Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): On January 13, 2015, Al-Ayyam newspaper reported that one of the founders and directors of the newspaper and a board member since its establishment in 1989 had attained a doctorate in human rights from Presley University in the United States. "It is one of the leading academic institutions in the United States in providing distance learning worldwide," the paper said when mentioning the university.
Many did not stop to take a second glance at this piece of news, even though it contained many suspicious signs. The news article, which included a photo of Ahmed Al-Saati, Bahrain's current ambassador to the Russian Federation and holder of the "alleged" PhD, alongside one of the officials at the so-called "Presley" university, while he was receiving his Phd, immediately revealed the first sign of suspicion. "The degree was delivered by Ms. Kila Hibbert, the representative of the University during her visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain this week," it read.
Officials at the Ministry of Education should have look thoroughly into this flashing sign. A so-called "VIP" PhD student who allegedly graduated from a leading American university was sent a special representative to grant him his graduation certificate in his native country of Bahrain. That is indeed very strange. How many of these leading US universities send special delegates to their students in order to receive their sealed graduation certificates in their home countries with an elegant image for publication in the press?
This question alone- if someone had asked- would have been enough to unveil the secrets of ministry officials. But strangely enough this issue was left alone and the authorities headed towards something else. Two months later, in March 2015, the ministry carried out a fierce campaign on sectarian grounds against Bahraini medical students studying in Chinese universities, as it abolished the recognition of medical degrees issued by the universities of China, where these students have studies, such as Tianjin, Xingyutong, Zhengzhou, Wenzhou and Zhejiang, even though they are recognized universities in the United States, according to the Medical Board system in the state California.
The future of about 500 Bahraini students, the majority of whom from one sect, was shattered with a fatal blow. Two years earlier, it had shattered the future of another 360 students, the majority of whom belong to the same religious sect and are attending the Indian Bona University. The alleged Presley University graduate continued to be promoted via that so-called degree: From a member in parliament, then a member of the Board of Commissioners of the National Institute for Human Rights and finally to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Bahrain to Moscow.
It's the happy life journey of a so-called PhD student who paid to buy a diploma and bring it to Bahrain. Presley is just one among others in an international network of fake online educational institutions affiliated with a university called MUST, which claims to be "the world's largest university, based in California," "while in fact it is just part of an international network of fraudulent, fake universities, secondary schools, and accreditation organizations based in Karachi, Pakistan.
"We've sent mail to test the address and it's been returned undeliverable," says Lori Wilson, the president of the Better Business Bureau in the San Francisco area, a non-profit organization that monitors fraud in the US and Canada labor market.
What's noteworthy in this regard is that after about five months of receiving the doctorate from the so-called university, the Pakistani authorities announced shutting down a global network of universities that was duping students out of money for worthless degrees, which included "Presley" University. This took place due to the repercussions created by an investigative report published by the New York Times about a network of 370 fraudulent universities, institutes an fake websites.
The repercussions of this issue continued to roll down since mid 2015, growing like a snowball day by day. But once again the Bahraini Ministry of Education continued to "gobble up honey". They have a dishonest "PhD graduate" who holds sensitive positions and publicly alleges he attained these diplomas. However, they have continued to act as if they cannot see, hear or speak. As for man of the hour, our ambassador in Moscow, Al-Saati, went on to celebrate his so-called doctorate degree on the front pages of daily newspapers.