Catching the Sun Alfonsina Blyde/Flickr

Die Umkehr des Brain Drain

DUBAI – Als ich 1968 während meines Studiums an der Mons Officer Cadet School in Großbritannien ins Krankenhaus musste, traf ich dort einen Arzt, der zu meiner Überraschung fließend Arabisch sprach. Ich erfuhr, dass er neu in Großbritannien war, also fragte ich ihn, ob er lange bleiben oder nach Hause zurückkehren wolle. Er antwortete mit einem arabischen Sprichwort, das in der Übersetzung wie folgt lautet: „Meine Heimat ist, wo ich zu essen habe.“

Die Worte dieses Arztes sind mir für viele Jahre im Gedächtnis geblieben, weil sie den Widerspruch zwischen unserer idealisierten Sicht von „Heimat“ und der harten Lebenswirklichkeit unterstrichen, die talentierte Menschen zwingt, ihr Zuhause zu verlassen.

Der Arzt war ein klassischer Fall jenes als „Brain Drain“ bekannten Phänomens der Abwanderung hochqualifizierter Arbeitskräfte, unter dem die Entwicklungsländer seit Jahrzehnten leiden. Diese Länder geben ihre knappen Ressourcen aus, um Ärzte, Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler auszubilden – in der Hoffnung, dass diese dann zu Motoren des Wohlstands werden. Anschließend sehen wir dann zu, wie sie in den Westen ziehen und dabei die an ihre Begabung geknüpften Hoffnungen mitnehmen.

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