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Posts Tagged ‘Arabs’

Why Arabs Won’t Rise Up Anytime Soon

September 15, 2013 7 comments

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Building on my humble knowledge, I get to have some observations and analysis of the world I live in. So here’s one for the day: Arabs won’t rise up anytime soon!

My aim here is not to push you  to lose hope on Arabs progress, but rather trying to shed light on certain elements of why are the Arab nations still way behind in terms of technology, economy, civil-rights, and politics, just to name a few.

Yes, I’m an Arab and I sadly got to the conviction that Arabs won’t rise up anytime soon. If you observe how nations grew into world powers you will realize that most of them have two main factors in common: Institutionalization and care for public good. Apparently, those two factors are missing (either one or both) from almost all Arab countries!

We’re mostly an individualistic nation: a nation formed of hundreds of millions of individuals who want to shine individually rather than as a nation. Collaborating together for the common good in a well-structured and institutionalized manner is something perhaps beyond the short-term wins that those individuals perceive.

We dislike systems, processes, policies, procedures, long term goals and the common good when it contradicts with personal gain and hence we try to avoid them as much as we could! So if we can avoid filling a form, not follow a procedure, rule, or policy (or at least get away with it), take a shortcut, or go for a quick win, we’d will go for it.

Examples of what I mean here can be as small as not standing in line whenever there is a queue to not stopping on a red light or following the road signs. It can also be as major as politicians not acting as part of an institution with a system, but rather acting like heads of mafias, bending and changing the rules, the governmental institutions and policies to fit their own needs and desires. The bigger problem is not that they do it, but rather no one actually holds them accountable for what they do. Many people accept such a behavior and thus the issue exacerbates with time. Even with the so-called “Arab Spring” and the people rising to demand for their rights, the same thing was done all over again, “leaders” took charge and bent rules to fit them and their “group”.

Just to be fair, there are some positive deviants from the norm, like in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, where they actually plan years ahead, put systems and policy in place, and do proper enforcement and follow up. In Egypt, though millions go on demonstration, they leave the roads clean and ensure things are properly back in place.

Nevertheless, most of us are always chasing the quick wins, the individual recognitions, the shortcuts and the “what’s in it for me” attitude, at least for the time being. So in a nutshell, we’re mostly an individualistic nation, we produce endless shining stars but not a collaborative galaxy!

My recommendation would be to start learning the following, so we can perhaps start taking baby steps towards progress:

  • Willingness to learn, humbleness, and long term strategic planning from the Japanese
  • Willingness to put the nation before self, economic agility and discipline from the Chinese
  • Structuring and building systems, pragmatic thinking and financial wizardry from the Americans
  • Strength and value of team work and communal wellbeing from the Penguins
  • Perseverance, discipline and working as one from the Ants

I’m saying all of this not with a perspective of despair but rather a belief that everything is feasible and if we learn to change how we think and act, we can definitely do wonders.

 

Other Articles That Might Be of Interest:

Compilation: Management & Personal Development

July 18, 2013 2 comments
Personal Development

Personal Development

I was asked by some of my friends to compile related articles together in an accessible way. Thus, I’m posting this as a simple compilation of relevant articles under the theme of “Management & Personal Development”.

Check the links below of the aforementioned articles:

 

I hope you enjoy the articles and feel free to subscribe to my Blog for regular updates.

 

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Arab Spring, the Economy & Social Entrepreneurship

November 6, 2011 22 comments


My dear reader, for a while now we’ve been hearing endless analysis, campaigns and strategies about each one of the above topics individually..from the Arab Spring to the Economy in the Arab world and last but not least “the” topic in town: Social Entrepreneurship.

What I’ll be doing in this article is drawing on the inter-connectivity of the 3…specifically to shed light on the big picture of the current Arab world and how things are heading.

The whole discourse is based on readings, observations, analysis and discussions I had with people across the Arab world from opinion leaders, to CEOs and senior management of companies, activists, governmental officials and so on. Here it comes…

The so called “Arab Spring” started from Tunisia, where Boazizi put himself on fire to revolt in the face of injustice, lack of work opportunities and his sense of hopelessness… he just gave up on his life and on going anywhere but downhill. Yet, Boazizi was not an ignorant man nor a weak person, he was a man of modest education, hard worker and a lot of perseverance. Yet what he lacked was a job, a sustainable and decent income for himself and his family. His story isn’t an “island” but rather a story shared by so many across the Arab world, from illiterates to PhD holders, who are facing difficulties in finding a job…and the unemployment rates are soaring higher than ever.

With the youth bulge in the region, which the World Bank estimated in 2010 that 60% of the Arab world are people under 30 years old, the market is becoming a highly competitive place for job seekers. Millions of Arab youth are working hard on getting their education, graduating and then…the rest is unknown. The funny/sad matter is that the higher the degrees the youth are getting, the harder it is to find a job in their hometown. One asks himself the question of why? How come? …but the answer is simple..there aren’t enough jobs out there…the infrastructure and companies aren’t equipped well enough nor are they growing fast enough to accommodate for this influx of highly educated workforce…and the list can go on.

Consequently, most of those youth who are jobless and are not being heard…have no where to go but the streets…to demand change..to demand jobs..to demand their dignity to be safe-guarded…and when you have thousands and millions of educated people either in low-paying jobs or jobless …they will revolt…they will seek to make things better…one way or another.

Now the case is that many Arab countries, the economic status they have is different, the social behaviors are different, norms and cultures may also be different…yet what all of the revolutions have in common is demanding change..a change in governance…a change to the better…a change to put up leaders who care for the nation more than they care for power…a change that will bring about economic growth, jobs, resources, dignity for the people and a sense of equality and justice.

