This is a call to arms from an Arab to the Arab world to read, under the title: Reading must once again be the Arab world's loyal friend.
It is much called for and for particularly reasons relating to the concept of Arab Renaissance:
If the Arab world is to break free from its World 3 status and the recurring cycle of violence, oppression and conflict, it must adopt a set of policies and scholarly virtues that can sustain civil society after system change.
The article on The National is coated in Arab folklore, but based on rationality:
Researchers studying reading performance results among students at the highest achieving school districts across the United States found that the most successful were the ones that asked their students to do a daily independent reading assignment.
The message is also a message to the affluent West, where "brain-gain" may be achieved through immigration, as much as these efforts are successful, but a peculiar form of "brain-drain" is caused by the replacement of literary culture with hyper-visual entertainment culture or pop culture - often referred to as "dumbing down" and, in a major work by Allan Bloom and Saul Bellow dubbed The Closing of the American Mind.
Hanada Taha-Thomura writes:
In his book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell argued that the magic number to excel in any field, is 10,000 hours of practise. Accepting this premise, it would take an individual up to 13.7 years of reading two hours a day to hit Gladwell's target.
She touches on the difficulties with an old-fashioned education system and, on the other side, the temptations of modernity to replace reading with television.
Depending on business fluctuations higher learning may seem more or less useful, as The Economist is currently trying to instigate a debate about, but in the greater scheme of things: Classical education is never wasted, and when comes to survival, individually and collectively as a culture, the people that dismiss learning as a lifestyle quickly becomes redundant.
Their culture may have fascinating or even admirable qualities, but in the race for cultural and dominance the evolutionary law is the same that governs nature: You must adapt or fall into extinction. In the life of cultures the most knowledgeable are also the most capable, hence the saying that knowledge is power.
But knowledge must be continuously updated, and the capacity to learn stimulated on a daily basis, in order to keep lethargy from setting in. The step after lethargy is depression, whether in the individual life or in the economy of a nation.