A reader pays tribute to football coach Bruno Metsu, who has died of cancer. Other topics: care for the elderly, employment and car maintenance.
Tribute to former football manager Bruno Metsu
I refer to Former UAE coach Bruno Metsu dies at 59 (October 15).
Metsu was a great coach. May he rest in peace.
Samad Al Balooshi, Dubai
All nations must address needs of older people
The article In a changing world, who will care for us in old age? (October 18) notes that most countries are not prepared to address the needs of an alarmingly increasing number of older people.
The global report says that the fastest-ageing countries are developing ones. In India, for example, life expectancy was 29 years in 1947, but it now stands close to 63.
Industrialisation, urbanisation and increased mobility of the workforce have resulted in modular families, leaving older people to fend for themselves. Efforts made by governments are falling short of the needs.
However, it is heartening to note that some legislative measures are being taken to improve the quality of life of older people by providing shelter, food, medical care and entertainment opportunities.
Of course, the success of these programmes will depend on their efficient and corruption-free implementation.
CS Pathak, India
Entrepreneurship is key to success
I refer to call Call for programme to boost Emirati employment (October 14).
I believe that the FNC should be encouraging more entrepreneurs through a system of incubator financing and education.
Emiratis should be their own employers and the captains of their own destiny.
Randall Mohammed, Dubai
Sociology behind the ‘Allah’ debate
The recent Malaysian-spurred debate over the use of the term “Allah” undoubtedly has a religious side to it (Word ‘Allah’ is not exclusive to Islam, October 14).
What many people seem to miss, however, is that sociological motivations are driving the religious arguments, not the other way around.
Whereas in Malaysia we find a minority religious community, Christians, requesting the use of the word “Allah” and the majority’s discomfort with this intent, we observe many Muslims in western countries striving in the opposite direction to affirm the unity of Allah with the God of the New and Old Testaments.
As a minority in western countries, Muslims seek acceptance and respect in their societies.
Since it is often the majority in any society that sets cultural norms and builds societal institutions, acceptance for a minority means playing down the differences between it and the majority and highlighting commonalities.
In the West, we see the banning of some forms of Muslim garb (niqab and hijab) and other symbols.
Both the desire of the Christian minority in Malaysia to use a religious symbol that further integrates it into majority culture and the suspicion that this is met with are understandable and have global precedents.
Those who argue for religious freedom and freedom of conscience must not fail to remember that some western countries are willing to limit these freedoms when certain acts and beliefs are believed to contradict the identity and cultural values of the country or to pose a threat to its national security and interests.
Ali Albarghouthi, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Car maintenance need not be costly
I refer to The downside of upkeep (October 18), about the costs of car maintenance in the UAE.
I regard a car as merely a box with four wheels that gets me from A to B.
I bought my car three years ago on Dubizzle for the equivalent of 80 per cent of my very small monthly salary.
As for service, I spend Dh120 at Adnoc every 5,000 kilometres, having the oil and filter changed, and then I attend to any problems as and when they arise.
Fortunately, this Japanese car gives me little trouble and, in return, I show it respect and do not try to beat the life out of it.
M Lescaut, Abu Dhabi
Why be a slave to the car’s service schedule?
In my opinion, having the oil changed regularly, having the cooling system fluids checked and having the tyres inspected are the three biggies in the UAE – because even if the car is left to sit, the weather extremes take a toll on all these things.
Things like brakes and timing belts should last much longer.
Jim Buckingham, Abu Dhabi