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The Arabic world refers to the Arabic speaking countries that are 22 countries .It is located between the Atlantic ocean in the west to the Arabic sea in the east and between the Mediterranean sea and Turkey in the north to the Indian sea and middle Africa in the south. It has an area of about 14 million square kilometers most of it is deserts except for the coastal areas. There are about 250 million people living in the Arabic world .the majority of the people in the Arabic worlds are Muslims but also there are many from the other religions and religious sections. Historically speaking, the Arabic world was not divided into states but now it is divided into 22 countries that form many popular regions such as the gulf area, the Middle East, North Africa and the Sahara. History, language, religion, and many important factors are some of the many unifying factors that live in the conscious of every Arabic man. So, after winning the independence, some Arabic states and some memorable Arabic leaders tried their best to reunify the Arabic states but it was in vain especially after many failure attempts like the arise of the United Arabic Republic between Syria and Egypt in 1985.from that time on, all the Arabic states started the journey of improving and developing themselves depending on their potential powers. Although the Arabic world is experiencing a state of stability, but there are still many social and economical problems that are threatening the developing process in many of the Arabic states.
The first problem to talk about here is the problem of unemployment in the Arabic world .Unemployment in Arab countries is the highest in the world and threatens to spread poverty in the Arab world; "the increase in the number of workers was not matched by an equal increase in employment in the Arabic world and with the collapse of the oil revenues and the implementation of stabilization and structural adjustment program, employment growth slowed or became negative, as a result unemployment increased" (1).according to the annual report of the Arab Labor Organization the rate of unemployment in the Arabic world is the worst in the world; the organization estimated that 14 percent of the population are unemployed which means that there are more than 17 million of Arab people without work. This high percentage has many reasons; first, the failure of development because of the critical political situations in the Arabic world. Civil wars and conflicts are considered the main obstacles in the face of development .second, the poor economic performance of the Arab governments because of the poor administrative tools and corruption. Third, the failure of education to meet the requirements of the job market and the neglect of the technical and applied education which is important to widen the labor market. Finally, the failure of the governments to create attractive investment chances that could increase the number of job opportunities and the weak laws that could encourage investments. This dangerous problem has devastating effects, so Arab states should do their best to encourage the private sector to take its effective rule in increasing the number of job opportunities for unemployed people .This can be achieved through issuing a number of laws to urge business men and companies to get involved in the national market. In addition to the encouragement of the investment inside the Arabic world instead of investing in the western countries and opening the national market to the foreign firms and companies to have effective projects that could help the national economy to get better.
Another social problem in the Arabic world is that Women in the do not have their full rights that are stated in the Islam religion in spite of the fact that the majority of Arabs are Muslims. In Islam the woman have the right to learn, to live a good life, to agree or refuse anyone who wants to marry her, to work and many other rights that are totally forbidden to deny any of them .in the Arabic world, many women are not given all these rights; in some of the Arabic countries, many girls who are not over 15 are forced to get married to older men without asking them if they agree or not. A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby .Moreover, according to UN data, the proportion of women's representation in Arab parliaments is only 3.4% (as opposed to 11.4% in the rest of the world). In addition, 55% of Arab women are illiterate. (2).so, women are not allowed in many parts of the Arabic world to continue their learning despite being a fundamental right in Islam that considers the education of women in particular as an essential and necessary for the construction of the society. Furthermore, women do not enjoy the right to elect in many Arab countries, in kwuite; for example, they did not have the right to elect until two years. This bad situation of the women in the Arabic world should be considered and analyzed as soon as possible because women' role in society can not be denied otherwise the whole society will be threatened. So, the improvement of education for women and the elimination of high female illiteracy rates in the Arab world by making primary school education both free and compulsory is an urgent necessity.
The most dangerous problem in the Arabic world is the wide spread illiteracy which is threatening the future of the process of development. U.N. report found one third of Arabs illiterate and only $10 per person spent on scientific research.(3) the report found out that almost nine million primary school-aged children not attending school in the Arab world. Based on the general census of the population for the year 2004, the illiteracy rate among the population aged 10 years and over was 45.7%, with a significant disparity between male and female. Males had an illiteracy rate of 29.8% as opposed to females, 62.1% of which are illiterate (4) now one can deny how serious this problem is since it is the cause of many other problems like poverty, diseases and deaths. The highest rate of illiteracy recorded is among women since the female education in the Arab World faces many challenges because the education of women is seen as less important in rural areas .the Arabic governments, organizations and the international organizations have to cooperate and plan together to reduce this high rate of illiteracy especially among women. Enlightenment campaign must be held in the rural areas to let people know the importance of the education of the women in the society. Arabic governments have to make the access to education very easy and increase the number of schools especially in the rural areas and deserts where the rate of illiteracy among nomads is very high and reward those who get red of their illiteracy. Those plans are in vain if there is no money, so a respectable amount of money should be specified for the purpose of fighting illiteracy among Arabic people. This money can support all efforts to improve education and spend on poor people to continue learning especially in we take into consideration that the poverty is one of the main causes of illiteracy.
In conclusion, unemployment, illiteracy and the neglect of women are some of the social and economic problems of the Arabic world .Unemployment forms a serious challenge to fight because it is the reason of many social and economic problems, it can lead to the increase of crime, poverty, illiteracy, and humiliation. People who do not work will not have money to live a respectable life. Women in the Arabic world should enjoy their rights that are stated in Islam because they have an essential role in life, if they are educated; it sure is good for the whole society. In Islam it is said that if you teach one male, you teach one individual, but if you teach a female, then you teach a whole nation. The last problem that we talked about was the problem of illiteracy in the Arabic world and how this problem hinders the process of improvement and causes many social and economic problems such as poverty and the high rate of fertility which is in turn another serious problem .we can easily notice that all these problems are related to each other in a way or another, so Arab governments must really be aware of how to face such devastating problems through working hard and organizing plans to prevent them from increasing. Furthermore, rich Arabic states such as Qatar and UAE can participate to the efforts aiming to reduce the suffering of poor Arabic states .the campaign that was led by Dubai, for example, to help blind people to get back their sight was really a great success around the world.
- Economic policy and performance in the Arab world By Paul Rivlin. p. (36)
- Al-Quds Al-Arabi (London), December 4, 1999.