DESPITE the vast difference between Saudis and expatriates in terms of living conditions, a large number of citizens keep complaining.
The volume of complaints has increased. Perhaps this is due to the fact that today we have Twitter and Facebook and people can freely express their views.
If I am right about this conclusion, which of course is not based on any statistics or surveys, the matter needs to be studied seriously. If it is true, then we should try to find effective mechanisms to reduce the percentage of whining Saudis. Our goal here is to enhance the sense of civic duty and loyalty among this section of society. I find it appropriate to bring up this topic in the context of the Saudi National Day.
Young Saudis should know about the conditions in which their grandfathers and forefathers lived. They should learn about how people of this country lived before its unification. They should be aware of the harsh economic conditions their grandfathers went through as well as the fear they felt due to the lack of security.
Poor people attacked the rich and robbed them of their possessions to survive. Illiteracy was widespread; the Qur’an lessons at mosques were the only form of education. Diseases were rampant as well because there were no vaccines against cholera, smallpox and the plague. Infant mortality rate was very high.
Young Saudis should always remember that the harsh economic conditions made the residents of the Arabian Peninsula travel to Sham or Levant, Iraq, Egypt and India. Young Saudis should know that their grandfathers migrated to these countries looking for work and they worked hard under the protection of the people there. Al-Aqeelat tribes went to Sham, Sadeer tribes to Al-Zubair City in Iraq and the Hijazis to Egypt.
Young Saudis should know that their grandfathers returned to this country after oil was discovered. They came back because the economic situation had improved. Today, the Kingdom has become the favorite destination for workers from India, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and other countries around the world.
Young Saudis should be reminded of the economic conditions and living standards before the oil boom. They should be reminded of the fact that their situation today is way better than the one existed at the time of their grandfathers.
Regardless of what I say, I am sure there are some Saudis who will continue to whine about their situation. This means that prosperity and welfare on their own do not bring satisfaction unless citizens agree unanimously that the country is for all people irrespective of tribe or sect. Moreover, all regions should be developed in a balanced manner so that residents in any particular region do not feel marginalized.
I wish my homeland many happy National Days.