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The Phantom Stipend

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The phenomenon of aspirational thinking in the Arabias is one that has fascinated me for some time. I am guessing this is because I used to represent those involved in the unlicensed pharmaceutical trade. It is very difficult to get a drug dealer to tell the truth. It was a long time before that I realized that lying is simply another form of communication, with its own rules.

The issue came up again the other day when a client visited with the intention of setting up a business in the Kingdom. The potential Saudi partner claimed, among other things, to “own an airline” and have as his own partner, a “Saudi prince who is one of the most important princes in the country.” The claim of airline ownership was quickly dispensed with and the fact that I had to do due diligence on the second point underscores its falsity.

So I was reminded of an occasion when the former chief of office at York’s claimed to have been offered a stipend of $15,000 per month (or some other outrageous number) to act as the sponsor of the American Businessmen’s Group in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia. When I asked the group how they were going to pay the stipend (because there was an issue as to whether unincorporated associations could open bank accounts in Saudi Arabia) the response was a collection of guffaws. Needless to say, no such offer had been made.

Why the falsehood? Aggrandizement? But the truly great do not boast—ever.

This has nothing to do with Blakes Bahrain, by the way.

Written by mokane

January 31, 2013 at 9:32 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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