In regards to the front page news article Growing shortage of skilled graduates (May 7), I can only say the environment here is not very conducive to higher goals and achievements. When an 18-year-old UAE high school graduate is guaranteed a job with Dh10,000 to Dh14,000 a month, how many are going to be driven enough to acquire degrees and skills which require them to spend four to eight years more in academic studies?
Parents are obligated to provide for their children and protect them, but over-indulgence and over-protection hamper optimum development in a child. Similarly, governments looking after their citizens to a certain extent is necessary, but over-indulgence is detrimental in the long run, and signs of that are already becoming apparent.
Secondly, in today's materialistic society, an MBA is seen as a surety for obtaining a lucrative job. Medicine, engineering, law and scientific research all require a longer commitment than an MBA in terms of time and money. Other master's degrees do not give as good a start, and thus we have a dearth of master's graduates in other subjects.
Hence universities do not find it feasible to introduce departments which perhaps would attract only a very few students. This is not viable, unless the schools get government aid.
What needs to be cultivated is a spirit to serve the country. In the UAE, the attitude is what can the country do for me. As JFK put it: "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
This country is one of the best places to live today, and yet it is sad to see that people lack the spirit of serving and paying back to the nation which has given them so much.
Munira I Maladwala, Dubai
Reaction to six Tunisian profiles
The article Something to build on (May 7) profiled six Tunisians on their reaction to the successful protests in their country. Thanks a lot for this optimistic article. But in my opinion, we've had a revolt but a revolution is not yet accomplished because a revolution is nothing less than an intellectual revolution supported by every Tunisian inside and outside the country.
But with the retrograde behaviour of some groups, we are far from the "Jasmine Revolution". Still, we have to be optimistic that maybe one day we will make it.
Moez Hanzoutti, Tunisia
A perspective on al Qa'eda's impact
In his Review article Bin Laden's legacy (May 6), Nir Rosen maintains that al Qa'eda was a fringe group without roots in the Arab world.
This article shows no objectivity or perspective. That much is clear from the point where the author dismisses the impact of September 11 attacks: "They had little impact on the American economy or way of life."
That's absolute madness. Al Qa'eda operatives attempted to physically destroy Washington targets and the towers hosting the heart of the American financial industry - and they came close to decapitating the nation's political and private sector leadership. Forty billion dollars in damage in one morning, and an immediate stagnation in the world's economy. That's not much damage? What about the bombings in London and Madrid that came later? No damage there?
The US has no interest in being a colonial power. Do you think that America will ever see a return on its investment in Iraq or Libya? Absurd amounts of money have been spent, and there has never ever been any expectation that there would be a payoff.
The US is supporting the revolutions in North Africa and elsewhere. I have no idea why Mr Rosen would think otherwise. Is there concern about the possible chaos that might follow? Sure. But isn't some restraint on intervention called for in the wake of what was learnt in bringing regime change to Iraq?
Sorry - this article misses the point. It seeks to stir up antagonism between American and Arab interests.
RM Rowe, Abu Dhabi
It is best to put the incidents between 9/11/2001 (the day the World Trade Towers were attacked) and 5/1/2011 (the day Osama bin Laden was shot ) behind us, and strive to build a more peaceful world of religious coexistence and mutual respect.
An eye for an eye will never solve the problems of poverty, unemployment, hunger and disease.
Rajendra K Aneja, Dubai
Appreciation for Snoop Dogg
I refer to US rapper Snoop Dogg gets down in the desert (May 7). It was so refreshing to see Snoop Dogg starting his performance at Yas Island in a khandoura. This shows an empathy with the local UAE culture, which is not always shown by other so-called stars, mostly western, who just jet in and perform without any regard for the country.
Ibrahim Wadee, Abu Dhabi