x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

A tribute to the wisdom of family elders

Many thanks for the most informative article The weatherman from history about Kamees bin Zaal al Rumaithy - the original weatherman of the UAE.

Students sail during a class at Emirates Sailing School near Al Raha Beach. A reader urges that more facilities for sailing be developed in Abu Dhabi.
Students sail during a class at Emirates Sailing School near Al Raha Beach. A reader urges that more facilities for sailing be developed in Abu Dhabi.

Many thanks for the most informative article The weatherman from history (March 7) about Kamees bin Zaal al Rumaithy - the original weatherman of the UAE. We would like to share with you our own experience about the "people of yesterday" and their most valuable predictions.  Our grandmother, who was 97 years old when she passed away a few years ago, had a special gift of predicting the coming of rain and strong winds by looking into the four directions of north, south, east and west.

She gave a stern warning to all the workers in our farm (where we had coconut, pepper and jackfruit trees) to take precautions well in advance. She was an illiterate woman, yet she was able to determine the exact number of coconuts that had fallen, between 200 and 325 per day. The intelligence and accuracy of what our elders declared was so amazing. We wish Mr al Rumaithy a very healthy and long life, and we pray that at least one of his grandchildren will learn his skills and carry forth the legacy of the "weatherman". S Paul and Family, Dubai

On a recent morning I had the unenviable task of driving to Dubai in the morning fog. I would normally wait until it had cleared but that day I had no option due to commitments. The journey could only be described as tense and I managed to stay in the right hand lane for the most part. What I saw was nothing less than suicidal maniacs intent on killing themselves and others: speeding, no lights, defective lights, weaving in lanes, hazard lights, etc. I was listening to the radio and the presenter was encouraging drivers not to use their hazard lights, until someone pointed out that the police patrols in Dubai always use theirs. At this point he gave up trying to convey the message. The memories of the horrific crash in 2008 where, sadly, so many were killed and injured appear to have faded into obscurity. From my observations a repeat of the horrific crash of 2008 is not far away. J Stredwick, Abu Dhabi

I agree wholeheartedly with Tom Ashby's views in his opinion article Abu Dhabi's marinas are lovely but where are the sailors? (March 8). I used to sail a lot in Sydney Harbour but have done no sailing since I arrived in Abu Dhabi a couple of years ago. I think Saadiyat is a better option for a sailing club than Yas. It is closer to the city and the open water. When I first joined Aldar I was quite excited that we were developing the Yas Yacht Club. It opens soon but will have no sailing facilities. The word "yacht" has different connotations in this part of the world. Richard Gray, Abu Dhabi

In reference to the article Police link Dh500,000 theft to surge in fleeing maids (March 7), I'm glad that such illegal acts of "runaways" is being highlighted as not all housemaids who run away from their sponsors are maltreated as sometimes claimed. Usually when a housemaid runs away, either she found a boyfriend or friends who brainwashed her about easy money and an easy life. I for one have had the experience of three housemaids who fled although I treated them well, giving them their freedom to own a mobile phone and a day off.

I suggest that people should never hire runaway housemaids because they can't be trusted. The authorities should continue campaigning against runaways to protect society. Another suggestion is that when a runaway housemaid is caught, she should be obliged to return all the expenses spent by the sponsor: air ticket, medical test, immigration expenses and agency fee. It's unfair for the sponsor to shoulder everything. The truth is not all housemaids' stories are true. In fact sometimes they are the ones who abuse the system. Olga Marie Baguilat, Dubai

The article Schools to get US stamp of approval (March 4) described how all schools in Abu Dhabi must be approved by a US body within eight years. More of the same, this is what Abu Dhabi will get. This is yet another example of infatuation with everything the West has to offer irrespective of quality. It would be wise for members of the Abu Dhabi Education Council to take a tour of public schools in the United States to get a clearer picture of the disastrous state of schools there. (Don't forget your bulletproof vests.) But who will listen?

Besuited Anglo-Saxon "consultants" and "experts" have wreaked havoc in their own countries and have now moved on to replicate their mess in our part of the world, and get paid for it too. Basel Shouly, Dubai