Salam Street still not ready

Postponed completion of the Salam Street project riles one reader, and makes another fret for shopkeepers. Other letters touch on globalisation, Lady Gaga, Libya, and fireworks.
After years of work, construction on Abu Dhabi's Salam Street project will still need several more months, municipal officials say. A reader wonders how merchants in the area are managing. Silvia Razgova / The National
After years of work, construction on Abu Dhabi's Salam Street project will still need several more months, municipal officials say. A reader wonders how merchants in the area are managing. Silvia Razgova / The National

Your columnist Mustafa Alrawi has missed the point about globalisation (Hazare is just one man hungry for globalised change, August 28).

He writes that the growth of international trade and inter-connectedness has benefited a "minority", while "millions around the world … have had only marginal benefits from the gravy train of globalisation".

He should ask the whole population of China about that, not to mention the people of India, Indonesia and other countries. They would have a very different view.

If you look at the big picture, the escape from utter poverty of at least one billion people around the world is by far the biggest - and the best - development in human civilisation in the last 50 years, and it is due to the spectacular success of globalisation.

That trade ties make war less likely is merely a side effect, but a wonderful one.

Ian Allaby, Abu Dhabi

Salam Street delay needs explanation

Here is a quotation from the official statement cited in your news report Salam Street 'ready by early 2012' (August 30): "What is perceived as delay in the project is in fact sequencing the delivery of the project phases to best fit the operational needs of the downtown infrastructure."

But we were promised that the ground-level part of Salam Street would be in operation in July. Shouldn't there be an apology for yet more delay?

Philip Bowler, Abu Dhabi

The photo of Salam Street was striking: such a huge expanse of a busy business district, empty although it looks ready for traffic.

I just feel sorry for the shopkeepers and restaurant operators along and near that stretch. If they haven't gone broke already they must be holding on by their fingernails and now they've got more delays to handle.

Early in August I was in a favourite Indian restaurant down there; it was almost empty at prime time.

When I asked when they expected that the street would be open, the headwaiter told me with a wry smile, "next month, they say".

Ibrahim H, Abu Dhabi

Lady Gaga is no fashion arbiter

This is about the article Lady Gaga gives women back the right to dress astonishingly (August 28).

If the writer needs Lady Gaga to give her permission to dress a certain way, then I would say that she has big problems to deal with.

Be your own person. Who cares about Gaga?

Ian Williams, Dubai

I can't agree that Lady Gaga gives women "the right to dress astonishingly" now, as your writer asserted.

In my (male) opinion, most women dress the way they do because they think it suits them best, within the norms of their culture and situation and income and taste and so on.

By making herself ridiculous in a new way every month, almost, Lady Gaga gives herself the right to make more money, I suppose, but the last thing women need is more fashion advice.

They are deluged with advice in countless magazines and newspaper articles and other sources of information, most of them fuelled by the highly profitable "fashion" industry.

Thomas Simpson, Dubai

Libyan rebels unfair to blacks

I refer to Tripoli prepares for Eid amid shortages of food, water, fuel and power (August 29).

I am concerned about reports that the rebels are killing many blacks. I have a Facebook friend in Libya who looks very dark and African. I have not heard from him; he seems to have disappeared.

The town of Zawiya was once full of blacks but I understand the rebels have now cleared them out.

Col Muammar Qaddafi had big investments in Africa. He was a hero to Africans, and respected by Nelson Mandela.

Ursula Riches, UK

Everyone hopes that the people of Libya will recover quickly and move on to build a better society.

What strikes me about the region as different from western Europe and the US is that the base for national leadership in places like Libya and Iraq is largely family, tribe, kinship and ethnicity.

Many people in the West think, wrongly, that this kind of society mostly disappeared long ago.

America's obvious and spectacular failures at "nation building" in Iraq and Afghanistan strike me as largely the result of the well-intentioned arrogance and ignorance of our leaders and the public.

Thomas Bleser, US

Take no chances with fireworks

Re: Warning on danger of fireworks to children (August 30).

A friend's child in another country was burnt in such an accident last year. I implore parents to be cautious.

Cathy O'Leary, Dubai

Published: August 31, 2011 04:00 AM


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