x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Sharjah pollution a cause for concern

Readers are surprised that a small city like Sharjah has an air pollution equivalent to Beijing and Mexico City, which also have much larger populations. Other topics: sexual harassment, workers, money, visa-free travel, marital relations

Readers express surprise that a small city like Sharjah is as polluted as Beijing and Mexico City. Oliver Morin / AFP
Readers express surprise that a small city like Sharjah is as polluted as Beijing and Mexico City. Oliver Morin / AFP

The report on Sharjah’s air quality is alarming (Air pollution in Sharjah ‘as toxic as in Beijing’, March 3).

I have been diagnosed with severe bronchitis and am on constant medication, but I do not expect my condition to improve since we are based in Sharjah. It is astonishing for a small city like Sharjah to have such a high level of pollutants in its air, which is equivalent to that of Mexico City and Beijing, which are home to much larger populations in comparison.

Fatima Suhail, Sharjah

People staying at Al Nahda and the area around National Paints are at higher risk as they not only inhale traffic fumes but toxic air coming from the neighbouring industrial areas.

Afshan Glitzz, Sharjah

Social ills bring shame for us all

I am writing in reference to the news article Alarming rise in sexual harassment cases in UAE, lawyers say (March 2).

I have been in the UAE for 15 years. The society here is one of the most respectable ones in terms of treatment of women by their male counterparts. So many nationalities live in this country in harmony and rarely does one get to hear about cases relating to sexual harassment, whether involving Emiratis or expatriates. When I read this news, I was both shocked and sad. What’s happening here?

Before we react, however, I think it would be wise to find the reasons for this phenomenon. Once we know the cause, it will be easier to deal with it effectively.

The UAE has set an example as a model society in the region and beyond. And it is everyone’s responsibility to help it maintain its image.

Let’s remember that it takes a long time to create something, but it takes only a few moments to destroy it.

P Dominic, Abu Dhabi

No fees charged for ID card delivery

This is in response to the letter Why collect cards from post office? (March 3). The Emirates Identity Authority stresses that for more than three years now, it does not charge any fees for delivering Emirates ID cards.

The authority bears the cost of delivering the ID cards through post offices across the UAE under a contract signed between the Emirates Identity Authority and Emirates Post Group.

Ministerial Decree No 3 of 2012 on service fees set out an amount of Dh40 for issuing the registration form and verifying the entered data and accompanying documents. These fees go to the company contracted to provide the service. An amount of Dh30 is charged by typing centres for typing the form. Thus, the decree does not specify any fees for delivering the cards.

Users, however, can save the Dh30 typing fees by applying online using the electronic form on the authority’s website.

Emirates Identity Authority

The companies are at fault, not the window cleaners. I see the workers being mishandled and abused by their bosses. They are also paid a miserable wage.

Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi

Our lives revolve around money

The business article Profit from a lump sum (February 28) makes me think how people’s lives revolve around money.

Those who do not have money struggle to make a lump sum, and those who fortunately have the finances do not know where to invest. Having money or not can both be problematic.

Name withheld by request

Europe will benefit from visa move

Vote approved for Emiratis to get visa-free travel to Europe (February 27) is good news for everyone. I believe the European countries will benefit more than the UAE by taking this decision.

I have heard that Japan has also decided to lift visa restrictions for Emiratis and that an announcement will be made soon.

Mohamed Hassan, Abu Dhabi

Teach youth about family values

The article Sharjah agency cites infidelity, lack of patience in marriage disputes (March 3) mentions infidelity, an absence of dialogue and a lack of patience as the main reasons behind marital disputes.

This is not only true in Sharjah but across the country and in most other parts of the world.

There are many factors responsible for this attitude. As cities and towns develop, people are becoming increasingly restless, self-centred and intolerant. Previous generations were more patient than us and more compromising in nature.

Also, marriage as an institution is losing its sanctity because of extreme materialism. There is little we can do, except teach young people about family values, as well as the need to develop patience and understanding.

Name withheld by request