An interesting article published in Asharq al-Awsat, July 7, 2016 by Fahad Shoqiran, a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. He has writings in pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Alarabiya.net, among others. He also blogs on philosophies, cultures and arts. See the while article (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/views/news/middle-east/2016/07/09/Has-technology-defied-Arab-values-.html).
The article describes how information communication technology ICT, which has managed to create an analytical space that aims to uncover the hidden aspects of several dimensions, is taking another path in some regions of the world. Fahad Shoqiran describes how ICT is shifting from communicating to connecting “At the start, it was promising because it was going to bring everything closer, break borders, defeat intellectuals, end roles, intimidate politicians and mobilize for revolution. They are no longer sites for communicating as much as sites for connecting”.
In the MENA region as Fahad Shoqiran puts it “The relations between millions of Muslims and Arabs through the modern tools of contact has not created any value worth mentioning, and has not expressed anything about their history that is rich in prestigious debate, serious dialogue and knowledge. Rather, they have dug up racial and sectarian matters that were long forgotten. Political affiliations became in control of approaches, debates and battles”.
Fahad Shoqiran explains and reflects on existing difficulties hindering sustainable socio-economic developments in all of the MENA region “There is a struggle over leadership among Arabs. This is why it is impossible to create a general space that enables people to freely and equally discuss ideas and visions. This is all due to ignorance. There are modern tools in our hands, but our feet are drowned in the mud of decadence.” Instead “All this shows that Arab societies are drowned in the notion of the self. This is why you see the desire to become a poet, muse or cleric in every Arab. You do not see the desire to become a debater or intellectual who spreads knowledge and philosophy.”
With growing population around world, struggle of political systems for survival; emergence of new micro-, sub-cultures and NGOs; competition on resources; and modern needs for prompt promotion and implementation of the UN-SDG, the ICT is facing shaping and reshaping itself as an analytical space to achieve sustainable socio-economic developments apart from being pure technical instrument only (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/icts-government-action-plan-mena-region-2015-beyond-nabil-eid).