Dr.. Sami Miari – Lecturer at Tel Aviv University and Oxford University and Director General of the Arab Economic Forum

The world is still facing the specter of the Corona virus and its repercussions on humanity with all available means and capabilities. We, in the Palestinian society at home, are witnessing a great impact of this crisis, which could hinder the economic development that we have witnessed in recent years. Concern increases, especially with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan, due to the possibility of an increase in the number of infected people in the Arab community and the increase in closures and their impact on economic facilities in the coming days. But this is mainly related to our social and economic behaviors during Ramadan. In order to avoid influence and overcome the crisis at all levels, and to preserve this month’s meanings, which God Almighty wanted to contribute to strengthening a way of life that rises to the level of teachings and maintains the continuity of the correct trend in human thought, it requires the Arab community, under the umbrella of the Arab Follow-up Committee, to work hard to contain the escalation of the crisis. In the near days through

Adhere to the instructions of the Ministry of Health regarding social and family gatherings. Therefore, the amount of expenses must be planned in advance according to reducing gatherings and seizing the opportunity to control consumption and rationalize expenditures.
Forming unified local committees in every Arab country composed of the People’s Committee, the Social Affairs Department and the Zakat Committee in order to conduct a local survey of needy families and provide assistance to these families. Emphasizing that the unified action of all local frameworks is necessary at this stage in order to reach all needy families in each country and allow aid to be distributed equally between families. This type of aid contributes to the solidarity framing one social fabric and noble values, and it has a huge role in managing the wheel of development and economic activity because it increases consumption in society, which stimulates economic activity and financial liquidity and reduces economic inequality between the classes of society, but what is required is activation and good management of this Aid and directing it in the right direction to fulfill the required purpose, and the basis of this is through reaching all needy families in the short term and investing them in productive projects instead of just distributing them in cash for consumption and spending in the long term.

Increasing control over prices. One of the worst phenomena in Ramadan is the exploitation of people by merchants and the market in raising prices, especially food products, vegetables, fruits, and clothes. The poor class, which constitutes nearly half of the Arab families, is the first affected by the flames of prices, as the poor have a reduced basket of purchases, and this toiling class indulges in the misery of providing the requirements of the Ramadan home. Therefore, a specialized committee must be formed by the Arab Follow-up Committee to monitor prices during the month of Ramadan and deal with caution with the market due to the high prices during Ramadan. The work of the committee is through disclosing it through the media and giving people the opportunity to go to this committee and report the interests that raise prices.

Rationalizing and controlling consumption in families and avoiding impulsive or spontaneous purchases by raising awareness of not being extravagant and unjustified waste that exacerbates our economic crises and empties the meaning of its content and its image is associated in the minds of food, drink and markets. Despite the economic progress that has taken place in recent years, the Arab society is still suffering under the pressure of an intractable economic crisis that worsens year after year, compared to the Jewish society, and the indicators of the Arab economy lead to uncomfortable results, as the percentage of Arab women in the labor force does not exceed 30% and the average per capita income The Arab is half the per capita income of the Jews, and nearly 55% of the Arab workers work for a few dirhams. Such realities necessitate systematic, comfortable economic planning. Perhaps what is striking is the behavior and planning of the Arab family during the holy month. The approach that is at the forefront is extravagance, waste, and unaccounted spending that lacks a balanced mechanism in calculations and estimates, which results in the entry of individuals and families into economic hardships and scarcity of income. Financial liquidity after the end of the holy month because of the above, so families are forced to resort to the black market and exploit people’s needs. Research indicates that nearly 60% of our purchasing decisions are impulsive decisions, which means that we can save 60% of our income and avoid entering the home budget into a deficit, so families are required to:

Smart shopping by going shopping at night, because the fasting person during the day is dragged to buy everything that falls in his eye in compliance with the appetite for food during fasting.
Pre-planning for purchases by recording a list of necessary needs before going shopping and sticking to it. The buyer has to deal with the purchase according to his ability, not according to his desire. If matters are left to desires, then they are unlimited and have no control over them. However, ability is the criterion on which the buyer must rely so that he is not lured into unbearable burdens and financial incapacity.
For one family member to buy, not all family members, in order to reduce the purchase of items that are not registered in the list of needs and to prevent large mixing in public places in light of the spread of the virus.
Sufficiency in specific cooking according to the needs of family members, and not extravagance and waste of food.
Exploiting the month of Ramadan to reduce the level of consumption and not to increase consumption.

Enriching successful management during the month of Ramadan through household planning and rationalizing spending. The individual’s income during twelve months must be balanced with spending over twelve months, but what happens is that spending increases in the month of Ramadan, followed by the two holidays, as well as the start of the school year, and this means that spending for the Arab family in one year is equivalent to sixteen months, and this leads to imbalance and shortage In the budget for four months a year. The Arab family must reconcile its financial capacity and expenditures through a culture of rational spending. Once again, care must be taken to establish a culture of moderate and balanced spending through coordination and balance between income and expenditure.
The economy is the backbone of life and the focus of conflicts between states and nations. It directly affects social formation and has a role in this system of human production. This requires us to take individual and collective responsibility in order to prevent the waste of our economy, which is based on wrong behaviors that drain our capabilities and resources, and requires us to create valuable behavioral habits that contribute to social and economic stability.