Young man's generosity sets a good example

Readers also speak up on subjects ranging from Emiratis taking entry-level jobs to the quality of service in a prominent restaurant, and including the French building-climber Alain Robert.

Mirdiff - May 17,2011 - Abdullah Hussain Lootah, 17, contributed 40,000 AED to help domestic workers to poor to afford their own transportation to return to their home countries recently in Mirdiff, Dubai, May 17, 2011. (Photo by Jeff Topping/The National)
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Khalid al Ameri raises some good points in his opinion article Emiratisation goals depend first on student ambitions (May 17), including the need for skills development and awareness programmes. His concerns about the way subsidies are used seems informed as well.

However, he also says we've seen labourers assigned to "no job at all waving a random flag or shovelling dirt next to an unused bulldozer."

I would think that those people are actually performing vital functions.

That flag waver could be the person who prevents a car accident; and that guy shovelling might be digging in an area the bulldozer can't reach or shouldn't, because of a gas line or a sewage drainpipe or a water main.

Also, why is it "a bit of a stretch" to imagine "a young Emirati wielding a shovel on a construction site"? Go to any G8, G20, BRIC or PIIGS country, go to Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia or Kuwait, and you will see citizens driving taxis, shovelling dirt, and waving flags at construction sites.

The truest path to Emiratisation is the one that starts at ground level. "Skill development can make a long-term difference" the writer says.

I began work delivering newspapers and working in a number of kitchens. I peeled potatoes and scrubbed pots and deveined a lot of shrimps.

Unskilled labour is where most of us begin.

Marcel Petit, Abu Dhabi

There are two questions I would like to add to the list in that column about Emiratisation:

For how long can we sustain the cost of a foreign workforce without compromising reasonable amounts of economic profit?

And how can we gauge the smooth transfer of knowledge to our nationals from the foreign workforce?

Shaima Naser, Dubai

Restaurant service should be better

Emily Shardlow, reviewing the new Jones the Grocer outlet in Khalidiyah, said she liked the food but was not pleased with the service (Great Expansions, May 18).

Unfortunately I had a nearly identical experience at the original Jones the Grocer last weekend. The service was just unaccountably awful.

I've worked in restaurants myself and know that these jobs come with a certain amount of pressure and stress.

But perhaps the servers at Jones need additional training.

Jan Newton, Doha

'Spider-Man' climb is impressive

Your Page One photo After the Burj, this is low-rise (May 18) was interesting to see.

Alain Robert's achievements, climbing both the Burj Khalifa of Dubai in March and now the Sapphire Tower in Turkey deserve applause.

That kind of climb cannot be easy, especially when it comes to the 828-metre Burj Khalifa.

K Ragavan, India

A good reason for blasphemy laws

Your story Man in court on charge of insulting the Prophet (May 18) reminds me that sometimes people are found guilty of this offence.

It amazes me that anyone would make such insults. People come to the UAE for opportunities which are not available in their home countries; the least such people can do in return is to learn to respect the people, the culture and the religion.

Everyone is entitled to have an opinion, but should show a little restraint and not insult 1.6 billion Muslims.

People guilty of this offence should be deported. Others are waiting in line for the opportunity to come work here.

Name withheld by request

Boy's generosity sets fine example

What a joy to read your article on Abdullah Hussain Lootah (The Boy with a big, big heart, May 18).

I have the privilege of counting Emirati families among my close friends and I know that all these families regularly give to charities and help people in need, but usually do so anonymously.

We see so many negative articles in the media about young Emirati boys speeding in fast boats and cars, groups of youths attacking people etc. etc.

Yes, as in all countries, some youths go astray at times. But the majority of youths here in Dubai are very respectful and gentle beings and this fact needs to be more often highlighted.

This action of Abdullah's and the publicity around it will hopefully be a good example for other youths of all nations and encourage them to use their money to help others rather than spending on futile and evanescent objects of desire.

The action of Abdullah is a great tribute to his parents who have brought him up in the acknowledgement of his privileges and the desire for a better world for all. Jane Liardon, Dubai