Saudi Press Roundup
Although the Ministry of Labor has been trying to Saudize jobs since 2011, it has desperately failed to control unemployment among citizens. The unemployment rate, which was 23.7 percent in the beginning of 2011, rose to 24.9 percent in the end of the same year. However, it declined slightly to 19.2 percent by the end of 2013, bringing the Kingdom among the top 10 countries in unemployment.
The ministry has failed to create real jobs for Saudis. On the other hand, its policies have opened the door for fake Saudization of jobs. It did not conduct proper studies on the condition of private firms before starting nationalization of jobs for them. Most of the 1.8 million private firms are not productive and depend on government support and jobs at these firms do not need any high educational qualification. Nine out of 10 expatriate workers in the market have only intermediate school education or less.
The nationalization of jobs in these firms had a negative impact on the economy. In the construction sector, for example, it found that only 7 percent of its workers are Saudis. It asked them to Saudize 10 percent jobs to find their position in the green category. It also applied the same principle on other sectors. The ministry claims that the rate of employment rose from 10.9 percent in 2010 to 15.2 percent in the end of 2013. But if we remove fake Saudization, estimated at 63 percent new jobs, the rate of employment remains 10.9 percent, the same rate before the introduction of Nitaqat program.
Although the ministry claims that it has created 742,200 jobs for Saudis in the private sector, about 464,000 of them are fake jobs.
— By Abdul Hameed Al-Amri
Work during Ramadan
Many of us wish that employees in both public and private sectors had showed the spirit of Ramadan fasting in their works, by welcoming people with a smile and completing their works efficiently and quickly.
The way some employees treat others during Ramadan will give us a feeling that God has disabled their smiling capability. It is unfortunate that even at private banks people do not work properly during Ramadan.
For example, if you go to a bank after 3 p.m. you will be welcomed by a board, saying it is closed for prayer. You wait for 10 minutes to hear adhan or the call to prayer and the employees will be going to the only one toilet in the bank to perform their ablution and they will not care that people are waiting outside the bank under the sweltering sun. After completing the prayer, the employees will tell you why did you come late and ask you to come tomorrow.
This shows that we will continue to believe that we are forced to work during Ramadan. As a result the productivity in the holy month will go down, to believe that work is not worship and that doing worship during daytime of Ramadan at time of work will bring us greater reward from God!!
We have to change this situation and change our concept of Ramadan.
—By Lolo Al-Hobaishi
Mesut Ozil and Islam
German player Mesut Ozil, who is a Muslim of Turkish origin, has won the hearts of the world not only because of his marvelous soccer performances during the World Cup matches but also because of his humanitarian activities.
Ozil by nature does not speak too much. He is a peace-loving Muslim and sleeps peacefully and leaves his activities speak volumes about him. He draws a good picture of his religion Islam through his exemplary behavior.
Ozil has won the sympathy of the president of FIFA, the president of the European Union apart from the love and admiration of football fans all over the world. He reads the Holy Qur’an before every match.
He has donated a huge amount for building a big mosque in Germany and has pledged to construct four mosques in Brazil after the World Cup. He has donated SR2 million for Gaza children, from the money he received from World Cup.
Ozil’s activities are amazing. I would not be exaggerating if I say that he has served Islam, Arab and their causes more than many of us.
We have to learn many things from Ozil, especially when the so-called Islamic State carries out its terrorist operations and horrendous crimes in Iraq and Syria in the name of Islam. We need more people like Ozil to give a better picture about Islam to the world.
—By Dr. Ahmed Al-Farraj
Fall of civilizations
The sectarian fighting between the Sunnis and Shiites is one of the major challenges facing the Arab and Islamic worlds. It gives foreign forces a good opportunity to interfere in the internal affairs of Muslim countries and inflame sectarian conflicts in the region.
Philosophers and historians who conducted research on the fall of civilizations in the past have pointed out that it happened mainly because of internal factors as such conflicts remove the ability of civilizations to withstand problems that eat into their bodies.
The Holy Qur’an has cautioned Muslims against internal factors that could weaken their communities, making them prone to the attack of foreign forces. God has stressed that He would not change the situation of a nation until it changes itself.
— By Yousuf bin Abdul Aziz Abalkhail
After the dubious disappearance of Malaysian plane MH370 in March, another aircraft of the airline MH17 crashed in Ukraine with 300 passengers on board. The accident is a bad omen for the beleaguered airline.
Such repeated incidents, causing massive deaths of people, will frighten people from traveling on the Malaysian Airlines. Deaths are taking place daily all over the world as a result of road accidents but people are not afraid of them, but the death of a large number of people in a single crash would definitely frighten them because that is the nature of man.
After the crash of MH17 in Ukraine, we have seen the United States showing its sympathy toward the victims’ families and offering all forms of assistance. At the same time, the US did not show any sympathy toward the women and children of Gaza who perished in Israeli bombardments. Our world is full of deaths and hypocrites.
—By Abdullah Al-Mazhar
Bargain and resistance
UNICEF has rightly commented on the situation in Gaza after the killing of 48 Palestinian children among 260 victims of Israeli bombings. It said these children had to pay a big price for a conflict they were not responsible for. What is happening in Gaza, beyond politics, is a tragedy of people living in a densely populated and impoverished enclave.
Forget about the speeches of Haniya and Mishaal and the fight between Fatah and Hamas. We can see that many families in Gaza had to become victims of Israeli fire as a result of Hamas’ blind escalation. People will be praying against those who use Gaza for their political gains.
—By Mashari Althaidy
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily reflect Arab News' point of view