May I let my voice be a clarion call. I will use these words for justice. I will use these words for truth. And humour.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Breakfast Cereal from UAE


About a month ago, I went shopping at the local Grocery Outlet, and saw some sugar frosted flakes in a box on one of the aisles. It caught my attention because it had an interesting looking guy (a la Buzz Lightyear) on the front of the box. I turned the box around, and on the other side, it had the same picture, but with all Arabic writing on it, probably saying something like "Sugar Frosted Flakes."

(View full - makes a great desktop background!)

So I bought it, and I just finished eating it (Yes, I still sometimes indulge in sugar cereal), and I took pictures of it, and then I went to visit their website, (beware the loud cheesy music that accompanies the intro video).

Upon bopping around the site, it seems like NMC is a major UAE conglomerate, and an economic empire. Just the thought of a major corporate giant in the Muslim world gives me a lot to ponder upon. I don't get much warm fuzzies from Western corporate giants, and neither do I get the warm fuzzies from NMC, even though they have the slogan, "Together we smile."

The Muslim world has resisted the secularizing forces of capitalism, and perhaps for good reason. Yet does the existence of a corporate conglomerate like this in the Muslim world bring our cultures closer together? Or is this an example of them becoming compromised, or infected with capitalism? Or perhaps the Muslims will know how to do capitalism compassionately, basing their decisions off of Muslim principles, most notably Zakat. It makes me wonder if there are different human natures -- human natures based off of different worldviews and religious practices. Could capitalism work with a different worldview and different religion?

I also wonder what does the average person in a Muslim nation think of a large company such as NMC? Are they also subject to public relations efforts, to bias their views, as are people in the United States?

Anyway, reading about their chairman on the Corporate Governance page, I am surprised to see words written in English pushing the limits of my vocabulary, used in hyperbole, even.

"His variegated experiences in conceiving and fostering entrepreneurial initiatives found matching synergy of enthalpy in the business acumen and rectitude of Dr. B. R. Shetty, to signal the beginning of a relationship as a business mentor, trusted partner and close friend, as Chairman of NMC. Thereafter, the power of exponentials has marked the growth graph to speak the language of business, as new stars were born, littering the business firmament of NMC."

Yikes! The Muslims have learned marketing-speak! That leans toward answering the question of what kind of company NMC might be. I just had a scary thought. Perhaps this is just a front for American investments, trying to push into new markets. I'm not going to believe that thought I had (sometimes it's possible to have a thought and dispel it), preferring to believe that the people who the site says are in charge actually are in charge.

Well, they made some tasty cereal that made its way to Oakland. So they must be doing something right. Then again, I just checked out their "Hotline" page, and it seems to have gone cold to the tune of 4 years without an update. Hmmmm....

Well, as long as all the people are fed and have clothes and homes, then they're all right by my book. And I would love to hear the thoughts of my Muslim friends or from people in the general NMC marketing area, concerning their thoughts on this cereal.

chant/prayer/mantra: La ila ha illal-Lah.

pax hominibus,
agape to all,

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