In his opinion article Securing disaster (January 22), Peter Hallward argues that the American-led mission to Haiti is repeating past mistakes. I wonder if he has thought the matter through when he accuses the US of putting military stability ahead of humanitarian aid. The news here in the US is full of reports from Haiti of looting and attempts to commit various crimes. Before the US (or anyone else) can begin to distribute humanitarian aid, the people delivering it must be safe from assault and murder. If the volunteers of the American Red Cross or the Red Crescent or anyone else are in danger of being attacked, will they deliver needed food, water, and medicine? Bob Morris, US
In reference to the article Survey finds most UAE residents have unhealthy lifestyles (January 22), no surprise there. Traditionally in UAE society the father was the primary bread winner. Due to the rising cost of living and ridiculously high rents, mothers have had to seek work opportunities to support their households. Unless you are exceptionally fortunate, it is becoming increasingly difficult to live in Abu Dhabi on a single income. Some of us parents work 12-16 hour days. Yet we do not earn enough to be able to pay the rent, send our kids to good schools or provide them with the standard of living that our parents did. Our parents worked much less and may have earned less, but what they earned was more than enough to live on comfortably while we had our mothers at home cooking and caring for us.
Where are parents today supposed to find the time to provide their children with the quality care they deserve? Parenthood is not a part-time job. It should be treated and approached as a career that requires real life-changing decisions, and it cannot be held in second place after individual career goals. These are all problems of modern day living and a society that is too focused on material appearances and not enough concerned for the family unit. The obesity rates, the divorce rates, the traffic accidents, the stress levels and any increase in youth crime are all related. They need to be approached responsibly as a collective set of symptoms of a disease currently afflicting UAE and GCC societies. BuAhmed al Hashimi, Abu Dhabi
I was pleased to read the article UK Muslims in battle for hearts and minds (January 20) and to note the positive feedback to the public awareness campaigns in support of Islam. I would like to add that as an expat from the UK, now living in Dubai, I have found that there is definitely a general negative impression about Islam presented in the media there.
We should all support such initiatives, as this shows the true, peaceful nature of Muslims and Islam, and after all this is why many of us are Muslims today. We need to be much more focused on showing these positive messages about Islam in the media and all work together for this goal. The UAE is a perfect example of how people from various backgrounds and religions can co-exist peacefully, but it requires projects like the "hearts and minds" campaign in the UK to show others that this is the reality. R Malik, Dubai
In reference to the news article Dubai's bijou hotel is forced to close (January 23), I cannot express how appalled I am by this news. My husband and I, and two other couples, were starting to talk about visiting the UAE, and were only beginning our search for just such a place to stay as this. It sounds like it was not only idyllic, but also a brilliant business idea that succeeded by the innovation and hard work of its proprietors. How could the municipality, in such a global economic climate as this, choose to discourage such brilliance? This story has taken us all aback and certainly raised eyebrows on this end. Rachel Rivera, US
Why give a licence in the first place if you're going to decide not to renew it two years later? It's not like the street they were on was not residential when the hotel first opened. It's arbitrary decisions like this which make people feel very hesitant to invest large sums of money in the UAE. Overnight your life savings can be lost through no fault of your own - just like that. Ritesh Tilani, Dubai
In reference to UAE residents choose cheap petrol over climate (January 22), I am surprised that a nation that was founded by nomadic tribes who were as close as possible to the environment in their lifestyle and habits should forget the dictates of their own people, culture and religion and adopt the bad habits they have today. It is baffling. Mita Srinivasan, Dubai