Of Passport and Prophets Print E-mail
( 1 Vote )
Written by Jamil Matar   
Thursday, 01 November 2012 00:00

Anywhere I turned this weekend in OW, and especially at my place work, there were so many questions concerning the identity theft of Naim Matar. It amused me to note how many conclusions people drew after listening to the news; one person even jokingly asked me how much I made off the deal!

In reality, it was a simple and quick matter to resolve. Naim is one of my younger brothers, who was born here in Orange Walk Town but who later migrated to the United States. When I got the call from the Immigration Officer asking about Naim’s whereabouts I told him that as far as I knew, my brother was in the States and has not visited Belize recently. I immediately called Chicago and spoke directly to Naim and told him what was going on. As expected, he was incensed and asked me to please tell Immigration that he has never authorized any person to act on his behalf or to apply for any official document in Belize. I promptly called back Mr. Arzu and well, you heard the news: the imposter was apprehended, arraigned and convicted.

The key issue I want to highlight here is that the imposter is 61 and my brother is 46 years old. This man got hold of those official papers about ten years ago, since it was a passport renewal instead of first issue, and maybe even before that. Someone should have noticed the age difference on the certificate and the physical appearance of the applicant. It seems that the history of fraud in obtaining birth certificates is deep-rooted, and it makes me wonder how many more false Belizeans are out there. The good thing out of all this is that with the new procedures in place, the Immigration Department caught this culprit very quickly and easily. I encourage them to keep up the vigilance.

Not to deviate from promoting some of the human virtues we should try to adopt, I must comment on a TV newscast aired two weeks ago, where yet another “radical” committee, Coalition for Justice, was having a press conference. In the summary version of this press conference, I got to understand that the new group seemed focused on three main objectives: to denounce the granting of compensation to the family of the Guatemalan who was killed by our BDF; to initiate a campaign to reject the ICJ as an option to settle the Guatemalan claim; and the removal of the Foreign Minister from office.

Now while at my age I am pretty accustomed to hearing presentations from a diversity of table-slammers, especially from the political genre, it was the uttering from one particular man, the namesake of the writer of the Book of Micah, a prophet in the Old Testament, which caught my full attention.

Even if the average Belizean voter would be moderately inclined to empathize with this new Coalition, and possibly even consider supporting one of the arguments or requests being forwarded by the group, the manner in which Micah Goodin presented himself left listeners disillusioned with the entire group. People have commented to me that the gentleman was most offensive when he threatened Belizeans, who refuse to support the Coalition with this irresponsible statement; “Those that are not ready, or are not willing to fight will be trampled, and I make no apologies. They will be trampled." Well excuse me, young Joseph Stalin, sir but will your penalty for dissent to your decree be meted out by horses, or by cattle?

What is going on in these brothers’ and sisters’ minds? How can any organization get any credibility with a front-row center member like Done Silva (that’s not a typo), who once approached the Guatemalan president to solicit scholarships for Belizeans? Who will give their cause any respect when you hear words like "Give me your ears, or deliver to me, my death, as I welcome to you, the second Belizean revolution, being led by the Belize Coalition for Justice." Jeez, which book is this man reading that has him messed up like that?