x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Sudan's calm is everyone's duty

Letter writers say that family unity is key in making right education choices, and comment on old weather records by Arab historians used to study climate change and reliance on faith for traffic safety. Other topics include saving energy and US promotion of democracy.

The renewed conflict in South Kordofan puts both Sudan and South Sudan at risk, a reader says. Ashraf Shazly / AFP
The renewed conflict in South Kordofan puts both Sudan and South Sudan at risk, a reader says. Ashraf Shazly / AFP

Last week, I attended an event organised by the Dubai School of Government and Knowledge and Human Development Authority, about making higher education choices in Dubai.

The event highlighted the key influences in the decision-making process followed by our youth when they want to further their careers.

As the mother of an 18-year- old who began university this year, I was glad that such an event was organised. I am also pleased by the importance The National has been giving such topics (Career day events can help students make right choices, February 17).

Understanding that the family is a key influence in higher-education decisions, reminds us that parents have a heavy and vital responsibility towards shaping the next generation.

The family is the basic unit of society and what is scary is that it seems to be in danger of disappearing.

Its place is being taken by a variety of social arrangements, in particular the one-parent family. We need to realise that we must act as interdependent parts of an organic whole where our actions affect the next generation.

Niloofar Rouhani, Dubai

Insightful weather records offer hope

I was fascinated by True tales of cold Arabian nights (April 15).

It seems that climate change is not a new phenomenon, whatever the cause.

Societies have coped with climate change before, and I imagine we will this time, too.

VK Shamsi, Dubai

Driving anecdote applies to only few

My wife and I both enjoyed the first-person account in Taxi driver says faith, not a seat belt, will save him in crash (April 15).

In our experience most taxi drivers are skilled and prudent, but we both believe we have had (separate) rides with that driver or one just like him. Your writer made her adventure into a very amusing anecdote.

Joe Worsley, Dubai

Save energy by raising the price

I was struck by the report Firms save energy - but not money (April 15).

It should be obvious that a price signal is the best way to motivate people to save energy.

"Saving the environment", no matter how noble it may seem, will motivate only a very few people to take "green" measures such as installing smart switches.

But saving a few dirhams will motivate far more people.

Dave Nissani, Abu Dhabi

US doesn't offer free democracy

James Zogby's article on US promotion of democracy in the Arab world has an interesting theory (Arabs' message to the US: leave the 'democracy' to us, April 15).

He thinks America's taxpayers should just keep sending large amounts of money to the Arab world, with no strings attached.

He should know that the world doesn't work that way.

How about if we leave the Arab world alone and keep our money?

John McDermott, US

Calm in Sudan is everyone's duty

The violence that has rocked Sudan and South Sudan over the past few weeks is tragic (Sudan's aerial bombardment of Heglig kills five, April 15).

If the leaders of Sudan and South Sudan do not stop accusing each other of seeking war and accept an unconditional end to all ground and air assaults, civilians will be hurt again. Both sides should avoid choosing the path of war as it is not in the interest of either side.

Also, foreign forces who support either sides during the civil war should not implement plans that lead to hostilities between the neighbours.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai

Visit to Sri Lanka was too costly

I refer to the opinion article Looking for a guilt-free holiday? Better just stay home (April 15). Yes, I too am guilty of choosing Sri Lanka as a holiday spot.

I did visit this January and found that the overall attitude of the people, although friendly enough, is far from service-orientated.

The value on my stay was minimal at the most. I found it overpriced, from hotels to local restaurants to local transportation.

Like in many other countries, they see a foreigner and want to raise the price of their goods and services. That's understandable. But the issue here is whether I feel the price is worth the product.

I would rather go to Bangkok, which I had visited before. There I know I will get my money's worth. As for Sri Lanka, I have seen enough.

Monica Carver, Dubai