x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

The charms of Ankara debated

Readers take different points of view about the tourism allure of Turkey's capital. Other letter topics: Dubai's ambitions, female sports fans, Afghanistan, falafel and canine welfare.

Readers disagree on the scenic and tourist merits of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.
Readers disagree on the scenic and tourist merits of Ankara, the capital city of Turkey.

Just look at what Dubai has already accomplished

The aspirations of the people behind the plan for Dubai (Dubai aims to be hub of Islamic economy, January 10) are certainly magnificent. What has already been accomplished in Dubai, despite setbacks and delays, shows that a lot truly can be accomplished.

And considering the current difficulties of some other Arab states, it's evident that there is a need for a stable financial centre for the region. Where better than Dubai?

That said, it is also true that while rapid growth and greater global stature are reasonable goals, there also has to be some realism in the methods and pace with which Dubai and the UAE move ahead.

Michel Khoury, Dubai

I applaud the new initiative outlined in the report in your business section.

This project promises to benefit many Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

There is now a need to educate expatriates in more detail on the religion, culture and traditions of the UAE. this project seems to provide a good opportunity for that.

Amal Loring, Dubai

Female sport fans deserve support

Gulf Cup: UAE women attending match causes a stir on Twitter (January 8) was revealing of the difficulties the UAE's society is having. I respectfully suggest that this is a form of growing pains.

Those who complain that some of the comments reported in the article do not respect women's rights should remember that even in the West, sports fandom was mainly a male preserve until just a couple of decades ago, and indeed still is, except perhaps for tennis and golf.

These things evolve, as the result of many factors. Jumping up and down and demanding various "rights" doesn't do much good; going to a match, with a chaperone, is on the other hand a real step forward.

Jane Bagnell, Abu Dhabi

It's so unfair that women don't have the same opportunity as men to play, or even to watch, sports.

There was nothing indecent or improper about what those female fans did. More power to them.

Cathy Pratt, Abu Dhabi

Dogs should get better treatment

I refer to Tortured Dubai dog to undergo lifesaving plastic surgery (January 9).

I walk my dog around Abu Dhabi and am appalled at the way children treat her.

It is almost the norm to see children taunt her on the street. Some of them, however, are just curious and want to enjoy her.

At the school where I work, we have initiated a programme to help children learn to respect and care for animals, and to value these living beings.

Parents, please, please teach your children to respect all life. Even if you don't like dogs, there is no need to harm them.

Debbie Schuck, Abu Dhabi

Readers disagree on Ankara's virtues

Your article Just ignore Ankara's first impressions (January 7) was disappointingly unfair.

Ankara is a beautiful and vibrant city full of regal buildings, graceful parks and a vibrant cultural scene that the story did not reflect.

This superficial article does not come anywhere even close to doing justice to what Turkey's capital has to offer tourists.

Suhail Shafi, US

I agree with your writer about Ankara. There are some nice parks but Istanbul leaves Ankara so deep in the shade that I would never bother visiting the capital again.

Alberto Kaling, Dubai

How to think about Afghanistan

When US troops leave Afghanistan, I doubt that anything will sustain Hamid Karzai for long.

So much analysis, including your editorial Karzai needs the West more than he might think (January 10) just presumes that Afghanistan is a state. I don't believe that.

The political culture of Afghanistan, from what I've read, is not even nearly ready for statehood in the modern political-science sense.

Trying to apply national institutions to a "country" so divided by geography, demography, and history is just a recipe for non-stop violence, ever-shifting alliances, and disorder. I don't know what the solution is, but a central government is not it.

Stan Ortheris, Dubai

Foodie obsession can go too far

I laughed about Arva Ahmed's foodie debacle over falafel made with "green fava beans … supposedly traced back to Pharaonic times" (Stuffed falafel, January 10).

Her column is always entertaining and she has led me to some great little meals. But sometimes food people do get a little too obsessive.

Kelli Gagnon, Dubai