Sunday, September 27, 2009

Socialism in the 21st Century

Revolutionary changes have been the backbone of socialism that point out the so-called immoral values of capitalism. Satisfying people's basic needs at a price is against what socialists believe in. The democratic stem of socialism consists of an ideal political and economic equality. Theoretically, socialism is argued to lead to communism but socialists emphasize that their values differ from the ones of communism since socialism is based on democracy, ethical values, and the right to private ownership.
Historically, market socialism is believed to be the latest revised version of socialism as it emphasizes the government ownership of economic entities while allowing market forces to guide the economy. The 20th century epoch witnessed the emergence of western socialism in Sweden and Great Britain, for instance, who adopted a socialist style that guaranteed a safe minimal standard of living for all people. In essence, this form of socialism took place via parliamentarian government and not through violent revolution unlike Marxism. Socialism has been changing constantly, and the 21st century socialist reformers believe that change can be achieved and even sustained to reach equality without revolution. These reformists argue that people merit the right to minimal standard of living that includes health care and education at least.

In order for socialism values and ideas to be accepted in today's politics, they must be developed as a positive pragmatic alternative to the present system and continue to seek forward change. However, not all socialistic ideas are progressive in terms of the world we live in today. For instance, divide won't serveanybody's interest and unless socialism comes up with common and harmonious ways of living in cooperation, this idealogy will remain regressive and can only bring more misery to societies. Basically, our human nature implies a common need to live in peace and co-existence with other human beings in other communities where peace, security, and justice are preached. Hence, socialists ought to draw a practical image of their ideas in terms of expressing a universal interest of all people. If so, this form of socialism will arguably become an irresistible force of change and will bring hope rather than disillusion.

On the first hand, the idea of building a new world society is a daunting task and seems utterly challenging. However, socialists believe that a new 21st century way of life is nothing new to their norms and values of social agendas. Indeed, voluntary cooperation and things of that nature may surprise some of us living in today's vicious and unethical corporate world, others may blindly believe that cooperation and equality are vital parts of any society. Socialist values seem relevant nowadays since throughout history civilizations have lived in cooperation and sought social harmony for the sake of progress and co-existence. Socialist argue that cooperation is not just a moral stand, it is an inter-relationship between people that organizes and enhances our lives to reach ultimate interest.
On the other hand, socialism may seem irrelevant to the 21st century due to advanced technology and technical development that undermines the progress of such theory. For instance, today's world economy and capital markets are driven by powerful forces that focus on personal and political gains rather than societal issues. In essence, the capitalist system dominates the driving factors of today's world economy and politics. The only way for socialism to appear practical is to feed off the weaknesses and failures of capitalism, hence, socialist values will find growing support against the deepening current adversity of capitalist failures.

Despite the cynicism out there, socialists believe that their values are being misinterpreted and confused since critics link socialism with communism in many ways. The idea of ending privilege, exploitation and 'devilish' capitalist ways of manipulating the world seems desperate and overreaching from socialists. The creation of a new idealistic world based on a newly reformed 21st century socialism sounds rational and feasible amid the global development we live in today in all spheres of life. Countries such as Venezuela are trying to establish government’s plans to create a more just and equitable society based on their own reality and those plans are particular to such country. Therefore, any imported carbon copy of old socialism will most likely jeopardize the success of such governmental plans.

As we can see, socialism of this era can be relevant and useful today because Venezuela's example illustrates that the adopted form was pertinent to the reality of that country. Venezuela has learned from past socialism failures and implemented what could be applicable to their society as to what is counter-productive. However, from a Marxism standpoint the present socio-economic and political or even cultural reality of Venezuela is crucial to comprehend the elements that need transformation so that there would be movement towards a more just system, a system that is not ruled primarily by capital gains, a system where social relations are based on equality and equity, and eventually a fraternal society.

