Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Media and Youth in the Arab World

by Fouad Al-Obaid from The Kuwait Times (Kuwait)

Today, restraints are barring the youth from getting married at a young age, pushing of the average marriage age to the mid-twenties at least. Without going into details, the question that society should ask itself is; can we seriously expect that people will remain virgins till their mid-twenties? ... The evolution of the notions of boyfriend and girlfriend is a bizarre phenomenon of double standards in the region. I had a conversation with friends where it was asked? "What would you do if you discovered that your wife had a previous relationship?" The unanimously answer was divorce her, because her actions belittled the husband and tarnished his honor. But when asked, "How would you feel if you saw one of your ex's married?" Many replied it would be awkward but inconsequential because, after all, a man carries his past regardless and in no way can he be blamed when the girl accepted his advances! ... I think we need to look at things the way they are and craft a brave new world for our youth. Failing to do so will only but create a huge base of disciples who would choose a road between two extremes; join the ranks of the Salafi extremist and would work towards destruction, or become revolutionaries that will lead to a complete and utter fragmentation of our collective Arab societies where people will say what they mean and as galvanized youths will take protests to the streets.

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