Our Youth: Our Greatest Failure!

By Jumana Ghunaimat

تم نشره في Sun 27 August / Aug 2017. 11:00 PM
  • Jumana Ghunaimat

In their latest report, the World Bank (WB) says that our youth feel alienated. Rightly so, they do not however realise the gravity of such a statement, perhaps.

One way or another, they are telling us that our governments have failed to address this rising sense of alienation over the years, and for various reasons

How do we protect our youth from alienation, when so many of them have completed their university education, years ago, only to join in on the unemployment line!

More so, how do we protect our young women, who experience all sorts of discrimination and injustice, to add to their own sense of alienation?

The international organisation, and its foreign experts, has uncovered to the world what we have been trying to convince our governments of for years. They have successfully diagnosed the state of our long-neglected Jordanian youth.

The word “alienation” entails so much more than figures.

It exposes failures upon failures to address this crucial segment of society; the one which will carry our nation into the future.

Of course, there is no sudden shock here.

This isn’t new to us, despite the terrible pain we feel.

It is but the natural outcome of the general state of affairs; politically, socially, and above all, economically. A product of failing and unrealistic, abstract strategies and plans, upon promises; one after another, which have all failed to better the life of the average Jordanian youth.

So much promised, none of it delivered.

Myopia is a major hindrance to our governments’ many plans.

Countless initiatives by the officials, supposedly directed to support the youth sector, turned out to be nothing but uncalculated, reactionary responses to specific situations.

Even worse; much of these initiatives are gone with the wind.

The result: an economically marginalised and unemployed youth.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is enough to push our youth over the edge of hopelessness, frustration, and despair; pointlessness.

Many feel there is nothing they can do to fix the complex, suffocated reality!

In the far ends of our country, in the more remote areas, our young feel even more secluded and alienated.

Youth in various areas, not only in the remote seclusion of the distant villages and towns, feel the same way, to a different extent maybe.

According to the World Bank, our youth is the most affected by the economic slowdown, which we have been enduring for years now.

The Syrian refuge crisis did not help, needless to say, the difficult situation.

Quite contrarily, and they’re not to blame, Syrian refugees began to compete with our own youths over what little resources and jobs we have.

Alarmingly, poverty in Jordan is candid to rise.

For now, poverty stands at 14 per cent of the population.

In the near future, due to our harsh economic and financial policies, the World Bank estimates than nearly one third of our population face the peril of falling into poverty within a year’s time, due to intensifying pressures and rising costs of energy and transportation.

Meanwhile, our youth stand and watch their governments do nothing.

They too, have very little to offer.

Our youth find that our governments have not been able to meet their needs or expectations, especially in regards to employment. This is proven by the limited access to jobs our economy creates.

During the last six months, the Jordanian economy has created only 26 thousand job opportunities.

For years our governments have been holding conferences after conferences, declaring one plan and strategy after the other.

In fact, there is an extended list of plans, announced by our governments, none of them executed. And here’s the thing; our problem has always been with implementation.

None of our governments met their promises.

Moreover, it becomes even more complicated when we realise that our youth, whom are supposed to be our future, have come to this point, and we’re still ignoring them.

We have yet to raise the alarms!

As a result of our failures, our youth, who find themselves drowning in poverty and unemployment, will no doubt become more and more uninterested in the public affair by the day. Typically, they are detached.

On the other hand, no matter how hard we try, it only gets harder and harder to get our youth to engage their realities and pressing necessities. Especially in the absence of needed integration tools.

This, subsequently, costs us our youth and all the value they can add to our society and economy.

In the meantime, we know, for sure, that alienation is but the shortest path to extremism, crime, vacancy, and drug abuse.

How many of our youth must we lose to death and addiction before our governments wake up?

The state must seek fundamental solutions to the problems of our youth, to show them the way, by creating intellectual and social platforms to absorb their energy.

Their aspirations must be met with means to help build the very homeland they have become aliens to; that they may find themselves here, again!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.

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