Todd: So, Aiman, now you actually are a business student, correct? You study business?
Aiman: Well, actually I studied business. I did my undergraduate in Global Business Management but now I’m doing my master’s in International Material Flow Managament.
Todd: OK, so you have experience with the business field. You’ve worked as a professional. What job did you have before?
Aiman: IT specialist. An IT trainer and mainly a technical person in different industries.
Todd: OK, we bring this up because we both have experience in cultures with bribery, bribes. So, we’re gonna talk about bribery. So in your country Syria, what is something you would pay a bribe for?
Aiman: Well, in Syria you’d pay a bribe for anything. Everything. Even if you didn’t do anything. You might need to pay a bribe.
Todd: So how does it work?
Aiman: Well if the policeman decided to pull you over you have to pay them something otherwise they’ll come up with something to make you pay more.
Todd: So let’s say… well can you give an example of something that you would have to pay a bribe for?
Aiman: Just driving really. You’d be driving and the policeman would just ask you to pull over and then he’ll come and it means that he needs a bribe, otherwise he will just keep you there waiting.
Todd: And now how much would the bribe usually be?
Aiman: Usually it would be one dollar.
Todd: Really? Just one dollar?
Aiman: Yeah, but …
Todd: That’s so low.
Aiman: Yeah, but by Syrian standards. It’s not. It’s 50 Syrian pounds.
Todd: So basically, the problem is probably that the policemen make very low wages, so this is how they supplement their wages is by taking bribes.
Aiman: Yes, exactly. And the problem is that not only policemen do that but every government worker do the same so if you have to do anything, that has anything to do with the government or a public officer, you’d have to bribe your way through.
Todd: So like if you went to the city hall and you needed to get some documents, you would probably have to pay a bribe.
Todd: Now when you pay a bribe is this out in the open or do you have to put the money in an envelope and keep it secret?
Aiman: Well, it used to be secret but now it’s more out in the open.