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Woe Unto Them from their Children! - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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My son Abdul-Aziz insisted that I watch a video clip on YouTube which explains the flaw in the new iPhone 4, especially as there is an obsession with this new phone, particularly amongst the young. I watched the video clip in which an Apple company official explained the defect in the new device with accompanying illustrations; he even compared the flaw in the new iPhone 4’s reception with the Blackberry phone, saying that if the Blackberry is held from its left-side, the phone’s reception disconnects, and therefore the Blackberry has the same problem that is facing the new Apple device.

My son immediately ran to get the Blackberry, and he experimented with what the Apple official said, and then looked at me and “it is possible that he did not tell the truth?” For by experimenting, he confirmed that the comparison between the Apple iPhone 4 and the Blackberry is inaccurate; I could not stop myself from being astonished and laughing, and the first thing to cross my mind was the Arab officials and politicians, and I said to myself; Woe unto them from their children!

For this is a generation that verifies things, and has advanced modern or technological knowledge; they are not easily satisfied or convinced by what they hear or are told by their elders, and this is for a simple reason; which is that the first thing that this generation does upon hearing about anything new is to rush to the world of the internet in order to obtain the greatest amount of information on this, which they consider to be facts. The children today trust “Uncle Google” more than they do the television, not to mention newspapers, and I won’t even mention their teachers. Rather we hear from many mothers and fathers today who say that “my children help me to use modern technology, such as the mobile phone, the computer, the Blackberry, the iPhone.”

The issue is not one child’s distinction over another, for rather this is something that affects all children, and if your own child is not like this, then he is undoubtedly influenced by another child or relative or friend who gives him accurate information from “Uncle Google.” The importance of all of this is that it is up to the education sector, governments, and those who call consider themselves the guardians of virtue, to be aware that there is a complete generation of people who are being formed away from our supposed world. This is a generation that if it mastered the development of its knowledge and cultivated this from an early age, would help us to excel, however so long as we insist upon ignoring this generation, the gap between us and them will continue to grow, and our problems in the future will become further complicated. This is a generation that does not accept firman’s or edicts or flimsy excuses, rather it accepts verification, and they do not hesitate to say “Oh, he is not telling the truth!”

The problem is that many people are not aware that the major source of headaches for security apparatus monitoring the internet with regards to the world of hackers comes from amateur youths rather than from professions.

Have we noticed this early [enough], or are we rather tipping at windmills? That is the question.

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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