Hatred begets hatred

I strongly condemn Israel's war on Gaza and the killing of innocent Palestinians ("Gaza cries for united Arab action", Gulf News, December 30). My heart goes out to the innocent women, children and men who lost their dear ones in this senseless violence. Hatred begets hatred and while the Arab world has risen to condemn the atrocities of Israel, little has been done to alleviate the sufferings of Palestinians, who are now refugees in their own homeland. There is great economic strength in the Arab world, but weaknesses arise because of disunity. I pray for sense to prevail and urge the international community and the Arab world to provide aid for the suffering Palestinians. This would be the real show of support. Otherwise, history may never forgive us.

From Mr Rabi Banerjee

Stand up, speak up

The manner in which Israel has massacred hundreds of innocent people over the past few days, is truly disgusting ("Israeli warplanes bomb Interior Ministry", Gulf News, December 30). I think the Arab world and international community should step forward to stop this aggression. The relevant leaders must face the situation by mutually understanding each other and resolving the problem together. Killing innocent civilians achieves nothing. I would like the world to recall the horror of terrorist attacks against hotels in Mumbai, in India. At that time, common men from around the world stood up and raised their voice against terrorism. The same thing should be done in this situation.

From Mr Amjad Imtiaz Shahiq

Futile war

We often complain about our seemingly endless problems, thinking that we cannot handle them. But take a look at what happened in Gaza - are our problems greater than theirs? For many Palestinians, staying in their own homes has become incredibly dangerous. I urge people around the world to open their eyes, step out of their busy schedules for a moment and do something to help our neighbours in Palestine. For how long are they expected to suffer and what have the Israelis gained from the attack?

From Ms Nadia A.

A little empathy

Recently, a resident expressed outrage at seeing a man photographing young children on his mobile phone ("Resident fear rooftop shanties are security risk, fire hazard", Gulf News, December 29). Why are people so quick to jump to the worst conclusions? South Asians, in particular, have a love of children that is not so readily expressed in Western countries. After many years in Asia, I have become accustomed to my children being fussed about and have never once interpreted the gesture as anything more sinister than sheer love. The so-called 'bachelors' make many sacrifices and endure tough lives to provide a better future for their children. Their life is hard enough, without having to face such hostility.

From Ms Jacqui

Full name withheld by request

Ridiculous letters

As a regular reader of Gulf News for the past eight years, I have a suggestion. It is about time the letters pages is replaced. Most letters are out of context and some are repetitive and ridiculous. I would urge Gulf News to be more rational in such matters and publish letters, which represent issues that are important and essential to readers. The newspaper is not just for complaints about the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) and traffic-related issues.

From Mr Adil Sulaiman

Bank trouble

My daughter is in Canada for the holidays and is holding a Mashreq Bank automated teller machine (ATM) card. She has sufficient money in her account in Dubai. However, Mashreq Bank has blocked her ATM card from being used in machines outside the UAE. The bank's customer service representative has advised her to go to any bank in Canada to withdraw money from her account. Unfortunately, most banks in Toronto informed her that, based on international banking regulations, they could not give her money through her ATM card. Mashreq Bank is forcing customers to use credit cards so that they can make more money out of this crisis.

From Mr Sunil Sharma

Mr Sa'ad Hakim, public relations manager for Mashreq Bank, replies:

This case arose when all ATM cards in the UAE were at risk from the international fraud that targeted the UAE banking system. Mashreq Bank, like the rest of the banks in the UAE and based on the advice by Central Bank, stopped ATM withdrawals from certain countries such as Canada. We also advised customers to change their pin code and notified all customers through various channels to submit a special request to open ATM cards for international cash withdrawal. Mashreq Bank, like other banks in the UAE, did not block MasterCard and Visa credit cards, as they were not at risk by the international fraud. It was actually essential to keep this window open for our clients outside the UAE to get immediate funds.

Pedestrian no more

It seems that 'pedestrians' are now extinct. Those on foot are often referred to as 'jaywalkers' in news reports! Moreover, we are always reassured that jaywalkers - not pedestrians - were killed in accidents. It is amazing what one can do with languages. Additionally, I would like to let the world know that we jaywalkers contribute a great deal to the city traffic, but require only a fraction of the road for our daily commutes. All we need is a handful of pedestrian bridges and zebra crossings, but often, even these are of no use, because no motorist respects us.

From Dr Sharif Mohammad

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