By Muhammad Aburumman
In a morning radio program (two days ago), a citizen was very angry, kicking and yelling on the phone to protest the imposition of the Ministry of Awqaf a fee of 5 dinars to submit applications for Hajj this year. A fee, says the citizen, that is non-refundable!
It is no exaggeration. We probably know the stories of the people who count the dimes for public transport fares, cost of vegetables, and the basics of life. And such wide strata of society is ready to stand in queues waiting for their role in getting fuel subsidies, a simple modest annual payments considering the demands of daily life and its difficult conditions!
It is natural that there is a disparity between the classes and social strata in the various countries of the world and their communities. But what is supposed to be well-seen here is that this disparity is widening significantly, and largely, over the past few years, and has become a crude and blatant class gap between two major layers, between the two is a jelly-like, fluctuating strata.
This class gap does not stop with the economy, but takes the dimensions of social, political and cultural gaps. More importantly, it began to turn into dividing lines between those who can afford a decent standard of living, and those who languish in securing the conditions of daily life.
While the first class receive educational opportunities, advanced services, and a luxurious social life, the people from the second class lack the minimum needs; which extends its effects to the future, and is reflected in the imbalance in education, and in employment options and fields!
If the disparity in economic and financial conditions is natural, what is required is that in return that there is an good, infrastructure of services provided by the state for the lower and middle layers, making government education parallel or even better that private education, and the efficiency of the public health sector parallel to the private; these are the true conditions for equality in employment and not being a prisoner to the growing, hazardous dimensions and implications of the social, political, and cultural gaps!
It is quite clear that these were not thought of among politicians and decision-makers; their sight is set on the red lines of debt, deficit, and ideas and attempts to attract investment, which is indisputably the key priorities of any government, but it should not prevent or preclude thinking about the implications of the current social situation and economic conditions.
We have not seen so far within the decision makers and politicians those who have a political-historical sense, or any who realize that we need a philosophy that paints the framework for the state’s work, and the political, economic and cultural strategies; what we see is a policy of “dealing with the symptoms”, both in the political crises or even in the financial crises, while the ongoing shifts in society are much bigger than this inadequate vision!
This article is an edited translation from the Arabic edition.