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Libyan Writer Ghoma
الكاتب الليبي غومة

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Monday, 2 August, 2010

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APPROACHES TO DEVELOPMENT:
No Development Without Creativity and Originality!

(Part VI)

By: Ghoma


        Modern life is built on cooperation and specialization. Different individuals perform different and complimentary tasks. When applied to communication some writers would deal with political matters, while others tackle social-cultural issues and still a third group handles economics and environmental concerns, and so forth. This complimentary and integrated approach to dealing with public issues is the core to modern mass media. But what's taking place in less developed societies? Take Libya for example, its writers, the sad fact is, most of them seem to fall into the category of remote reporters, who would describe actions and events, sans witnessing, from afar as if they were present on the spot. Perhaps this is the affliction of the age due to the diffusion of Internet with its blogospheres that have literally obliterated distance as a factor and thus the distinction between factual and hearsay. This said, nonetheless, even in such rarified atmosphere it's still possible to use one's background and expertise, in addition to a bit of imagination to shed light on, if not tackle, questions which don't necessarily require being present at the reporting scene. For example, matters pertaining to culture, to economics, to gender relations, to development are just few of the concerns that fit into this category and still waiting to be brooded. What is nation-building and how to effect it? How to change a superstitious and tribalistic culture into modern one? How to effect the transition from subjects to citizens? How to induce society to self-invent itself, a la Chinese? How to build a modern economy? [Why Libyan economy, after more than a half-century of oil's cash-flows, is still in doldrums?]. And, what are Human Rights without gender equality? Etcetera, etc.

        The complexity of social matters is beyond question. Assuming, just in case, a political solution could be found tomorrow, there still remains how to go about implementing it. Nation-building is perhaps the catchword of our times but what is it and how to go about it? As the saying goes God is in the detail. The nitty-gritty, nuts and bolts details will always be the camel's hair. How to effectuate an integrated socio-political and cultural system that would work in unison will be the crux of the matter. A modern economy can't be run if workers were never modernized. But the fundamental quest facing this crop of writers is: Is Libya the way is because of what it is, or is Libya the way it is because of what it's become, i.e., dictatorship? Is Qaddafi the way he is because of what he is or because of what Libya is? Despite the abundant lore about the role of the individual as a savior-the Knight on the White Horse syndrome- and the myths about worshipping of the hero, genuine History may nod in the direction of collective action, that's to the culture as a whole. If that is so, then, how could a traditional culture moves itself. The lessons that have come from successful societies point to the fact that fluctuating human concerns need always to be continuously re-examined and re-imagined, of course after being first visualized and described. Hence the importance of institutions, civic or cultural, to stand as sentinels to the cohesiveness and advancement of society, and above all to envision the future. If anything new, modernity has brought about must be the disbanding of absolutistic affirmations and thus the relativity of human matters and endeavors. Because human concerns were never a given or static in nature, but dynamic in constant morphing and thus in need to be always re-imagined and re-designed. And here comes the rub. What kind and who shall be the agreed upon imagineers and designers, deemed qualified enough, and trusted to draft the collective will into a working platforms? Who are the 'architects,' deemed plucky enough, who'll venture into the future and come back to tell the rest of what they're seen?

        There's no shortage of themes to think about. There're plenty that will occupy the thoughtful for eternity. It's up to the writers-and to their editors- to get off the much beaten track(s) and wade into some unfamiliar trails to discover where they may lead. Thus, instead of the stale and vapid regugitations that have become the stock-in-trade, merely dull and hackneyed sermons, of the literati about how horrible dictatorship is, or how wasteful the gangster's family has become, the thoughtful could invoke the old storytelling to tell other stories about nation-building, about the human condition, about the morals out of the Arabian Nights- and what they may tell about the mores and values of the culture which had produced them, etc. As much as important keeping a watchful eye on the dictator's behaviors must be, if it's not used carefully may lead to surfeit and callousness and end up without much grip or tractions, mere empty sounds in the constant din of noises. No matter how awkward and ridiculous the ruling family's behaviors were, making them the main grist to the media mill will not add or rouse anybody's furor. This family must have known by now it's left no options to exit safely and honorably when it'd burned all available bridges to redeeming itself. Qaddafi knows, more than anyone else, what awaits him if he were to lose power. Therefore, he's put himself on the road of no return. The only thing remains for him and his family is to engorge themselves as much and as long as they could, since the end is going to be grim and getting closer by the minute, stay tuned.

Ghoma
Ghoma47@hotmail.com


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Part 9 Part 10

More Articles Written By Ghoma

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