Recreation vs violence
An essential part of the state’s mission is to prepare the atmosphere for recreation
Recreation is an essential and original part of man’s existence and vitality. Recreation trains one’s decorum and helps one see with relativity. The lack of recreation causes societies to stagnate and not see things from different angles. Theater, for example, is a platform to display different characters and scenarios. The script divides truth among characters, who play their roles and allow viewers to see different worlds.
An essential part of the state’s mission is to prepare the atmosphere for recreation. This is why Saudi King Salman ordered the establishment of the committee for recreation in May. And during his recent US visit, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with Six Flags President and CEO Jim Reid. Six Flags operates 18 parks across North America, including theme parks, water parks and family entertainment centers. In 2014, 25 million people visited these parks.
Recreation is a general concept that includes everything that lessens man’s burdens. When entertainment is organized in the context of institutional work, it contributes to strengthening the meaning of the state, nurtures society’s knowledge and educates ascending generations. Recreation is vital for communication, developing relations with others, and helping people improve their choices. This contributes to decreasing politically harmful social stress.
Recreation contributes to developing society and encouraging it to interact with politicians to take beneficial measures on the developmental, economic and social fronts. Tension, insecurity and immorality are partly due to suffocation from stress and people’s inability to vent. In the long run, this will have catastrophic results politically.
An environment void of recreation is an environment where violence grows.Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran
Through recreation, we can protect our state and its institutions. We must overcome routine, where time passes by without creating means to renew visions and refine talents. An environment void of recreation is an environment where violence grows.
Through arts and entertainment, it is possible to understand others and diverse cultures. Art and entertainment proceed gradually and are welcomed by the majority of society, unlike cultural theories or attempts to achieve change via books and stories. When a welcoming space with recreation is created, the desire for life increases and desperation decreases. Our resistance to what is different will thus decrease.
Humans are laughing beings who resist confusion with satire and entertain their loneliness through dialogue. An example is theatre, which enhances the audience’s role in judging what is before them. Since theater is arts’ spiritual father and is the most charming platform in human history, it can be considered essential in the entertainment industry.
When a welcoming space with recreation is created, the desire for life increases and desperation decreases. Our resistance to what is different will thus decrease.Fahad Suleiman Shoqiran
In ancient Greece, theaters were constructed from wood, and would be torn down to be reconstructed elsewhere. Later on, each city had its own theater for purposes other than performing plays, such as reading poetry or playing music. This is how humans were 500 years ago.
During his interview with Al Arabiya news channel in May, Prince Mohammed’s vision on entertainment was clear. Asked about culture and entertainment, he said: “The income level in Saudi Arabia is one of the best in the world, but… the problem is that there are no tools to spend this income in a way that will reflect on the Saudi’s well-being in life.”
The king ordered the establishment a committee for recreation, and foreign recreational companies will land in Saudi Arabia to create a welcoming atmosphere. Recreation is not a luxury but a necessity. Without it, one’s real existence is never complete.
This article was first published in Asharq al-Awsat on June 23, 2016
Fahad Shoqiran is a Saudi writer and researcher who also founded the Riyadh philosophers group. His writings have appeared in pan-Arab newspaper Asharq al-Awsat, Alarabiya.net, among others. He also blogs on philosophies, cultures and arts. He tweets @shoqiran.