Views #1039 | Intermediate (B1)

Power of Money

Aiman and Todd talks about the culture of corruption.

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.

Learn Vocabulary from the Lesson

go through


A business deal would never go through without a bribe?

"Go through" in this case means to be completed, to keep moving until the end.

  1. The new anti-pollution legislation won't go through because the chemical companies cannot afford to make the necessary changes.
  2. Jessica and Philip just got engaged but I don't think the marriage will go through, Jessica is not ready to settle down.

part of the system


will just always be a part of the system?

"Part of the system" means the way something works as a part of a bigger whole or organization.

  1. Recycling the water is just part of the system of waste management.
  2. Needing a certain TOEFL score is just part of the academic system in many countries.

going away


Do you see it as something that will be going away?

"Going away" means to leave or depart or, in this case, stop.

  1. Do you think TOEFL scores will be going away and replaced by a different measure of English language ability for university entrance?
  2. Free parking at the supermarket will go away if too many people from the office next door use it.

take something into consideration


They have to take bribe into consideration.

Taking something "into consideration" means thinking about it as well as the other information available to make a final decision.

  1. When buying a car, you need to take into consideration the cost of petrol, parking, insurance and annual registration.
  2. Take into consideration we have 3 guests staying over when you buy the groceries for dinner.



They get money as a kickback.

A "kickback" is an informal payment or reward in exchange for something done or service provided, often secretly or illegally.

  1. The Minister for Transport got a new BMW as a kickback from the car companies when he opened a new manufacturing factory.
  2. The maths teacher took a kickback for giving James an A+ on his final paper.

Vocabulary Quiz

go through • part of the system • go away
consideration • kickback
  1. The senator got a for voting for the new road.
  2. Testing is at many schools.
  3. We will take into your views on the plan.
  4. The sale of the house should next week.
  5. We all hope this problem will soon.
Answer the following questions about the interview.

More Lessons

1040 Old and New Cities
1040 Old and New Cities
Aiman compares Damascus and Dubai.

1039 Power and Corruption
1039 Power and Corruption
Aiman talks about the culture of corruption.

1038 Taking a bribe
1038 Taking a bribe
Todd talks about experiences with bribery.

1037 Bribes
1037 Bribes
Bribing in business.

1036 Sri Lankan Food
1036 Sri Lankan Food
Buddhi talks about the cuisine of Sri Lanka.


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