I don't think the 21st century socialism will be fully functional in all aspects of life rather than just a few. Meaning, what could be done in terms of efforts and development that will make this ideology idealistic nowadays. The only two fields that I could think of are health care and education. Socialism excels in this area and there is concrete evidence of immense advancement in health and education in such countries. Since this kind of practical socialism backs the idea that health and education are basic rights to people, one could agree that this system is morally superior to capitalism. Thus, this will not only make the meaning of socialism understood but it draws a desirable realistic lifestyle that people could identify themselves in and seek the well being of all citizens.
Indeed, the road to reach a practical socialist reform is steep and the challenges ahead are enormous. However, it could be possibly done and it is in the making in some countries as mentioned earlier. It is utterly hard to achieve a complete state of a pragmatic socialism; nonetheless, starting with health care and education is a concrete step to become one. The main issues facing such progress could be today's globalization and border-less free trade that has a great impact on cultures by making inroads for capitalism to dig deep within the roots of how people think and behave. Our mindset is fixed and programed to capitalism due to United States pressure and impact on all aspects of global economy. Hence, it will take a big dose of socio-political formation and a long time to switch our attitudes. It may even take a new generation!

Imagine a world based on common ownership and cooperation, a world that embraces societal freedom where resources are at the disposal of every community and where delegation and empowerment are the key components to drive individuals will to decide how to live their lives in a self-determined society of mutual respect and benefit. Although, socialism is a distinctive systematic political choice, it shows an exciting new way of life that rises above the current traditional political affiliations and views. For instance, liberal or conservative, these various creeds split people into separate groups and thus creating clashing differences where people's freedom of choice becomes at risk.

In conclusion, there is no yes or no answer to the relevance of socialism in the 21st century since any argument can go both ways. However, it seems that there isn't many enthused people to carry on any sort of socialist transformation and if there is, the process will take a very organized and well driven group of people to believe and convince the rest of us that practical socialism could be an alternative to capitalism. It is indeed idealistic to live in a world where everyone is responsible for their own lives and by working in cooperation for the sake of other fellow human beings. From a realist school of thoughts, this requires the ability to look beyond realistic facts and to have an optimist-possibilitarian drive to be able to grasp and believe in this possible impossible.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Truce or Dare?

I have one question to 'Hamas': Why are you using innocent civilians (children and women) as shields to your idiotic rockets attacks while hiding in exile sipping hot tea and preaching violence?
I'm sure that Hamas's views on the conflict are way different than the poor Palestinians who want peace and a descent stable life. I mean why urge another Intifada when the previous two were a shameful failure? People repeat success and not defeat Mr. Mashal!

Israel does what Israel does best, Provoke! I mean the message is clear to everybody, the Israeli government wanted to draw a closer picture of Hamas as "terrorists" in the eyes of the new world leadership under the president-elect Obama and it succeeded indeed. Thus, bravo Israel for another slick calculated strike. I wish I had this perfect timing in life! Some might call this attack as retaliation, and some may call it not fair. Hamas strikes and shoots blinks, Israel strikes back and kills 300 people. Hmmm, tick tock my friends...This shows how ready and prepared the Israeli Army is. Hell, with this amount of readiness it can whip out the whole region in few lousy hours.

However, Palestine and Hamas are two different things and we need to clear that up. Hamas has done nothing but shed more blood of the innocents! And as I mentioned before, Mr. Mashal why don't you bring your ass to the battle ground and do something instead of commanding dumb tactics and promising victory in a war where there is no winner or loser rather than just losers. And guess who pays the price, people like me and you who want nothing in life but a descent average living.
We are at last human beings, and if this bloodshed doesn't shiver you or roll your eyes for at least one second, then something is really wrong with your ass! In my opinion, the "X" leaders in the Middle East are politically corrupt and are doomed to fail viciously because simply they are not working to resolve, reconcile, or bring peace to the region. Instead, everyone is fighting to top the US #1 allies list. Those so-called leaders continuously spend all their energy (money, power,...etc) and efforts on less important aspects of the conflict. Whereas, Israel had managed to build a strong economy and a country that looks like some great civilized modern world in a span of a shot period of time. Why? Because their mindset is different and they know where to eat the shoulder (Moroccan proverb: kay3erfo men katkal lektef). And why is that? Because simply they DO NOT leave their fellow compatriots behind when the stakes are high! Arabs are the prisoners of their own mindset!

Some of us may argue the historical events that have led up to today's picture. One group may think that the reason things are so fucked up today is because in 1948 Palestine refused the offer of Israel to live pecefully side by side and build an infrastructure together, with both sides benefitting equally (remember Hassan II suggested plan to give Israelis shelter and keep the rest, Alah yrehmek). The other group may argue that the biggest mistake of all time was relocating the Jews to Palestine after World War II. Meaning, why not specify the exact parameters where Jews are ought to live in Palestine?

