Many of us can relate to the new documentary

A reader says many expatriates can relate to the documentary A Place Called Home. Other topics: life in the UAE, refugees, sports persons, holidays

A reader says the documentary A Place Called Home that highlights stories of expatriate workers such as Evelyn Mayormita, above, will help us develop respect for each other even more.
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The new documentary, based on the experience of workers from four countries, is going to be interesting since many of us will be able to relate to the film (The sacrifices for our children, January 15). The UAE is home to tens of thousands of expatriates who have left their homes behind to eke out a better living. Their hardships, sorrows and struggles will help us learn to respect each other even more.

Fatima Suhail, Sharjah

Like celebrities, we too miss the Emirates

The pictures you have posted on Facebook of celebrities enamoured by the UAE are lovely (Celebrities that love the UAE too much, January 14). They revived my memories. I am an Iraqi and I had to leave the country after staying there for eight years, because I couldn't find an appropriate job. I miss the UAE, especially Al Ain.

Moustafa Sagban, US

I am from the Czech Republic and I studied in the UAE for eight years. I am trying to go back there because I love the country.

Kristina Svobodová, Czech Republic

I have lived in many countries. But none is as addictive as the UAE. You realise that once you are away from the UAE. I lived there for many years with my parents. I started missing it when I left for my home country for higher studies. I will consider myself lucky if I can go back to the UAE one day .

Anusha Nair, India

Spare a thought for refugees

The plight of Syrian refugees is heartbreaking (UAE aid airlift to Syrian refugees, January 7). Harsh weather conditions in the region is adding to their misery. The UAE's thoughtfulness in sending supplies of basic items to those in desperate need is appreciable. Citizens and residents of the UAE should generously contribute towards this relief effort.

It is painful that millions of people in these refugee camps have no food or other basic necessities, while people in many countries continue to waste food. It’s time that we realise this. Small actions on our part can make a big difference.

Name withheld by request

Sports persons aware of risks

Taking part in any sport is the choice of the individual (USA Swimming anger at decision to host open water race in UAE, January 17). They all know the risks when they do these things, and every sports person is aware of the long-term consequences of a lifetime of training and injuries, training with injuries and competing for years. They know how it can affect their bodies in later life. Yet they push themselves to their limits and beyond.

It is their choice. The location of any event is not on their priority list. The fact that they have been accepted to compete is what is important to them. Their fitness level and determination are paramount to them.

Jacqueline Wood, UK

Are holidays in UAE generous?

With reference to your article How the UAE ranks for holidays (January 17), workers in this country are rarely, if ever, "treated" to 11 public holidays a year. Take as an example Eid Al Adha 2014. This was a three-day public holiday.

For the private sector, the government announced that the holiday would start on October 3 (Friday), with work resuming on October 6. Most private-sector employees are off on Friday and Saturday anyway, so the actual holiday was one day. It’s the same story with the Prophet’s birthday at the start of this year. This is a regular story; Saturday in particular is often declared a holiday so that many workers see no benefit anyway.

There is no pressure on the government to change this since public-sector holidays are significantly more generous. So the UAE is not “slightly below the global average”, it is significantly below the global average.

As for the argument about workers enjoying a reportedly generous two-day weekend, let’s just remember that this is an international norm, at least for professional workers.

David Bettencourt, Dubai