The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

Youssef Laaraj

Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others.

World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of corruption and autocracy. Educational achievement, reading habits, happiness, security, and infrastructure are but some focal areas of development which keep Arab states and peoples far from achieving their hopes of progress and prosperity.

Citizens have been literally crushed under the reign of a generation of rulers who swept to power and seized its diverse mechanisms tightly to maintain control. They have, henceforth, abused their power by using armed forces to muffle people’s mouths and silence the voice of freedom and right. Mohamed El Bouazizi set fire to burn his body but actually burned his dreams and hopes, once and for all. The event sparked public outrage, and the impulse to protest went viral across the Arab landscape to eventually topple down rooted regimes, while contagious anti-government rallies were extinguished relentlessly throughout the MENA countries and eventually came to calamitous consequences.

The huge success of the revolution in its infant stage was seen as a ‘spring’ blossoming along the Arab territory and enlivened people's latent desires for freedom, rights, and promising opportunities. However, fires of power burned the green aspirations and caused massive violence and bloodshed,  rendering millions destitute and heartbroken. Massive migration, bloodshed, plagues, and a refugee crisis are but a few repercussions of a fake ‘spring’.

Unfortunately, the wish for freedom, justice, equality, and supremacy of the law turned into atrocious nightmare. People’s dreams were immediately plucked by ruthless regimes, such as the case of Syria, while basic rights have been confiscated by newly malicious powers like in Egypt and Libya. People’s aspirations were fragile and emotional enough to be undermined and tranquillized by wicked self-serving agents.

Indeed, the immaturity of the uprisings, evident in their chaos, lack of orientation, and vandalism, reflected poor educational and moral standards. In Egypt, for instance, an anti-harassment movement emerged to record and condemn cases of sexual assault experienced by demonstrating women. Revolutions would have been much successful had they been wisely guided and well-organized.

Issues of vandalism, harassment, theft, inter-group conflicts from the one side, and brutal forces’ intervention, ad hoc arrests, and detentions from the other side demonstrate big degradation in the social, moral, and educational fabrics of Arabs. The so-called ‘spring’ was a mere opportunity for the people as well as regimes to express a deep sense of suppression that remained latent for ages thanks to opiums of faith and fear.

A revolution driven by the relentless outrage of hopeless outlaws,  blinded by a dream for upbeat future of freedoms and rights, could only come to a halt and yield calamitous consequences. The latter have jeopardized the interest of everyone irrespective of their social class, ethnicity, and degree of power. All have been losers in a battle doomed to failure in the light of many awful facts.

The educational systems of the Arab countries are on the verge of total bankruptcy, breeding generations of hopeless, frantic youth. Arab regimes have perpetuated their sterile education based on indoctrination and obsolete teaching methods, whose flesh is mere abstract artificial information.

From the Atlantic to the Gulf, schools have been converted to unattractive, repugnant buildings in which to tranquillize mass children and youth to maintain social stability. Many schools are literally analogous to prisons due to absence of minimal learning conditions such as clean toilets, accessible libraries, or green spaces. Public schools are overwhelmed by large classes, violence, teachers’ demotivation, and mass theoretical syllabi.

Citizens who can afford minimum living standards resort to private schooling to provide their children with adequate education in fair conditions. This gave rise to innumerable for-profit schools across the Arab countries, which profit from the poor and the sick. However, in competing for profit, they instill in children destructive values of competition, indifference, pragmatism, and selfishness.

The future of the world will be marked by unprecedented troubles and concerns, the most evident of which are issues of security and resources. Nations leading in education have foreseen this alarming omen, and geared their entire concern on building their youth’s capacities for an upcoming battle for survival where only the fittest will triumph. These nations, which have reached a peak social assurance and economic well-being, have deemed implanting of values and morals such as solidarity, patriotism, and respect, in addition to the development of leadership and survival skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, the prime missions of schools.

Most terrorists are bred in Arab and Muslim states. This is so undeniable that the words ‘Arab’ and ‘Muslim’ have become synonymous with terror and phobia worldwide, which jeopardize safety of millions of Arab-origin expatriates around the world. This is a result of a bankrupt education and degenerating cultural values.

