Tidbits of Arabic News translated into English

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Today the BBC Arabic did a call-in show on corruption. It was timed to coincide with the release of a report which ranked countries by their levels of corruption. I can attest that Denmark and Finland were both mentioned as having scores of 100%. I'm sure that Sweden was also mentioned, but I did not see the first part, I only got into it halfway through. That was when I heard Denmark and Finland.

But the show was not about Scandinavian countries, it was about all the corruption in the Arab world. The best-ranked Arab country was the UAE, and its ranking was 39 or 69 or something.

This lady was interviewed: she could give all the specifics about the report.

Her name was Ms. Kinda.

She said that sometimes in Arab hospitals, you have to give the doctors a bribe before they will treat your family member, even in an emergency situation. But, in recent years apparently, there's some government ministries putting more oversight on hospitals; there is more awareness that this is something that must be stamped out.

I think she also said that in Europe, there's less corruption partly because the poorest people still have access to social services and benefits. I wasn't listening very carefully, so I'm not very firm of what exact link between social benefits and corruption she was mentioning.

And the BBC Arabic presenter who was running the show mentioned how when Arabs living in Europe return on vacation to their homelands, they get so annoyed when bribes and related ilk rear their heads again.

Wow, again, praise for the west coming from the BBC Arabic and Arabs at large. We are all going to get along so well now.

Since I've already mentioned Finland here, this is a good time to say that I meant to have a post about Finland earlier. There was an Iraqi man without any sort of passport who got stuck in an airport in Kazakhstan. He could not fly out and return to any country, and neither could he leave the airport and enter Kazakhstan proper, all because he did not have the proper paperwork. He basically lived in a tiny room in the airport for five months.

Now, since we Arabs and Muslims are always going on and on about how well we stand up for each other, please be understanding of the fact that not a single Arab or Muslim country would let grant the stateless man asylum or entry privileges. Of course not! If we Arabs and Muslims want to be united, we couldn't possibly do it be helping each other. So the man stayed at the airport until Finland took him in. Shout-out to Finland.

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