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Interests and problems of Arab youth


Syrian Youth (a sample)

By: Zuhair Salim

Youth of political affiliations

   Another group of youth which requires contemplation and arouses concern is that of political affiliations. It sets us in front of the following dilemma: if you are affiliated to a particular affiliation, you will definitely get what you aspire for. So, you do not have to work hard. It is a real dilemma. And it is an interpretation to what is said about Arab youth in the human resources reports of development organizations. These reports state that such youth are uneducated.

   This group increasingly grows in number, and such increase is favorable to some people. We hear that third of Syrian youth are involved in it, i.e., they have joined the ruling party which must be respected by the rest of the community.

   It is narrated that some sultans had a group of lazy people who just consume and never produce. Some of our people used to give examples of these lazy. The difference between the youth of today and those lazy people is that those were to be satisfied just by handful, while the ambitions of Arab youth today cry: is there any more?

Our children are in a dire need of wise educationists.

   As another instance of the Arab youth interests, we can find that there is another group of youth who are hasty and they want to jump the logical steps. They are snobbish whose traditions were formed out of erroneous past. These people have no clear-cut attitude, and they behave as though nothing concerns them.

   When I was their age, people were talking about (petition), then about vitamin (intercession). And then, some of our students started to whisper in my ears "teacher! They wanted to write a report about you, but I stopped them and stood on their way." said one of the students. “Teacher! I know them all" Then he apologized and said "what can we do? We have to manage (our heads)." He added.

   It was not necessary to take what that student said seriously. It is probably that they are looking forward to getting high marks. One of these students has become the vice president. When he was requested to reconsider giving a pay raise for the government employees, he sarcastically said “we are not supposed to charge the government budget for a group of bears! Everybody has to manage his affairs"

   This group of youth has the first priority and control at schools, universities, organizations, football teams. They have the first priority in getting scholarships, government positions in the social, economic and political departments of state although they are incapable and inexperienced. The most important thing is that they are affiliated to the ruling party and then they will be there to take thier own decisions and will be there forever.

   Hardworking and achievement are no more necessary, what is important; however, is the political affiliation to the ruling party. This shortens the way before the Arab youth to the political, scientific, and technical or any other positions he or she aspires for.

   Anyone can get a scholarship without putting any effort and hard work, for the political document of the ruling party is sufficient to make eligible and this will prevent those who are capable and excellent to do the job. These youth can take important positions such as a manager of a governmental body without having been trained to management, chief editor of a newspaper, a diplomat and a nominee for the peoples' council, students' union. He or she can be a member of labor union, a chairman of journalists, lawyers or physicians union.

   Many of us panic with the increase of the huge numbers joining the partisan caravan of the ruling party and that almost all governmental positions have been already reserved to in order to please the supporters of the ruling party as they charge the government the cost of being affiliated to the ruling party. The government reluctantly gives the remaining positions to the rest of the community.

   These young people belonging to the ruling party are just followers and they can never be eligible for struggle or achievement. They are, as characterized by Yahya al-Ghazal before the caliph al-Naser, slaves. They are but a corrupted assemblage for spreading corruption. In short, they are easily tempted, and they short-cut the way by clapping and yelling "we would sacrifice our souls and blood" for the political readers.

   The people in charge of these ruling parties in our countries do not care about the phenomena of the huge number of the people affiliating to ruling party. They do not care about unemployment from which increases to the extent that it swallow the rights of hardworking people. 

   If we look at the programs of the ruling party, for example, it has changed over time during the reigns of Abdul Nasser, Al-Sadat and Mubarak; however the supporters are the same! Isn't this an exhortation? This group of youth was said to be following their leaders' approach.

   Why do these young people affiliate to these ruling parties? A question should be posted on the leaders of these parties to reconsider? To what extent do these youth believe in such party and its programs? Are there any morals agreed upon by these people? What is the obstacle do these people make towards the development, progress and reform?

   The youth of political support to the ruling parties are like soft cushions expressed by the prevailing miserable situation in the Arab world.

They actually constitute a sort of danger need to be addressed. These people do talk about reform, but are these people, who are in badly need of reform, eligible to lead reform programs? This question demands an answer from all the prudent people of different affiliations. 


Interests and problems of the Arab youth

Syria as a model


By: Zuhair Salim

Globalized youth

    This is another group of youth which conceal and reveal giving up one's identity. Youth belonging to this group look down to their civilization, culture, homeland, and people. They also look down to their history, to the past, present, and future. The nation from which they were born is now accused in its civilization, culture, society and economy in such a contempt way.

