Source: Mufakiru Alemarat
Dr. Ali Mohamed Al Khouri
The intersection between Arab identity and globalization forms a complex mosaic, and represents one of the largest cultural shifts in the social fabric of the region at the present time, and it has become among the exciting and controversial topics of interest in recent years. The reality of the matter indicates that the Arab world is witnessing sweeping changes with the acceleration of globalization, driven by the rapid expansion of technology, the dominance of global markets, and the penetration of digital media and its platforms.
It is no longer hidden the size of the great and profound influence – which these changes have become pushing – on Arab culture, language and traditions, and it is necessary to stop before it, and to re-evaluate the consequences and repercussions of all this on Arab identity in the new global context in which the culture of the strongest and most capable of influencing public opinion prevails. . This unprecedented interest in the modern global identity – even if it began to appear in its headlines with the standards of rights and freedoms – is in fact determined by political purposes and economic interests, which qualifies the Western powers to continue to move at a more steadfast pace in their contradictory and unsuitable directions for the Arab peoples, and will constitute an obstacle in their entirety that prevents the arrival of these Peoples reach the levels of civilized mastery represented in social, economic and technological development, and this predicts the continuation of economic decline and instability in the region for extended periods to come, and represents a danger that cannot be overlooked, nor its possibilities neglected.
The impact of globalization on the Arab identity
What drives globalization is its universal norms and values, which represent broad challenges for the Arab world, as pressure factors towards reshaping its culture, traditions and values. We find that the waves of Western influence promoted through media and technology platforms have burdened the pressure to change and diversify the Arab identity, and have imposed questions about the mechanism of dealing, and the extent of the required change, which has become inconsistent with the cultural and religious heritage. With the digital transformation of societies, the Arab world is facing a flood of influences. Globalism, and Arab youth have become more exposed to diverse cultural norms and values, which allowed them to interact with a broader global community, exposed them to new ideas and cultures that challenge traditional norms, and encouraged them to build a more global view that transcends the borders of the Arab heritage, and this is – without a doubt – a systematic and continuous process of change. And developed, and represents one of the forms of slow brainwashing to produce another parallel culture that contradicts the concepts of citizenship, and the norms and values of Arab society.
Globalization and technology challenges
The modern challenges to the Arab identity stem, in the first place, from the cultural transformations drawn by the Western powers, which are now being pulled by new media vehicles and digital information locomotives, to put the Arab entity in front of confrontational risks with the legacy that has always been the first line of defense in preserving national security and consolidating Principles of loyalty, belonging and patriotism. In an era when the world has become more like a small village, we find that social media platforms play a crucial role in shaping identities and cultures, as these platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, are no longer channels for sharing events, personal stories or ideas only, but have become influential means. To spread cultural norms and ideologies, just as the Arabic and other content offered by television broadcasting platforms such as “Netflix” demonstrates the global trend to provide content that changes moral values, and presents role models and behavioral patterns in societies.
Preserving the Arab identity
It is clear that the Arab world stands in front of a road fraught with slips at a time when countries are struggling to respond effectively to the requirements of the digital age, and to achieve the priorities of their development agendas. All of them represent dilemmas that must be confronted with the spread of total Western culture, and the employment of the power of media and culture as a soft force to control the formation of societal norms and achieve the desired effect.
We have to define our plans and approaches aimed at protecting our values and identity, as we believe that confrontation should be the equivalent of work and its ideals, which requires us to decide – as an Arab nation aware and aware of the importance of engaging in confrontation – to use the same tools and mechanisms with which we are confronted today, by means of Investing in the establishment of media outlets and platforms, regional and global cultural institutions, and the manufacture of software and applications aimed at consolidating Arab values and culture. These mechanisms can represent positive and effective cultural building centers in the face of the dominant impact of the new media globalization, and with them it is possible to redirect the compass of the Arab media to focus on issues of Islamic and Arab culture, and traditions that contribute to the healthy construction of the family, and enhance formation and national belonging, and act as a counterweight to the influence of Western cultures.
It is worth mentioning here the experiences taken by countries that challenge the unipolarity of the international system, such as China, which noticed early on the danger of social networking sites, decided to block them, and presented local alternatives that could control their rhythm and directions, and used the same tool and weapon, such as the “Tik Tok” application, in confronting the West and societies. Non-Chinese ones, to reuse weapons in reverse, which is the same application that displays different content in the local community inside China, benefiting and benefiting young people, with what it contains of science, ideas and knowledge, which confirms the importance of investing in digital media and communication platforms as one of the potential tools of confrontation.
There is no doubt that the Arab identity finds itself at a crucial crossroads in the modern era, and stands before a difficult test to preserve its rich heritage and traditions, while adapting at the same time to the rapidly changing global requirements and the great challenges at hand. As we navigate this complex landscape, strategic planning becomes crucial, especially planning to consolidate cultural values and Arab identity for future generations, and to enhance them in the digital age. Despite the challenges brought by globalization and advanced technologies, they also bring innovative tools for communication and cultural expression, such as media platforms. And cultural, with which efforts can be directed towards issues of Arab culture and traditions that nourish our national identity.
The Arab identity is more than a rich history and a common language, and it will remain one of the general responsibilities of Arab countries and Arab organizations to ensure their harmony with global development in a way that respects heritage and guarantees its future. As we move forward it is important to remember that the tools for solutions must be compatible with the desired results, and this is a complex and delicate journey, not a battle to be won or lost. Our strategies must be considered and realistic, and focus on strengthening a solid and solid Arab identity for future generations, providing them with appropriate protection, and ensuring security, social and cultural stability for our societies.