Todd: So, Aiman, we’re talking about bribery. Now you’ve worked in a very modern country like Dubai in the business setting, so even in large business settings, do you have some type of bribery. Is that still like part of the culture? The System?
Aiman: Yes, of course. A business deal would never go through without a bribe. And it’s not the Arab culture alone because even Westerners that work in Dubai have to bribe and they take bribes, even Indians, Asians, anyone who works in Dubai has to do it. It’s the countries culture, and it is a known fact now.
Todd: Right, so you’re saying if a Western country is in Dubai, and they want to succeed, they follow the customs, so they also are part of the system where they would bribe… one country would bribe another country if they want something done?
Aiman: Yes, of course.
Todd: With your experience in business, do you think is something that will just always be a part of the system, or do you see it something as going away if you have more development?
Aiman: Well, I really can’t see the time when we won’t have to bribe in Syria or really in any other Arab country. When I talk about business with other people, I always advice them that if they are going to an Arab country to conduct business, they have to take bribe into consideration because it is the same situation in Egypt, Lybia, maybe a bit less in Libya, but Morocco. It is the culture. It is the culture because the systems are all similar. The political systems are similar, so they produce a similar outcome.
Todd: Yeah, in the States we don’t really have bribes but we have what’s called kickbacks. So, basically, one politician does one thing for somebody else, and then they get money as a kickback. So maybe they either get political donations or maybe some company will develop, you know, create jobs in their area, so I think even though in the United Sates we don’t have the term bribery so much, like you know, bribery’s illegal, I think we still have a little bit of the same problem, but just it’s a different way.