Across the Arab world, technology is helping people in solving economic problems, create start-ups, and improve educational quality. It is mesmerizing how even the most basic technology like featured phones are helping people solve immediate social and economic needs.
The influence of the western world has led to the emergence of the internet in the life of Arabs. However, initially, it has been adopted and used for purposes specific to Arab societies. Most Arab nations like the UAE, Saudi Arabia were the front runners in adopting technological development.
Cultural norms of most Arab nations are shaped by Islamic traditions. That could be one of the reasons the use of internet technology was primarily restricted to business purposes. Because factories, organizations, and institutions rely on the internet to function. It’s difficult to imagine talking about an economic revolution without the use of the internet.
Though internet technology to individual users reached late, it had an immensely fast growth rate. According to internet world stats, approximately 4 % of internet users in the world are from the Middle East. When the world average internet penetration rate stands at 56.8%, the Middle East is leading by 67.2%.
Surprisingly, the largest number of YouTube users are from Saudi Arabia, of which the number of women users is much higher. For Arab youth, the internet is a source of education, entertainment, and interconnectivity. With access to knowledge and connecting them to the world, technology has managed to empower the people from all strata of society.
The people of the Middle East have started utilizing various technological avenues to express their views and thoughts. The rise of social media influencers is one such way to reach out to the world. They cover everything from travel, to cuisine, to their cultural values, to getting their voices heard which otherwise found a negligible place in western media.
There is no doubt that the younger generation has embraced the changing technology much faster. Believe it or not, they are even exploring rather an unconventional territory like finding love and romance online. Grabbing to the opportunity several Arab dating sites have started catering specifically to Arab singles settled around the world.
The advent of technological advancement also gave rise to several successful start-ups. Maktoob was one such successful start-up from Amman, Jordan, which was bought by Yahoo for $164 million. Any discussion about the Arab start-ups is incomplete without mentioning the acquisition of regional ride-hailing firm Careem by Uber for $3.1 billion.
These are some of the big names which narrate the success story of educated entrepreneurs. However, there are millions of stories about small traders who have utilized telecom and IT revolution and keeping pace with changing the world. A small crafts trader in Jordan can now sell his products anywhere in the world through eCommerce sites like amazon.com
The most impressive changes brought by technology are in the field of education. Digital devices undoubtedly become a vital necessity for urban students in the past few years. It has also helped to connect students from remote locations to mainstream education. Digital devices have drastically changed the student’s habit. Due to the current global pandemic, technology also played a crucial role in the continuity of education. Many online learning websites are helping students learn even when they were away from the schools.
The biggest game-changer here is that the Arab nations have stopped seeing technology as a problem but an asset for the common man. Be it in the medical field or manufacturing sector, both government and individuals are readily using technology to improve the quality of life. The transformation that technology has brought about in the Arab world is more for good rather than for ill. Thanks to the progressive outlook and futuristic approach of the governments. One can be positively hopeful about the future impact of technologies to only reap further rewards for the Arab world and its people.