Monday, November 14, 2005

Transparency Bridges

Our favorite reporter in the world, Tariq Khonji, covered an attempt to propose a commission that watches over tenders and government transactions, to make sure no side agreements or funneling is going on anymore, after the local media published the transparency report. Apparently the government was approving castles in the sky, or as I like to call them Chinese city lights.

That report made our human rights record blush. Good job government. Just when we think we can't do any worse, somehow you rise to the occassion.

This reminds me of an old joke. A Bahraini minister went on a friendly visit to Italy. The italian minister took him around the city and then to his mansion. So the Bahraini minister asks "how can you afford a mansion when everyone else lives in apartments?" So the Italian minister says "Go to that window and move the curtain. See that bridge over there?" Bahraini minister says "yes, its beautiful." Italian minister says "The budget was set for 3 million and I built it with 2. Now you know how I can afford this mansion."

A year later the Italian minister comes down here. Sure enough, the Bahraini minister takes him around, and then back to his Palace in Saar or wherever. The Italian minister now asks "If you don't mind me asking, how can you afford this big palace and everyone else here is living in shacks?" So the Bahraini minister says " Go to that window and move the curtain. Do you see a bridge there?" "No" he replies. Bahraini minister yells "EXACTLY!"

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