people continue to be the victims of human belligerence.

People from across the world who realise the agony of Palestinians must come forward to help bring an end to this situation, rather than watching and commenting on them remotely.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Schools should provide for all

Thank you for publishing Expatriates fear compulsory schooling bill (November 18).

I hope the government will see that this is a serious issue, and recognise that all children should be given the right to attend school and be part of a school community.

Schools should be prepared to deal with children with learning difficulties. Sadly, many are not.

Even if my son attended school, I'd be apprehensive about the support that he would actually receive. We live in a dynamic culture, I only ask that this is reflected in the schools as well.

V Magnusson, Abu Dhabi

There should be more dedication to children with special needs and alternative modes of education in a hub as progressive as the UAE.

Everyone has the right to an education, no matter what their circumstances.

R Barakat, Abu Dhabi

Expatriates must embrace the UAE

As a British expatriate who has been in the UAE for many years, I want to share a few thoughts that may be worth pondering in the lead-up to National Day. They relate to the attitudes of some of my countrymen and other foreigners.

It seems to me that a vocal few of them do very little other than complain about this country, and do nothing at all to understand and embrace its culture and traditions.

Apart from the obvious advice - that is, if they don't like it here, they are very welcome to go home - I'd like to suggest that they consider two salient points.

First, the UAE is not here for the convenience and enrichment of expatriates. It is a sovereign country whose leaders' first responsibility is to its citizens.

Second, the UAE is a society that offers many freedoms and the protection of law to Emiratis and foreigners alike.

This is a tolerant society, yet too many expatriates seem determined to test that tolerance on an almost-daily basis, as if it were a game to "get away" with breaching the social code (or even the law).

Yes, there are some anomalies and weaknesses in the bureaucracy here, but that is also true of nations that have been around much longer than 41 years.

There is very little you cannot do here that you can do in Britain or other western countries. But there is one thing you can do here, that you can't do elsewhere: and that is to soak up a unique culture.

As National Day approaches, I urge expatriates to stop whingeing, and to get on with the business of trying to understand UAE traditions and enjoy life here.

Ian Dunn, Abu Dhabi

Private sector is not welcoming

What High public sector pay hampers Emiratisation (November 8) fails to mention is that getting into the private sector is extremely difficult.

The top firms in the UAE mainly recruit staff from their own countries, and they tend to set exceptionally high entry requirements for Emiratis.

M Al Rasheed, Abu Dhabi