Now if we take a bird’s eye view on this whole matter, and with some research into past revolutions across the centuries from the French revolution until today…one can simply realize that after every revolution..there comes some chaos before order is restored…and things will look better hereafter, much better.

Moreover, how things will look in the future…is not much of a mystery either…history repeats itself, with minor modifications. The issue in the Arab world is not the lack of money or resources, there are billions of it in cash yet it’s how we’re making use it(or the lack of).

In this context, the future of the Arab World in the coming 10 years will include the following general guidelines:

  • Educated youth will start seeking to create jobs for themselves, rather than seeking jobs. They will starting making some start-ups, capitalize on the entrepreneurial/innovative skills and become more willing to take risks rather than seeking a stable governmental/corporate jobs.
  • Numerous capital ventures, angel investors and impact investors will start popping up to support Social & Impact Entrepreneurs who not only seek making profit but also leaving a positive impact on the society along the way.
  • Arab nations will realize that each country will not be able to sustain and grow on its own … thus cross border/pan-Arab economic and infrastructure projects will be launched. From unifying electric grids, to opening borders for trade and travel, to creating joint ventures, to mega infrastructure improvements to lure more investments and build a ripe ground for further corporate growth. This will look something similar to the Marshall Plan set by the US to aid Europe rebuild itself and prosper post World War II, yet its Arab based for Arab’s benefit.
  • Family based businesses will nourish and especially those that are gulf based, state supported, and/or “royal”. With the rich getting richer, we can expect some major growth in family based conglomerates.
  • Educational systems will start shifting into more specialized degrees, informal learning, on-the-job learning, and major involvement of technology in the whole learning process.
  • Real-estate business will no longer be the major industry in many countries, to be replaced with other industries like ICT, manufacturing , agriculture, telecom, consultancy, tourism, research/think-tanks amongst others as well. Thus requiring a more diverse workforce.

The above 5 general headlines will start taking place naturally, one step at a time, to accommodate for the political/governmental changes as well as the expected chaos in some of the countries. These new opportunities and systems will encompass creating jobs for almost 100 million youth that will be joining the Arab workforce by 2020.

If jobs are not created in the thousands every month across the Arab world…the economies will not grow nor sustain, governments/dictators/leaders will tumble one after the other…until the wealth is more evenly distributed, dignity and financial-independence is secured for the millions who are graduating annually.

Until then…the Arab Spring will continue, chaos and instability in many countries will prevail until the void is filled and nations start rebuilding themselves, one brick at a time.

Other posts worth reading:

فلتحيا مصر، فليحيا الشعب العربي و لتحيا العروبة

February 11, 2011 3 comments

 

    .نادراً ما اكتب باللغة العربية ولكن في هذه المناسبة وفي هذه الظروف لا يمكنني إلا أن اكتب بالعربي

    هنيئاً لمصر وهنيئاً للشعب العربي في كل البلاد العربية. لقد رفع الشعب المصري رأس كل عربي في هذه الثورة، تمكنت الإرادة الشعبية من أن تنتصر على سنين من الظلم والإستبداد، على حكومات وانظمة متامره ومتخاذلة وذليلة. لقد عاد الشعب العربي يتنفس العروبة والقومية والكرامة والعنفوان.

    .ما ابتدى في تونس تنامى في مصر وكبر وحقق نصراً على عقود من الذل والقهر.  11 شباط يوماً لن ينسى بعد اليوم، ستبنى عليه امالنا وأحلامنا

    .فلينتفض الشعب العربي أينما كان للم شمله وإعادة العزة والكرامة لقاموسه

    !!!فلتحيا مصر، فليحيا الشعب العربي و لتحيا العروبة

Reclaiming Semitism

October 10, 2010 10 comments

Semitic: Of or pertaining to a subdivision of Middle Eastern and North African languages: Amharic, Arabic, Aramaic, Syriac, Akkadian, Hebrew, Maltese, Tigrigna, Phoenician etc. Semitic comes from modern Latin Semita, via late Latin from Greek Sēm ‘Shem’, son of Noah in the Bible, from whom those people traditionally descended from. (as per historical facts)

Anti-Semitism: Hostility to or prejudice against Jews. (as per Oxford’s dictionary)

But wait a minute, with all respect to the Jews the “Semitic” title contains much more than just Jews..how about the Aramaic? Syriac? Maltese? And Arabs?…

Yes… those people too have been treated with a lot of prejudice and “hostility”…especially Arabs who have been discriminated against and persecuted by the so-called “Democracies of the world” including but not limited to the United States of America, United Kingdom, France and the so-called  Jewish state of Israel. How come no one is calling them Anti-Semitic? How come no law is protecting those Semites as well?

In fact, Western Jewish prejudice against Arabic Jews in that illegitimate state of Israel have been exacerbating over the years. This is showing the true colors of prejudice and hatred against Arabs in the “Western World” due to the simple fact that this Anti-Semitism is being fueled by Western academic institutions, media, PR, and by the power of guns.

Moving away from the Middle East and to the global arena were most individuals with an Arabic name(whether Muslim, Christian or Jewish) are ill-treated and seen as a threat to the state whether at airports, police stations or daily life.
Arabs, no matter how educated, cultured and well-groomed are still treated as second class citizens in many countries of the world. With prejudice and hostility fueled by the world’s media and governments for political reasons and financial revenues…this has become truly a weight on the Declaration of Human Rights and the principles and values that the UN and most world democracies uphold.

In this context, I ask everyone, especially Semites,  to ponder about “Anti-Semitism” and reclaim it one way or another. Demand that your governments, policy makers, media, businessmen and civil society in all its branches stand up to the challenge of putting things straight.

Let there be no more prejudice or hostility against anyone in this world. May we all treat each other with humanity…our differences matter but our humanity matters more!

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