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The Wannabe Empire

Today, I was watching CNN international on Japan and their diesel-producing algae. They have mentioned that Japan has been producing diesel from algae, and have been used in cars already which is great, but it got me to think. If the world started to rely on algae for diesel, where would the Gulf stand?

For the past forty years, the Gulf has been exporting petroleum to the world, but it did not take advantage of this opportunity to flourish intellectually. The Gulf now, and will stay for a long time, a rich region with poor minded people (in general). Oman; for example, has been a very poor country before 1970 and when its economy started to become better, the people became a bit more educated. The root of the problem is the mentality and the culture that people are so intertwined with. For example, as a child you have many questions about God. Even though faith allows you to question and explore, the culture condemns you if you did. Every one would give you the “how dare you!” look. You are shut down from a young age. You learn not to ask and not to think critically. You would hear people answer you by saying “Well, that’s just how it is” or “its our culture”.

I want to have hope for the region to change positively, but I doubt that would happen in my time. Once money started to flood through the region, people became too good or too proud. For example, if you ask someone to work in construction, they will reply, “Are you serious! You want ME to work on construction?”. So, basically, the mentality here is that we are too good to do hard work. “And why work hard if we can have lower people do it? Or if we can just pay for the service?”. We have been paying a lot of money for these services, and our money has been going out of the country instead of circulating in it. So, basically we are making other countries rich. We rely on them. The reason we have about 6% unemployment rate (I don’t think they count the unemployed women) is because the country needs services that its people cannot fill.

Also, the region has a negative attitude. They look at the advancements of the West and far East as a result of being far away from God. “They are advanced because they have no fear of God and have no morals”. As if morals have been given to the Gulf people only. Unless you live with them and are part of them, you won’t see the extent of their negativity. Complaining is part of the culture and they dedicate an enormous amount of time to complain about their misfortunes and bad luck. Not that they are working hard to change it or to achieve. No, they want it to come to them.

But most importantly, its a culture that does not read. At least not beyond the religious books. A regular day in an Omani life does not include reading. Probably the newspaper a bit because we are in a region that is in the middle of war zone. Or at least we are close that it concerns us and we need to know what is going on. Oh, some people but mostly girls read translated romance books. I remember my cousins hiding those novels from their parents because they were taboo. However, the average Omani stops reading once they are done with school. No wonder we are so behind.

So, why do I call the Gulf region the “Wannabe Empire”, well its because people build their own empires..not so much here. We have the wealth to be an empire but not the attitude!

Note: I know the post is negative, but its my dedicated “complaining” time of the day!

Here is an article about the algae producing gasoline.

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