Sunday , December 17 2017

Religious, ethnic tussles aplenty despite poor literacy rate

Ahmad Al-Sarraf

A total of 4,000 personalities in the field of politics and economy took part in the Fifth World Government Summit which was held in Dubai on Feb 25, 2017.

The participants included heads of the International Atomic Energy Agency, world renowned companies, research institutes and reputed universities such as Harvard, Oxford, in addition to heads of nations and senior politicians.

The summit, which is now considered as one of the most important to foresee the future saw a number of changes and expansion in its scope and became a global movement for the good of the people, a landmark event for the region and the first of its kind. I do not know if Kuwait participated in this summit which deals with issues we do not like to mention here such as happiness, food security, youth, climate change and other concerns.

The meetings which were held on the sidelines of this summit included the development and consolidation of efforts by global institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations Development Project (UNDP), UNESCO, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Economic Forum, and the Islamic Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the Center for Latin America Public Administration, development and others.

A report shedding light on how to deal with the problems facing the Arab world was issued by an unknown source. The report stated the following serious facts and I think they are not far from reality. The report shows there are 57 million Arabs who do not know how to read and write. It is a shame that 0.5% of these illiterate people are from Kuwait in spite of the fact that the State spends huge sums of money on education.

There are also 13.5 million Arab children who have yet to enroll in schools this year. This is in addition to 30 million Arabs who live below poverty line. This has seen an increase of eight percent over the past two years. Corruption in our countries has cost the Treasury trillion dollars and there are five countries on the list of 10 which are the most corrupt in the world.

Although the Arabs constitute 5 percent of the world population, they are responsible for 45 percent of the terrorist attacks across the world, their share in the refugee problem is more than 70 percent and they account for 68 percent of war dead.

The Arab world publishes 20,000 books a year, which is less than what has been published by a relatively backward European country such as Romania. In spite of what is said about the popularity of what I write, sales of my book ‘My Memories and my Articles’ did not exceed than 500 copies. In spite of the fact that the population of the Arab region is nearly 400 million, their share in inventions has not exceeded 2,900 patents, at a time when the South Koreans have scored ten times that figure, although the population is not more than 50 million. From 2011 until 2017, 14 million Arabs have been displaced and 1.4 million have fallen or were injured during the same period. The cost to repair the d e s t r o y e d infrastructure has reached half a trillion dollars, and the Arab Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has lost during the same period $300 billion. With all this, or because of this, the religious and ethnic battles still occupy our mind.

By Ahmad Al-Sarraf

email: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

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