"Law" is originally a Greek word, which means the origin or foundation of everything. Hence, the
Constitution (law) is referred to as the Basic Law, because establishing of the state, relies on its elements,
exactly as in the case of building foundation. The law transits society from chaos to order. Accordingly,
law is usually referred to as “Order”. Even the Qanoon (musical instrument), its name is inspired from the
regularity of its strings in parallel lines with proportional lengths.
Since the law – in the form of rules and regulations – is the system that governs the actions of individuals
and groups in society, it is necessary and logical for every citizen to have a general knowledge of the laws
that crystallize mostly in determining his rights and duties towards society and other individuals, from the
perspective of his personal interest that shall be in conformity with the private interests of others, which
results in an a outcome, referred to as the public interest, in which the State is responsible protect and
care for.
This knowledge of laws can be called general legal culture. If the simplest concept of culture is to know a
little about most things, legal culture can mean knowing the citizen by the rules governing his rights and
duties. The question is, does our society has legal culture?
Whoever contemplates the current situation in our society, clashes with the fact that the absence of legal
culture, even many of those who work in legal profession lack this culture. This fact has opened the
headlines of what has been termed the contents and components of culture, as legal culture is not so
common in our society. The branches of culture were limited, for public and intellectuals, in philosophy,
and literature of all kinds: poetry, stories, novels, plays, and other types of arts. The vast majority of
readers in our societies enjoy poetry, read stories and novels, and a fair number of people attend plays,
and more number watches television series and movies. No one is surprised that there is not a single
person who enjoys legal texts, or entertained by the way legal texts are formulated. Especially, if we learn
that legal culture is a spiritual culture or a culture of entertainment. The legal rules are not suitable for
compositions, singing, tickling emotions, or dancing on or around them. They are strict, rigid, dry without
melody or rhyme.
To conclude, our society, like other Arab societies, suffers to some extent from a legal cultural illiteracy.
Consequently, most citizens do not know all their rights, freedoms, scope, duties, importance and
necessity. If we look at most of the protests we witnessed recently, we find that they did not derive from
knowledge and legal culture of the laws, especially those laws that determine the rights and duties. If this
knowledge existed, the protests would have been fewer, more useful and responsive. As some protests
just occur because a group of citizens think they are entitled to some rights, and that’s why rightful and
un-rightful protests could be all messed up.