Saleh Miri

Saleh Miri is an ar­chi­tect who came to Oman in the early 1980s

Muscat Daily - - NATION -

Dur­ing a hu­man’s life­span, many things change. Some 50 years ago, there were fixed tele­phones with only 5 num­bers; then wire­less phones came into our lives, with the pos­si­bil­ity of speak­ing 25m away from the main phone.

Then ap­peared the mo­bile phone. Grad­u­ally, phones be­came so much more than just a tool to speak to oth­ers. It now al­lows you to write, see pic­tures, gather in­for­ma­tion, make pay­ments and so on.

To­mor­row the phone may be­come an al­ter ego, with the abil­ity of ‘re­plac­ing’ you any­where. How do we cope with such rapid changes? We of­ten won­der, for ex­am­ple, how so much in­tel­li­gence is gath­ered!

Well, next time you look at your phone, ask your­self just how much in­for­ma­tion you leave be­hind for oth­ers to col­lect and amass!

Some years ago we were in con­trol of our cars. To­day, we have elec­tric cars, self-driv­ing cars and cars that can au­to­mat­i­cally self-park into al­most any space and stop when sens­ing for­eign ob­jects.

What will be the car of the fu­ture? A one en­gine ma­chine that drives you safely to your des­ti­na­tion with sen­sory cli­mate con­trol?

Aware­ness needs to be part of ed­u­ca­tion. To­day, in the US and in China, large com­pa­nies pro­pose ro­botic stud­ies as part of the cur­ricu­lum in schools and uni­ver­si­ties, with the un­der­stand­ing that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions need to be ‘aware’. In Mid­dle East­ern coun­tries, ed­u­ca­tion is still liv­ing in the past and does not pre­pare for the fu­ture which is knock­ing at our doors. It is worth re­mem­ber­ing that mod­ern civil­i­sa­tion and science em­anated from this re­gion. As such, we should be proud of our his­tory and not copy what the ‘Western’ world is pro­duc­ing which, iron­i­cally, is based on what our peo­ple had cre­ated in the past.

Our vi­sions have to change. Most lead­ers around the world have to cope with peo­ple who want re­sults to­day and can­not wait. But real changes re­quire time, anal­y­sis and vi­sion adapted for to­mor­row’s world. In Malaysia, lead­er­ship pre­pared a vi­sion of 30 years to bring the coun­try from the third world to the first world.

The Chi­nese econ­omy is based on a 40year vi­sion. Oth­ers, un­for­tu­nately, wish to sat­isfy their peo­ple with short-term so­lu­tions which do not con­sider the fu­ture.

We wit­ness to­day up­roar in so many places: Lebanon, Hong Kong, Syria, Iran,

France, just to name a few. Peo­ple want some­thing dif­fer­ent - so­lu­tions which can work, not tem­po­rary mea­sures, to en­sure that they have a fu­ture with free­dom, ac­cess to ed­u­ca­tion, health and a clean en­vi­ron­ment.

But so­lu­tions do not seem avail­able. Our lives have changed ex­po­nen­tially from a one-size-fits-all sim­ple for­mat to a more so­phis­ti­cated model based on mass con­sumerism. As a con­se­quence, it seems ma­te­rial pos­ses­sion has be­come more ‘wor­thy’ than what we truly need and de­sire.

The ed­u­ca­tion of fu­ture gen­er­a­tions is of para­mount im­por­tance if we re­ally want to se­cure a peace­ful world for our chil­dren. Our an­ces­tors did the same for us. By re­learn­ing es­sen­tial val­ues, we may very well as­sist the chil­dren of to­mor­row to live in a more har­mo­nious, health­ier and more pros­per­ous planet. If we don’t, we may sadly wit­ness a global col­lapse where na­tions and con­ti­nents fight each other with weapons of mass de­struc­tion.

Ed­u­ca­tion starts at home. And it is a fact that a child’s early years are moulded by par­ents who should set the right ex­am­ple from day one. So, if we truly want the best for our fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, we need to re­mind our­selves just how the ed­u­ca­tion of to­day will sculpt the minds of to­mor­row.

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