According to the front page news article Don't lecture UAE on women, Israel told (March 28), the female Federal National Council member Dr Amal al Qubaisi replied sharply to a remark by the Israeli deputy foreign minister Majali Wahabi that the UAE should be talking about womens' rights in its own country instead of criticising Israel's actions in East Jerusalem. At the annual meeting of the International Parliamentary Union in Bangkok, Dr al Qubaisi retorted that according to UN data, the UAE ranks higher than Israel on the empowerment of woman.
She should be applauded and supported 100 per cent for her reaction to the desperate comments by the Israeli deputy foreign minister. When Israel feels it has to criticise a benign and peaceful country like the UAE, you know two things. First, the UAE is making its mark on the global stage and, second, Israel is increasingly isolated and worried - and so it should be. It's time for Israel to act within the norms of international law and to abide by the many existing UN resolutions. Adil Ali, Abu Dhabi
I read with interest Rym Ghazal's opinion column Hospital horrors: gold teeth, bribery and terrible food (March 25). As a Saudi doctor practising in Canada for the past four years and currently on medical leave due to work-induced stress, I would like to say this: yes, horror stories exist in the medical profession and perhaps always will. At the risk of sounding callous, for as long as there are humans pushed to work beyond their human abilities, there will be tragedies.
I do not mean to defend the cases of malpractice or neglect, as those are certainly grave injustices and should be appropriately reprimanded. For the large part though, doctors are human beings who will set aside basic needs such as sleep and food while working long shifts lasting more than 24 hours at a time, unthinkable in other professions. After that eight-hour wait in the emergency room, the doctor who came to see Ms Ghazal could have been me. And I can tell you this much: in those sleep-deprived eight hours, I would have seen perhaps eight other sick people, resuscitating several from the throes of death, at times feeling close to collapsing myself. I would have dealt with distressed and often angry families, broken bad news and held someone's hand while they cried.
Across the globe, is there a problem with health care systems? With the added perspective of having practised in Saudi Arabia, I'll say there sure is. However, I doubt a perfect solution will ever exist as humans are a difficult species to please. Give us more doctors and perhaps the waits and mistakes will be less. But for now, and on behalf of my fellow doctors, I think we're doing a darn good job, most times at the expense of our own health, sanity and personal relationships. The rates of depression, suicide and divorce among doctors bears testimony to that. Dr Grazala Radwi, Saudi Arabia
Referring to a reader's comment in the letters page titled Womad should include all fans (March 25), the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, organiser of Womad, would like to clarify the following: audiences of all ages and nationalities are welcome to enjoy Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage events. Womad is one of our mass audience events which is open for all.
Last year the event was open for all and more than 80,000 people enjoyed the event in the three-day open-air festival. A small number of people were not allowed to enter for not dressing properly for such a family event. It is notable in all musical and cultural events everywhere that the dress code is important. Though the festival did not follow a restrictive policy regarding the dress code, some people were not properly dressed; the people turned away were requested to change and come back. The Media Office, Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, Abu Dhabi
In reference to the front page news article Seventeen sentenced to death for 'bootleg' murder (March 29), what the government feels about the large problem of trade in bootlegged alcohol is true. There are so many people selling alcohol inside Jebel Ali Free Zone and the Dubai Investment Park area. All are illegal. Still they sell alcohol openly and even claim that the police cannot prevent them from doing this. It is a mafia which operates this trade.
Punishing some individuals will definitely not end this menace of illegal bootlegging as this is organised crime. The Dubai Government and police need to take a tough stand if they really care to end it. John Abraham, Dubai