DUE to the tremendous technological progress, nothing big or small is hidden in any country from the eyes of all agencies. Therefore, there is no longer an excuse for those responsible in terms of knowing what is transpiring in their countries.
Despite all that, some Arab leaders are still living in an era of managing the country from their offices … It is as if the world hasn’t left the Middle Ages.
Due to such abundance in the means of communication, those responsible, irrespective of their ignorance in the realm of technology, must be familiar with a minimal knowledge of using means of communication. This would negate the concept of being unable to deal with the challenges that are faced by their people.
In this effect, ignorance in such minimal knowledge signals the aging of the state. According to Ibn Khaldoun – the founder of the modern disciplines of historiography, sociology, economics, and demography, the collapse of states begins when leaders are detached from their people, leaving their children and advisors to handle the affairs of their nation.
When the situation becomes like this, those in control come up with unrealistic policies that are tantamount to planting the seeds of that country’s demise. In other words, the leaders depend only on what they are being told by their advisors. Thus chaos occurs, people grumble, crime rates increase, and corruption spews.
On the other hand, countries prosper and succeed whenever leaders become close to their people, learn about their conditions, and solve their problems. In this case, leaders don’t depend only on the reports they receive from their advisors concerning the affairs and conditions of the state, or what they see on social media.
This kind of close follow-up of the country’s affairs is the policy followed by the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, and other leaders of the UAE. They open their doors wide for their people and directly engage with them to learn about the reality of the situation.
This is also the policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the reign of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, and his Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. It enabled them to achieve renaissance at a fast pace because the young crown prince rendered his office among the people, and works with the conviction that the power of the state comes from people’s contentment.
Nonetheless, there are leaders in the Arab world who are not familiar with many parts of their country, and therefore do not see the reality of the ruins existing in them. They do not see the piles of garbage on the streets and have no idea about the suffering of those who live in such streets.
In such a situation, neither appropriate measures are taken to address the constant day-to-day challenges that the people face nor the leaders strike with the baton of assertiveness in administration. They instead become more isolated, and perhaps deliberately spread the most dangerous disease to the state, which is sedating through given handouts.
This is how the state loses immunity, and the aging takes over everything in it. Hence, levies and taxes increase, injustice extends to the rights of the weak, and other serious diseases happen through which the leader ties his hands and gives green light to the corrupt to usurp public wealth. In this manner, the country sets its motion towards a course of collapse.
By Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times