A red carpet to remember

The appearance of Tom Cruise and the impressive cast of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol in Dubai this week was a sight to behold, one reader writes. Other letter topics today: reducing food waste, questioning Wikimedia, and ending child marriage.

A reader expresses appreciation for events at the Dubai International Film Festival. Pawan Singh / The National
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As an expatriate living in the UAE for just under three years, I am saddened to see an excessive amount of food wastage in most public eating areas - be they restaurants, food courts in malls, clubs or staff canteens in offices.

With a third of the world's population living below the poverty line, it is incumbent on each and every one of us not to waste any food or drink. Buy only as much food as you reasonably expect to consume. Serve yourself smaller portions, and seek a refill as and when required rather than let food end up in refuse bins and landfills.

Shops, supermarkets and eating establishments selling food and beverage products should be encouraged to share any excess - within health and hygiene standards - with the poor and needy.

For example, any unsold fruit and vegetables should be donated to schools and hospitals in a timely and organised manner rather than simply dumped.

We live in a world where so many people are obese while others suffer from malnutrition; this imbalance needs to be adjusted.

Waste not, want not.

Raj Dorai, Abu Dhabi

SMS messages should be blocked

Your news article Du offers to block 'offensive' channels (December 7) got me thinking. Not a bad idea, but I'd prefer it if I was able to block the spam SMS texts that du keeps sending me.

Irwin Flecther, Dubai

There is more to Wiki's wonders

One has to wonder why the Wikimedia Foundation spends only 46 cents of every dollar donated on programme services, a question your recent story failed to ask. (The wonder of Wikipedia, December 8).

Why not look at the federal Form 990 and ask why the executive director of the Wikimedia Foundation is compensated so much more than the average person?

Like any Wikipedia article, we shouldn't accept the financial story of the Wikimedia Foundation on word alone, but by digging into the facts.

Gregory Kohs, US

Business of sport scores own goal

In reference to the article A high margin of error (December 5), about shoddy science measuring sport fans' reactions, I preferred being treated like cattle. At least it was honest.

I totally agree with the article. In fact, much of today's fans' impatience combined with the consumerist tendency is undermining the great work of managers like Arsenne Wenger at Arsenal.

Paul Smith, UK

Child marriage is economic issue

The issue of child brides has to be seen in a proper socioeconomic context (Popular Turkish soap opera tackles issue of child brides, December 4).

Not so long ago a young lad of 12 was expected to assist or even provide for their family in Europe. Children matured early due to life's circumstances.

In a similar way, the system of child brides in some countries is seen as a wrongheaded way to raise families' economic situations. In the absence of a proper social welfare system, a father or a family member makes the decision to marry off a daughter in the hope of securing a better life for the child, and reduce the family's economic burden.

Until these socioeconomic issues are addressed in a practical manner, all the high and mighty talk will not solve the problem or end the practice.

Name withheld by request

Mission not so impossible

Having Tom Cruise and an international cast that includes Paula Patton, Simon Pegg and Anil Kapoor at the red carpet in Dubai was wonderful (Tom Cruise shines on the red carpet and shows why he's a real star, December 8). They signed almost every poster presented by the fans and took many pictures.

Cruise himself was incredibly nice and cool and elegant, asking each and every fan how they were and expressing gratitude for their attendance.

What's more, seeing the Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, at the red carpet as well was one of the most unforgettable moments for me in this country.

Thank you and congratulations to all those involved with the Dubai International Film Festival, as it mirrors the boundless energy and optimism of Dubai in which talented and ambitious individuals can realise their dreams.

Gaye Caglayan, Dubai