Iran not an easy prey
According to Edward Djerejian, veteran American expert on the Middle East, Washington is believed to be pursuing a peaceful way to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapons programme ("US 'seeks diplomacy in Iran row'", Gulf News, February 21). His conviction seems credulous. There is no reason yet for the international community to fear another war.

However boisterous and intimidating President George W. Bush's comments may be, the US simply can't enter into a military confrontation with Iran. The war-loving US president is yet to recover from the shock of burning his fingers, and he knows Iran is not an easy prey.
From Mr Ramachandran
Sohar, Oman

Awaiting a pay rise
Expatriates working with Dubai Police are still awaiting a salary increase. The benefit was extended to all UAE nationals working with government departments, with the exception of expatriates in Dubai Police. I hope the authorities will take a compassionate view of the hard-working but largely unnoticed expatriate police personnel, who are struggling to cope with the rising costs of living.
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Factual error
This is in reference to the article "Lack of progress has led to outrage" by Thomas L. Friedman (Gulf News, February 23). The otherwise well-written article contains a factual error.

Friedman mentions that "India is the second-largest Muslim country in the world". This is not true. India is a secular democracy with the second largest Muslim population in the world. India has no state religion.
From Ms V. Mittal
Manama, Bahrain

Fact and fiction
I refer to Mr R.C. White's letter "Check your facts" (Gulf News, February 23). Mr White has given vent to his historical recall that Iran bullied Iraq. Sometimes, memories fade with time.

Mr White may not recall that the then Iraqi President Saddam Hussain tore the Shattul Arab Treaty on waterways on Iraqi television in 1979.

He later attacked Iran at Washington's behest to drain out Iranian armaments supplied by the US during the Shah's rule (1953-1979).

I hope Mr White would check historical facts.
From Mr S.I. Ali

Free schooling for girls
Apropos the article "Schools resist fee waiver for single girls" (Gulf News, February 25). The idea behind CBSE's move to provide free education for the single girl child was to reduce the discrimination that a girl faces in many walks of life in India.

Schools managements that cannot bear a tiny fraction of loss in this high-profit "industry" should disassociate themselves from the CBSE. Basic social issues do not change whether a child is in India or abroad.

CBSE should stick to its decision and withdraw affiliation to schools that fail to implement the decision. Ideally, however, all girls should be educated at half the fee.
From Mr J.B. Nair

Parents' exam fever
With reference to the article "Indian mothers quit jobs to coach children", I don't think this is a good practice. Parents should allow their children to study the way they want. I, too, am a grade 10 student and will appear for my board exams in a few days.

Surely these exams are important, but that doesn't mean everyone should stand on their heads. The parents' duty is to create a suitable atmosphere for the children. Students can seek their parents' and teachers' help whenever they want. This way, I believe, they can do better.
From Ms L. Thayyil

School timings
Around March last year, the Ministry of Education had instructed some schools to begin morning classes for boys by April 2006. With this hope, the children continued in those schools. However, the school recently told us that morning classes will not begin in April, but probably in September.

This is still doubtful and means another year of suffering for the children and parents alike. The school authorities said we could withdraw our child if we wanted. Such an attitude is not expected from educated people. Can the ministry take some action against these schools?
From A Reader
Name withheld by request

Rude driver
My wife and I had a distressing experience recently at the Sharjah bus terminal. My wife was sitting in a bus on a seat reserved for ladies when the driver suddenly asked her to step down. He told my wife to take the next bus because he needed two male passengers.

When I tried to explain to the driver and his supervisor the policy of reserving seats for ladies, they shouted at me and abused me. Have these people never heard of customer service? How can I complain about the drivers when even their supervisors tolerate such rude behaviour?
From Mr J. Dizon Jr

Road manners
Since my considerably old, second-hand manual car (in use for 3 years) had to be sent to the workshop, my mother lent me her new, state-of-the-art automatic car. Within a week, I was performing daring feats that were inconceivable with my beat-up but much-loved car.

I also realised that I was slipping becoming one of those careless drivers. I'm glad I have my car back now. My advice to parents is to consider such factors when buying their children a car until they are old enough to appreciate the consequences.
From Mr M. Faten

Pedestrian crossing
It is very difficult for pedestrians to cross the King Faisal Road in Sharjah especially opposite Avenue and Choithram supermarket owing to the high volume of speeding traffic.

Every week, there are at least a couple of accidents, some of them fatal. I request the authorities to figure out a solution (install a traffic light or road humps) to make it safe for us to cross the road.
From Ms Jenny Z.

No graffiti, please
This is in reference to the letter "Scribble, scribble" (Gulf News, February 20). Dubai being such a beautiful place, I see no reason why graffiti artists should be allowed to work on the walls.

What impression will a tourist get if he sees walls covered with graffiti and artists' names? Dubai cannot afford to have its reputation sullied just because a few vandals find it amusing to scribble on walls. The authorities should take immediate action before the issue gets out of hand.
From Ms R. Nivedita

Mosque needed
I live on Kalba Main Road in Sharjah, near the National Paints roundabout. Though nearly 2,000-3,000 people stay here, there is not a single mosque in the area.

Every Friday, we have to travel 5-10km to pray. I request the authorities to construct a mosque here for the benefit of the residents.
From Mr Z. Ahamed