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Back to basics

Back to basics

For years, Saudi tribes have practiced a form of social security, which they refer to as the ‘tribal fund’. It’s basic, but affective. Here’s how it works.

November 2, 2008 9:19 by

Sheikh Maghli Al-Mansouri, the treasurer of a Saudi tribe, said it is binding on each and every member of a tribe to participate in the fund. “Those who refuse to contribute would not benefit from the fund when they face any difficulty,” he added.

He, however, said members of a tribe are at liberty to help such people on an individual basis. Sheikh Nafie Al-Lahawi, one of the chiefs of the Sulaim tribe, said the tribe is divided into eight branches and that each branch has its own fund. “In times of need, the entire tribe would stand together,” he added.

Abdullah Al-Alwani said he has nothing to do with the insurance companies and depends on his tribe when a need arises. “Although I have not been involved in a traffic accident so far, I am sure my tribe would stand by me if anything happens to me,” he said.

Al-Alwani described the fund as a “true expression” of solidarity and a halal-form of insurance.

Adil Al-Salami lauded the idea of the tribal fund and said the larger the tribe the more money its fund would have. “Tribes should also invest money in profitable projects. The fund is not only an insurance firm but also a tool to alleviate poverty among tribe members,” he said.

First seen in Arab News

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