x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Sadness and anger at another child's death

Letter writers discuss child safety, education in private and public schools, Al Qaeda's child terrorist army, and misogyny.

A reader comments that TV series like Battlestar Galactica work best on the small screen. Rex Features
A reader comments that TV series like Battlestar Galactica work best on the small screen. Rex Features

There is not a window system that cannot be made child safe, by fitting a screw on the opening latch (Landlords told: make homes safe for children, December 7).

In fact, some systems come with this feature already fitted. Is a child's life not worth this little feature?

A Kianin, Dubai

In regard to the story Parents' fear as another toddler falls to his death (December 6), it is amazing that after repeated heartbreaking tragedies involving little ones, building owners and parents in particular have not yet come to terms with the fact that they have to do much more to ensure the safety of their children.

Such blatant negligence is beyond comprehension. It does not take rocket science to fit child-proof locks to balcony doors and windows as a minimum safety measure.

Name withheld by request

Public schools deserve credit

The recent coverage and editorials concerning public and private schools in the UAE (Public schools are failing their pupils, December 7) seemed a bit one-sided, praising private schools and denigrating public ones.

You wrote "obtaining the best education money can buy is every parent's wish" - is it? Surely every parent's wish is for the best education, irrespective of how much it costs. The assumption seems to be that only private-school parents care about their children's education because they pay for it. If your reporters had dug a little deeper, they would know that not all public schools are free.

They would also know that the UAE government model schools, where a minimum 80 per cent grade average is necessary to secure enrolment, are among the best in the country.

I have a publicly educated daughter at Zayed University who regularly has to help her privately educated classmates with their Arabic assignments.

Parents need to think very carefully about what it is they are getting for their money. And no, my daughter did not need foundation courses.

S Al Marri, Dubai

Al Qaeda's child terrorist army

Your front page story Iraq's Al Qaeda army of orphans (December 7) was totally eye opening.

Nothing is more shocking than the presence of young and vulnerable orphans who are sold abroad as beggars, prostitutes and terrorists, whether in war-torn Iraq or any place on earth.

All orphans deserve to be well-fed, clothed and educated by the government institutions or by charity organisations.

Having heard the term "birds of paradise" for the first time on the island of New Guinea during a tourism trip, I was shocked to learn that this term is also used by the terror group Al Qaeda to define its suicide-bomber boys between the ages of 10 and 16.

Gabriela Lombardi, Abu Dhabi

An example of leadership

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid's interview with CNN's Erin Burnette (What can Iran do with a bomb, says Vice President, December 7) showed courage to answer questions on the international arena. I admire his handling of the questions and it is rare to see an Arab leader to expose himself to such scrutiny.

Kanwar Hayat, Dubai

Misogyny not for modern times

This is in regard to Misogyny - in the UK or Saudi Arabia - has no excuse (December 7).

Women suffered great injustices in pagan Arab societies and were exposed to diverse kinds of humiliation before the mission of the Prophet Mohammed.

In the pre-Islamic Arabian society, newborn girls were buried alive because their fathers became extremely angry and disgraced by the birth of females into their families. The ignorant clerics of today are no different. They are afraid of losing control and dominance over women.

Name withheld by request


Stop cashing in on TV shows

Cashing in on the recent golden age of television is becoming a real annoyance (When is it a good idea to adapt successful TV series for the big screen? December 6). Producers seem to forget that the success of those TV series was inherently in the serial format.

Battlestar Galactica is a great example, and I am a huge fan of that work. Other notables are the famous Lost, The Walking Dead, and now Game of Thrones.

I would like to emphasise the last point: the TV series are the "new movies". Technology and technique have allowed for higher quality with relatively lower budgets.

Nassib Azar, Abu Dhabi