Racing talent in the UAE risks being overlooked

A reader suggests that there is quality racing action in the Emirates before, and long after, the Formula One Grand Prix.

Having competed alongside Khaled al Qubaisi in the UAE GT Championship, I am following his career with interest and wish him the very best for Sunday's F1 supporting Porsche GT3 Cup race (Teams seek cash over talent in their drivers, November 10).

However, I was disappointed to note the domestic championships described as "amateur club races". In fact, the UAE national race days have come a long way over the past few years, most recently attracting leading international drivers like Sean Edwards, Rene Rast and Rob Barff.

With all the current buzz around the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it would be a huge shame if local motorsport fans ignored the regular high-quality action on their doorstep. If TheNational and its readers would like to see from where the first Arab F1 driver might emerge, they could do a lot worse than wander the paddock at the Dubai Autodrome at the next round of the national races on November 26.

Harris Irfan, Dubai

India's claim to UN seat has legs

Faisal al Yafai's comment piece, Does an Indian seat at the UN's Security Council (UNSC) table have legs? (November 13), was an interesting read. I am not an expert on this matter, but the logic was flawed in my opinion.

Japan and Germany are said to have "good claims to (UNSC) membership because they are consistently among the top three largest funders of the UN". In other words, according to the author, money can buy membership. Is this the kind of world body we want to create in the 21st century?

The author also says it is necessary to consider the "opposition from the neighbours" of the countries being considered for UNSC membership. If this is indeed the yardstick, I would suggest that China might have trouble keeping its membership. Note that I am not suggesting that China should not be a UNSC member - it needs to be at the table.

The author rightly points out that "the world is in constant political flux and countries that are weak may quickly become strong and the strong weaken". However, the author then goes on to say "without a defining event like the Second World War, the talkers will just keep talking". In other words, you need something like a world war to justify UNSC membership. I would suggest that the recent financial crisis we have witnessed is precisely such a watershed moment in world history.

I could go on to point out other flaws in the logic, but would instead like to point out the reality of the world we live in: almost one in every five people in the world is Indian (the Chinese are also very prevalent). The key challenges the UN will have to address in going forward will require the co-operation and sense of ownership of the key players.

For this reason alone, India would get my vote.

S Nivarthi, Abu Dhabi

Rally around common sense

Why would a "rally to restore honour" need a counter-rally to spoof the issue? The spoof rally, hosted by the US comedians Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, even brought a musical guest who stated that a certain author deserves to die for writing a certain book (although not at the rally).

I can't help but wonder how such comments would go over at that bastion of US intellectual liberalism, Columbia University. Who spoke at the rally to restore honour? Loretta Scott King (Martin Luther King's niece) and Sarah Palin to name a few. Objective journalism and critical-thinking are truly dying breeds. Critical-thinking minds want to know why the number one cable news channel in the US, Fox News, that allegedly angers, insults and sickens viewers will soon open offices in Abu Dhabi? I guess we'll have to tune in and judge for ourselves.

Nicholas York, Abu Dhabi

The frustration of flying to Canada

As the mother of an Emirati attending boarding school in Canada, I find flying to Canada from the UAE a very frustrating and highly stressful process.

There are always problems - full flights, unavailable days, going through one or even two other countries to get to Canada; sometimes, I have to spend the night along the way because there is no flight connection into the country.

Every trip frightens me because of all the plane changes and not knowing where my child is in the flight process. I suspect he would have an easier time getting to Timbuktu. Between our trips to him and he to us, we go through this six times a year!

I am asking the government of Canada to stop this. Allow my son to catch a flight to Canada in a reasonable manner.

Alicia Suwaina, Abu Dhabi