May 14 2012
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Scientific symposium to discuss youth issues
Youth of any given country always play a vital role as the country's backbone for its development and safe future. Therefore, a three-day medical and health conference to discuss social work and youth issues was organized by the medical social service department of King Abdulaziz Medical City in Jeddah in cooperation with King Saud University for Health Sciences at the Intercontinental Hotel Jeddah.
The aim of the event was to discuss the health issues of the youth under the title "We are here for you." A number of doctors, social workers, psychologists, counselors and experts from around the Kingdom and the Gulf region participated in the conference.
Professor Dr. Abubakar Bagader, the former deputy minister of Culture and Information, said that in this century it is very important to pay attention and to know the impact of globalization on youth.
"Only time will decide the good or bad impacts of the Internet and globalization, but there are profound and continuous changes. The Saudi society is starting to witness generational changes and a new dimension of a generational gap," he said.
"I don't think the current Saudi youths are submissive and easy to get along with in terms of accepting traditions. I think this generation is a bridge of change; what it will mold into, we have to wait and see," he added.
He emphasized the impact of advertisements, consumerism, and the multiethnic culture of expatriates on the life of Saudi youth. The government feels responsible toward the youth and is providing them with tremendous initiatives that will enable them more mobility but also give them more social responsibilities, he said.
Dr. Fatiha Al-Qurashi, supervisor of the human rights division in Makkah province and assistant professor in sociology, threw light on the importance of citizenship and social rights of the youth.
She said there are a number of channels that teach youth how to demand or express their rights, but they should also know their responsibilities as citizens.
"They have to learn how to put limits on their rights, because exceeding the limits is not good for them and others. Citizenship values need to be practiced, and we have to advise our youth on this," Al-Qurashi said.
"Sometimes there are conflicts between the personal goals of youngsters and their social responsibilities. These conflicts should not be there; there should be balance between everything," she said, adding that the society should also teach their youth how to interact with mass media.
Abdul Aziz Al-Harazi, associate executive director of operations at the National Guard Hospital's Health Affairs, said that the youth was one of the important assets for the development of the country and its economy. In the Kingdom, 55 percent of the Saudi population is aged between 15 and 30.
"The practical guidance to the youth for the benefits of the nation is very important. It is essential to discuss youth issues to solve their problems. We organized this symposium, so that doctors and social workers could meet experts, professors of sociology and trained academics to take advantage of their knowledge and experience," Al-Harazi, who is also the president of the conference's organizing committee, said.
Manal Al-Somali, a social worker at King Fahd Hospital, highlighted the importance of social work for the benefit of the community. She emphasized on the specialized knowledge of social workers to handle the changes in the society.
"A large number of youngsters are victims of depression and stress, so the representatives of social services should help them in such situations and discuss this important stage in human life," said Al-Somali.
She said the social workers also discussed the habits, tendencies, religious standards and ethical orientation behavior with the youth to let them understand the values and standards of life and Islam.
Brig. Gen. Khalid Mohammed Bakulka, executive director of operations at the National Guard Hospital Health Affairs and chief guest of the program, advised social workers to understand the problems as well as to respect the society's customs, traditions and beliefs.
© Arab News 2012
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