Scared by lazi­ness

The Kurdish Globe - - CULTURE - Diane Rah

I of­ten speak of the pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments; the facelift af­forded to our cities and the great new eco­nomic pros­per­ity in our re­gion. But I also re­fer to what is be­neath that glossy sur­face, poverty, lack of child­care sys­tems and a model of health­care that speaks for it­self. A great part of the dark side of Kur­dis­tan to me at least, is the new flood of for­eign work­ers en­ter­ing Kur­dis­tan Re­gion while many young Kurds choose to stay job­less.

As I was read­ing the news I came across com­pa­nies that hire for­eign work­ers to Kur­dis­tan, the ad specif­i­cally quoted ‘house­keep­ing va­can­cies in Er­bil’. One cu­ri­ous click led to an­other and I quickly found my­self read­ing about hor­ror sto­ries of for­eign work­ers be­ing mis­treated and ar­ti­cles crit­i­ciz­ing the grow­ing un­em­ploy­ment among young Kurds. The case of the work­ers be­ing mis­treated is one alarming is­sue worth high­light­ing in an­other col­umn, but an­other core prob­lem aris­ing is the con­cern for the dimin- ished work ethics among many younger, brighter and ca­pa­ble Kur­dish ci­ti­zens.

For most of his­tory, Kurds in south Kur­dis­tan have been proud of their rep­u­ta­tion as hard­work­ing peo­ple, and the fact is that whether within our bor­ders or across the pa­cific, the Kur­dish peo­ple have proven to tire­lessly and shame­lessly strive through sweat and tears for most of their achieve­ment. But have the re­cent de­vel­op­ments in south Kur­dis­tan en­abled a too lade back at­ti­tude among younger ci­ti­zens?

I am aware that the sub­ject of for­eign work­ers has been touched on be­fore, but it is the other side of the coin that puzzles me. I find it grossly shock­ing that there is an emerg­ing lazy at­ti­tude among many Kur­dish ci­ti­zens who feel ashamed to take on a job as a cleaner or as a house­keeper.

My heart is at the right place when I ex­press con­cern that the Kur­dish peo­ple are fac­ing a cen­tral is­sue that is pos­si­bly lead­ing to long-term con­se­quences for gen­er­a­tions to come. The can of worms may have al­ready been opened, and I ques­tion what hap­pened to the Kur­dish say­ing that ‘a rock is heav­i­est at its place’, a ref­er­ence that we must not for­get our roots. We Kurds were not that long ago the ones cross­ing bor­ders to work at homes, clean re­strooms and serve as guardians for the el­derly to make ends meet. To­day and prob­a­bly less than a decade into par­tial self-gov­er­nance of our re­gion in the South, some lo­cal Kurds are get­ting on their high horse be­liev­ing the oil rev­enues and the bil­lions in­vested by for­eign com­pa­nies will buy them end­less help with­out cost­ing them a teardrop of sweat.

There are more than 4000 for­eign work­ers in Kur­dis­tan who have come through var­i­ous for­eign com­pa­nies mostly oc­cu­py­ing the most ba­sic jobs, not be­cause they are less mean­ing­ful as hu­mans or they are tak­ing over the job mar­ket. But be­cause th­ese are some of the most com­mon ways of pro­vid­ing for their fam­i­lies, and while many lo­cal Kurds turn away such va­can­cies, for­eign work­ers are needed in higher de­mand.

Kur­dis­tan is at its flour­ish­ing moment where count­less jobs are cre­ated and hun­dred of ca­pa­ble work­ers are needed. While new gen­er­a­tions are be­ing born into a less stress­ful Kur­dish way of life, our pub­lic and po­lit­i­cal sphere needs to plant its seeds early to pre­vent trou­ble free way of life turn­ing into a scat­ter of lazi­ness.

Sug­ges­tively, the ini­tia­tives to grad­u­ally end the lazy habits must firstly come cul­tur­ally. But the government can be cen­tral in chang­ing the lack of en­thu­si­asm by in­tro­duc­ing a sys­tem that re­flects the good old say­ing ‘give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. But teach a man to fish and you feed him for a life­time.’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iraq

© PressReader. All rights reserved.