[ExI] Arabs don't read

Tara Maya tara at taramayastales.com
Fri Jul 18 21:15:58 UTC 2014

On Jul 18, 2014, at 1:54 PM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:

>  I have known plenty of people who came out of less developed areas, but I don’t know of any who returned.

In Cameroon, Africa, I met a man who had gone to high school and college in America. His people, by the way, the Bamenda, have the highest number of books per capita of any other Subsuharan tribe. (Though it was the Bamenda who told me this; I was not able to confirm because I couldn't find stats that broke it down that way.) I can confirm they had a lot of book stores, more than anywhere else I visited in Camaroon. That part of Cameroon was colonized by the British, so the Bamenda read in English. (Their own language is not written.) However, their love of learning and their capitalist inclinations seems to predate the colonial period. The other tribes called them "the Jews of Cameroon" because they were perceived to be "smart and rich." (The attendent resentments and envies by others against them were also present.)

Anyway, this charming and educated fellow returned to his home town and opened a small restaurant, which he ran according to the principles he'd learned working as a restaurant manager in America. 

Sadly, the man's restaurant was not doing well. Cameroon is one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and also has a highly protectionist economy. It was hard for him to order what he needed, as it often wouldn't arrive. (There are military checkpoints about every ten to twenty minutes on the roads, even though Cameroon is not at war with anyone, and these police/soldiers demand bribes or just steal things.) Also, there was so much red tape just to run a restaurant. He wasn't able to advertise it widely outside his area. Only TV was owned by the government and only on about two hours a day. He had to pay for everything up front, not with a business loan. And on and on. 

He had returned to Cameroon because he wanted to bring good things there that he'd seen abroad, but admitted that he was getting discouraged and might seek to return to America or go to Europe. 

Tara Maya
Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Amazon  |  Goodreads

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.extropy.org/pipermail/extropy-chat/attachments/20140718/e997b419/attachment.html>

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list