June 29, 2007, - 1:53 pm
By Debbie Schlussel
One of the stereotypes Arabs frequently complain (or, at least, complained–past tense–before Hollywood whitewashed them post 9/11) about is their occasional portrayal as swarthy, flashy jewelry-wearing persons with a fetish for the garish.
Now, a Capgemini/Merrill Lynch Financial Advisory survey confirms the stereotype as based much more in fact than in fiction. The study found that while there are rich people around the world, wealthy Arabs spent 1/3 to more than double the percentage of their wealth on jewelry than those from other regions of the world. Maybe they ought to call is “Arab-elry.” Middle Easterners spent about a third–or 32%–of their money on jewelry and 27% of their income on flashy cars, boats, and jets.
The jewelry figure is especially interesting because very religious Muslims arent’ supposed to wear gold (not that they keep their religion so well; just ask the 9/11 hijackers who patronized “The Pink Pony” strippers, prostitutes, and Vegas).
More from the Wall Street Journal:
MIDDLE EAST — Middle Eastern millionaires — whose numbers grew by 12% in 2006 to 300,000, according to the study — spent the most on jewelry. Wealth experts say the nomadic traditions in the region have made jewelry a popular commodity, since it’s easily portable. With outward displays of wealth also popular in the Middle East, jewelry has big appeal. Middle Easterners also spend big on yachts, jets and cars — a greater percentage, in fact, than Americans. “The Middle East likes more overt displays of wealth,” Ms. van der Linde says. “They like heavy luxury.”
This is also interesting because Muslims are constantly telling us how modest they are and how they hate the American displays of garishness. Looks like they’re in need of mirrors. Middle Easterners, dominantly Muslim, are, in fact, not so modest, since they love to show off what they have, as confirmed by this survey.
Well, no-one ever said they weren’t hypocrites. In many ways, they are the epitome of hypocrisy.
Do as my Koran says (or be killed), NOT as I do.
Your gas pump money at work.
Tags: Debbie Schlussel One, gas pump money, Linde, Merrill Lynch, Middle East, official, the Wall Street Journal, Wall Street Journal