x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Smokers divided about shisha’s effects on health

Readers differ over the health implications of using traditional water pipes. Other topics include use of the word "Allah", and Pakistan and India's border issues.

Readers debate the health effects of shisha. Silvia Razgova/The National
Readers debate the health effects of shisha. Silvia Razgova/The National

I refer to What’s your poison? Too many answer ‘shisha’ (October 20).

While I agree that it’s harmful, I dispute that shisha is the equivalent of 600 cigarettes.

The last time I read about this, the experts said 200, now it’s 600. It’s seems as if they are just throwing numbers out at random.

Also, no link is provided to the actual research on the issue.

If we want to promote a more healthy lifestyle while keeping with tradition, we need research that points to a way to minimise the health risks of shisha.

In the meantime, I wonder why it is that someone who smokes many packets of cigarettes each day coughs a lot, while I’ve known shisha smokers who smoke two or three times a day and are quite healthy. Mohannad Alcahalab, Abu Dhabi

Shisha is really dangerous, as I discovered when I suddenly suffered an asthma attack.

I have reduced to smoking it twice a month.

Madeeha Saeed Ahmed, Dubai

Shisha is as bad as cigarettes. The smoke is the same whether you suck it through water or not

Knowing that shisha contains tar, lead and cancer-causing chemicals, I’d rather treat myself to a French vanilla slimline cigar. DG O’Brien, Abu Dhabi

‘Allah’ appropriate for Christian usage

Allow me to clarify some of the points made in letters responding to your editorial, Word ‘Allah’ is not exclusive to Islam (October 14).

The Malay language as spoken by millions of people across South East Asia has three strong linguistic strands of influence: Sanskrit and other Indian languages, Arabic, and European languages such as Portuguese, Dutch and, most noticeably in modern times, English.

Indigenous Malay-speaking Christians across South East Asia use Arabic-origin words in religious contexts.

For example, in Malay-language Bibles the long-established and uncontroversial Malay word for the English term “Christ” is “Al Masih,” a direct borrowing from Arabic.

The Malay word “Tuhan” is not the word for God. It is the Malay word for “Lord”.

In the heavily Catholic nation of Malta, the Maltese-language word for God is “Alla”.

“Allah” is a universally recognised term for the one true God. Given this, the Malaysian court’s decision to try to restrict the use of the term seems to me to be rather misguided.

Name withheld by request

US peacemaker’s history questioned

I am writing about Mitchell warns Israel on peace deal (October 23).

George Mitchell made a mess of the peace process in Northern Ireland, and now he is trying to make another mess in this region.

R Bradley, Dubai

Only dialogue will prevent conflict

I refer to Soldier killed in Kashmir border clashes (October 24).

In recent days, Pakistan has violated the ceasefire along the Line of Control, causing casualties. This is unjustifiable.

The rules should be respected by all sides, and there must be a strong diplomatic reaction from India.

Only peaceful dialogue can resolve this issue without third-party intervention.

K Ragavan, India

Employees must fit their work role

I refer to the continuing debate about Emiratisation of the UAE workforce (FNC advocates Emiratisation quotas for the private sector, October 15).

This is a tricky area and any solution will rest on policy relating to the very nature of private enterprise, which is defined as “entrepreneurship that takes on business risk and seeks return”.

A “company” is just that – a collection of companions working together, each with a role and a contract of mutuality.

A company succeeds because of what its people do: an employer promises a regular and secure work contract and, in return, the employee promises full commitment to the company.

The relationship works only when both sides feel they are getting satisfaction from it. The idea of government funding for Emiratisation would be most productive if this funding were deployed to underwrite internships in the private sector.

Employers are always looking for employees who can add value, and relationships will develop where both sides see a future.

The core principle that a company and an employee must “fit” should not be compromised.

Prodeep Mookerjee, Dubai