ReflectionsWhen basic needs go unmetIs technology a curse? [Archives:2004/794/Opinion]

November 29 2004

By Yahya Al-Olfi
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We have a lot to thank for having these technological advances, making our lives more simple and less complicated and we must admit that it is becoming a small world in easy contacts and exchange of news and information.
But is this really where we're heading? Or are we surfacing a gigantic catastrophe in future scientific development? Take for example cloning, it has been mentioned decades before even experimenting on and has succeeded with animals but the human mind will go at any length to experiment on humans. Is this a red line we must not cross or is it a start of a new evolution of human cloning.
Do all the science fiction novels and films have a hand in this human thought of advance development? There are many questions to be said than answers and even that has its limit. As for computers they have become a necessity in our lives whether at work or at home. The same goes to the Internet, which has nowadays become an addiction to many people.
But now we have another heroine busting the markets: The cell phone video camera. This is also another way to loot money from light headed people who find themselves cool having a mobile and walking the streets with their phones stuck to their ears.
Such type of cell phones are being misused and there is nothing better than looting money out of our human state of mind, of arousal and excitement a definite soft spot in most of us. Thus, those having such cell phone video cameras should be prudent and preferably keep in mind the Arab proverb, which goes: “whoever digs a hole (i.e. a trap) for his human brother, will himself one day fall into one”.
Now, that the year 2004 is ending and time is moving fast. What have we achieved? Although we have made improvements on the sewage and road system all is incomplete, as there are streets still in dirt accompanied with leakage of tank sewages?
Why? Because, simply none of our responsible men is willing to take the matter in his own hands and their only scapegoat is: There is not enough money to cover the expenses, while huge amounts are being wasted and stolen in broad daylight. The government is laying out projects that cost millions of dollars while our streets are not as they should be but alleyways and streets filled with dirt and mud along with litter? Is it that they can't wait or typically find our streets of less importance?
Unfortunately streets and sewages in Yemen are only taken care of, if they are in strategic public places or accompanying the homes of our so many responsible people, leaving us as victims of a crisis to put up with the litter, dirt and dust which in this account our children bear out the consequences being the victims of infections such as skin and bowel infections along with serious eye diseases (sometimes poorly treated in Yemen) that are provoked by dust and dirt which our children mostly play with instead of – should be – grass.
But who will listen? If we are real good Muslims why don't we remember the prophet's (PBU) words clearly: “If any of you undertakes a task, then do it well.” Which is not happening here. Some redone streets although having sewage they haven't any drains and although having been paved have not any pavements but ones still in dirt!
It is sad to mention that many of our good men (the official & responsible) who have had the recurrent honor of travelling abroad haven't had the slightest thought of putting our country's tidiness first rate in a list of renovations, building projects and inaugurations.
How can we be proud of building a project when we notice that most of our streets are still undone and not completely fine?
When I am out on my way to work I find the cleaners sweeping the dirt off the road done that comes always from the pavements, which are still dirty. Here, a question arises? Why do our responsible people like to go abroad frequently? The answer is simple.
Because, they can have big travel allowances in USD and also because it is beautiful and it is time to make our country beautiful too.