Monday, March 27, 2006

The Libyan Family

Family’s relationships are no doubt the fundamental base that a society is built on and therefore; this society’s strength and lasting depends strongly on this smaller social structure.

I personally come from a typically traditional society, where the relationships are closely embroidered between its members, all the family members, headed by the father, live under one roof and comply with family rules. Important decisions concerning any of the family members are discussed by everyone and taken democratically, though the final word always depends on the head of the family’s acceptance.

Different from the other societies, especially of the modern world, Libyan family relationships are amazingly strong. People’s loyalty to their families is surprisingly unlimited, one would sacrifice his life and give up anything for another and this reveals the importance of the family relationships and more importantly their reflection and influence on the society’s structure.

Similarly to all other human relationships and activities, family relationships in general, particularly in my country have advantages and disadvantages. Being a member of a typical Libyan family for example is enough to make you feel secure, all the family gives unlimited support for you in all aspects, you feel cared for, thought of and never forsaken by all of them, in other words; you feel that you literally live in a community.

On the other hand, the same family can be a source of frustration and disappointment for some of your dreams and ideas in view of the fact that at one point you don’t actually have a personal viewpoint, your decisions can never be taken independently. You simply lack a space of privacy, the case that might be unbearable for some people.

As a result of the communicational revolution and the rapid changes that have happened and are still happening as a response to its requirements, the way of life and its styles have had to be modified and so have the relationships between people accordingly. Fortunately or unfortunately - I can’t really be sure. The case is similar in my country to some extent, people have changed and are still continuing to change, selfishness has started eating into the beautiful core inside us, people are being very materialistic, all they think of is their own benefits. Ethics, principles, dignity, love and fairness are lost or ignored.

To put it differently, notwithstanding the change is a must to cope with modern life, the challenge remains of how we can modify our life to meet the necessities of the modern world without losing humanity.

Abdurahman Abudeyah

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