Open house, choked roads
The entire road next to Welcare Hospital in Garhoud was blocked on Tuesday. The spillover could be seen even on Garhoud Bridge. The traffic jam was caused by the open house at three Indian schools in the area. Can't schools have open house celebrations in the afternoons or on Fridays? You would expect a school to have enough sense not to schedule an open house on a weekday at a time when office hours begin.
From Ms V. Cherian

Editor's note:
We were inundated with similar letters of complaint from many readers frustrated with the traffic jams and related inconvenience caused by these events.

US must talk to Iran
The excellent editorial "US and Iran make a good beginning" (Gulf News, March 27) is spot on. The US must engage Iran in a strategic dialogue leading to a regional alliance, making the entire Middle East nuclear-free. Whether through ignorance, hubris or the influence of neo-cons within and outside the Bush administration, its record in this respect is abysmal. Surely, the US administration realises that without Iran's cooperation, no issue can be resolved in the region. Nor will school yard threats and intimidation from both the sides achieve anything. The Bush administration must talk to Iran.
From Mr F.S. Fatemi
McLean, Virginia

Touching gesture
With reference to the article "Mohammad gift changes Jasem's life" (Gulf News, March 27). It is remarkable the way His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, makes a difference in the lives of ordinary people. Changing the life of Jasem and his family, and ordering a new building for Al Waten School are soul-touching gestures which make me and so many others pray for the growth and prosperity of the UAE and its Rulers.
From Mr B. Mahmood
Abu Dhabi

A page for all
After reading the letters on publication of news from Afghanistan on the Pakistan page, a thought came to my mind. Since no major international controversies are raging at the moment, let us all convince Gulf News to have a separate page for each country. We can start with Alaska, China, Afghanistan and continue through Kenya, Congo, and over to Mexico and Argentina. And not to forget Antarctica, we don't want to risk the displeasure of the penguins, do we?
From Mr S. Hashmi
Abu Dhabi

Slow to react
Refer to the article "Man dies after swimming in sea near Jumeirah" (Gulf News, March 25). I wish to clarify that it was not the police that got the drowning Iranian out. It was me and two other bystanders. Also, there were no red flags to alert bathers of unsafe waters. Soon after the incident, children were playing at the same spot and the police still let them be. The police did not react quickly enough.
From Mr K. Birch

Need a phone
I write on behalf of the residents of tower A1 of Nuaimia Towers in Ajman. Although it has been over three months since we applied for a connection, we are still without a telephone line and internet. This is causing us great difficulty. Etisalat claims the problem is not at their end and that we should talk to the builder, Ajman Properties. But the latter too is unable to offer any relief. Is there any way we can get a basic facility like telephone?
From Mr F. Zakaria

A negative view
This is in reference to Neena Gopal's article "Unlikely friends, strange bedfellows" (Gulf News, March 23). Why does she have to take a negative view of everything that Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia does? Or is she trying to support India by any means? Earlier, on December 16 (Bangladesh's Victory Day), Gopal had written an article listing the terrorists operating from Bangladesh. This can't be a coincidence. Does Gopal have a grudge against the Bengalis?
From Ms Nitu
Abu Dhabi

Editor's note:
The article is an assessment of a state visit the first by a Bangladeshi prime minister in nine years. It examines the reasons that brought Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to New Delhi and why she declared it a huge success after returning home. In the case of Zia, it is a realisation that times are changing and that an antagonistic relationship with India serves neither side. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, meanwhile, has realised he must engage with the government that is elected to power in Dhaka and not play favourites. To see the comments as pro- or anti-Bengali would be, therefore, wrong.

Naming names
In two separate articles on Egypt, you have misspelt the name of the country's prime minister. The current prime minister is Ahmad Nazeef, not Ahmad Najeeb, as stated in "Natty new taxis take on Cairo's rickety relics" (Gulf News, March 16) or Naseef, as mentioned in the article "Egypt to lift 25-year-old emergency laws" (Gulf News, March 24). I wouldn't have thought the name of such a high-ranking official would be hard to get right.
From Mr R. Al Noumeir

Incorrect title
I am writing with reference to the article "Age-old tartan used by UAE band found in UK" (Gulf News, March 24). The Pipe Band Of the Central Military Command was formed by my late husband Major R.D.F Stallard. The article is correct in as much as he did form the Pipe Band and was responsible for the Tartan being designed. His title, however, was "Command Pay Master" not "Pipe Major", as was stated in your article.
From Ms M. Stallard

Spare non-smokers
Why doesn't the management of Mall of the Emirates reserve space for non-smokers in its food court? I have to endure smokers every time I have lunch there and it is irritating. If not the non-smokers, at least show some concern for the children roaming around the mall.
From Mr M. Al Naib
Abu Dhabi

The management of Mall of the Emirates replies:
Mall of the Emirates has designated non-smoking areas across all of its food court and no-smoking signs are clearly placed on designated tables to ensure the comfort and requirements of non-smokers are met. The vast majority of our customers respect the non-smoking signs in these areas and we do our utmost to ensure the requirements of non-smokers are met.