Emirates Foundation's spotlight on research

We are gratified that Dr Mick Randall cited the Emirates Foundation as virtually the only current provider of open nationwide competitions for scientific, social, environmental and educational research in the UAE.

United Arab Emirates - Abu Dhabi - April 07 - 2010 : Abu Dhabi skyline seen from an helicopter during a trip by FAS , Falcon Aviation Services. ( Jaime Puebla / The National )
Powered by automated translation

We would like to compliment Dr Mick Randall on his article The most important research question is: where's the funding? (December 29). The opinion piece was very well written, and raised genuine issues related to the current scientific research status in the UAE.

We are gratified that he cited the Emirates Foundation as virtually the only current provider of open nationwide competitions for scientific, social, environmental and educational research in the UAE.

At the same time we wish to correct an error in the article, which states that our research awards are only about Dh25,000.

The Emirates Foundation has been funding and supporting a wide range of education research in various fields for several years. The average amount of each research grant to date from the Foundation is Dh90,000.

For example, a recent grant to the British University in Dubai (for which Dr Randall was the principal investigator) was for that amount. Two grants in 2010 amount to Dh320,000.

In addition, it is worth mentioning that our grantees present their work at international conferences and have papers published in educational journals, including the international Journal for Learning.

Once again, thanks to Dr Randall for bringing to the attention of the UAE public the work that the Emirates Foundation is doing to improve the knowledge base of the UAE. We appreciate the acknowledgement.

Subha al Shamsi, senior executive adviser, Education Programme, Emirates Foundation, Abu Dhabi

Editor's note: The error was introduced during the copy editing process.

Hunting for housing bargains

In reference to the front page business article Abu Dhabi rents in fresh drop (January 10), I wonder where those "market experts" get their rates from because anyone shopping around today will know that rents are even 10 to 20 per cent lower than what's quoted in this article.

There are tens of vacant and ready towers and tens more nearing completion close by Mubadala's headquarters. Have a look there. A brand new, spacious and top-quality two-bedroom apartment with a maid's room is all yours for Dh120,000. A friend of mine just moved in to one last week. He saw the same flat a month and a half ago and the owner was asking for Dh140,000. Ironically, when a broker showed him that same flat, the broker claimed the owner was asking for Dh150,000.

Not all brokers are the same. Choose your broker wisely or go direct. That whole block is like a shopping mall for apartments and the rates are coming down every day. Just ask any watchman to show you around. My advice is to do your homework and you'll save yourself quite a bit of money.

Ziad Q, Abu Dhabi

Understanding the rights of women

I was upset at how my views were wrongly interpreted in the letter writer in Alternate Muslim women's voices (January 9). I beg to differ from the letter that stated that my views "subjugated" women in society.

Firstly, my views upheld authentic Islamic laws and in fact attempted to throw light on how it was being misused by Muslim men. I am proud to be a Muslim and so I stand up for what I believe in. The Holy Quran shows how men and women are equal but it also goes on to say how men have a degree of responsibility over women.

There is the depth of an ocean in those verses. I can understand how one could easily misinterpret "responsibility over women" to mean "control over women".

Here are some facts about Islam. Islam gives the enormous responsibility of taking care of the needs of a woman and her children to the husband. Men are responsible for ensuring the security of women and have to accompany them on long journeys. They are responsible for educating women. The Quran instructs both the husbands and wives to live with love and mercy between them, not abuse and subjugation. Men have no say in the personal wealth of women. Men have to give a fixed dowry to women before they take women as their wives. Women have a legal share of their husband's wealth upon their death.

Secondly, when did I ever make mention of views supporting harassment? In fact, I remember very well how I mentioned how a man was to be taken to task even for disrespecting a woman or denying her rights in Islam.

F Baasleim, Dubai

A dim eye toward romantic novels

I refer to E-books Kindle passion for ripping yarns (January 4). It is quite clear that there are strong proponents of romantic literature, and that is totally fair enough. However people are embarrassed by the fact they like these books - and why is that? Because they know they are drivel, full of clichéd nonsense. They are just a cheap thrill.

John Travis, Abu Dhabi