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Tuesday, 19 April 2016

183. Is Saudi Arabia the world’s Moral Cesspit?

There is some competition…

On this blog I’ve battered you verbally with my objections to global greed, the cancer of consumerism and, recently, the limp leadership in Europe (honourable exception Frau Merkel). I’ve hammered my keyboard at the perilous state of the poor the powerless and refugees from conflict.

You’ve heard (read) me groaning about everything from the ankle-breaking coffin-sized wheel suitcases that epitomise Western materialism to our lack of priorities in a world where we have Viagra but no cure for Malaria.

Recently I’ve decried the criminal absence of compassion shown by stable, comfortably-off Western nations in the face of the Syrian Pogrom (see blog172). I have despaired at the woeful, destabilising global flight of peoples as everywhere fear forces families from their homes, their friends and their roots. Where do they fly? To uncertainty and possibly an early grave in an unknown place.

Individual acts of compassion are oases of kindness in the dessert of disinterest. A couple of weeks ago I listened to a brief report of an old poor Greek man. He’d opened his home to refugee family after refugee family even though all he could offer was the use of his shower.


There has been something missing. And maybe because they’ve kept so extraordinarily quiet.

What has been largely absent is a focus on the eye-wateringly wealthy states in the region where a lot of the current miseries are occurring. No real help is being offered by countries that a. have cultural/religious links to many of the refugees and b. are geographically close and c. are richer per-capita than almost anywhere else in the world.

There has been criticism from NGOs but not loudly from Western governments or the media.

Perhaps refugees don’t even think of going to their sister nations because even they know that behind the flowing robes, cool opulent palaces, golden yachts and huge expensive cars, some of the worst human rights violations on the globe go unchallenged.

Saudi Arabia (they buy a lot of UK armaments -  well done Britain!) is the TOP RICHEST country in the Middle East.

And Globally – the top richest countries per-capita include -
Qatar (football anyone?)
Dubai (Luxury holiday / sky scraper / ski slope anyone?)
Kuwait (Trip over a fat Billionaire every few dozen miles)

Where are their vast, well-equipped refugee welcome shelters? Where is their medical aid, their schools for displaced children, safe havens for the traumatised etc etc etc?
So – my dear bleaders. Here is a junior style essay question for you in lieu of my usual longer ramblings.

Bearing in mind the horrors facing many Muslim families in the Middle East right now – as I type – as you read – which of the countries named above deserves the title


Answers on a postcard to Riyadh.

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