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Our Homeland, Dear Youth! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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As the sun rose and we embarked on our repetitive journey to school, we listened to a song broadcasted everyday on Saudi radio. Although old, the song maintains the national sense of its words. The song begins with the following words, &#34sow and reap in your country”s land for tomorrow you will reap the good for your sons.&#34 The song is more often than not abruptly ended with the presenter declaring a ”new day” for Saudi Arabia.

For the past two years, terrorists have exerted their efforts in disturbing the tranquility of our Saudi mornings. However, together, the children of our homeland and its leadership will persist in preserving it purity.

As Saudis celebrate their seventy-fifth national day, a sad scene remains before us and that is of the few members of our society who despise saluting the flag of our homeland and consider it a prohibited action. Other members of this nation violate the law and respect for human life and kill innocent people.

If Saudis disagree and divide over conflicting analyses of the social reality, they should be in consensus over the priority of our homeland, its security and uniting around its leadership.

Young people form about 60% of Saudi society according to the estimation of experts as there is no official study to confirm such statistics. Therefore, if there is a pillar for our country, young people form the basis. It is for this reason that any genuine change must begin from this generation whose ages are between 15 and 25. It is a national duty to focus on their intellectual needs through education and the media, and to protect them against extremist intellectual resources that attempt to dominate them. The mind of the youth should not be an arena for conflict between factions; their minds must remain an unarmed zone.

At present, the government is undoubtedly paying close attention to the needs of the Saudi youth. The center for national dialogue established by King Abdullah devoted one of its sessions to discussing youth issues and we now wait for such discussions to be interpreted into action. Saudi Arabia is one of the few countries where education is free. We are one of the few countries that reward university students with monthly payments until they graduate. The establishment of universities and colleges is a main priority in the different regions of Saudi Arabia. Recently, the Ministry of Higher Education offered Saudi students over five thousand opportunities for scholarships to study in an American university.

Siraj Al-Najjar, 22-years old, who has been driving with the Saudi flag decorating the back window of his car for the past two days says, &#34If some think that hanging the flag or decorating the car with a national sign is hypocrisy, then this is their own choice. I am sure however, that this is a way of expressing pride in belonging to this land and I am ready to make all sacrifices for my country. It is my civil right and national duty to carry the flag.&#34

Dalia Damanhouri believes that &#34the love for our homeland exceeds any political view no matter how influential that may be. A homeland is like a father and a mother. It is an instinctive love that is impossible to bargain.&#34

Yet, some do bargain it. There are people who earn a living by attacking their country. Some play with the minds of the youth of our country. Others waste its potential, destroy its success and create methods to keep our society and development behind that of the rest of the world.

It is our homeland, dear youth! Love it today, as it deserves and requires the vitality and courage of the youth to stand by its side. The security forces, those martyrs of our homeland, deserve their blood not to be spilt in vain. They have become martyrs because they were confident that those who support them deserve to live in this land. As the Saudi singer, Abu Bakr Balfaqih once sang, &#34My country, go on as we are behind you.&#34

Mohammed Al-Jazairy

Mohammed Al-Jazairy

Born in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Al-Jazairy is the only accredited journalist to address issues such as education, unemployment, special needs, religion and social behavior among today's Saudi youth. With his personal experience of Saudi culture and society, Mr. Al-Jazairy has been popular amongst young Saudis and the older generations for his emphasis on the development and well-being of the adults of tomorrow.

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