The Third Millennium: Does it Mean Something to us? [Archives:2000/52/Focus]

December 27 2000

Mohammed Hatem Al-Qadhi,
Managing Editor
Four days and 94 hours are left before the world moves into the third millennium. However, there are some people who still argue that the 20th century will not finish at the end of December. They say that there is one year left in this century.
Whichever it is, some nations will be moving into the next century very quickly, developing and changing as time goes on. Still, there are some nations which will hardly be able to even crawl into the 21st century.
It is a good chance to go back for a while and think of the great scientific and technological achievements which the world has made in the 20th century. The world has been able to make laudable strides in different fields of life, doing many things which had never been done before, and some things which were only dreamed of. In fact, this century is associated with miraculous achievements, which the world should be very proud of.
A lot of discoveries in different arenas of life have been made. It is also in this century that great theories like those of Freud, Darwin, Marx, Einstein and others emerged. It is in this century that man landed on the moon for the first time. Marvelous and radical changes in the life of mankind have taken place. They are, of course, uncountable.
The most important revolution in the history of man in the 20th century is that in communication technology. This revolution has broken all the barriers between the world communities, and made the world, so to speak, a global village. This information revolution has also helped in the emergence of globalization, not only of economics but also of politics and culture. I mean it is in this century the communication between nations has become very close, particularly with the advent of the internet and the telephone.
Again, it was in this century that great catastrophic events took place, such as the First and Second World Wars. Still, the achievements remain greater than the catastrophes.
It is a good time for nations to go back for a while and examine their contributions to the welfare of humanity. It is those nations who have helped humanity most that should be remembered well. There are, however, nations which did nothing. They were and are still just consumers of the products of the hardworking communities. What is more unfortunate is that these countries are not aware of their future at all. The advanced world has made up its full-fledged plans and resolutions for the new century or at least for the new year. But other nations are not conscious of what is happening and what the next millennium means to them. I believe that everybody in the Western world has made up his own decision and plan for the new year. Their governments and nations usually make decisions and plans for several years to come. I wish that the third world countries did just like the western people and made plans, even for at least for one year in advance.
Yemen is one of those countries which will move to the next millennium only in terms of time. I feel really worried about our society when I find that there are some people in our country who still live in the past.
Yemen is truly troubled by many ordeals that are still to come. Education, the main ingredient that is supposed to help us move to the next century hale and sound, is perverted and useless. The health sector in our country is very deteriorating and having hard times. Sheiks and tribes are still more powerful than law and order. The whole infrastructure of the society is shaky and undependable; a brighter tomorrow is uncertain. The social structure needs considerable restructuring. Corruption seems to have devoured everything in this country and is out of control. Therefore, are the people in authority aware of the challenges of the next century? If they are, they do not seem to have made plans to find solutions for the many pitfalls which lie in the road.
Merry Christmas and happy new year to you all.