Rahul's irresistible rise

A reader says that, although expected, the ascendancy of Rahul Gandhi may not be good for India. Other topics: Syria, recycling and the Gulf Cup.

Humanitarian aid is essential for Syrian refugees

Flood 'catastrophe' for Syria refugees (January 21) is a timely reminder that the tentacles of war spread further than the field of combat.

Refugees who have fled an impossible situation in a country that has been torn apart by violence are now facing further hardships.

The situation on the border with Jordan, and in other places where Syrian refugees have been forced to gather, is a large-scale humanitarian crisis.

I know there are some agencies on the scene doing their best to help these people, but more must be done.

However, the refugee crisis might not exist if there had been earlier intervention to depose Bashar Al Assad and support a new government that rules for all Syrians.

As has been noted elsewhere in the pages of your newspaper, the longer this wound festers, the harder it will be to heal.

There is a real danger now is that Syria will be ungovernable for many years to come, even after the Assad regime topples. In that event, the misery for ordinary people will go on and on.

K Blake, Dubai

Education is the key to recycling

Bins in two colours ... which one is green? (January 21) for those of us who want to recycle.

Many of my friends tell me that they have given up on separating their recyclables from normal household waste because they don't think it is making any difference.

Let's hope there is a strong push towards educating people such as the man quoted in your article who didn't know the difference between the green and black bins, and threw unrecyclable rubbish into both of them.

If people do take the small amount of time needed to separate their waste, then we are well on the way to a sustainable future.

Gillian Brown, Abu Dhabi

Rahul's rise to top expected

Congress extends Nehru dynasty (January 21) was no surprise.

The elevation of Rahul Gandhi to the vice-presidency of India's Congress Party has been expected for a long time.

Even if the present coalition government is returned to power in the next election under Rahul Gandhi's leadership, I have doubts as to whether he will be allowed to implement policies to help the common people.

The fact that political dynasties still play such a vital role in Indian politics is not a healthy sign.

K Ragavan, India

Football victory united a nation

Your editorial Football generations (January 20) was spot on.

The young UAE team displayed enormous talent and great discipline under coach Mahdi Ali to win the Gulf Cup of Nations in Bahrain.

Let's hope that their victory inspires footballers across the Emirates so we see not only further wins on the international stage, but also a more competitive local competition.

As we saw on Friday night, football can be a great force for good, bringing people together in the joyous celebration of extraordinary human endeavour.

Mike Nickerson, Abu Dhabi

What to do in a hostage crisis?

I am writing in reference to Algerians find 25 more victims of Islamist raid (January 21).

While I do not know the details behind the incident at the Ain Amenas plant, I am interested in the question of what response is appropriate in any situation where hostages are taken.

Should ransoms ever be paid, or should violent acts always be met with a violent response?

It seems to me that, no matter what happens, these situations rarely end well.

B Dunne, Dubai

Expatriate backs jobs programme

I understand the concerns of "Mohammed", who was quoted in 'It's easy for foreigners than locals to get a job' (January 21).

While I applaud government efforts to place Emiratis in suitable jobs, I don't entirely agree with Mohammed's assessment of the employment market.

He is right in saying that employers prefer people with experience. Obviously no business can succeed if the employees don't know what they are doing.

It's also true that you can't get experience unless you are given a job in the first place - but you must be prepared to start at the bottom and work your way up.

The Emiratisation programme is important for this country, and most expatriates I know support it.

However, all job seekers have to be realistic in their aims, be prepared to work hard, be focused on what they want to achieve and be patient enough to achieve it.

T Carmichael, Abu Dhabi