A friend, whom I trust and respect, told me that in 1975 an educationalist met a senior official and gave him a list of names of senior officials in the country who were holding education certificates that had not been accredited, so as not to say ‘forged’ and terminate their services ‘quietly’ to protect their dignity.
The friend says, the senior official went through the list very minutely and returned it to him saying ‘forget about the list’ and think you have seen nothing.
The friend Mohammad Al-Sanousi — in an interview with the Al-Majlis Satellite Channel — said a similar incident happened between him and former minister Hassan Al-Ibrahim and a senior official.
This silence encouraged others to follow the same path and even to go farther after they discovered how easy it was to obtain high degrees from lenient universities, or from shops and certificates ‘factories’ around the world which helped them received benefits from the material or social point of view.
They also saw how the title of doctor gave them respect and appreciation, often fake from half of the educated people who represent a majority of our people, let alone our nation.
So the notion ‘pull wool over your eyes when you discover something’ has made our situation miserable, sad and destructive as we see almost everyone around us holds the title of ‘Doctor’.
Turning a blind eye on a few certificates in 1975 put us in our current situation. This is exactly what happened with the oppressed bedoun category. They were few in number at the beginning of the 1960s and the problem could have been solved in a timely manner.
These people (bedoun) are found in almost every corner of the world, but the hesitation and delay in the solution and leaving it for the time to ‘heal the wound’ is the cause of the tragic situation in which we find ourselves.
We cannot naturalize them all, and we are unable to ignore the rights of many of them to obtain the nationality, especially the grandchildren, and we cannot return them to their former homeland.
I have personally experienced ‘lay to rest what you discover’ when I submitted statements containing the names of tens of thousands of citizens who did not hesitate to rob the country while they groaned under the Iraqi occupation, who deceived everyone by submitting forged documents to the Kuwaiti Committee in Riyadh for assistance and accommodation for Kuwaiti people and received ten times what they were supposed to from the Committee.
I then submitted the list of names of these people to our ambassador in the Saudi Capital in Riyadh, and he told me the State is lost and people are lost and everyone is desperate and there is no way to hold them accountable, and asked me to ‘put to rest what I had come across’ but I did not, and told everyone what I knew then.
Had the government held accountable these small thieves in a timely manner, we would have not had all this number of big thieves and robbing public money in broad daylight.
By Ahmad Al Sarraf