Nouf S. AlQwidi
The youth of this generation are our heroes because they have been given the monumental task of building up the broken remains of development that our society left to them some 20 to 30 years ago. Back then, it wasn’t uncommon for a young Saudi to work as a driver or a chef or even as cashier at a store. Things then changed and for nearly 3 decades Saudis typically shunned such jobs and preferred high-paying government jobs.
The story now is different as both men and women have returned to doing jobs shunned by the previous generation. Saudi men are now working as Uber drivers, cashiers in malls and supermarkets, chefs in their own restaurants and even as baristas. Saudi women, on the other hand, are more independent, more aware of their own rights and their voices are being heard at the top levels of government. It has traditionally been hard for Saudi women to find jobs but they are now working as engineers, entrepreneurs, nurses and cashiers in malls and supermarkets.
The title of the job doesn’t matter anymore; what matters is that both men and women are working hard and are trying to better Saudi society even though our country is going through hard times both domestically and on the foreign policy front. Regardless, our youth have never failed society. It is my personal opinion that personal strife and wrong mentalities and misguided ideologies are what prompted this generation to band together and become more powerful than past generations.
The numbers of young Saudi entrepreneurs is increasing every day. We now have many successful local brands owned by young Saudi citizens such as restaurants, coffee shops, mobile applications and numerous startups. You see, 20-30 years ago, Saudi people were not so supportive of local brands and preferred International brands instead. There was no such thing as a “Saudi driver” or a “Saudi cashier” because society looked down on such occupations, but the youth of this generation have succeeded in changing such mentalities.
Therefore, I’m proud of this generation and I’m proud of the changes that our society is going through despite the political and social problems that we are currently facing. Saudi society was not accepting at first but such changes do take time and they need patience and perhaps most importantly persistence and hard work. This is only the start and the beginning of the Localization Era of Saudi Arabia or as I like to call it “The Golden Era of Saudi Arabia” and the best is yet to come.