The other day I was having a conversation about doing business in the region with a foreign investor over a glass of fresho orange juice. He is a Muslim.
During our conversation I asked him what the biggest difficulty was that he faced in doing business in Maldives. He said almost spontaneously without a second thought that it was “gossiping”. He went onto explain that it was known as “gheeba” in their country. I did not tell him that we have the same word in our vocabulary too. I asked him what he meant.
He then went onto explain, that it was talking about other people in their absence. I told him that I quite agreed, and that this was wrong also because it did create unfounded stories and rumors about people which were not true. He told me that it was not only talking bad about other people. That “gheeba” was talking about others what they wouldn’t want even when what is said maybe true. He claimed that proper human rights would be to completely refrain from talking about other people without their permission even if what is said maybe true. To him, that was the true Muslim spirit.
I am sure this investor must have had quite an experience to say it so spontaneously and in such a pin pointed manner. I was not surprised!
Let’s see how our People’s House (the so called Majlis) can be made “gheeba” free, in the first place. A place which upheld the true Islamic Faith that they so passionately made to be the pillar and guiding principle of the August Constitution. Perhaps, the ordinay folk will follow the leaders of the nation, and make this country worthy of investment by businesses without hesitation then.
I give my vote for an “gheeba” free Maldives. How about you?