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Sunday , January 29 2023

O leadership … ponder the story of the Armenian youngster, Sinan

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DURING the Ottoman campaign on Moldova in the 16th century AD, the Turkish architects participating in the campaign were unable to build a bridge that would allow the army to cross a river.

On that day, one of the leaders suggested to Sultan Suleiman “the Magnificent” to seek the help of an Armenian young man named Sinan, who he knew was a good architect.

The youngster succeeded in constructing a bridge on the Prut River within just 13 days. He won the admiration and confidence of the Sultan, who granted him the position of “Chief Architect”, relieving him of his duties in the military so that he could focus and devote his time to architecture.

It is narrated about the Sultan, after the end of the campaign, had assigned this engineer to demolish one of his old palaces and construct a new one in its place. Suleiman the Magnificent visited the place on an almost daily basis, and he noticed that Sinan did not use the same workers for demolition and construction processes.

Out of curiosity, Suleiman summoned Sinan, and asked him, “Why didn’t you use the same workers for both the demolition and construction processes?” The Armenian engineer replied, “There are people who are good at destruction, and others who are good at reconstruction. Therefore, whoever is fit for destruction is not fit for construction.” Today, Turkey bears witness to the genius of Engineer Sinan, because even though 433 years have passed since his death, there are still about 400 buildings, which he had designed and supervised, representing the jewel of Ottoman architecture.

That is why the state named the oldest university of architecture in Turkey as Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University.

Indeed, those who are used for demolition cannot be used for construction. In Lebanon, we have the closest examples of this reality.

When the warlords became the pillars of the state, they proceeded to ruin their country, bankrupt it, and starve its people.

The lesson here is clear – It is not permissible to entrust those who destroyed or contributed to the destruction to undertake the reconstruction.

In this way, we must look at our Kuwaiti reality in terms of those who contributed or participated to destroy education, infrastructure, health, and social relations over the past four decades, and also to close Kuwait to the world, ruin the economy, abuse migrant labor force, and turn it into a commodity for sale and purchase

We must take into consideration those who facilitated forgery of nationality and manipulated the process, leading to a massive number of forgers and dual citizenship holders, in addition to the aggravation of the Bedoun issue, and the political and social divisions based on it.

All these issues were caused by poor selection and adoption of favoritism, as well as the principle of “This is our son” when appointing officials, which in turn led to a clear administrative deterioration and very poor educational outputs.

There is no doubt that all this led to a clear deficit in the state’s finances as a result of mismanagement on one hand, and a decline in economic activity on the other.

At the same time, openness is expanding in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which were able to overcome the economic difficulties resulting from the fluctuation of oil prices, and the closures of the COVID-19 pandemic and its negative consequences.

They managed to enhance their sovereign assets, expand its industrial, agricultural and service infrastructure, and transform into internationally reliable investment interfaces.

On the other hand, Kuwait, as being portrayed by a number of parliamentarians, is heading towards more isolation and economic decline.

Based on this set of facts, we turn to the leadership – His Highness the Prime Minister – and the political and executive decision makers, who we hope will not follow the unconventional process of selecting officials and will not give way to political and parliamentary blackmail to appoint those with bad experiences in positions of executive responsibility.

We instead hope they will seek the help of strong trustees who can work for the sake of building, and learn from the experiences of others in this regard because time waits for no one, and societies cannot be considered as a field for experiments.

Those treasures that the Ottoman architect Sinan left behind are not his properties, but a source of wealth for the state, either Ottoman or Turkish. Therefore, learning from his wisdom has become a necessity.

By Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Editor-in-Chief, the Arab Times