x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

University canteen might lack variety but not quality

A gamers' paradise. Abu Dhabi's committment to turning the capital into a hub for video game technology is good news for the region, one letter writer says. Other topics discussed by readers include the quality of food at Paris-Sorbonne University, financial pressure, the Kurds' future and rude gestures.

Abu Dhabi - October 9, 2008 - Young boys surf the internet at an internet cafe in Abu Dhabi October 9, 2008. For stock use. ( Jeff Topping / The National 2 *** Local Caption *** JT001-1009-INTERNET CAFE 7F8Q3300.jpgJT001-1009-INTERNET CAFE 7F8Q3300.jpg
Abu Dhabi - October 9, 2008 - Young boys surf the internet at an internet cafe in Abu Dhabi October 9, 2008. For stock use. ( Jeff Topping / The National 2 *** Local Caption *** JT001-1009-INTERNET CAFE 7F8Q3300.jpgJT001-1009-INTERNET CAFE 7F8Q3300.jpg

In the article Campus food leaves bitter taste (September 4) some of the 600 students at Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi (PSUAD) say they would like more variety in the canteen menus.

Our students, of over 60 nationalities, have a large diversity of cultural backgrounds, religions and ages; we therefore fully understand the need to offer an equally large diversity of choice.

We serve different menus every day of the week. The variety still may not satisfy everyone, but the quality of the food served has never been questioned, despite The National's photo caption which said: "The Paris Sorbonne campus on Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, is just one of several university canteens whose food quality and variety have been questioned by students and other consumers."

Healthy food is important and PSUAD takes the issue very seriously. I myself eat in the canteen on a daily basis.

Dr Jean Yves de Cara, executive director of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi

Jail can be a fate worse than death

It was shocking news indeed that a young Indian family committed suicide (Police find bodies in RAK family tragedy, September 4). There were suggestions that the man was not doing well in his business.

For many simple, honest hard-working people, their honour means everything. Going to jail, and shaming their whole family, is a fate worse than death. So they choose the easier option.

But often things go wrong in business for no fault of one's own. The UAE government should consider  introducing a bankruptcy law or a legal helpline for people in such problems. Otherwise such suicides will continue to jolt us.

Pankaj Shah, Dubai

Kurds uncertain about future

Despite their active involvement in the recent protests, one can still sense the Syrian Kurds hesitation or concern for their future after the fall of this regime (Syria's opposition has failed to offer a viable alternative, Aug 28). The Kurds hesitated at the beginning of protests to participate probably due to an inherited fear of becoming scapegoats, but also because their uncertain future in a prospective Syria. Kurds have a wealth of unpleasant historical experience with broken promises.

Syrian Kurds not only seek to overthrow the regime, they seek to overthrow the very philosophical bases of the Syrian state. One of the political ambitions of the Syrian Kurds recently expressed is a realistic inclusion of the Kurdish identity into the collective Syrian identity. The call by some Syrian opposition and intellectuals for a change in the very name of the Syrian state (from Arab Syrian Republic to Syrian Republic) tells of a seemingly hidden story about the role Kurds play in the current Syrian uprising.

Dilshad Hama, UK

Innocence hard to prove at times

As a doctor myself, I can see why the British surgeon decided not to return to Dubai for the obscene gesture court hearings (Doctor in obscene gesture case not returning, lawyer says, September 5).

Knowing you did nothing wrong and proving it are completely different things. He is a breadwinner for a family from a foreign country being accused by police in a country with a very different system of justice.

With only contradictory testimony and no physical evidence, how can we expect the judge to make a decision on such a case? Even if the doctor did give an obscene gesture, what kind of hot temper does it take to drag another person, another family man, into the mire of a court battle in order to retain one's honour.

Is there no honour in forgiveness or magnanimity where the accuser is concerned? If he will take someone to court over this kind of trifle, what punishment would he propose for someone committing a really dangerous crime, like reckless driving or tailgating?

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Internet vital for games business

The gaming industry should always be a hit in places that have easy internet access (Abu Dhabi wants to be a video gaming hub for the Gulf, September 1).

Abu Dhabi gamers should be excited.

Paolo Jorge Lojo, Abu Dhabi

Noble efforts inspire more

Good on Tamin-Lee Connolly for her effort to deliver solar-powered laptops to children in rural Africa (Teacher's 60,000km hard drive to bring laptops to rural Africa, September 2). Her efforts have inspired me to start my very own vocational school. Hopefully with the right skill set and funds I should be starting it soon.

Pamela Nazareth, Dubai