Lost parental education, added to corrupt regime-owned media discourse, and stark social schizophrenia made the Arab peoples’ safe existence at critical stake. In his book “Man, the Unknown”, Alexis Carrel argues that countries and societies eventually break down when people reach the verge of social and moral degeneration. The prominent thinker emphasizes moral education as the cornerstone of social stability and capacity building, while degeneration only generates conflict, selfishness, and indifference, which bring about the eventual collapse of the entire civilization.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity. 

© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.




  • The Moroccan Gold Eldorado

    The Moroccan Gold Eldorado, a Myth or a Reality?

    Rabat - Recently, a conspiracy theory video about a large gold discovery in Morocco is making rounds online. The video claims that a substantial gold reserve was discovered and is being extracted by a Canadian mining company called Maya Gold and Silver. We Moroccans are very proud human beings, we love our country and cherish...

  • Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

    Qatar: How the Tables Are Turning in The Gulf

    Rabat - Amidst harsh sanctions and a long list of demands from its neighbors, Qatar’s ability to thrive under pressure may prove to be problematic for Saudi Arabia. As Saudi Arabia and its coalition attempt to wait out Qatar, the recent spat in the Gulf continues to become more and more global, and severely against...

  • FILE - In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H. If the nation doesn’t do more, the U.S. probably won’t quite meet the dramatic heat-trapping gas reduction goal it promised in last year’s Paris agreement to battle climate change, according to a new study. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)

    Climate Change : If You Can’t Measure It, You Can’t Fix It

    Chefchaouen - Climate change is happening at home and around the world. Chefchaouen is doing its part by embracing clean energy climate solutions and engaging its citizens in climate action. When it comes to fighting climate change, cities and local leaders are best positioned to lead that charge. Local leaders from coastal to landlocked communities are...

  • 20

    India Orders Internal Probe into Mistaken Use of Morocco-Spain Border Picture

    Hyderabad - The Indian Ministry of Interior on Wednesday ordered an internal investigation to find out how a picture of Morocco-Spain border was used in its annual report to show floodlights along the India-Pakistan border. What is most embarrassing is that the annual report of previous years was tabled during the Budget Session of Indian...

  • Amid Growing Tension, Thousands of Moroccans Stage Pro-Rif March in Rabat

    Neglect in Harsh Soil: The Deep Roots of the Rif Crisis

    Rabat - The ongoing protests in northern Morocco started almost eight months ago, but they have their origin in nearly a century of violent repression by the state. The Rif has, in spite of itself, got involved into a peaceful revolt since the death of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri at the end of October 2016, a...

  • Tamim Bin Hamad al Thani emir of Qatar

    The Qatar Crisis: What Does It Mean?

    Rabat - The recent diplomatic fallout between Qatar and the rest of the Middle East could have serious economic and geopolitical consequences across the globe. Earlier this week, Qatar’s diplomatic crisis took an extreme turn as several Arab states severed diplomatic ties with the Gulf nation.  The original list of countries in the coalition against...

  • Moroccans spend Laylat al-Qadr, the 26th day of Ramadan, at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca.

    Ramadan: Not just Abstinence from Daily Intakes 

    By Abdellatif Oudra Rabat - The observance of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam, compels Muslims to fast from sunrise to sunset. But it is not just about abstaining from food or drink.  Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is observed in commemoration of the revelation of Qur’an to the prophet Mohammad,...

  • Morocco Threatens to Terminate Agriculture Agreement with Europe

    Morocco and the EU: Managing the Future

    Rabat - Morocco enjoys proximity to Europe and is at an advantage of being favoured by the European Union as a close partner on political, economic, and cultural levels. Historical archives and political legacies tie Morocco directly with at least three influential European countries: France, Spain, and England. Demography, kinship, and immigration compel other EU...

  • The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab Spring

    The Educational and Cultural Implications of the Arab 'Spring'

    Rabat - In the last ten years or so, the Arab world has seen unprecedented collapses in the realms of politics and economy, among others. World NGOs regularly release area-specific rankings, in which Arab nations commonly rank at the bottom of lists in education, human rights, and income for instance while they top those of...

  • Thousands Hold Peaceful Demonstration in Memory of Mouhcine Fikri

    Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

    Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science. Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil...