Thursday, April 9, 2009
The Eye of the Ignorant
To bridge the gab between cultures and countries, I realized traveling wide enough and meeting a very well diverted scope of people, the first step should be either the enlightenment or knocking out the eye of the ignorant, which is a phenomenon I recognized through watching several interactions among several people of different backgrounds.
I will go in to this in several posts but I will start with someone dear to my heart(or is he).
In November 2008 by the time it was clear, a very tough ride is expected for the international economy and for the oil producing countries economies. I had a chance to meet Emanuel Mbi the world bank country director with a delegation of political sciences students from Holland.
So far so good, you go to such a meeting thinking the person you are about to meet is someone who knows what is he doing, only to find the following (again I would like to remind you this is the WORLD BANK COUNTRY DIRECTOR = the highest representative of the global organization in the country)
my first observation was -as shortsighted as it may be- the 15000 USD worth wall wide LCD screen which was perfect in my prospective to play a perfect game of need for speed..
when the guy finally made it to the meeting, he had one answer to all these questions, what are the main projects for the world bank in yemen? what are the main accomplishments of the world bank in Yemen? what are the future plans of the world bank in Yemen? although these were 3 different questions requiring a slightly (at least) different answers.. the answer was I have been in Yemen only for 3 months and I don't know much about our operations here !
3 MONTHS?? are you kidding me? are those 20 something people look dumb to you?
3 MONTHS WERE NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU TO GET TO KNOW WHAT IS GOING ON?? in which reality have you been hanging around?
Then he started talking about the problem facing the country, WATER came next as the issue.. fine this seem interesting enough -thinking to myself that the world bank recommended Salvador to privatize water sources even rain meaning ppl couldn't store rain water in tanks without the consent of the American water company which got the reserved rights (why am i not surprised) anyway this whole plot ended in disaster when the folks rioted against this idiotic plan. so water it was and the scientific proof that he used to emphasize the water crisis was the farmers complain that they should deeper every year looking for water.. you would expect some research of a reputable Hydrology center with reading and numbers but no all u get to explain the water crisis in Yemen is some complainst of farmers!
Not disappointed well i hope the next one will get your attention, OIL was next in list of proves that Yemen will go down the drain if the world bank didnt step in?? the debate of course include the classic three symptoms of the oil industry we have been hearing ever since, those are declining prices, declining prices, and new energies emerge! well maybe but you would think someone of such caliber would come managing an organization this big in a country whose economy is based on oil should at least know the country production or the oil prices.. or how much did they decline to say the least! still.. NO, he didnt.. at this point I would really like to know how did he find out the country is going down the drain and desperately needs the blah blah blaaah..
The meeting went on and as all things came to an end, in the discussion that followed with the guys coming all the way from Holland there mesmerized by the ignorance displayed clearly. As I thought and clearly verbalized (this is an indicator of how the donors money are operated in Yemen) Someone suggested that Mr director was acting naively or actually naive ti the conditions the country is facing.
so to make it short you have world bank country director who doesnt know what is he doing after 3 months of working, doesnt know the sceintfic parameters of a so called water crisis, and doesnt know the oil prices or production in a oil based economy country!
Despite all that, some of those Dutch delegates went back to thier lower lands talking about the information supplied in this meeting in face value!
Can you spot the eye of the ignorant here?