Queen's second visit brings back memories of old

The article, Queen's 1979 visit a glimpse of UAE for the world (November 20) brought back many fond memories for us.

The article, Queen's 1979 visit a glimpse of UAE for the world (November 20) brought back many fond memories for us.

At the time, we were living in a villa on Port Road along with many other expats. We were all very excited about the British Queen's visit and found it amazing that she had arrived on board the royal yacht.

Two or three times a day, she would sweep down the Port Road surrounded by a cavalcade on her way to various meetings and events.

The moment we all knew she was coming, we would drop what we were doing and run across the sand. There were no pavements back then to get to the kerb, and we would stand and wait to get a glimpse of her, waving frantically as she passed. There we would stand, a ragged line of many different nationalities, just hoping that she would perhaps look our way.

Much has happened since those simpler times. She will be coming back to a city that has changed beyond belief in every possible way. For me and I am sure many others, one thing has not changed, and that is our hope that Her Majesty will, God willing, be able to continue the wonderful work that she has been doing for many years to come.

Joyce Hijazi, Abu Dhabi

Kurds deserve their freedom

Regarding With new freedoms, Kurds push further away from Turkey (November 19): I just came back to Abu Dhabi from Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, flying with the world's best airline, Etihad.

As a Kurd who has been away for many years, it was gratifying to feel really at home with your own people running the local government and your own army guarding its precious and long-fought for security, rather than an army of occupation, as has been the case since the inception of Iraq.

I was also proud to see the level of progress and prosperity considering this young nation has only really started building this peaceful enclave since 2003, when the dark and black calamity of Saddam Hussein ended. It was also gratifying to see thousands of Iraqi Arabs from the farthest corners of Iraq enjoying the packed shopping malls and mountain resorts.

It was also a week that Iraqi Kurds felt justifiably proud of their leaders, who broke the deadlock in Baghdad and started the process of forming a national government, while having one of their own securing a second term as president of Iraq.

It is incredible that it has taken almost 100 years for the Kurds in Iraq to attain their basic human right to live in peace in their own homeland and enjoy its prosperity.

In this respect, with regards to Turkey, it is incredible that in this day and age, the Kurds have to go through such suffering and struggle just to enjoy their basic human and cultural rights. And this is in a country that aspires to become a member of the European Community.

What right have the Turks to deny this nation of Kurds their rights? I am all for Kurds in Turkey using political means to attain their rights. I think they have a golden opportunity to do this while the European Union is putting Turkey on its watch.

But there is a limit to what people can put up with and Turkey has had a long and difficult attitude towards its Kurds. Let's hope that Turkey has the courage to look at its Kurdish population as partners rather than a subservient minority. Then, maybe peace for all will prevail.

Shamal Karim, Abu Dhabi

Myths exist in both East and West

In reference to the the article by James Zogby, Dangerous myths persist in Arab views about America (November 21): Mr Zogby has very accurately stated what is an absolutely mutual notion that Arabs feel.

Globalisation and multiculturalism in most parts of the world hasn't changed the West's view on the East and Arabs. The intolerance has had an affect and people have experienced the stigmas and misunderstanding attached to their religion and culture.

Myths like these inevitably exist; some are in our favour while others are not. But they exist nonetheless on both sides.

Zahra Khan, Dubai

An infrastructure to meet a class

I found India's middle class is entitled to cars its new money can buy (November 12) pertinent. Today, the Indian economy has grown dramatically, and nearly every middle-class family can afford to have a car because of increasing incomes.

The automobile industry has seen much growth in India. On the one hand, this is a good news. On the other hand, whether these cars can withstand Indian roads remains to be seen. India has to improve its infrastructure, especially in all of the major cities.

But as affordability has increased, traffic congestion has also increased. When the traffic increases, people also waste time to reach their destinations, thereby affecting productivity.

K Ragavan, Chennai