Wednesday, February 04, 2009

“Tarnishing”/“Soiling” Kuwait’s Image

There is an article in the Arab Times today about an article that appeared in an Egyptian newspaper, Al-Ahram, that supposedly has “Soiled Kuwait’s Image. First and foremost, media folks: When you publish an article, you need to make reference to what was SAID in the source. This particular one goes on and on and on without ever mentioning specifics about the “scandal” as they said. Kuwait media is notorious about this; they could, at the very least, post a link so that people would know what is up. This is just bad journalism, but we know that already. Generally, periodicals in Kuwait are afraid of getting themselves in trouble by re-publishing the point of controversy. However, if an article (like this one) says nothing – then why not print something else of interest that you can be specific about? Don’t we have enough going on in Kuwait to take up a 3” space?

There are a lot of not-so-flattering stories all over the world about Kuwait. Do you think they are “tarnishing/soiling” the image of Kuwait – or is everyone entitled to an opinion? Kuwait has screamed “democracy” for years and years, but technically, Kuwait’s government is not a democracy: Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy, so free speech is if-fy. Personally, I think that the truth will always get out, regardless and we can all learn from a multitude of different opinions and perspectives – which is why we all read and watch the news (and those of us who live in semi-democratic countries occasionally get the real deal, most often just not till later).

I heard just last night about a subscription service called “BuRashed” which automatically sends out SMSs (unfortunately, just in Arabic) about all kinds of news and gossip from all over Kuwait – including car accidents, photos, etc. I am dying to know more about this. Is it a mini/Kuwait version of YouTube on your mobile phone?

Speaking of perspectives, I received this article from a friend the other day and I found it very interesting. I dunno, others might think that it is “tarnishing” to the image of Kuwait, but “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear” (so to speak). From the International Schools Review website: Culture Shock Kuwait: "....if you go to Kuwait you will be exposed to a myriad of things that may upset you and you have no power to change or help. This article is meant to be a ‘heads-up’ for Western teachers considering teaching in Kuwait.” It was written by an American teacher who worked in Kuwait for 3 years and gives his perspective on life here.

I occasionally get comments from my very own beloved readers saying catchy things like, “If you no like Kuwait, why you don’t go HOME!” (obviously having only read one posting and forming a conclusion.) Blogs are perspectives. I hope I convey how much I love Kuwait, but like every society, there is some tarnish. Is anyplace in the world without flaw? (I’m thinking Tahiti….)


Zaydoun said...

The same people crying over our "tarnished" image are the same ones actually doing the tarnishing!

Just a casual flip through any of Kuwait's newspapers will give new visitors severe "agita", and give the impression that the lunatics have been let out of the asylum and are now running the country!!

It's all out there in the open for everyone to read, so I wish everyone would quit whining and actually work to make Kuwait a better country!

Chirp said...

Whats this BuRashed service?? Is it going to be the perezhilton of kuwait or something?

Desert Girl said...

Zaydoun - Good choice of words. I agree with you.

Chirp - we can only dream. I need more info about it, so I'll ask and you ask and let me know.

forzaq8 said...

i expected Zaydoun to explain the article :P
Anyway in short
The problem isn't that someone wrote an article about Kuwait, the problem was who wrote it

The article talk about the parliament and how it’s making Kuwait backward and name one of the members (Ahmad AlSa’adon) as the main culprit

after the members at parliament complained how an Egyptian governmental newspaper write an article like that , they found that it wasn't written by newspaper staff but paid for BY KUNA the official Kuwait news agency

Anonymous said...

Culture Shock Kuwait - what an apt piece of writing !

Anonymous said...

bu rashid is a news service that is a bit sarcastic and entertaing for zain customers and slightly gossipy. -wataniya slave

Desert Girl said...

Forzaq8 - Thanks for the info. I love it! Ahhhh, the twists and turns!

It really doesn't matter what the story is, as long as the newspaper/media explains it after they mention it (and that - reported by you - was a great story!)

Newspapers in Kuwait are a PITA because they throw you something and then you have to go ask around to discover the rest of the story. If you are going to print the news, report the actual news.

I'm very glad that someone turned me onto blogs in Kuwait because I get much more answers.

Anonymous - thanks for the bu rashid tip. Inquiring minds need to know! :)

behbehani said...

i read the culture shock article ... this is so sad ... Kuwaitis didn't use to be like that ... most still have the old Kuwaiti spirit of kindness and generousity within them ... they just got misguided along the way due to the weird things that happened to our society in recent history ... all this sudden wealth, wars, westernisation and globalisation ... our culture got diluted and we imported the bad stuff from the west like superficilaism,individualism and consumerism and left out the good stuff like rule of law and respect for people's backgrounds and racial equality ... have we lost our Kuwatiness? the spirit of our forefather ... the kind sailor who welcome all to his ship ... the generous bedouin who will serve his guests and treat them well ... wjere have they gone! ... this is so sad ... i'm in tears ... may God forgive us ... Kuwait deserves better ..