I refer to A ticket to ride? Oh if only ... (February 9). I never had a problem with music on the Metro. The music is a blessing. Suppose they don't play the music? The disruptive talk in different languages of the people around you would be more annoying. The music is at least consistent and you can relax peacefully on the train. Name Withheld by Request
With reference to the front page news article Education faces up to double challenge (February 9): I was fortunate to attend the Education Policy Forum and I find it commendable that people at the top level make the effort to hold these talks and discuss the current situation in education. I am, however, shocked and saddened by the revelation that many of the people we allow to call themselves "educators" don't even have the bare minimum of a 120-hour Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults; in fact, not even the Teaching Knowledge Test. I think the forum participants really highlighted the need for funding and government commitment to providing pre-service training and continuing professional development throughout a teacher's career. DOS, Dubai
In reference to Warnings up, but fewer food safety fines (February 9), I am dismayed at this report due to the seemingly satisfied attitude and self congratulatory message it appears to convey. I would suggest that the inspectors have never visited the eating houses at Musaffah. If they had, these establishments would not be still operating. Some are disgusting hovels that serve food prepared in such unhygienic conditions that it is a wonder that there have been no deaths from eating the food served. They should also visit some of the labour camps out in the desert that are hidden from the prying eye. The facilities and kitchens do not meet any set standard. They are riddled with pests and in a generally disgusting condition. John Stredwick, Abu Dhabi
Concerning Colin Randall's comments on the use of force in self-defence by victims of crime (The topsy-turvy world of crime and the punishment of victims, February 1), when I lived in Philadelphia back in the late 1970s, I used to keep a loaded Colt .45 automatic by the bed at night. During the day, it lived in a hollowed-out book on a shelf. Philly was a rough place back then and I'd covered enough very nasty crimes as a reporter to feel a little insecure.
I talked to several cops and they told me to buy the biggest gun you can find and learn how to use it. One of my neighbours was a prosecutor and we'd argue sometimes about which would be more effective, my automatic or his .357 Magnum revolver. The woman across the street was a defence lawyer and she kept a sawn-off shotgun ("because I can't shoot very well") in case any of her clientele came visiting after hours. It was no way to live. After a while you stop thinking about "if I ever have to use this" and start thinking "when ..." The day we left for Canada and I handed the gun over to my father-in-law, it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Bill Taylor, Canada
With reference to the article The young Syrian businessmen making it happen (February 2): it is indeed motivating to see young businessmen benefiting from Syrian market openness, but please do not forget that they are just taking the stairs up, using family connections, inherited business relations and big companies that are already established, funded and well known. So in essence they are merely making a face lift to their companies and modernising their business to newer areas. To me this is not entrepreneurship but only plastic surgery. Zuhair Zaidan, Abu Dhabi
In reference to the article Dugongs hide from the developers (February 7): dugongs are indeed really cute, but the assumption of the headline isn't convincing enough. Although there are survey reports cited in the article showing dugongs moving to protected waters from other emirate waters, there are no studies or reports cited linking this movement to developments like dredging and land reclamation. There could be other assumptions like they are social animal and prefer to form colonies in the protected areas rather than wander in other emirate waters. Frequent storms, parasites, sharks and killer whales could also be reasons for their movements.
Subeesh George, Dubai