Arab countries score low on crime, highest on safety in world survey

A police patrol car in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where crime levels are low and people say they are the safest (Shutterstock)
Updated 09 August 2017
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Arab countries score low on crime, highest on safety in world survey

DUBAI: Arab cities are the safest places to live in the Asia, Africa and the world, according to the website Numbeo, which analysis data on crime and safety statistics and people’s perceptions.
The list, which is based on the latest information, provides two sets of numbers for the 334 cities listed, a score for crime levels and another for safety.
Abu Dhabi was rated the safest country and for the lowest crime level, both in Asia and the world, while Tunisia came top for safety and low crime in Africa.
The figures are created from a series of surveys and research that look at statistics from countries, but also people’s perceptions of crime and safety.
“(The) Crime Index is an estimation of overall level of crime in a given city or a country,” the Numbeo website explains.
“We consider crime levels lower than 20 as very low, crime levels between 20 and 40 as being low, crime levels between 40 and 60 as being moderate, crime levels between 60 and 80 as being high and finally crime levels higher than 80 as being very high.”
The Safety Index is scored the other way, with the higher number indicating a safer city.
Abu Dhabi scored 13.22 for crime and 86.78 for safety. In contrast San Pedro Sula, in Honduras, scored 84.25 for crime and 15.75 for safety.
While these figures put Abu Dhabi at the top for low crime and safety both in Asia and globally, Dhaka in Bangladesh scored 69.92 for crime and 30.08 for safety.

The top 10 Asian cities with low crime and high safety levels
City Crime Safety
Abu Dhabi, UAE 13.54 86.46
Doha, Qatar 15.87 84.13
Singapore 16.90 83.10
Taipei, Taiwan 17.38 82.62
Tokyo, Japan 19.38 80.62
Dubai, UAE 19.52 80.48
Hong Kong 20.07 79.93
Osaka, Japan 20.13 79.87
Tbilisi, Georgia 20.37 79.63
Bursa, Turkey 21.12 78.88



Perhaps surprising was Kuala Lumpur which had the second worst crime levels of the 91 countries listed for Asia, at 68.53 and 31.47 for safety. Baghdad, in Iraq came 16 with a crime figure of 57.47 and safety scoring 42.53.
Doha came a close second after the UAE capital, scoring 15.71 for crime and 84.29 for safety.
Dubai came in at 331 in the world list and 83 – just five places behind Abu Dhabi – for Asia, with a crime number of 19.52 and 80.48 for safety.

The top 10 African cities with low crime and high safety levels
City Crime Safety
Tunis, Tunisia 36.11 63.89
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 44.46 55.54
Algiers, Algeria 49.99 50.01
Harare, Zimbabwe 51.98 48.02
Casablanca, Morocco 53.24 46.76
Cairo, Egypt 55.96 44.04
Tripoli, Libya 58.06 41.94
Nairobi, Kenya 63.03 36.97
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 65.80 34.20
Lagos, Nigeria 68.08 31.92



Meanwhile Tunis in Tunisia had the lowest crime level for Africa with 36.15 and the highest for safety with 63.85. This was in contrast with Pietermaritzburg with crime at 82.09 and 17.91 for safety.
What the researchers do concede is that a high crime level score can indicate a greater level of reported incidents than other places that score lower rather than a higher crime level.


Rohingya fearful of doctors keep faith healers in business

In this photo taken Aug. 28, 2018, a Bangladeshi clinical psychologist Anita Saha interacts with Rohingya refugees as part of an awareness programme in Kutupalong refugee camp, Bangladesh. (AP)
Updated 4 min 41 sec ago
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Rohingya fearful of doctors keep faith healers in business

  • Kalam, a 60-year-old who arrived in Bangladesh in 2012 in an earlier exodus of Rohingya, says he receives more than five clients each day

KUTUPALONG, Bangladesh: Abul Kalam sits cross-legged on the floor of his tiny mud hut and whispers prayers into a small plastic bottle filled with water, creating what he says is a potion that will cure stomach cramps.
“I got these powers in my dreams,” he says. “People come to me because I heal them.”
Kalam is a boidu, or faith healer, and for decades has been treating fellow Rohingya Muslims, first in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state and now in a squalid camp in Bangladesh, where 700,000 Rohingya took refuge last year after escaping a campaign of government violence at home.
Faith healers have long been sought out in Rohingya society to treat physical and mental ailments. Their trade has thrived in part because of traditional beliefs and in part because Rohingya have lacked access to modern medical care in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, where they are one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world.
Access to medical care has changed for the better in Bangladesh, where thousands of aid workers offer Rohingya everything from vaccinations to psychological support.
Doctors Without Borders, which runs four inpatient hospitals and a dozen medical centers in the area, says it has provided more than 800,000 outpatient consultations and admitted more than 15,000 patients since August 2017.
Yet many Rohingya still seek out their faith healers.
Kalam, a 60-year-old who arrived in Bangladesh in 2012 in an earlier exodus of Rohingya, says he receives more than five clients each day.
“People come to me because they benefit from my power,” he says. “That’s why they keep coming back.”
Myanmar officials have said they expect the repatriation of Rohingya to start this week, a move criticized by rights groups who say it is not yet safe for them to return.
Anita Saha, a clinical psychologist who has worked in the camps since August 2017, says Rohingya refugees’ dependence on faith healers stems from a lack of exposure to doctors and a suspicion of scientific medicine.
She says many refugees mistakenly believe they will lose their Islamic faith and be converted to Christianity if they take vaccinations for diseases like cholera and diphtheria. And in the case of mental illness, she says, many believe it is a reflection of evil forces and is best countered by a faith healer invoking prayer.
“They don’t have any doctors to prescribe psychotropic drugs. So, they believe in the boidus to overcome their problem,” Saha says.
She says beliefs in the camps are slowly changing.
Ali Nesa has never known what’s wrong with her teenage daughter, who spends her days in the refugee camp lying on the floor of her family’s thatch hut, unable to talk, walk or eat on her own.
Nesa says her daughter has been this way since she was 3, when she had epileptic fits for nearly two weeks straight.
“I don’t know if her disease is due to an evil spirit or because of difficulty in breathing,” Nesa says. “If this is because of an evil spirit, then only a boidu can treat her. If it is a breathing problem, then a doctor may be able to help her.”
Nesa says none of the many boidus she has visited has been able to help her daughter and she is losing her faith in them. She’s now interested in seeking medical help.
Climate extremes, harsh land and unsanitary conditions make the camps a breeding ground for diseases and mental stress.
That means there’s plenty of work for doctors. It also means there’s plenty of business for faith healers like Kalam, who says he’s doing Allah’s bidding and isn’t bothered by people who don’t believe in his powers.
“I can’t be worried by what people have to say,” he says.
“Maybe the doctor will say what does a boidu know? I don’t want to answer them. I don’t need to fight them.”