Brief, politics is a mean bitch and I hope this piece hasn't offended anyone because at the end of the day we are here to discuss this religious and socio-political turmoil and not to encourage unbiased judgments, bigotry, and hatred. A new approach is needed or the results will always be an endless cycle of violence and woe. The status quo simply hasn't and won't work.

Yours Truly,
Nouaman Khaimi

Friday, December 19, 2008

Polisario pooping their pants!

Morocco has decided to devote part of its budget for the acquisition of 140 "M60-A1" American battle tanks to secure its army and the country's territory from any surprises from the terrorist front Polisario. The latter has accused the Moroccan government for not having a good faith in keeping the ongoing negotiations, which had been going on for more than 30 years and led to nothing but more dead-ends. It's time to realize that nobody negotiates with a self-proclaimed terrorist front that is backed by a champion of conspiracy, envy, and terrorism: Algeria. The Algerian government which is made of thuggish generals and army personnel has a delusional dream about extending Algeria's borders to the Atlantic ocean to benefit from the coast and oil.
Morocco has been asking for a political solution within Moroccan sovereignty for decades now and it's realizing now that Polisario is putting burdens along the way with Algeria's shameful support for destabilizing Morocco. It's our money and our budget and we can buy whatever we want to protect the country and its beloved citizens. If Morocco's attention were sleazy and tended for military attack the rebel movement, it would have done it a long time ago given the fact it will take us a couple of hours to clean out the whole area. However, Morocco personifies democracy and obeys international law and the UN negotiations. Thus, if in case things are to escalate we will be at least ready to defend our land and I'll be the first to stand on the front line gashing whoever comes close to my country.
I don't really see any other alternative to this issue other than a military intervention by the Moroccan army. Algeria and its puppets have been asking for it and provoking Morocco to engage in a confrontation for a long time. And as I said before lobbying for our cause, Morocco's choice to reinforce its military is about time and let's hope the few months will reveal a peaceful resolution to this dilemma that has put innocent lives in Algeria's camps and tortured tons more! Shame on you Algeria, Shame on you, and Shame on you!!

Yours Truly,
Nouaman Khaimi

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The $500 Billion Shoe!

Pride comes in different types and shapes. Some people see pride as self-worth, honor, recognition or even as strength. Others are proud of their culture, heritage, or even beliefs. Pride can stretch indefinitely and become a complex event that leads to complex results. Hisotrically, Iraq was a land of intense battles that exemplified religious clashes throughout various civilizations and empires. In 5300 BC, Sumerians (Southern Iraq) had to battle Elamites (Western Iran) to conquer one another and this frontier has been fought over repeatedly ever since; it's arguably the most fought over frontier in the world. Brief, the Akkadians took over in 2340 BC then the Babylonias in 1750 BC, and the Assyrians in 800 BC. And after the Persian domination during the 6th century, the Arab conquest under the Islamic Empire in 636 took over the region in the great battle of Al-Qadisia. 
In essence, the US occupation of Iraq is not suprising or new to us since history has proven that the region was made for battles. However, the destiny of Iraq was meant for FAIR battles and strong motives to conquer or be conquered. Thus, this second gulf war gave birth to a new hero who spent $20 on a Made in China shoe to even up the war and restore Iraqis pride with a pair of shoe. Throwing a shoe at someone is an insult in any culture and not just in the Arab World. And I'm surprised why Americas are not outraged and furious because after all Bush represents the US and tossing those shoes was a blatant act of disrespect not just to him but to the country. But again, Americans respect was lost a while back when the whole world realized that Bush is just a tyrant dictator who abused his power in one of the most ironic democratic governments.
The US was once the envy of the whole world with its mighty economy, social idealism, and a pool of endless world of oppotunities. The past 8 years has been disasterous and one can only pray for Obama to take over and end this mockery. The Bush administration personifies a gourp of helpless wrecked souls who are full of guilt and shame after their world breaking records of lies and broken promises. Bush has managed to ruin the world by himself. Hell, If a dumb redneck can accomplish these enormous results maybe it's time to wake up and realize that unless we as humans first and world citizens stand against bigotry, hate, religious intolerance, and bias propogandas there will never be change and one man realized that a humiliating shoe is enough of a message to the horrible US leadership in the world.
To conclude, this shoe has cost the US army $500 BILLION as cost of the war! How ridiculous this may sound? If you break it down, you will be looking at these figures: $4,988 per Iraqi. This is triple Iraq's per-person GDP. It's like spending $121,000 per person in the US. 
Well, one Iraqi journalist did what no American ever came close. What a nice way to give Bush a well deserved 'goodbye kiss'.

Yours Truly,
Nouaman Khaimi

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Wake up Call!

"It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.
It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.
It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.
It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.
Yes we can to justice and equality.
Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.
We know the battle ahead will be long, but always remember that no matter what obstacles stand in our way, nothing can stand in the way of the power of millions of voices calling for change.
We have been told we cannot do this by a chorus of cynics...they will only grow louder and more dissonant.
We've been asked to pause for a reality check. We've been warned against offering the people of this nation false hope.
But in the unlikely story that is America, there has never been anything false about hope.
Now the hopes of the little girl who goes to a crumbling school in Dillon are the same as the dreams of the boy who learns on the streets of LA; we will remember that there is something happening in America; that we are not as divided as our politics suggests; that we are one people; we are one nation; and together, we will begin the next great chapter in the American story with three words that will ring from coast to coast; from sea to shining sea" Obama's Yes We Can song lyrics!

I envy this charismatic and proud sense of belonging of a nation that is considered a powerhouse among many other great nations. A nation that exemplifies justice, freedom, and a pursuit of happiness. The US continues to strive for a better well-being of its citizens and gets up every time it's knocked down to the ground. What's astonishing is Americans consider mediocre what we see as descent and good. One master of Saul Alinsky's philosophy has managed to transfer Alinsky's ideologies into well spoken eloquent words that became a trademark of the president elect. The latter knew from where to eat the shoulder and pushed the right buttons at the right time. Thus, he hypnotized people and transformed them into great spirited followers. In essence, when someone is feeling blue around you it can have an effect on you and bring you down. The same concept will apply if someone around you is passionate and enthusiastic about an idea, it will have an inspiring effect on you. Obama's message was clear and direct to his followers and to us as people who appreciate a noble man. He strongly emphasized that change won't be possible without the contribution of the others. 
Obama is not the first public figure and leader and won't be the last to inspire people all over the world. We need to stop ignoring the fact that we have a great leader of our own, King Mohammed 6, who has done an outstanding and an unprecedented job in terms of socio-economical development, human rights, and sustainable growth. And above all he is building a greater Morocco by improving living conditions, reducing social and regional disparities. Thus, we as a nation have achieved significant progress as regards democratisation of public life, education and health, and strengthening of basic infrastructure. All these advances have contributed to greater social and political stability. 
Morocco has emerged into a place of political stability and opportunities. A place of hope and prosperity. A place of Moroccanhood and equality. A place of justice and progress. United we shall remain, United we shall succeed. 

Yours truly,
Nouaman Khaimi

Friday, December 12, 2008

Leadership and Change

Change is a constant variable. This sentence does not make any sense because a constant can’t be a variable and vice versa. To illustrate more my point, I would like to speak of change as a way of life and something that we have to face constantly and yet differently. This semester has been a rollercoaster for me since I arrived to my lectures late and in a downbeat mood since my grandfather passed away and a rainstorm buried my hometown about two weeks ago. I think the fact that we have to talk about change means that we can basically talk about anything happening around us since everything can be linked to a change event. Hence, my personal intake is to plan and enforce change within my inner world of complexity and yet austerity.
The difference between the events is the extent of planning that goes into it.
For instance, the presidential election south of the borders exemplifies Obama’s acute tuned plan versus McCain’s desperate and ‘sleazy’ campaign, but isn’t this part of the game? However, both candidates have prepared long enough for this moment and their plans are paying off for both even if the outcomes can be different and not pleasant for one party or another. If there is a positive element of change, a champion who leads change towards its intended goals, people’s conception will change as well and eventually they will see convincing reasons to change and become what I like to call ‘instinct followers’. Being part of change is crucial to many of us nowadays, simply because there is this inner fear of doubt and skepticism within humans that makes each and every one of us think twice before engaging in any sort of transformation. Personally, I found that change is obligatory for anyone or even for anything to progress in today’s fast paced moving world. Hence, coping with change becomes a necessity and ‘leaders’ ought to understand and impose change in a gradually steady manner in order to make any type of change last or at least prolongs long enough to achieve its projected goals.

Change starts with a vision. Change communicates a vision. Change inspires a vision.

Yours Truly,
Nouaman Khaimi

Small Incomes, Big Economies

Dr. Muhammad Yunus has once said: “One day our grandchildren will have to go to museums to see what poverty was like”. At first, such a statement seems improbable and absurdly optimistic, but Yunus can indeed back his claim with real life evidence collected from years of working with the poor villagers. Born in the small, rural town of Chittagong, Bangladesh, he witnessed the struggle of the poor firsthand. Later in his life, his readiness to trust people, selflessness, and strong leadership definitely made him a hero to people in Bangladesh and to the world’s poor eventually. In addition, Yunus was a champion of change, a man of great vision, and a role model to countless other people—including me. Dr. Muhammad Yunus remained defiant and persistent to his beliefs, that even the poorest deserved an equal opportunity to lead a successful life. Thus, Yunus insisted that loans should be extended to everyone and poor villagers deserved to be considered potential customers even they have no collateral. However, bank managers doubted the ability of the poor to save, work together, and start businesses since banks considered to be anti-poor. Undeterred, Yunus started his own bank, which he named Grameen—meaning ‘poor villagers’. Since its founding in 1983, Grameen Bank has improved the lives of millions of villagers. For instance, Sufia is one such villager. After the death of her husband and a lack of land and money thrust Sufia into the vicious cycle of poverty, reducing her to begging in order to feed her two children. Fortunately, one day she noticed other women in her village, Jobra, applying for loans from a new bank ‘Grameen’. Bank representatives who came weekly to visit the village explained that The bank specifically targeted poor, landless women—people who society typically viewed as “useless.” Instead of depositing collateral, Sufia learned, borrowers formed small groups of five members. At first, only two people received loans, but the other members became eligible once the first two had repaid. Mustering her courage and dispersing her hesitation, Sufia joined a group and soon received her first loan of 25 taka—less than $2! With it, she bought some bangles, soap, and hairpins to sell around the village. Once she paid off the first loan, she applied for a second one, and she now manages a profitable business. While before, her only desire was to have enough to eat, she now dreams of sending her grandson to school. Yunus’s great faith in the poor and immense fervent style provided villagers like Sufia with not only loans but also with self-reliance, dignity, and hope. Through his acts of trust, his work was recognized internationally later on in his career winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The poor villagers of Bangladesh endured great amount of suffering, and in order to alleviate the situation, Muhammad Yunus managed selflessly to devote his time and money for others’ benefit rather than his own. For instance, a terrible famine struck the country in 1974 that took approximately a million lives. Though he tried to ignore it in the beginning, it became impossible to look away as the famine intensified. Accordingly, “Skeleton-like people” started showing up in the capital, Dhaka. Then the “trickle” turned to a “flood.” Meanwhile, Yunus was teaching complex economic theories to his students at Chittagong University. However, he recognized an ironic disparity between the theories and the real-life economics of a poor person’s existence. Then, shortly afterwards, Yunus learned of women selling beautiful bamboo baskets but earning only two cents a day because of local moneylenders’ high rates. Yunus immediately gave them (42 women) the money ($27) they needed out of his own pocket. Out of this event, Yunus formed the idea of microcredit and also embarked on a new career as activist for the poor, a career that spans three decades so far and one that he is still pursuing. While another person in his situation could have easily chosen to remain in the secure position of university professor, or even stay in America where he received his PhD in economics, this noble man forsook the prestigious title in order to aid those living in poverty.
A capable and effective leader of change, Muhammad Yunus combated poverty with new, unconventional programs now used in countries all over the world. Microcredit, the most famous of his plans, began in response to the ridiculously high interest rates: as much as 120% annually! Practical and self-sustainable, microcredit serves the poor in over twenty countries—in Africa, Asia, Europe, and including the United States. Without such an innovative and empowering leadership on Yunus’s part, though, none of this would have occurred, and some six million people would still be living at or below the poverty level. Muhammad Yunus proved that inspiring people is not just about selfish achievements. But instead, he succeeded to make the poor feel part of the plan and without them this whole thing will be impossible. This is indeed a thoughtful, creative leadership that led to extraordinary results.
While Yunus’s vision of complete poverty eradication will not be easily reached, Yunus certainly has the capability to accomplish such a goal. He already defied the skeptics once, with his unbending faith in the poor; he can do it again. For instance, his opponents have learned the importance of being a pioneer, an innovator, a leader and—even more importantly—using that talent to help others. Furthermore, they recognized the significant impact of treating all people, even those not typically favored by society, with trust and respect. Through his commitment to the cause of decreasing poverty, Yunus brought about a wave of permanent social change. He showed the world that true heroes are not the superhuman kind but are ordinary people who care—and very few cared more than Muhammad Yunus.

Dr. Yunus has adapted a humanitarian portrait to his leadership style that emphasized mainly on empowering poor villagers and especially women. His unique approach to fully win his followers by raising their awareness to their current miserable situation, hence, alerting them to reconsider their options in life with much focus on their self-worth and usefulness. If anyone could exemplify the meaning of a true vision and leadership inspiration, Dr. Yunus personifies a true leader in terms of inspiring his followers and the rest of us. Also, in terms of coping with adversity while leading and emphasizing change to lift up people out of poverty. As an economics professor, he managed to apply his vast knowledge to help people survive Bangladesh’s brutal famine. He worked restlessly and continuously to convey his strong clear vision that people shouldn’t die from starvation. Yunus believed that the poor deserved a fair share in society despite the devastating period Bangladesh was going through at that time, after its independence from Pakistan that shattered the entire structure of the nation, and there was no room for sympathy especially towards the poor who were entirely overwhelmed. Historically, Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world. The country has received more than thirty billion dollars in foreign aid since its independence, but it has not succeeded to overcome the barrier of structural poverty until Dr. Yunus implemented his ingenious project of the Bank of the Poor. Moreover, post-war reforms become priority number one for any nation and it’s a much complicated task for third world countries such as Bangladesh. The focus is directed towards infrastructure, hospitals, and schools mainly. However, when everyone seemed terrified, petrified, and even stupefied by the overwhelming chaotic state of Bangladesh, one man stood against all the odds and defied all the skeptics when he shifted his focus and the entire nation’s attention to socio-economic reform. Fortunately, his consciousness was his dark shadow that triggered a sense of responsibility vis-à-vis his fellow countrymen, which sparked so many lives eventually. Therefore, he first initiated the idea of ‘Change is a Must’. Then he constructed a clear vision with his group of students and colleagues to help his people to overcome poverty by all means. His vision consisted of a careful plan to fight poverty by thorough program based on social consciousness. In a sense, Yunus was against the idea of charity since he believed that short-term solutions are not the answer to poverty. According to Dr. Yunus, “Poverty is a chronic illness. It cannot be cured with ad hoc measures. There can be short term support measures, but one has to count on a long term strategy that achieves tactical gains for whom “hand-outs” and “charity” are actions that have destructive effects”.
Therefore, his leadership encouraged his followers to be committed to his cause through the credit system incentives. He embedded a sense of reliability and trust within the groups he formed for loan acquisitions. Borrowers felt needed and Yunus made sure that without them helping and being part of this journey, this idea or project will be impossible. Hence, villagers became motivated and they start seeing a bright future for their children through Dr. Yunus honest and candid leadership. He made sure that the transition from change avoidance to change acceptance by villagers was done attentively to gain trust and support. Accordingly, there are five major steps accompanying change:
· Denial: villagers could not foresee or picture any major changes to their current financial crisis, and thus they refused to engage in change.

