Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Government Shut-Down

Throughout most of today, the BBC Arabic did not make the US government shutdown their up-front story. Mostly, they were talking about protests and killings in Sudan, killings and peace plans in Syria, the UN chemical weapons inspectors arriving in Syria, and someone in Iran called someone in Israel a liar.

But then! During the "This Evening" show, the shutdown was first on the agenda. They spent at least 25 minutes discussing it with experts and analysts.

One of the analysts even explained Republican philosophy and random American driving rules for the Arabic audience, paraphrased as follows:

Republicans don't believe you can force anyone to buy health insurance. Now, if you drive a car in the US, you are required to buy car insurance. The Republicans agree with this because they say if you drive a car, you have the great potential of harming other people. But, they say there is no reason to force anyone to buy health insurance. Americans value their freedom! You can do what you want, style your hair however you like, no one has the right to tell you no!

 Sir ... sir! let me tell it to you like it is!

But in spite of this, the analysts concluded that it is the Republicans who will be most hurt by the shutdown. They even translated 'Tea Party' into Arabic. It sounds funny :) And finally, they showed the Democratic elephant and the Republican donkey.

One of the analysts was definitely Republican. He said that Obama needs to compromise more.

Then they showed Obama's press conference from the Rose Garden, where he in turn talked smack about the Republicans:

They weren't finished. Next came an analysis of how the US government shutdown might affect the world economy (and Arabs in particular!)

Other shutdown images shown on the BBC Arabic today:

This guy holds up a newspaper with the headline 'Brinkmanship', while to the left, members of Congress are wandering about haplessly. 

This is BBC Arabic correspondent Wafa' Ashbaa-ii (I actually don't know what her last name is!) reporting live from the nation's capital. In her report, she mentioned that taxes would still be collected, post would still be delivered, etc, etc. So, no offense to anyone, but even a shutdown US government still functions better than many countries' alert governments. Maybe that is not something to crow about, I don't know. But this is kind of embarrassing, so we need a silver lining for sure.

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