x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Stay away from women at Syria camps

A reader says people should not take advantage of the vulnerable women living in refugee camps in Syria. Other topics: Arabic, Abu Dhabi traffic police, India, mentally ill.

A reader says women in Syrian refugee camps must be protected from unscrupulous men. Jeff Mitchell / Getty Images
A reader says women in Syrian refugee camps must be protected from unscrupulous men. Jeff Mitchell / Getty Images

Children should learn language from their parents

I was saddened to read the news article Poor literacy in Arabic is "the new disability" (June 12).

Many children do not know how to read or write in Arabic, which is their mother tongue, and teachers are largely to blame for this problem, it said.

Where is the responsibility of the parents? I am a stay-at-home mother of four who has had the joy and privilege of reading to my children each day from a very young age. By the time our children entered school, not only had they grown to love good quality children's literature, but they had progressed swiftly in their ability to read and write, guided by their hard-working teachers.

They can then move on to higher learning, which I am less able to teach myself (not being professionally trained).

While the new grading system may also be blamed, I'd like to ask whether Grade 3 children, who cannot even distinguish the first page from the last, as the article stated, have been read to at home at all.

A White, Al Ain

Don't exploit women in Syria

I recently watched a couple of documentaries online that depicted the suffering that women in Syria are having to bear as the war rages.

I was shocked to learn that the flesh trade thrives in some of the refugee camps in that country. The vulnerable condition of these women is being exploited by unscrupulous men, most of them from the Gulf region. These men marry those women, but a majority of those marriages end up in divorce after an hour or two.

These women don't feel safe in their camps. They are afraid to use toilets and washrooms after dark. War has taken away a lot from them, and now their dignity is at stake.

In the documentaries, some of the women living in those camps said that men as old as 60 years came to marry them for money. They said those men promise to provide shelter and security but most of them leave them a couple of hours after "nikah".

This kind of suffering is heartbreaking. Nobody should take advantage of someone's misery.

Rabia Rizwan, Dubai

Tell us if website does not work

I have always found the web-based facility for the payment of traffic fines very useful and I check regularly to see my position. My visa is being cancelled and I was advised that this could not be done as I had an outstanding fine.

I had checked on the Abu Dhabi Police website the previous day and I did not find any outstanding fine against my licence. I went to the licensing directorate to check and there was one fine outstanding dating back to October of last year. I settled that and asked the lady who was attending to my case why the website had not shown the outstanding fine. She told me that the system was not working.

She also said that she did not know when it would be working again. Surely it would not be a difficult task for the directorate to post a notice on their website announcing this.

Jeremy Weeks, Abu Dhabi

Feed the poor, no politics please

The news article India's 'Amma canteens' help battle rising food prices (June 16) is interesting.

The Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa has taken a good step to tackle the problem of rising food prices. The canteens provide subsidised food for the poor in the state.

Too often, subsidised rice and wheat that are meant for the poor either do not reach them, or the quality is extremely bad.

I wonder for how long this system will function smoothly and whether the government will be able to maintain the quality of food.

If politics is the motive behind this move, as many people are saying, then it might be just a question of time until the quality and quantity of the food decline.

Before elections, governments often come up with such schemes for the poor to win their support. But if the purpose is genuine, then the poor will at least get to eat nutritious meals at affordable prices.

Sunita Joshi, India

Mentally ill people need proper care

A group of doctors at an Abu Dhabi psychiatric treatment centre is doing a commendable job, as the news report Helping the mentally ill to be back on Course for UAE society (June 16) indicates.

Mentally ill people in many societies often do not receive the right medication, which worsens their conditions.

I am very happy to know that mentally ill people are able to lead normal lives thanks to the psychological rehabilitation programme, initiated by this dedicated team of doctors.

This initiative will offer an opportunity to many patients to overcome the challenges they face.

Centres of this type are a necessity in our society, where families and friends of those with psychological problems try to hide the reality and sometimes feel afraid to take the victims out of their houses.

I have also seen some mentally ill people being chained or kept in isolation. Awareness of psychiatric treatment and therapy is needed for the betterment of patients as well as for society.

Sahil Ahmed, Dubai