Wednesday, March 26, 2008

"No government in the world likes to be accountable; the UAE government is no exception. It has done everything possible to gently court the media, keep it happy but under its tight benevolent watch. The government has made sure that the media does not develop an independent mind of its own. A media that lacks independence is a great loss to good governance and the building of a healthy society. Yet it is not all the government's fault. Ironically, the government in the UAE looks much more open minded than the society. Politically, the UAE society has always acted conservatively and modestly. It still remains pretty much a tribal society in essence. As progressive as it looks to outsiders, the UAE society is very cautious with regards to demand for democracy, transparency, political reform and press freedom. These are hardly hot societal issues in the UAE." The writer was my classmate and friend in graduate school. He is one of the most decent human beings I have known. Yet, our political disagreements have increased over the years. (thanks Ahmad)