x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

French burqa victim cause must be taken up by all

It is strange when we see western politicians visiting Gulf states asking for more financial aid and to sell their weapons, and at the same time unashamedly supporting the modern-day treatment of Arabs.

Regarding the article, French woman 'ripped burqa' from Emirati tourist, (October 15), it strikes me that this behaviour reflects what some think of Arabs. It is strange that we see Western politicans visiting Gulf states asking for more financial aid and to sell their weapons and at the same time unashamedly supporting the modern day treatment of Arabs.

Arabs are treated with contempt - just imagine if such treament was to be meted out to a western expatriate. One can only imagine the insulting headlines that would arise in the western media.

Just imagine if the assaulted women was your sister, mother or your wife. Would you have tolarated such behaviour? Unless this racism and xenophobia is challenged, and protest of such treatment taken to the highest level, unacceptable treatment will become the norm.

Arab visitors should refrain from visiting London, France, Geneva and New York in support of their fellow Arab women. Perhaps this financial pressure may yield a better result in the absence of support. It is a matter of the self-respect and diginity of Arab people.

J B, Dubai


Sharjah's elected Generation X

I read with pleasure your coverage, Sharjah's aspiring politicians get an early start (October 15) that described student activism at work.

Thank you for your interest in covering the school council election at Al Thameen School for Boys.

I would also like to thank the journalist who spared no efforts in covering the election from beginning to end. Many thanks for your paper for conveying the voice of the students and their elections.

Thameen Kamel, Sharjah


Who in Lebanon did you speak to?

In the report, Hero's welcome for Ahmadinejad (October 14), the author, Mitchell Prothero, asserts that "much of Lebanon is convinced that Hizbollah, and possibly Iran itself, might be implicated in the killing."

Interesting statistic indeed. Can you share the source? If we're sharing personal views - nothing to do with proper journalism - I would say it's the Israelis or Americans behind the assassination. Note that a long time ago, "much of Lebanon" accused Syria!

As an aside, the article also asserts that Samir Geagea is "a member of parliament". But for clarification Mr Geagea is not a member of parliament. He is the leader of the Lebanese Forces Party, who are right-wing Christians.

M J, Dubai


Novel shortlists prompt reading

I found the article Not all authors must have prizes (October 15) most interesting. I really believe that, as the author says, "reading novels can foster empathy or help grapple with the absurdities of existence".

And two of the books on the Booker shortlist did just that for me: In A Strange Room by Damon Galgut, that contains so many brilliant lines on the nature of travelling I actually read them out loud to whoever would listen; and Room by Emma Donoghue.

I don't know whether I would have come across them if it hadn't been for their shortlisting. So yes, I think literary prizes do have a function beyond just selling novels.

Ben East, Dubai


Banking fees: no rhyme nor reason

I opened an account with a UAE bank in September 2008 to transfer my salary through my company. Up until December 2009, I used to get my full salary, but from January 2010 the bank started deducting Dh 50 every month from it. When I contacted the customer service officials in one of their branches they told me they have informed my company.

In my account statement they describe this deduction as "membership fees". If they are going to charge such fees why not inform us properly? And why deduct from my account? Is there any way of seeking redress?

Thomas Mathews, Abu Dhabi


Indian sports glory reaches heights

Indian sports is passing through a period of glory. The Indian cricket team has beaten Australia in a home series. Most visiting Australian players became accustomed to Indian playing conditions. The determination shown by those selected to the Indian team despite the absence of injured players was remarkable. This shows how cricket as a sport has evolved in India. It could not have been achieved by the tremendous support of corporate bodies to promote the game to its current standing.

For all those who generated such a hue and cry, it is time to offer a word or two of congratulations to those athletes who did their best to erase entirely the bad publicity generated at the curtain raiser of the Commonwealth Games. We definitely look forward with optimism and hope that corruption will no longer be tolerated.

Ramesh Menon, Dubai