War’s effect on children is unfathomable

A reader says we must be careful not to assume that children who seem to be coping with the trauma of war are necessarily at peace inside. Andrea DiCenzo for The National
A reader says we must be careful not to assume that children who seem to be coping with the trauma of war are necessarily at peace inside. Andrea DiCenzo for The National

The greatest horror of war and conflict in the Middle East and beyond is that millions of children lose their future (Gaza’s orphans still traumatised after Israel’s summer war, December 25). In Gaza alone, 373,000 traumatised children need psychological support because of the war, the UN has said. But this number could be much higher.

If so many children are growing up in this way in Gaza, imagine the total number in the world. What will all these children do when they are adult? Evidence suggests that those who have a disturbed childhood are more likely to become a burden on society. War has a terrible impact on the young. Unfortunately, few of us realise this.

For how long will the world continue to remain a spectator?

Sahil Ahmed, Dubai

Language apt for art appreciation

Thank you for the wonderful report (Kareem Risan’s art of emigration, December 28). It is a brilliant enunciation of an artist’s struggle with expression.

In fact, the language itself adds to the appeal of the art work. This is a proper appreciation of art. The dissatisfaction, or rather the inability to properly communicate what a sensitive soul really feels, leads Kareem Risan to experiment with various modes of expression. Risan’s personal story, poignant in itself, is also a metaphor for the human condition. We are all migrants lining up for salvation.

D Rasheed, Dubai

Put more focus on pollution

I was encouraged to read that transport and environmental chiefs in the UAE are thinking creatively to promote electric cars (Motoring to a greener UAE with electric cars, December 28). However, the day when all vehicles are pollution-free is a long way off, and if the UAE wants to be recognised as a futuristic or even modern country, there are many changes that should instantly be implemented to curb air pollution. For example, there should be a ban on bus and lorry drivers leaving the engine running while stationary.

In the UK , the “stationary idling offence” was introduced in 2002 and fines were imposed. The same could be done here.

Sharon Harvey, Abu Dhabi

Time to end discrimination

I refer to the article Women in the Middle East lagging behind on pay, regional, survey shows (December 16). It is often said that women climb the corporate ladder faster than men. But, as this survey reveals, they are paid less than their male colleagues.

This proves that discrimination and inequality exist in the workplace.

Many employers would prefer to hire a man rather than a woman for an outdoor job because of the mindset that regards men as more outgoing, better drivers and better to deal with every eventuality.

But these are myths. It’s time that we stopped thinking this way.

Fatima Suhail, Sharjah

Are tragedies coincidental?

It’s indeed sad that Malaysia’s aviation industry is going through a tragic phase (162 feared dead on missing jet, December 29).

Are these tragedies a mere coincidence? Whatever it is, I pray that Malaysia does not face further disasters.

Gloria Acion, US

Region vital for West’s survival

The Middle East and the West have many difficult issues but they have historically had a strong relationship.

The opinion article It’s complicated, the Middle East’s new relationship with the West (December 25) underscored this, which was demonstrated by the joint efforts to eradicate terrorism from Iraq and Syria. However, it is equally true that the West has always dominated this region. This dominance is unlikely to end because the West needs to retain its influence in the Arab world for its survival.

If anything, this relationship is likely to become more complicated with time.

Ramachandran Nair, Oman

Published: December 29, 2014 04:00 AM


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