Emiratis’ effort in US appreciated

A reader thanks the Emiratis, who travelled to the US to help rebuild the homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Other topics: maids, landlords, mental health, companies
A reader praises the team of Emiratis that helped rebuild homes in hurricane-hit areas in the US. Willie Davis for The National
A reader praises the team of Emiratis that helped rebuild homes in hurricane-hit areas in the US. Willie Davis for The National

I would like to thank the Emiratis who travelled to the US to help rebuild the homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy (UAE nationals help rebuild homes destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, May 18). Their kindness and generosity are so much appreciated.

Debi Davis Douglas, Abu Dhabi

Change condition of maids to avoid more disasters

I am writing in reference to the letter, Attitude to maids is unacceptable (May 20). I find it incredible that a recruitment agency for maids says they should be willing to make some sacrifices when it comes to time off and having a phone. No time off or ability to communicate with family and friends seems akin to slavery to me and maids have already made many sacrifices by the time they get here.

A belief that all men will exploit all maids is very convenient for employers and ignores the fact that many are already being exploited by those that say they are protecting them. 

How about maids get the same protections as labourers now have in the UAE with wages having to be paid into bank accounts each month and spot checks carried out to ensure they are getting a day of rest each week?  

The body needs to recharge; it is not a machine. No wonder abused maids are angry, exhausted and unhappy and yet employers leave them to bring up their children. Not a good recipe. Disasters, as have already been reported, are going to keep happening if this situation does not change.

Chris Richards, Al Ain

We allow landlords to exploit us

Landlords act this way because they know that it’s acceptable (Dubai landlord refuses to fix air conditioning unless rent is hiked, May 19).

How many of us stood up for ourselves and said a clear “no” to a rent increase unless permitted by law? I heard from many tenants that they accepted an increase even if the landlord couldn’t get more by law.

Some of them simply didn’t care because their company pays for their accommodation, some were hamstrung by proximity to their children’s school and said that relocation would be too costly, some weren’t aware of their rights, and all of them were scared to go to the court.

I know people who went to court and won their case just because the truth was on their side. No one can pay more and more forever. One day you will not be able pay your rent, while the landlord will continue to increase your rent every year. When that day comes, blame yourself.

Tatiana Efremova, Dubai

He should be put in the same situation for once so that he can understand that others are human. They are not money-minting machines. Shame on him. There is no law to put a check on landlords’ greed.

Prakaash Lakhiani, Dubai

Companies need to act responsibly

The article Wife’s dispute with husband’s employer over UAE medical expenses (May 19) shows how little value a lot of companies place on human life. This company should pay the medical expenses as they hadn’t got around to sorting out medical insurance.

Caroline Wareham, Abu Dhabi

Schools should review curricula

I found your editorial Make mental health a top priority in UAE (May 21) relevant and timely. The changing lifestyle and work culture is also contributing to the increase of mental health problems in the current generation.

Despite many initiatives to keep young people mentally healthy, they have not been able to achieve much.

There are so many distractions today and it’s impossible to keep a child insulated from all of them. One thing that surely contributes to mental health problems is academic pressure. I think many school curricula do not take into account the psychological affect they might have on pupils.

The editorial rightly pointed out that there are several mental health issues seen among youth these days and that, if untreated, will manifest in various forms later in life.

The increasing number of suicides among children is a cause for concern.

I think it would be good if every school had a dedicated departments to handle mental health issues. It is also worth re-evaluating some curricula.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Published: May 21, 2014 04:00 AM


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