   We have noticed this group for fifty years in foreign educational schools and institutions but in these days it extends to include new spectrums of the society. It is obvious that people of different approaches and different schools of thought, culture and politics, would rather meet in our critical situation.

   This group was founded and based on a psychological and intellectual background by devoting a fact that there are two worlds; the first-word and the third-world.  These two worlds are distinct politically, culturally, economically and socially, and the third-world countries must struggle in order to catch up with the first-world and follow its suit in everything.

   People holding such a belief confirm that the ideal political system is that of the first-world in its theories, approaches, strengths and personalities. The first world is more beautiful in terms of the cultural background which produces arts and principles. Therefore, the first world must be followed suit in its pros and cons as confirmed by Taha Hussein in the Future of Culture in Egypt for about a century ago.

   The youth belonging to this group defend economic dimensions of the capitalism although it began to fall down. This is because of the economic availability and the so called spend before you possess system (credit cards system) which has covered all horizons. Above all, you hear a lot of compliment to the social systems and treaties of international organizations.

   It is such a civilized attitude in our societies in various affiliations and different backgrounds. Such an attitude can be observed in the Arab youth in all the Arab courtiers.

   There are direct political reasons in our country (Syria) which indicate this dependency psychological and civilization attitude that comes in a form of a regressive attitude that arises from an earliest shakable cultural attitude against the belonging and its givens, and cultural and national identity and their components, and by this we get a group of refusing youth who philosophizes its rejection and turns it into attitudes and programs, and expresses it by link sources of support spread across this world here and there.

         The primary cultural starting points of so called the first world collaborate with the local policies of marginalization and exclusion to produce the slide refusing youth that is programmed on the rhythms of globalized capitalism. An Arab or national active youth that raises the slogan of: Cure me with the disease itself.

   In the cultural, political, social and economic frame work, the activists in this segment turn into national antithesis, and they become confused about the opposite project of an underdeveloped social reality, or a despotic political system, or economic world ruled by corruption. All these mixes with the opposition of the civilization project of their nation in its principles, its past, present, and future, and its men.

   This youth is snatched by the (clubs) of international agenda which leads its cold and hot war against our nation, since after it made sure that it has achieved victory in its cultural war against the Red Menace, it extended to start a new war against what it calls it the (the risk the most serious) with underestimate and by the same old means. And here rushes a group the activists and distinguished of our nation to split from the public body of the nation, under the heading of defending, pitying them, to join then the so-called institutions of (public work) and (civil society) to serve an activity that has its appropriations in the items of the international budget. (Human rights!), or even better (defense for women's issues) but perhaps the most important (the call for democracy) or (tearing identity) or taking off everything. Young people (men and women) matches with each wave, and with catches all that floats, and repeats whatever said, and believe or pretend to believe every claim, do not care to disown its nation, or disparage its people and society.
   A Segment that is concerned with proclaim bad talk, and creativity in writing the satire poems of the communities in which it arises, or it belongs by birth that it curse, and even do not care to satirize their father and mother their people, and their clans, and monk of the mind and spirit, civilization and history, past and present, to buy some satisfaction by selling itself in the market of slave labor.

   In addition, if a member of this segment belonged to a specificity of ethnic, or religious sectarian, then you can talk her about the Israelis!! In this case this young person posses the golden key to get his dreams, and the pretext to insult the land on which he grow, and the international legal paths that grants him all the rights, platforms, and theaters as a witness to the religion, civilization, societies, and the history, the present, and the future…

   In the new strategy of the nation’s enemy, this segment is being prepared to be a bridge that their dreams cross. Or look at them as a wooden horse that can be a cover for an operation of sneaking into the heart of our societies to undermine it from the inside...

   For the third or fourth time conviction is not the goal of this study. And the supposition of some members of this segment that they are capable of playing with the greats is merely youth dreams. And what we have proved about some institutions of public action and structures of civil society does not include everyone, but we believe that our society needs more of these institutions that arise in the civilization laps of the nation and homeland.

   Our talk about this segment alerts the reformers, and calls for the opening of prospects and follow-up and evaluation…

    They also should arouse concern and push us to think, the productive strategic thinking, and not the frustrating security thinking.

To be continued…


*Director of The Arab Orient Center



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