Rapid social changes pose new challenges to Arab families

DUBAI — The rapid social changes has posed new challenges to the Arab family, calling for radical changes in the education system, said Muna Al Bahr, Professor of Social Works at Zayed University.

By A Staff Reporter

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Thu 29 Dec 2005, 10:11 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:26 PM

"Today, the Arab family is expected to carry out tasks which are radically different from the traditional ones carried out until recently," said Muna Al Bahr while addressing a seminar organised by Zayed University Media Centre and Research at Dubai Media city on Tuesday.

“These changes have affected every aspect of our lives. Being the prime focus of globalisation, the youth are the most affected by these fast changes coming in culturally, socially, politically and economically. In other words, the youth are globalisation's human capital. Globalisation is the youth's civilisation and is based mainly on their enthusiasm, energy, love for adventure and yearning for the future," said Al Bahr, adding: "The older generation's experience and wisdom is no longer the ultimate reference, despite the respect that it has. It is no exaggeration when I say that there is somewhat a shift in terms of references in many facets of life in favour of youth, their abilities and their level of knowledge.”

"The Arab family is now required to do what may be called 'empowerment for the future' which consists of developing the general competence of the individual as a whole and which goes beyond simply receiving good grades in class or just passing from one grade to another," said the professor.

During the seminar which was attended by students and professors from several universities and colleges in the UAE, Dr Maher Khalifa, Chair, Social and Behavioural Science at Zayed University, presented a study research paper that examined how the modern changes are affecting female students' culture.

According to the results of the study, the culture of Emirati female students is partially changing as a result of recent social changes. These changes do not seem to affect UAE females' core culture that constitutes religion beliefs, norms and values as well as language. Many areas of change, however, signal a Western value orientation. The select Western values adopted seem to go along with modernisation and the new realities of the country but do not conflict with Islamic values like independence in decision-making and looking out for ones self.

Results further showed that Emirati female students have a high national identity and pride. The study stressed the need for educating Emirati females on the importance of openness and modernisation, alongside holding on to local culture.

Given the limited sample size, the study also recommended that further research should be done on similar subjects like cultural changes in UAE males and older generations.

More news from