In reference to the article Diabetes threatens health of nation (March 14), I too had type II diabetes. I had been given metformin and glicazide (five tables in total) to take per day. Now I do not take any medication, my glucose level has dropped and all this came from changing my diet. I avoid four types of food, which I call the POWS (Prisoners of War). P is processed foods such as ready meals, dairy products like cheese and milk, fast foods and drinks that contain artificial sweeteners and sugars. O is oily foods like fish and chips. W is whites like white bread and white rice. S is sugars, artificial sweeteners and sweets.
My fasting glucose is under 7 nowadays (the level indicating diabetes) and this is without any medications. Diabetes is a lifestyle disease and if we are interested in our own health, I think it is best we look after our bodies by knowing what we eat. Mohamed Caffoor, UK
With reference to the article Property law gives new power to landlords (March 11): I think people fail to see the benefit in this new law. I'm not a landlord. In fact, this law could negatively affect me because I live in a nice place paying a relatively cheap (old) rent. But if people stop to think for a minute they'll actually realise the benefits of the new law. There was a shortage of properties in Abu Dhabi. Landlords were bound by the 5 per cent cap and so tenants were happy to stay where they were. There are plenty of prime properties still rented out on old rents. This made the available rentable units (call it the pool) very small because people opted to stay in their cheap apartments. This is because they are protected by the 5 per cent cap. Because of the cap, the pool is so small that prices on any available unit skyrocketed. It didn't matter where the rental unit is or how good or bad the quality is. There are people living in prime locations paying far less than people living in old (not worth the money) towers.
If the 5 per cent cap is taken away, it makes the pool much bigger and then the market will find a natural balance. People who can afford luxury places will pay that premium, and people who can't will move out to cheaper places. The only people benefiting from the 5 per cent cap are the ones with old rents (me included). The market will find a balance. The 5 per cent cap was a short-term fix, but it should be removed because the market will regulate itself. Landlords cannot raise their prices indefinitely because there simply won't be enough people to pay their asking price. Think again. If you're someone who's paying an old rent, then you're just being selfish by saying removing the 5 per cent cap is not good. If you're paying a large rent for something that isn't worth it, then it's that very 5 per cent cap that got you into it. Ziad Q, Abu Dhabi
Rym Ghazal's opinion piece Sometimes, attraction just stares you in the face (March 11) was, as usual, an interesting column.
Speaking as an Anglo-Saxon, I must agree that the stares I have encountered from Arabs and people from the subcontinent in the UAE are much more pronounced than what I am used to. At least in my experience in Canada, a stare should last no more than three seconds. Anything more than that is leering. So why do I get stared at? In his history of the Spanish Civil War, Anthony Beever relates an interesting anecdote about staring. In the heady days after the anarchists and socialists seized Barcelona in 1936, a beautiful, well-dressed and presumably upper class young woman stepped off a tram. The tram driver - an older, presumably lower class man - stared after her with sneering disgust. Ideology, Beever observes, had become more powerful than hormones. A woman that ought to have a elicited attraction instead provoked intense dislike because of class tensions.
I think this male-female example illuminates my male-male staring problem here in the UAE. There is something similar going on when a labourer from Pakistan or India stares at me. In Canada, I am the farthest thing from rich. But the labourer doesn't know that - he sees a white man in a suit and he thinks of money and privilege. At the risk of sounding misanthropic, there is more than an ounce of hatred when he looks at me. Or am I being unfair? Tim Marskell, Abu Dhabi
I refer to Clean sweep by the laundry patrols (March 14). A campaign in Al Ain wants to stop people from hanging their washing in public view. What about the environment? Sunlight is the cheapest and best renewable source of energy. Instead of clothes-dryers which use electricity, allot space so people can hang their clothes and save energy. Yousef Ansari Ansari, Abu Dhabi Send letters to the editor to PO Box 111434, Abu Dhabi, UAE. Or e-mail them to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a daytime phone number where you can be reached. Letters may be edited for length and clarity.