Hunting for culture

The just completed Abu Dhabi hunting and equestrian expo offered a rare, and welcome look into worlds not often on display in the bustle of city life, one reader writes. Other letter topics today: challenging the con men, Syria's abused women, traffic safety and a call for more male teachers.

A reader says he enjoyed a glimpse of Gulf Arab culture at Abu Dhabi's International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition, but another complains that guns got too much attention there. Ravindranath K / The National
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Adihex a glimpse into local culture

Thank you for the series of stories about exhibitors and events at the Adihex show, including Gun sales soar at exhibit (September 10).

My wife and I went to the show twice, and found it to be an informative glimpse into several aspects of Gulf Arab culture.

Many of the products and services being offered - falconry supplies, for example - were new to us and so quite interesting.

Wilmot P Rovis, Abu Dhabi

Gun crime seems to be rare in this country, but I still found it a little disquieting that so many guns were sold at the Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition.

I was glad to read in the report that there are strict licensing and relicensing laws for firearms.

GL Gharbi, Abu Dhabi

Personal honesty or dishonesty can be hard to detect

Your editorial about the big real estate fraud (Discouraging the confidence men, September 9) is quite right: without the will to be honest on both sides, no contract can really be airtight.

And yet we have to deal on the basis of trust every day, with different institutions and people.

I suppose that Haitham Al Kouatly - probably not his real name - had the same air of trustworthiness as the big US pyramid-scheme scammer Bernie Madoff, and many others through history.

Just because people seem honest doesn't mean they really are. And even the most honest people can be tempted by circumstances.

Bobbie Friedrichs, Dubai

The situation is very sad for the people who were conned by Haitham Al Kouatly (Fugitive Dubai property con man rented same home to 11 people, September 10, and other stories).

One may conclude that official safeguards should be tightened, that the criminal should be caught and punished without leniency, and that there should be strict bonding and licensing requirements for property agents.

Mohamed Kanoo, Abu Dhabi

I feel terribly sorry for the victims of the Al Kouatly scam, and there can be no justification for such a crime.

But I still cannot suppress a slight … not admiration, but respect for the patience and foresight this villain put into his scam.

He invested a year, and a lot of money, in building up trust.

Eduardo Santos, Abu Dhabi

Refugees face a horrifying choice

The facts outlined in the Comment-page piece Online trafficking of Syrian women shames all involved (September 10) are horrifying. The news of women being sent away from refugee camps by their families has not been reported anywhere else, and it is so horribly sad that anyone must make such a choice.

It is good that in modern times the plight of women in wartime is being recognised more than before. But it would be even better if everyone - women, children, men - could be spared this nightmare.

Mary Montgomery, Dubai

Male students need role models

I was interested in the article Rush of emotions for new male Emirati teacher in Abu Dhabi school (September 10).

Teaching well is one of the most valuable contributions an individual can make to society. A teacher can become a role model and a guide, and have a big effect on his or her students for decades.

Young boys desperately need teachers to whom they can relate. Emirati male teachers have the potential to be a tremendous asset to the UAE education system and to their country.

Congratulations to the education authorities for encouraging men to enter the educational field.

Rachel Lange, Abu Dhabi

Unmarked police cars would help

The fastest way to die (September 10) leads me to suggest that there should be unmarked police cars on the roads of all countries.

Tailgating in particular should be policed more. It is simply not acceptable to have people following you so closely that you cannot even make out their number plates.

Also it is not acceptable to see cars, lorries and even buses reversing on large highways just because they missed their exits.

I have a 2-year-old daughter. Authorities, please, protect your residents.

Stephane Niemczyk, Dubai

It's hard to make new connections

The Comment article 'Wish you were here' ... but what would we talk about? (September 9) encapsulates the challenge I have encountered since moving here.

I spent my first six months here struggling to connect with people - every relationship felt superficial and fake. I yearned for my friends and colleagues back in the UK.

Hibo Osman, Abu Dhabi