Wheelchair user hails park access for the disabled

A reader who spent time in a wheelchair hails Dubai for making its parks available to everyone. Photo: Mike Young / The National
A reader who spent time in a wheelchair hails Dubai for making its parks available to everyone. Photo: Mike Young / The National

After an accident a few years back caused me to use a wheelchair to get round Al Ain during my recuperation, I am in a position to fully appreciate the initiative described in your story (Dubai Municipality to make all parks disabled friendly, July 20) .

My experience allows me to state categorically that those who build wheelchair ramps in this region obviously have never attempted to use a wheelchair or else they would have realised the gradients of most ramps are impossible to climb and dangerous to ascend solo.

They are also usually quite narrow, with ledges I would not like to fall from due to the impossible gradient of the slope.

Furthermore, while the beautiful shiny floors found in malls may be aesthetically pleasing to able-bodied people, they make it difficult to move freely around them because of the minimal traction between smooth wheelchair tyres and shiny mall floors. Making progress was an extremely frustrating and exhausting experience.

Name withheld by request

This decision by the municipality is long overdue. It should be extended to include making all buildings accessible to disabled people as well.

Nicola Jane Ablett, Ras Al Khaimah

Strict rules and training needed

It is very sad to read that an accident of the kind described in your article (38 workers injured in Sharjah bus crash, July 22) has happened on our roads once again.

Looking at the efforts by the authorities to prevent such accidents and the results achieved thus far, it is promising to note that they have become less frequent.

However, in order to get even better results, there is one option that ought to be implemented. The law should be amended to give no leeway above the stated speed limit for drivers of commercial or public transport vehicles. This would include 15-seater vans and minibuses, as well as full-size buses and trucks.

If enforced correctly and with strict punishment for drivers who breach it, this law ought to result in fewer accidents due to speeding and negligence.

In conjunction with this, all transport companies should be required to give their drivers training and to update their road-safety awareness skills.

Ramesh Menon, Abu Dhabi

Anyone whose driving causes an accident like this should have their licence taken away for two years.

That will get them off the road and give them an incentive to drive correctly afterwards.

Thalia Fever, Al Ain

Nothing wrong in UAE’s US alliance

Some of those who read your article (Palestinians seek refuge in Gaza’s Shifa Hospital under Israel’s unrelenting fire, July 21) have responded by blaming the UAE because of its alliance with the US, which supports Israel.

Did they not read the article or follow the news? The UAE has donated millions to Gaza – now, yesterday, and will go on to do so tomorrow and into the future.

Yes, we are in alliance with the US and with Christians and many other countries and religions. I want to know just what’s wrong with that?

Mustafa Al Aidarous, Dubai

Muslims, Christians and Jews used to live in peace and harmony in Palestine until the arrival of the Zionists, who were mostly from Europe.

They established their project through massacres like at Deir Yassin and by expelling Palestinians from their homes.

Alaa Khalil, Dubai

Zionism has spent the past century strategically dispossessing the Palestinian people.

It has ignored their just claims and subjected them to persecution, torture, rape and cold-blooded murder. Those who seek to justify what Israel has been doing in Gaza are supporting that.

Sydra Malik, Dubai

Muslim elders must speak for everyone

We need the unity that is offered by the formation of this council (Muslim Council wants to try to end deaths around world, July 22).

The most important point is that they address young Muslims. They also have to include all Muslims, from all different groups, not favouring one over another or ignoring anyone. This is the only way this initiative will work.

Dhafar Al Faisal, UAE

MH17 must not be a political football

Your editorial (Blame-shifting is no help to those grieving the MH17 victims, July 22) made a series of meaningful points.

Blaming others is not going to help the victims’ families. An independent investigation has to establish the truth about what happened and to punish those who are responsible.

K Ragavan, US

Published: July 23, 2014 04:00 AM


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