A majority of the people of our nation or nations believe that our social and moral values are good, and better than the values of the dissolute West. In the midst of this silly thinking, we do not realize that these values are the difference between the progress that has been achieved by the West and us.
When many parents of schoolchildren boys and girls demonstrate in front of the Education Ministry offices because the ministry wants to prevent cheating by issuing certain laws, we must realize that we are inevitably nations that will collapse soon.
The beginnings of development, liberation, progress and realization of the vision of the country’s leadership for a better future can not only be achieved by ending corruption and construction of buildings, but more importantly, in changing the system, values and ethics in society. A society that still believes that manual labor is humiliating; it is a society that needs a radical change in its behavior.
I say this after I was invited a few days ago to attend a seminar on a public issue that concerns many, and the majority of the invitees were from the elite of the society, professors and opinion leaders. Despite the fact that the organizer had sent invitations at least four times requesting the invitees to be seated at least half an hour before the commencement, a large number of the invitees, lecturers and interviewers, especially those whose seats were reserved in the first rows did not attend, neither apologized, and those who attended arrived 45 minutes late instead of half an hour early as requested.
If this is the case of the educated elite, then how are those who did not get enough education, the majority?
It was repeated at the ceremony of the Fund for Jerusalem, to which I was invited, the invitation stated that the event will be held at 7:30, but the invitees either came late or a majority did not come at all. The ceremony started 45 minutes behind schedule and this prompted me to leave the ceremony, regretting many things including our unfortunate situation. If, in general, we are unable to adhere to the simplest and most convenient time schedules, how can we agree, for example, on zero hours to liberate Jerusalem?
The issue of non-compliance with time, and at almost all levels, is almost a comprehensive phenomena and anyone who commits to time for example shall be known and distinguished. The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah was the first to apply the closure of doors at 7 pm in all its concerts and events, without exception. If commitment with time was common, no one would mention Dar al-Athar, followed by the Opera House concerts.
This reminds me of the story of generosity and the highest example of Hatem al-Tai. If he had lived in a generous society, as we were told, he would have not become an example of generosity, therefore it was not a generous society, thus Al-Tai was known for his generosity.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf