Advice for today’s youth

Yousuf Al-Sultan

The value of any person is directly related to the contributions they make to their family, their society and their homeland. These contributions can be in all sectors of the country and should be made without waiting for praise or recognition. As the late US President John F Kennedy famously said: Ask not what your country can do for you. But rather ask what you can do for your country.

In the past three decades, the socio-political structures of the Islamic nations have been disturbed by repeated waves of disorder and rupture. Atrocities of every kind are cloaked in religious dogmatism, attempting to justify and give approval to all manner of evil including political assassinations, bombings, rape, even the expelling of opponents in the name of Islam. Various disasters, losses, emigrations, etc were the results of such trends. Trends which are in fact far from our Islamic nations, education and attitudes.

Some Arab cities are now home for ghosts and animals. The rebuilding of these cities will be a time consuming, lengthy and costly process.

Thus it is right and necessary that the youth and future generations contribute their ideas, abilities and talent to assist in the development of their homelands.

Moreover, the youth of today should also take on the responsibility of protecting society from further harm. They should fight back against the spread of terrorism, fanatical dogma and fanaticism by reporting such propagandists to the authorities.

They should educate themselves in the hard sciences, conduct scientific research and work on innovations that will further develop and enhance our Arab and Islamic societies while protecting our culture and values. No country can grow and progress without a strict adherence to scientific principles. The Arabs are the original scientists and we should not forget the importance of our past.

Youth today should respect and appreciate the older generations, especially their parents and families as well as friends and colleagues. Rather than associating with ill-mannered people, let the youth seek out that which is moral and just and find those who might guide them in the right path for a clean and better life.

Respect for life, for family and for community also requires a respect for freedom. Freedom of opinion, freedom of the press and definitely, democratic institutions. These are the foundations of a strong and thriving society that can weather any challenges and build a sustainable future.

By Dr Yousuf Al-Sultan
[email protected]

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