x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

A pastime that should be safer

Readers agree that wall-climbing can lead to a hospital bed, but differ on how to approach the problem. Other letters topics: Surgeon Joseph Mensah, what Palestinians really want, ugly sports uniforms and Rwanda.

Rock climber Mohamed Alavian is recovering from surgery after a 15-metre fall from a climbing wall. Readers suggest both high safety standards and prudence. Mike Young / The National
Rock climber Mohamed Alavian is recovering from surgery after a 15-metre fall from a climbing wall. Readers suggest both high safety standards and prudence. Mike Young / The National

Thank you for Losing the good taste of kit design (September 12).

It's nice to see something in the sports news beyond the usual litany of scores and times and financial news and scandals.

The wife of one typical sports fan I know well glanced at this story and said "Men don't have any taste anyway, so why should they care how ugly the uniforms are?" To which I answered as I always do: "Yes dear. You're right, my love."

Some great teams have worn terrible gear. Think of the Oakland As of the early 1970s - and many of them had stupid moustaches, too.

Still, a good team in a classy, understated uniform is better to watch than a good team in garish colours.

James Hunter, Abu Dhabi

Do your sports journalists have nothing better to write about than kit design?

Pat Monroe, UK

Outcome was fair, surgeon says

I have been following the coverage of my case, culminating in British surgeon acquitted of obscene gesture (September 13).

I want to thank The National and reporter Salam Alamir for balanced reporting, including extracts from my letter to the judge.

As you can appreciate, my family and I are extremely happy with this surprising outcome and could have wished for no better result from the Dubai judicial system.

We believe this outcome has been based on facts, legal arguments and most importantly fairness.

We look forward to moving on, and hope that no other individual in years to come will endure similar anguish.

Joseph W Nunoo-Mensah, UK

Toddler apps help but aren't ideal

Thank you for Toddler-Tech (September 13). I will be investing the modest sums needed for some of these apps.

I still think it's better to take children someplace where they can run around than to plant them in front of a computer. But let's face it, in this part of the world in the summer outdoor play is limited.

And as a mother I know that any time spent with my preschoolers is good time. We just can't let computers become their whole lives from an early age.

Suzanna Lacan, Dubai

Climbing needs to be made safe

Your report Safety concerns after second man falls from a climbing wall (September 13) reminds me of an incident a few years ago.

Doing a climbing lesson at a certain wall, I was being belayed by the instructor.

As I was climbing up I noticed he had started laughing and chatting to two girls standing outside the climbing area, and was not paying any attention to me.

When I reached the top of the wall I looked down to find him unclipping the belay and attaching it to another instructor, so that he could continue his chat.

I never climbed there again.

Sara, Sharjah

I have never had a fall from a climbing wall, and I never will have one. Nor will I ever have a parachuting accident, fall to my death off a motorbike, be crushed when a deep-sea submersible implodes or die in a race car.

Either an activity requires safety gear, or it's fun. Not both.

Dwain Anderson, Dubai

Israelis just want to take more land

Your editorial on the quest for UN recognition of a Palestinian state (Palestinian fate rests on strong institutions, September 13) makes some good points.

The Palestinians' inability to settle on leaders reflects a paradox in the Palestinian mind. They don't want anything to do with Israel but they want peace and prosperity, which means reaching a settlement with Israel.

For all the Israeli rhetoric, they are the ones who don't really want peace, not until they have populated the best bits of the West Bank.

Palestinians must speak with one voice or they will not be heard.

Rami Khalidi, US

How can Rwanda forget the facts?

I was very interested to read (Hands off, warns Rwanda leader, September 13) that Paul Kagame of Rwanda, on an official visit to France, says he's ready to forget his long-standing charges about French complicity in the genocide.

I wonder why. Mr Kagame is no angel and is becoming a dictator, but I believe the French were shamefully supportive of the Hutu killers.

Rwanda seems to be healing some of its wounds, but I don't understand how any Tutsi can forget the way the outside world looked away or aided the killers.

What ever happened to "never forget"?

Leo Coughlin, Abu Dhabi