Opinion

E becomes the Letter of the Year!

December 23, 2020
E becomes the Letter of the Year!
By Dr. Siham Alhaider



After all, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to have a few upsides! Since COVID-19 entered our lives, everything has changed. We can see these changes on various levels. The pandemic has, perhaps, been a curse in Saudi Arabia, as in many other regions, but it has also presented many opportunities. It is a curse in the sense that it limits our physical options. On the other hand, it has prompted advancements in our virtual capabilities. Who would expect that ‘E’ would be the letter of 2020?

Saudi Arabia has strategic plans and goals to resolve this crisis as it comes to an end. A vital example that has blossomed many times faster than anticipated is the E-government Program, which was launched in 2003. It is built on electronic services as opposed to paper documents with the intention of making life easier, services faster and platforms more developed.

COVID-19 has accelerated the implementation of more electronically based lifestyles in Saudi society, with some positive results. In time of the pandemic, instead of going to an office, individuals use the e-platform to submit requests to the government. Data has become the fuel for our new lifestyles — one could say it is the new petroleum of the GCC, and digital transformation is compatible with the objectives of Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Statistically speaking, Saudi Arabia has converted almost 81% of its governmental services to electronic platforms.

The CEO of the E-government Program Eng. Ali Alasiri states that in our current time, “Digital transformation becomes an essential necessity dealt with like water and electricity.”

The E-government Program works on innovative initiatives that help digitalize the Kingdom through the National Digital Transformation Unit. The capital, Riyadh, was chosen to be the first digital capital in 2020 at the time of the G20 Leaders’ Summit hosted by Saudi Arabia.

Going back in memory, we find ourselves not taking robots and electronic functions seriously. Why was that? Because we had allotted ourselves so much time and space; we considered ourselves the successors of the Earth and wanted to keep it to ourselves.

However, it did not take very long to get to where we are today. The coronavirus has surpassed us — we are restricted inside while it exists outside. This pandemic is a story that we will narrate often in the future. It is a turning point for many countries, marking historical interactions between themselves and the rest of the world.

I assume that e-life will be a new word in the dictionary, as well other words preceded with e-. Shifting to e-life is a good thing, as I am writing an e-article for you now. It is powerful to note how certain circumstances change the paths of our lives to be so different from what we are used to. Take this concept and apply it to everything in life at the moment; we can do various tasks remotely and with less time and effort. That is the description of efficiency.

We study on the Blackboard platform now instead of writing on physical blackboards in classrooms. I look at COVID-19 as a good friend who is guiding us to know ourselves better, to leap forward in many fields faster than we thought we ever could, and to create some good things during this crucial time. With COVID-19, I have come to believe more strongly in the saying “Life is short,” but we can live it to the utmost.

At this time, cultivating new habits to fit our new lifestyles is a necessity. This coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has brought the world together by affecting every part of the globe. It is a mutual crisis of a kind we have rarely seen before. Each country has its own problems and demands; now, the Kingdom’s needs have become the same as those of other countries. Consensus on protocols and precautions around the entire world are unified.

At the end of this article, watch your state of mind. Be conscious about how you react to living in quarantine! It is easy to go with the flow when you are locked up for a long period of time. Do not doubt that something can never happen — everything is possible! Keep your expectations open and your dreams big. Time has proved that nothing — good or bad — is impossible.


December 23, 2020
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