AMERICAN IN ARABIA sees the average Arab still stuck in traffic
Is Cairo traffic a metaphor for life and are both a real pain in the Aston Martin?
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Welcome back to the 6 O’clock ME News here on Channel 11; your only source for up to the minute stories from the MENA region. I’m Brett Weer and before we get back to the weather, let’s go to our man Ali to have a look at the traffic:
“Hey, thanks Brett. Ali here in the News 11 traffic copter and I gotta tell ya, there is absolutely no movement on the Road of Opportunity [RO]. Cars are at a complete stand still, bumper to bumper.“
Now Ali, there has been gridlock on the RO for a while now, is that accurate?
“Yea Brett, the working class here are like the rest of the world and have really hit a jam. Take Palestine for example, a sort of microcosm of the congestion here. They have been in financial gridlock for years and since most of their economy is fueled by foreign aid that is just not being delivered, well, progress has come to a screeching halt.
And as if things weren’t slow enough, it seems the Jordanian government has put up another huge roadblock with their recent tax increases on gas and electricity for the business sector.”
Now wait a second here. Most see the MENA region as steadier than the other countries because of the stablilty oil provides. Is that accurate?
“It is true that the wealthier members of the MENA have not really been affected but let’s face it--- they don’t really need to use this RO motorway. However for so many others in this region, this highway is their life and frankly, they are beyond road rage.
Just last week we had a guy who was recently fired from his work as a bus driver steal one just to prove to his wife he still had a job!
.. uh oh, hold on, Brett. From the sky here it looks like some people in Amman are getting out of their cars and heading over to that pedestrian bridge.. with tools in hand! This is a News 11 first.
It appears they are dismantling the bridge! Perhaps they want to sell it for scrap metal but still, this is unbelievable. Wow, desperate times call for desperate measures, I suppose.”
Amazing indeed Ali! Do you see many of these types of crimes?
“Unfortunately we do. What is worse is the amount of individuals who don’t even want to fight the traffic anymore. Look at Dubai where just last week a second employee from the same hotel killed himself. It is worse in the UAE where on average, two Indians a week commit suicide. “
Truly devastating. Do you see any areas of movement from up there?
“There are patches. Efforts such as deputies from the Lower House of Parliament in Jordan giving back 15% of their salaries or the changes in leadership brought on by the Arab Spring might get things moving again on the RO.”
Let’s hope that it does. Thanks again Ali.
Now, to Marwan for weather in the MENA. What’s the forecast for us this week Mar?
“Brett, we have so many storms brewing that you are definitely going to want an umbrella. There is, however, a chance of sunshine in the near future”
By Brett Weer