The ant & the card for the elderly

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Once, there was a diligent ant who approached her work with gusto and joy each day, yielding abundant results. Observing her industriousness, a forest tiger fancied that she could achieve even more with proper supervision and organization. Thus, he enlisted a spider for oversight, implementing a system of attendance tracking and performance evaluation, while a cockroach managed administrative tasks and communications on behalf of the ant by implementing the fingerprint attendance system for the ant. Pleased with the structured approach, the tiger requested more detailed reports from the spider, including analyses of productivity fluctuations and factors influencing them, to present to the council of the “Al-Naml Company,” established to ensure transparency and accountability.


However, the oversight inadvertently stifled the ant’s productivity. In response, a bee was brought in to investigate and propose various changes: introducing new incentives like acquiring artwork and altering the workplace environment by redecorating and implementing surveillance. Additionally, the bee suggested streamlining the ants’ commute with electronic entry systems and appointed assistants to alleviate fatigue. Despite these efforts, productivity remained stagnant, leading to financial losses and the imminent collapse of the “Ant Company.”

To address the escalating expenses, particularly the high salaries, intervention from the tiger was deemed necessary. Consequently, the ant, being the highest-paid employee, was relieved of her duties. I remembered this classic story while examining the “senior citizens” card issued by the Ministry of Social Affairs, which gives its holder the right to bypass any queue or floor in any government agency, as long as the citizen reaches the age of sixty-five.

In order to issue the “age identification” card, which is not recognized by any party at all and does not mean anything, the Ministry created an administrative structure whose mission was to print the card, keep its records, distribute it through several branches in various governorates, cancel the card of those who died, and other administrative tasks that are not necessary. There is no need for it, not even for the existence of that entire administration.

The point is that a citizen’s eligibility for service requires only one condition, which is that he reaches a certain age, and this can be easily known through the civil ID card, this means that there is no need for that card or administration to exist at all! What the experts on the “Senior Citizen’s Card” or the Priority Health Card did not think about is that exempting the elderly from the entry number, standing in a queue at doctors’ clinics, dispensing medications, meeting with officials, etc., is meaningless because it does not solve the problem of priority of some over others, as it is very difficult to determine who arrived before the other, and the problem becomes greater when a large number of them arrive at the same time. This problem, which no one has thought about, needs a solution, which is to establish a priority number system for the elderly only, and this requires the creation of a new department in the Ministries of Health and Affairs to carry out this task!

By Ahmad alsarraf
e-mail: [email protected]

This news has been read 3611 times!

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