A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Depressing Statistic Indeed

Abu Muqawama has what he calls "The Most Depressing Statistic of the Week":
But the federal government selected 869 finalists for the [Presidential Management Fellowship] this year, and just ten (10) are engineers. Ten.

The next time you wonder why our infrastructure is falling apart, or why we cannot effectively oversee defense contracts for large weapons systems, remember that fact.

(By contrast, of course, my officemate has an organization chart on the wall depicting China's government. The president, premier and eight of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee are engineers. Just sayin'.)

Since Abu Muqawama (Andrew Exum) knows the Arab world very well, I'm sure he's well aware that anyone in the Arab world with an engineering degree is addressed by the honorific "al-Muhandis" (Engineer), an honorific title up there with "doctor" and "professor" in prestige.

1 comment:

David Mack said...

Or, as they say in Egypt, Bash Muhandis. Despite the honorific, that does not seem to have made Egypt very efficient.