x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

India should be commended for its last-minute feat

I think the Commonwealth Games must be put into a proper perspective and Delhi should be given a thumbs up for surviving against all odds, a reader writes.

I couldn't help but have a knee jerk reaction to the article Has Indian groom blown his dowry on fruitless Games? (October 5). Yes, $6 billion could have been spent more wisely, but then again, Prince Charles opened the occasion in Delhi. I think the Commonwealth Games must be put into a proper perspective and Delhi should be given a thumbs up for surviving against all odds. I was following the news on the preparations and I can tell you - it is a miracle that within a week, India's misfortunes were turned around with all hands on deck. I saw dirty loos, leaking pipes, collapsed footbridges, etc, on all the western broadcast media, including BBC and CNN. But what matters is that Delhi has gone down in the history books as a host nation, and that is a win for one of Asia's biggest economies.

The Games is not about rent-seeking investors, to which the article alludes; it is about nation-building and national pride, which was epitomised by the all-hands-on-deck approach mentioned earlier. Yes, there are choked ports, shoddy airports, and bone-jarring pot-holed roads. But what you seem to be missing is that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step". India should be commended for having put its best foot forward and should not be pelted with eggs for failing to set aside $45 billion for the 3,000-kilometre roads that would have brought neither infrastructure development or investment.

After all, the article says that "the games have only boosted infrastructure in the immediate vicinity of the village" - but would it have done so in Dubai or London? 

Dr Nnamdi Madichie, Sharjah 

Harassment is no better in the West 

There seems to be an opinion, Zero tolerance for sexual harassment (September 27), that sexual harassment springs from living in a "closed" society in the UAE. But does the solution lie in transforming our society into an "open" one? Will the free mixing of sexes solve, or even reduce, such incidents?

Western countries have "open" societies but also happen to have high cases of sexual harassment. Not a direct correlation, is it? The solution lies in following what our Creator has taught us. To learn to respect the sexes, to dress modestly and guard ourselves, and to marry early. Why do parents make their children wait so long before they can get married? 

We live in an age where the haram is easy and the halal is hard. Add to that the numerous temptations around them. Let's save our children from the frustrations and misery that so many youth in the West face today.

Wardah MK, Abu Dhabi 

West Bank dispute has one solution 

There is an attempt to frustrate a Palestinian state by illegal expropriation of land in the West Bank (Hamas threatens backlash over militants' arrest, October 7). The West Bank contains approximately 250 settlements, which are illegal under international law, and around 500,000 Israelis who control over 62 per cent of the area in which 2.4 million Palestinians live. This is a deliberate strategy to try and frustrate the establishment of a Palestinian state by the illegal expropriation of land.

The only solution now available is for the UN Security Council to authorise by majority vote an independent Palestinian state in the whole of the West Bank within the next 12 months, with all illegal settlements being dismantled within that timeframe and all illegal settlers returning to Israel. 

Colin Dale, UK 

Kudos to UAE efforts in Pakistan 

It's heartening to see The National's coverage of the UAE's medical efforts in Pakistan (Healing hands from the UAE, October 6).

So often it is the case that reconstruction efforts are neglected after the media blitz of disaster coverage tires the reader's appetite. In this case, the UAE International Humanitarian Field Children's Hospital is playing a critical role in helping Pakistan's future development by administering to its current health-care needs, not only through governmental bodies, but through private entities as well.

The tireless efforts at Dubai's Shelter by volunteers to package medicine and food boxes, for instance, has shown that generosity of spirit does not only come from the UAE's government, but also from its people. Such efforts from both public and private entities - as well as this coverage - is what Pakistan needs most these days. 

Madeleine E, Dubai