Degeneration of Values and  Principles Among Youth [Archives:2000/17/Culture]

April 24 2000

Mohammed N. Al-Hakimi,
Our society has in recent years been witnessing unusual practices and modes of behaviors quite contrary to the norms of our society and our beliefs. Large segments of youth, especially teenagers, have become prone to many kinds of shameful behavior that is smearing the foundations of their deep-rooted civilization. This is partly due to the absence of good parental care, supervision and models of moral conduct. This phenomenon, which has become trendy and fashionable among adolescents (especially teenagers), requires only a single scrutinizing look at one of the capital’s main streets, cinemas, hotels, clubs or public markets. The main concern of adolescents has grown to be the most up-to-date fashions, cinema productions and other different means leading to vile and corruption. By indulging in all these depraved actions, adolescents are trying to satisfy their baser instincts that their family, school and society did not allow. They are striving for being taken note of by the society and it does not matter whether they were off beat or if their behavior was conspicuous.
The total ignorance of problems facing today’s teenagers would result in grave consequences for our society in future. Today’s teenagers do not consider the value of education, work and struggle; instead, they worry about smoking cigarettes, trying the latest in fashion and teasing groups of the other sex. Their primary concern is the afternoon Qat sittings after lunch they go to the streets to harass girls or tease other passersby.
Bushra Al-Kholaydi said: “The main reason behind the deterioration of the scientific and social level of Yemeni young girls could be attributed to carelessness of the family and failure of educational institutions to give sufficient attention to educate them. The same criteria are applied to young males. The absence of appropriate guidance has made streets their main arena where they practice all sorts of useless pastime, like showing improper behavior towards girls and indulging in all other sorts of wicked acts. If not treated quickly and seriously, this matter would have serious consequences on individuals and on the society as a whole.”
Ghadah Abdullah: “In regards to young girls’ behavior in donning style and fashion and imitating them, in reality they are not doing this for a particular reason. It is rather more of a blind imitation. The reason of such behavior is the absence of a veritable model which they can admire.”Mr. Abdul-Hakeem Al-Mojahid (English Language Teacher): “If we were to compare our society with its western counterparts, people would say that they have real democracy whereas our democracy does not convey the same meaning. Therefore, people would look at the western society as a model pattern. Our problem lies in the lack of a live model because, in reality all our religious and moral values are just contained in books but not practiced in reality. Therefore, as a result of this confusion people find themselves obliged to follow the European model. For example, our society speaks of social values, mercy and benevolence, social insurance and human rights where in practice only very few of these morals and values exist. Again, I would like to emphasize a point that what is needed is not thousand-page books where we can read the history and behavior of our ancestors. What we really need is a real tangible model. So, I wonder how can we prove to the world that we have values and principles if we do not put them into practice.
Siham Saeed: “The absence of guidance and supervision by the family plays the biggest role in the development of young people’s bad conduct. Take for example what happens when called for the evening prayer; you would see crowds of adolescents of both sexes hanging round in streets’ sidewalks. They have lost their interest in pursuing their education and planning for the future. The question here is how do we expect them to do so when they see the decaying conditions of the unemployed alumni and even of the employed persons. In addition, the majority of the society, including the educated, are still engaged in unacceptable behaviors. We lack the principled, civilized society which establishes and builds decent morals. I believe that decadence of adolescents’ behaviors and values is attributable to the fact that the government did not draw up a practical plan to solve their problems. The government should found libraries and establish technical and industrial institutions for young women. In addition, they should encourage adolescents who fail in a certain major by pushing them in the right direction according to their attitude, abilities and talents. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the society to watch the young so they would grow with right, decent moral.
Sa’aeed Al-Himayari: “The reason behind the deterioration of adolescents conduct is the absence of guidance and criticism from the family and the society. The government has the lion’s share in worsening this issue by issuing low advertisements, programs and education not to mention the corruptible programs that are adopted by some channels of television. Furthermore, we come across many adolescents who wear weird western-style clothes many of which have unusual foreign writings that contradict our society’s values and morals.”Mr. Qayed Ameen Ali: “The reasons behind these actions are numerous and they need to be studied thoroughly. One of these reasons is the Ministry of Culture, society, parties, organizations and unions. All these agencies should render help to their adolescents who are in dire need of their guidance. Each and every part of the society should join the effort to establish a veritable model of moral behavior so that we can effect a constructive change in our society.
I would like also to mention that in regards to this issue a seminar on Yemeni adolescents cases, organized by the Youth and Development Office was held on 29-30 January and several recommendations have been made during the course of the seminar.”Finally, we say that this seminar was certainly a very positive step in regard to adolescents’ issue and we all hope that more procedures would be taken to prevent our youth from further degeneration.