Film festival a success

Letters also comment on "safe" taxis, Qaddafi's death, jobs for Emiratis, the telecoms market and health dangers to schools.

The actor Tilda Swinton congratulates French writer/director Vincent Paronnaud, who won an award at the closing ceremony of the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. In letters today, readers praise the festival. Karim Sahib / AFP
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How sad that the film festival is over (Abu Dhabi Film Festival: A hotbed of creativity, October 21).

We did not utterly love every film we saw but we were delighted with the opportunity to see really interesting films from many different places.

To judge by the fare at our commercial cinemas through the rest of the year, "the movies" consist of cartoons and brainless Hollywood action pictures. We wish the festival could run all year round.

Bruce and Ann Bailey, Abu Dhabi

Thousands of happy filmgoers owe thanks to those who organised (and paid for) the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

I just wish I had been able to see more of the films. But the chance to hear and talk with the directors of some movies was truly special.

Lara Shoubri, Abu Dhabi

Among the many good things about the Abu Dhabi Film Festival was the staff of eager young helpers, most of them volunteers I suppose, who were in my experience consistently well-informed and eager to be helpful.

Many of these young people no doubt aspire to careers in this medium, which as the festival showed is vibrant all over the world. I wish them all good luck.

May Haddad, Abu Dhabi

Will 'safe' drivers be paid more?

I refer to Dubai offers safer taxis, for a charge (October 18).

It is a serious comment on the state of the "regular" taxi industry that there is so much demand for "safe" taxis that people will pay six times the standard amount just to be "safe".

But safety comes as much from outside the car as it does from inside it.

I wonder how much pay these drivers receive. Since the cost is six times higher, one would assume that their pay is significantly higher as well.

If done equitably, this could have a knock-on effect with regular taxi drivers who will realise that if they drive safely for a period of time then they too can begin to make more money. Otherwise, it's just another way for someone else to get rich.

Donald Glass, Abu Dhabi

Irony of reversal in Qaddafi's death

I have an observation on your reporton Muammar Qaddafi (Myth of glory, feet of clay, October 21).

In the end he got exactly what he wanted, becoming a martyr to his own cause. That included some idea of a greater pan Arabic nation but also involved his children running around with celebrities, living a hedonistic life.

His demise was ironic, as he was found cowering from his own people in a squalid ditch begging for his life. Just six months ago it was they who were begging him from the squalor, for their own lives.

Christopher Koulouris, US

It always seems to end the same for these dictators, doesn't it?

From Hitler to Qaddafi, they end up dead in disgusting circumstances, reviled by their people and stinking in the history books.

Carlo Barsotto, Dubai

Balance public, private salaries

I have a suggestion about Emirati jobs target 'will fail without subsidies' (October 20).

Could decreasing public-sector salaries be part of the solution? Nothing so drastic as to dramatically cut the quality of life enjoyed by many Emiratis, but simply a cut that would put salaries more in line with those of leading private-sector firms.

The private sector is missing out on many bright local minds because the cash incentive isn't there to make people jump from the Government ship.

All companies, public and private, would then be on an equal playing field.

Name withheld by request

New services could help Etisalat

The news in your report Etisalat feels the heat as profit falls (October 19), is typical of telecoms where the market has matured.

Revenues are fairly flat and that means that operators have to focus either on the cost side of the business or alternatively on increasing revenues through value-added services.

However, some have opted to venture into non-traditional services such as video transmission from surveillance cameras, and alarms from monitoring devices.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Make owners pay to clean school

Is chemical plant fire making our children ill? (October 21) made me wonder why the owners of the factory have not sent cleaning squads to clean out the nearby school.

Smoke gets into a building and leaves behind a residue.

The owners should be compelled to clean the school, and to compensate the families.

Ahmet Kianin, Dubai