Rain is welcome, but potentially dangerous

A reader notes that flooding is the, sometimes tragic, downside of much-needed rain. Other topics: pigeons, timeshare and Syria.

The rains at Sham and Wadi Ghalilah in RAK led to flooding in the mountainous areas. Residence say floods haven't been seen since 1975. Mariam Al Nuaimi / The National
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I refer to Man swept to death in flooded wadi (November 19).

While rains are a blessing, they can also bring a lot of problems and inconvenience for people.

I think that the unusually heavy downpours that residents in Ras Al Khaimah have witnessed over the past few days are the effects of global warming.

Fatima Suhail, Dubai

Arrogance is roadblock to peace

Faisal Al Yafai's opinion piece, A deal with the devil could save Syria from the inferno (November19), was thought-provoking.

The author has clearly analysed the past and present status of Syria, and the current regime’s arrogant attitude.

Despite international calls for a peaceful settlement, president Bashar Al Assad is still adamant that he will stay in power.

I hope that peaceful dialogue between the people and the Assad government can yield some results. Innocent people should not have to suffer any longer.

K Ragavan, India

I have yet to see or hear of any diplomatic solution that would see Bashar Al Assad step down.

He will definitely not accept any deal that puts him out of the president’s palace. He wants the presidency for his children and grandchildren.

Abu Zein, New Zealand

Lifestyle changes can ease psoriasis

Thank you for the article Removing the stigma from psoriasis (November 18).

Having lived with the condition for much of my life, I believe the best treatment is exercise, sunlight, keeping hydrated and eating well.

After I changed my lifestyle, practically all the symptoms of the condition disappeared within about two months.

One major cause of psoriasis is stress, so it is important that you are able to effectively manage your life and create as little stress as possible – which is easier said than done. At the least, you must allow yourself sufficient time to relax.

Alcohol can also aggravate the condition and should be avoided.

In my experience, it is best to stay away from creams, tablets and steroids because as soon as you stop using them, the symptoms return. The best weapon to combat psoriasis is to understand it.


Timeshare buyers must be cautious

I refer to Dubai offers new look for luxury timeshares (November 17).

A timeshare sales agreement is the contract that you get at the moment you purchase a fractional ownership.

Some timeshare companies make these contracts long and difficult to understand, so the buyer doesn’t know well what he or she is getting into.

The terms and conditions are often made to benefit the resort, but not the owner.

The timeshare sales agreement gives you the right to use the resort, over a certain number of years, for a specific number of weeks each year.

That means that the developer still owns the resort and your interest should not be considered as real estate.

Potential buyers should check that verbal promises given during the sales presentation are actually in the contract.

Also, many of these agreements have no cancellation policy.

B Taylor, Dubai

Feed birds in the park, not street

Walking along the Istiqlal street in Abu Dhabi recently, I was shocked to see pieces of bread had been thrown on to the pavement near an advertising sign.

I realised that this was done by someone with the intention of feeding the birds, mostly pigeons, in the area.

Although feeding birds may be considered a humane act or devotional gesture, it contributes to the bird droppings all around the area, including on parked cars and the windows and balconies of nearby buildings.

The municipality is spending a huge amount of money to keep our city clean. Encouraging these birds to live in the inner-city area detracts from the environmental, ecological and aesthetic qualities of the locality.

For this reason, I think that feeding birds in the city should be discouraged. Instead, feeding areas for birds and other animals could be set up in public parks and gardens.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi