Smoking problem

Updated 08 February 2015
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Smoking problem

This is with reference to the report “65% of secondary schoolgirls smoke” (Feb. 8). It is an alarming trend and needs to be checked at the earliest. According to the report, exposure to western and social media is to be blamed for this trend. It is partially true. It is high time we stopped the habit of passing the buck to others. It is a social problem that requires an in-depth analysis of the situation so as to identify the underlying factors behind this trend.
Smoking is equally injurious to men and women. But the situation becomes even worse in the case of the latter, as they are the mothers of future. According to scientific research, long-term smoking causes changes to the DNA, which consequently gives rise to several health problems in children of smoking mothers.
Instead of adopting a harsh policy to curb this practice, there is a great need for educating children about the hazards of smoking.
Rabia Ahmed
Riyadh


Syrian civil war

Updated 18 April 2017
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Syrian civil war

Since it broke out six years ago, the disastrous war in Syria has claimed about 400,000 lives, with the victims being more civilians than fighters. Of the civilians, the most affected are women and children. Peace is shattered in and around Syria only to safeguard the most selfish monster in the world: Bashar Assad.
According to a UNICEF report, grave violations against Syrian children during the war have been recorded. The children in Syria are not only maimed and killed as a result of bombings but also forcefully recruited to be part of the conflict. Children as young as 7 years old are pushed into the front line as fighters, suicide bombers and executioners! The actual figures of those injured, dead and forcefully-recruited children are far higher than in the UNICEF report.
The innocent children “used” in the conflict have had the right to blossom, the right to enjoy life and the right to be on a play-ground torn from them. They have been deprived of the right to education and, according to UNICEF, nearly two million children have been forced to stop their education with one-third of school buildings rendered inoperative due to destruction.
With their often physically crippled parents, the children have to be the sole bread-winners in nearly 75 percent of Syrian households. Unwillingly, the children are forced to serve as garbage collectors, hairdressers and cleaners. Keeping aside what Assad gets out of this war, the beneficiaries of the war are weapon manufacturers who may well be dubbed parasites living on the blood of innocents.
Assad, the inhuman butcher of humanity, does not care what the world says, opines, suggests and warns about the catastrophic war in Syria. More than the ruinous acts of Assad, Russia and Iran, it shocks, grieves and pains to see that the world and the Muslim world has done nothing to stop the butcher of this century from his brutal and barbaric destruction of his own nation and his own people.