Those who brag about the family trade

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Okaz newspaper

SOME writers and intellectuals love to talk about their past when they were at school. They say when they left school those days, they would go to their father’s shops, kitchen or factory to help in their trade. Some of them continued to do that even when they studied at the university.

A high school student, who later became a Cabinet minister, was fond of telling people how he helped his father in his job of fetching water to houses in their neighborhood. According to the testimony of his friends in the neighborhood, he continued to do that even while he studied in university in Riyadh making use of every opportunity including vacations.

These people speak with pride that they are from a hard-working family and they learned a lot from their fathers about their trade and they learned how to be independent themselves in later life. They criticize the current generation of youth because they do not do what their fathers did in the past and because of them, the trades of their fathers and grandfathers disappeared forever — trades that provided a decent income for their families at that time.

Those who brag about their father’s profession forgot, perhaps deliberately, that they themselves could not protect the trades of their forefathers while they claim to have helped them in their work. They should know that decades ago when they were in their adolescence, when they left their schools and went to work, they found their fathers in their own shops, bakeries, factories or tailor shops. The youth today when they leave school and go to the small commercial establishments to work, whether they grocery stores, carpentries, car workshops or any other place, they will find that they are run and owned secretly by foreign residents, even if the name on the shop is that of a Saudi.

This Saudi is the type that is happy to work out a cover-up arrangement in return for a fixed income each month in return for the expatriate using his name. Even the villagers abandoned their farms and recruited workers from abroad to take care of their farms.

The present father, who was proud when he was young to work with his father and grandfather and bear the responsibility with them in the trades they used to work in, became a regular employee or is earning a living through the so-called business cover-up.

Then why do you put the blame on the present generation for not learning the trade of their fathers and grandfathers? If a young man went to his father’s shop run by an expat under the cover-up arrangement, will he be greeted by the expat with sarcasm or is he going to tell him that this was his money and he should go away?

Those who brag about their father’s profession forgot, perhaps deliberately, that they themselves could not protect the trades of their forefathers while they claim to have helped them in their work.


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