x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Challenges for isolated Emiratis living abroad

A French Muslim woman laments the difficulty of praying on time while abroad, and asks that calls to prayer in shopping malls here be made more audible to help gather worshippers on time.

I read the column, Emirati in New York: How Islamic ways can help fight ignorance (October 9), where the author wrote about the challenges facing Muslims in the West. 

As a French Muslim living in Paris, I can confirm that it's not easy when you live in a western country, and I am struggling to pray on time everyday. I traveled in the UAE several times and it was so nice being able to pray in jama'a on time. However I do agree with the author of this article when it comes to shopping malls, in some of them you hear a very weak Athan and I think it should be louder.

Sidi B, France 

This condition is tip of the iceberg 

The editorial, No papers, no future (October 12) that described the plight of the young three year old girl, Leen Omar, left without any official papers or recognition as The National reported, is thought-provoking indeed. 

Man is in haste. If I am not wrong, what you have reported might be just the tip of the iceberg. In the unpleasant situations created by man himself, a considerable number in our planet are left with little choice and no control over their own life and as an extreme measure, even have to abandon their homeland and take refuge or employment in another country.

Air, water, and food and shelter are requirements for survival in all animals, including humans. The intensity of the human sexual instinct is shaped more by sexual competition than maintaining a birth rate adequate to survival of the species. And man has been doing just that; while with his selfish reasons for survival, he almost manages to find a way out, uncannily he traps others; failing to understand that his own offspring will be paying for his sins.

Did I say, "Man is in haste"? 

Yousuf Y Sheriff, Dubai 

Sponsorship reform and rights 

Regarding your editorial Sponsorship reform will help local economy (October 14) that calls for easing labour laws for employers and employees alike, the current sponsorship system still poses difficulties for blue-collared workers. It hinders their rights as all legal infractions are mentioned on their record. All this while the hardships they suffer, because of the hard labour they do, is never taken into account.

Finally, they are the ones deported - because the sponsor takes legal precedence over the sponsored. 

Bharat Motwani, Dubai 

Air Canada and free trade debate 

I have to write in response to the letter from Hugo Coetzee, titled The real facts behind the airline controversy (October 14). I agree that Canada wants to protect its flagship carrier, which by the way has been privately run since 1988, but which country does not?

The Canadian government already allows many airlines to land, pick up and drop off passengers in Canada but does not allow internal movement by a foreign airline. I don't think too many other countries allow this either. Do the two state owned airlines, Emirates and Etihad from the UAE really need landing rights in Calgary and Vancouver? Calgary only moves approximately 1 million passengers per month - many of those internal.

Most of the inbound flights into Vancouver originate in the Far East, so how much call is there for a Middle Eastern airline? What would really be wrong with landing in Toronto, having the opportunity to stretch your legs, and then a two or three hour flight to a destination of choice? That way all three airlines could win. Regarding it being an uneconomical company - take into consideration the unionized North American labour market that it has to deal with.

Moreover, it also flies to more destinations than Emirates and Etihad combined. As for profitability - Etihad has yet to turn a profit in its six years of existence. As for the cheaper financing that Emirates and Etihad enjoy, when you are speaking of a figure from $205 million to $286 million over several years then a couple of percentage points can make a huge difference - enough to make or break profitability.

In my opinion, Emirates and Etihad should concentrate on the job they do and improve themselves before reaching out further. 

James Preston, Dubai 

Questioning UAE's eco-footprint 

In response to the article, UAE has world's largest footprint (October 14), that says that the UAE has the world's highest per capita environmental footprint, I must beg to differ. The footprint could be attributed to infrastructure work. The report seems biased, and the US or China could have a bigger footprint.

Majid Saleh Baloch, Abu Dhabi