When the late Saud Al-Dosari, the presenter of MBC program ‘Turning Point’ asked me what was the most important turning point in my life, I replied it was a day at the Gulf Bank in the mid- 1960s. I found myself in an totally different environment. The discipline within the walls of the bank refined my personality, strict adherence to the work timings and working on transactions in complete secrecy.
I received a video clip in which the Speaker of the National Assembly, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, gives a speech during the inauguration of the ‘Secretariat 2017’ campaign. What he said reminded me of many things, some of which were included in the TV interview. We are not better than others, but inferior than them in many respects after the unblessed awakening which damaged our social fabric and the beauty and cohesion of our society. I very well remember a report in the National Geographic magazine about Germany.
The report is accompanied with a picture of a huge machine and a table stacked with gift boxes in various sizes and colors. The caption of the picture read the person who had put in 40 years of hard work on this machine had refused to celebrate his retirement day with his colleagues because the time during which the celebration was organized belonged to the factory. He was ready to celebrate the occasion provided it was done after duty hours. Here I remembered our customs and traditions when employees in the government sector stop working a week before going on vacation and do nothing one week after returning, often busy saluting the undersecretary or a director-general.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court in London issued an order to stop the deportation of an Afghan asylum seeker, but the Ministry of Interior ignored the court order and deported the man. Here, the court judge considered the act of the ministry abusive and in contempt of the judiciary and issued a verdict to imprison the Minister of Interior within 24 hours if the man was not brought back. And the ministry brought the man back from Kabul to prevent the imprisonment of the minister and avoided bad blood between the government and the judiciary. Such things make people proud of their authorities.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf