Selective snail-mail

14 Feb, '06

As if anyone actually uses the decrepit Post Office in Bahrain…

Well we do if we are absolutely forced, otherwise I have no problem of paying any of the courier companies multiples of what I would have been charged using the “services” of the post office.

Why? Because to send a letter (invoice or whatever) from Manama to Sitra for instance, a distance of probably not more than 20kms, expect that it would take a minimum of 14 days to be delivered! So now every business, well small businesses anyway, practically beg companies not to send cheques through the post, but call us to collect payments, pretty pretty please. But if you’re a government agency, they are bound to use the post office facility and send the cheque by registered post. That adds another week for the blasted thing to arrive in the office!

You get “the message” now that we (generally in Bahrain) tend to avoid the post office like the plague… but some people still use it, which you would think the post office authorities would come down from their towers to kiss the hands of those “customers” who actually choose to use their services.

Not so.

Especially if you are a political society!

Have a look at this

علمت «الوسط» من مصادر مطلعة ان «أحد مكاتب البريد منع رئيس الهيئة المركزية لجمعية وعد عبدالرحمن النعيمي من القيام بإحدى مراسلاته بسبب وجود اسم الجمعية على ظرف المراسلة، ليعود بعدها مكتب وذلك البريد ويسمح له بإرسال المظروف من دون أن يكتب عليه اسم الجمعية»، مضيفة ان «نادي العروبة تعرض للموقف نفسه، إذ منع مكتب البريد النادي من إرسال مجلته الدورية بحجة عدم وجود اسم النادي في القائمة المسموح لها بالمراسلات، وقامت إدارة النادي بمراجعة المؤسسة العامة للشباب والرياضة التي وعدتهم بمراجعة الجهات المختصة».

This article which appeared in Al-Wasat this morning states that when Mr. Abdulrahman Al-Nu’aimi, the God Father of the democrats in Bahrain (he used to head the National Democratic Action Society before stepping down recently) went to the post office to send a book to a friend in Europe, he was refused service!a because the envelope he wanted to use had the NDAS logo and address on it, that made it “an official communication from an unauthorised political party” as their name was NOT listed in the “authorised list” of those allowed to utilise the post office services!

A R E Y O U S H I T T I N G M E ?

Didn’t the Ministry of Transportation ever hear of email services? Oh forget this “high technology” lark; what about the couriers? We have four major couriers fist-fighting for business, do you think they would refuse a political organisation or whoever else’s custom? Where are we exactly, the dark ages where messages have got to be sealed with wax and delivered on donkeys to their final destinations that you would intercept the messenger and kill the donkey?

Anyway, what did Mr. Al-Nu’aimi do? He changed the envelope to a plain one and the post office accepted his package!

Talk about judging the book by the cover, for this is exactly what the post office authorities did: they cared more about a logo than they did about the book which might have contained hugely more interesting, and potentially damaging information! (not that Mr. Al-Nu’aimi would do such a thing, I’m just giving an example.) In any case it is none of their business what a customer uses for an envelope and what s/he is sending through their service as long as the package and envelope meets with their packaging rules and regulations and that it does not contravene other laws (pornography, pedophilia, etc as set by local law.)

So yes, the Ministry of Transport is officially on my shit-list now, a veritable addition to the stable together with the Ministry of Information. It should have been added to the list quite a while ago actually, considering that it too is responsible for the communication sector, internet and telephony etc. but it has been (and always was) a very low profile entity that no one really cared about. It doesn’t add any value whatsoever for being in the government organisation. Can it, together with the Ministry of DisInformation. Guys, you cannot stop information, electronically or physically, to reach its intended recipient. So give up, for God’s sake give up and die a merciful and very much overdue death!

لعدم إدراجهما ضمن «تعميم المواصلات»
«البريد» يمنع مراسلات باسم «وعد» و«العروبة»

الوسط – مالك عبدالله
علمت «الوسط» من مصادر مطلعة ان «أحد مكاتب البريد منع رئيس الهيئة المركزية لجمعية وعد عبدالرحمن النعيمي من القيام بإحدى مراسلاته بسبب وجود اسم الجمعية على ظرف المراسلة، ليعود بعدها مكتب وذلك البريد ويسمح له بإرسال المظروف من دون أن يكتب عليه اسم الجمعية»، مضيفة ان «نادي العروبة تعرض للموقف نفسه، إذ منع مكتب البريد النادي من إرسال مجلته الدورية بحجة عدم وجود اسم النادي في القائمة المسموح لها بالمراسلات، وقامت إدارة النادي بمراجعة المؤسسة العامة للشباب والرياضة التي وعدتهم بمراجعة الجهات المختصة».

من جهته أكد رئيس الهيئة المركزية لجمعية وعد عبدالرحمن النعيمي الحادثة موضحاً «لقد منعني موظفو مكتب البريد من إرسال مظروف يحمل كتباً كنت أنوي إرسالها إلى صديق في دولة أوروبية، بسبب عدم وجود اسم جمعية وعد في القائمة المعممة إلى مكاتب البريد»، مشيراً إلى أن «موظف البريد أخبرني بضرورة تغيير الظرف أو إزالة شعار وعنوان الجمعية الموجود على الظرف، وأخبرت الموظف بأن جمعية وعد مسجلة وفق القانون وهي معترف بها لدى أجهزة الدولة، لكن الموظف قام بإعطائي قائمة الهيئات والجمعيات المسموح لمكاتب البريد إرسال رسائلها أو حتى استقبالها وذكر لي أن هذه القائمة عممت على جميع مكاتب البريد من قبل الإدارة، وبعد اطلاعي على القائمة لم ألاحظ وجود أي جمعية سياسية فيها سوى جمعية العمل الإسلامي التي مازالت مسجلة لدى وزارة التنمية الاجتماعية»، مضيفاً «إن ذلك يعدُ سابقة في البحرين، إذ لم يحصل مثل هذا في أي مرحلة من المراحل».
ويأتي ذلك بعد أن كانت مصادر مطلعة ذكرت لـ «الوسط»: أن وزارة المواصلات أصدرت تعميماً إلى جميع مكاتب البريد في البحرين، يمنع المراسلات التي تقوم بها الجهات والهيآت التي لم تسجل رسميا لدى أجهزة الدولة، مشيرة تلك المصادر إلى أن «الوزارة قامت بالطلب من وزارة التنمية الاجتماعية تزويدها بأسماء الجمعيات والهيآت المسجلة لديها، وإن الوزارة تسلمت القائمة من وزارة التنمية وقامت بتعميمها على جميع مكاتب البريد».
Al-Wasat Newspaper

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Comments (12)

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  1. mahmood says:

    Re: Selective snail-mail

    I agree, internet rates (rates are now set by the TRA I believe) are far too high, even with the latest 50% reduction since Feb 1st (or was that Jan 1st, just tried to find the press release on Batelco’s crappy site and couldn’t) but I know that my brother in London pays pittance for a 2MB connection.

    And if you’re getting approx 25kbps download speed, I’m moving to your area, ’cause I can’t get better than 12kbps at home and that is supposed to be 512mb connection!

    And Joop, don’t drive too fast! 😉

  2. jcdewit says:

    Re(1): Selective snail-mail

    Ah, don’t get me started on that one! Driving!! Driving home, doing my normal 90k on the 80k highway, I’m overtaken by people trying to break the sound barrier. And the only thing they are likley to break is their own live (no problem) or someone elses’ (big problem).
    In the Gulf Weekly they had a question last week: do they need to enforce more strictly the speed limit. What a joke: what enforcement? There aint no enforcement of the speed limit here. We drive the speed we like. Out of the way you wuss. And using the direction indicator when you change lane? Another one for wimps.
    Traffic rules are optional. raahhh…
    < calm down Joop, here is your valerian tea>

  3. anonymous says:

    Selective snail-mail

    My own issues with the postal service here is that you have to fill out forms in triplicate for each package you send. As you can imagine, Christmas was a nightmare (which is why most of my presents usually get sent via Amazon and such)


  4. Dan says:

    Selective snail-mail

    Unbelievable. This gives entirely new meaning to the phrase “The check is in the mail.”

  5. anonymous says:

    Selective snail-mail

    You’ll be pleased to know that the UAE’s snail-mail business is as crap as Bahrain’s. Outgoing stuff is moderately OK – once it’s on a plane then it’s the recipient snail-mailer’s responsibility. Distribution of incoming mail is pathetic. They deliver to P.O. boxes only. You mentioned at the beginning of the article about the horror of someone mailing you a cheque. This happened to me late last year. I had a client in Dubai Knowledge Hamlet, less than half a kilometer from me. I did some work for them, and sent a bill (via email of course). Only a small amount, so I didn’t hassle them until a couple of weeks later. I called them, and they said they had mailed the cheque the same day that they got the invoice. Sheesh! It turned up eventually, but that client is now very well aware that ‘the cheque is in the post’ is not a phrase I ever want to hear.

  6. anonymous says:

    Selective snail-mail

    Abolish the Ministry of Transportation, Ministry of Information, and all those Unwanted, Useless, and Corrupt gov’t officials should be fired immediately. Who is the Minister of Transportation, hmm.. I shouldn’t really even bring it up since this site and all its contents might suddenly vanish, and God knows what will happen to me!

    F*** our Government and Parliament..


  7. anonymous says:

    Selective snail-mail

    A couple weeks ago I went to my local post office near Seattle because I wanted to know how much postage to put on a letter of condolence to a old friend in Bahrain who’d tragically lost a child. The U.S. Post Office website indication was 84 cents, but stated that there was a lack of surface transportation in Bahrain. I thought there must certainly be an error, ergo the trip to an actual rather than virtual post office. Yes, 84 cents for the first 1/2 ounce, and yes, there may be some delivery problem. Ridiculous.

  8. HMD says:

    Selective snail-mail

    Say, how about we introduce a small scale privatised delivery service, ofcourse with several priority options, and present our offers to people and businesses too. Something like a local DHL-quality thing.
    I my self never, ever, used the service in Bahrain. Frankly, Bahrain is too small, and people would call in in person to their banks, shops, ministries, schools and universities, instead of mailing them. So by assumption, people-to-businesses service is not much of a target here, but the other way around.
    And another advantage of Bahrain being so admirably petite, is that we can extend the delivery service to more than just post. Maybe, with setting up online site, aggregating a whole number of grocery shops, electronics, whatever really, and monopolies the delivery service!!! Then, RULE THE WORLD!!!!!! BWWAHAHAHAHA!!!!!… Hmmm….
    Sorry, I always jump to that story..
    But there you go, if anyone would like to get into partnership 😛 unfortunately I can only offer the brilliant tissue between my ears, you provide the cha-$$$-ching 😛

  9. mahmood says:

    Re: Selective snail-mail

    too late… Al-Hilal group is providing this service… and get this FEDEX USE THEM to collect their cheques etc from local businesses!! How cool is that? Ironic doesn’t even come close 🙂

  10. HMD says:

    Re(1): Selective snail-mail

    Still, they didn’t rule the world yet, that’s still up for grabs……. :p

  11. jcdewit says:

    Selective snail-mail

    Hello Mahmood,
    First of all, congratulations with your blog: informative and reasonable. A breeze of fresh air nowadays in this polarised world.
    I stumbled on your site some months ago and have been a faithfull lurker up to now. And I can tell you: your site made the prospect of going to Bahrain so much more pleasant. Yeah, well done!

    Anyway, your remarks re the post office are undoubtly valid, I would not know as we only use courier services in our company (I was wondering why, until now).
    One of my gripes here concerns your other darling Ministery: that one of Information. In my case it concerns the Internet. What prices! For a home connection you pay 50 BD per month for 512 kbps! Downloading is often not faster then 25 kbyte/s and is regurlalry interupted for several minutes. In France where I lived last year, I paid BD 18 per month for 1.5 Mbps, contineous. And quite far away from the city.
    And the prices for business is even worse: BD 80 for 256 kbps and capped at 5Gb. Static IP, 100 BD/month! This is daylight robbery! I expect a fibre optic gigabit connection for that price!
    Well, I had to get that of my chest, for the rest life is peachy! Love the people and the food.
    Keep up the good work.


  12. anonymous says:

    Selective snail-mail

    Sounds to me that there are a lot of opportunities to run a tighter ship in the shipping biz i.e. UPS in Bahrain.

    Strange that with all the whining you here about the post office in the US it’s still the most inexpensive way to ship.


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