Brain drain in Arab world
Is it very puzzling to see the finest Arab brains leaving for the West? No, it is not. It has become a destination where talented Arabs can work with others and get highly paid, earn more respect, enjoy social equality and most importantly, they feel happy, I mean very happy. They can vote, nominate themselves to top scientific positions and have no fear. Before I forget, Arab scientists, doctors and researchers in the United States have much higher incomes than the national income average.
When you visit big cities like Sydney, London, Paris, Los Angeles or Toronto you would see hundreds of thousands of Arab doctors, university professors, computer specialists and many other high-profile professionals. We see many of them coming from different parts of the Arab world. Many of them left their countries to avoid hardships, political unrests and unjust treatment because of either their ethnic backgrounds or because they were born and raised in a particular part of a country. In many Arab countries, your last name and the place of your birth can define your future. And the West is the solution to these dilemmas.
Talented Arabs are seen in space programs, medical science research and in the most advanced labs in the West. And sadly, their countries and their people don’t benefit from their talents or achievements. There is a severe shortage of educated and experienced professionals in the Arab world. Talented Arab people wake up every morning in the hope of being able to make it to the West. And many of these talents don’t want to go to the West because they like to leave their loved ones and their home country but they actually long for better lives.
Currently, there are more than 3 million Arabs in the US alone and many millions in Europe and other parts of the world and they have contributed a lot to the culture and developments of their host countries. Their home countries badly need their services and many of them want to return to their home countries but due to political instability and insecurity, it is very hard for them to do so. Countries like Iraq, Libya, Syria and Egypt are facing biggest brain drain these days.
It is good and healthy to see talents crossing the borders to develop their knowledge and to learn more from others but many of the Arab brains take a one-way route because of their mistrust in their own countries’ systems. It is sad to see intelligent and well-educated Arabs leaving their countries not just for better wages or stable political systems but simply to leave their homelands for good. In the Arab world, the talented should be given more attention and the gifted should be treated according to what they know and not according to whom they know. Talent can be wasted if not utilized properly. We are witnessing a surge in the number of Arabs desperately seeking to migrate to other parts of the world by adopting different methods. Primitive boats are being used to transport illegals from places like Syria. They are very desperate and have nothing to lose. The only way to stop the brain drain is to ensure better living standards for all citizens and to ensure social equality. Without ensuring these basic rights, the brains will leave the Arab world and will be used in the West. The continuation of the so-called Arab Spring will increase the brain drain.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view