· Anger: villagers were frustrated especially women who saw Yunus as any other moneylender or as their abusive husbands. Yunus and his team were violently attacked and disrespected at times.
· Bargaining: the poor village women engaged in negotiations with their husbands to convince them to allow them to borrow money and be part of Grameen bank to keep everyone happy.
· Depression: once villagers realized that it worth a try to be part of Grameen, they start hearing rumors about how anti-Islam is the whole concept, and hence, they became skeptical and depressed.
· Acceptance: the reality and the truth were revealed after first borrowers spread the word about how secure and reliable is Grameen’s loan.
Dr. Yunus illustrates throughout his experience a set of splendid leadership approaches that I have learned in ‘Leading Change’ course such as, the challenges of change, empowerment, and leading change precisely. With this being said, one can clearly see a socio-economical entrepreneurial leadership that has been developed by Dr. Yunus in the context of empowering villagers and others through his innovative methodology of credit system ‘microfinance’. Accordingly, microfinance or micro-lending is simply the extension of small loans to the poor and the ability to lend money to poor entrepreneurs and people who are considered unbankable. Yunus believed that economies are founded on the well being of women as family caretakers, as all will suffer if they remain in continued poverty or effective enslavement via exploitation. He considers women as privileged actors in
development and criticizes the sexism in the banking systems of Bangladesh where they ask women if they have consulted their husbands about the decision to take out a loan. Basically, Yunus defends his firm stand on women by arguing that the cultural norms are against the female gender, and he believes that poor women adapt better and faster to the process of self-help than men do. For instance, money earned through women brought more benefit to the household than money earned through men. Hence, Yunus proved that women demonstrate better perseverance, efficiency, and are more attentive in their work. He is regarded as a business leader who implemented organizational socialization in rural Bangladesh by the use of personality traits such as adaptability, resilience, willingness to take risks, as well as habits that reflect a need for achievement such as continuous learning, egocentric desire for achievement, and the ability to regulate internal and expressed emotions.
Grameen Bank
The functioning of the Bank of the Poor is based on a simple system that guarantees the repayment of the loans. The level of trust in the clients is clear and there is no policing mechanism included in the system. The bank representatives meet with clients at their respective villagers where all the banking transactions are done. Essentially, this approach was encouraged by Dr. Yunus he sensed a state of panic and intimidation if the poor were to go to banks and wait in lines to fill out forms that they cannot since they were illiterate. The Grameen Bank never turns to justice to recover money. In this sense, a commitment is based on the relations between human beings not among papers; therefore, no legal contract is signed between the bank and its clients and most of the clients are shareholders of Grameen.
Dr. Yunus argues that the traditional conventional banking system was institutionally constructed on the basis of mutual distrust. In contrary, Grameen presumed that every borrower is honest and worthy of bank privileges. Many times Grameen has been accused of being naïve, but this trust has had a positive effect in ninety-nine percent of the cases. Yunus explains: “The bad payers represent barely few percents of our clients. In these situations, Grameen does not conclude that the borrower is dishonest. We think rather that their situation is so difficult that they could not repay the small loan. In these conditions, why run to the lawyers that will give us blue, yellow, and pink papers. Only 0.5% of loans are not repaid. This is a risk inherent to our job and in addition, it creates a record of what we need to improve upon in order to have more success.”
The repayment system was designed as follows:
· Loans of duration of one year.
· Weekly payments of a fixed amount.
· Repayment is effective one week after the loan’s concession.
· The interest rate is 20%.
· The repayment is a weekly 2% over 50 weeks.
· The interest represents the sum of 2 takas per week for a loan of 1,000 takas.
Some of the secrets and results of Grameen Bank:
· Group interaction that allows for the regeneration of credit.
· Groups that act morally in solidarity in that they guard profits so others may receive credit.
· The quantity of funds lent is small; it is an amount that allows the borrower to buy the basic materials for a day of work.
· More than 96% of the loans are repaid quickly and therefore makes use of the system of transfer day by day.
· In the system of micro-credits envisioned by Muhammad Yunus, 94% of the beneficiaries are women.

In my eyes, Dr. Yunus is a possibilitarian because no matter how dark things seemed to be he always found a way to make things better and inspire people around him to do so as well. He even left it all behind when he was enjoying his life in the United States and decided to go back to Bangladesh and be part of the change, if not the main source of change. Mainly, he felt a patriotic sense of urgency to return and make things possible and easier for his fellow countrymen by helping them out to overcome poverty and live a descent life. Thus, he invented his special credit system and started lending small amounts of money to farmers and the very poor people (he even defined poor and poorest under his own terms) who were waiting to die starving any minute simply because they couldn’t earn a living. The book ‘Banker to the Poor’ goes on and on about how he succeeded on his plan and made his vision come true. In essence, Dr. Yunus defied the conventional banks policies and regulations and proved that impossible is possible with his outstanding success implementing the concept of microfinance. Today, this concept is used all over the world and had secured the lives of millions of families. Grameen has caught the attention of the biggest prosperous financial institutions and partnered with eventually. Also, this concept is being taught in economics in universities as well.
Yunus is people’s hero and his leadership style and natural ability to charismatically influence his followers have created a new inspiration for our generation and the ones to come. He is indeed a true real champion of change and a great role model to the human race.
Last, Dr. Muhammad Yunus was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to create and develop economic and social reform within below. And he has written several books on world poverty eradication and micro-lending as well as he is chief advisor at the United Nations.

Yours Truly,
Nouaman Khaimi