Thursday, November 14, 2013

Kuwait's Urban Crisis

Did anybody go to this?  How was it?


Antonia said...

Yes, I attended this lecture and it was really good. Farah hit the nail on the head with several of the issues and brought to everyone's attentions that the continued segration of Kuwait's population is moving the society in a direction that is foreign to its historic roots and it will only get worse.
The idea of the city is no longer being implemented here in Kuwait, with the demolition of residential areas within the city proper and the movement of people to the suburbs basically breaking down the organic entity that is the city: where everything occurs within the same space (work, school, jogging, walking dogs, people watching, shopping, eating, etc. all at the same time). Downtown Kuwait is now primarily business and offices, which is not what a city actually is, and even then it is segregated into specific areas based on product.
There was also concern about the fact that there are no good roads as well as (almost) non-existent sidewalks, all of which are necessary for a city to function properly, and yet are completely ignored.
The violence is also due to the continued segregation of the population (Kuwaiti vs other, and even within that other they are segregated, as evidenced as far back as the 1970s) and is a direct outgrowth of all these problems, and more. The 'moral aka sexual fear' that is now an issue (and WHY is that even an issue anyway?), the segregated hours for Kuwaitis and expats for medical care (seriously?!), the issue of the Bedoun citizenship, are all factors that show that the city in Kuwait is everything BUT a city and things need to change while there is still hope for change.

Desert Girl said...

Thanks Antonia. I wish I could have gone, but I only heard about it on short notice. Sounds like a fascinating topic.

Anonymous said...

I do think that you, Desert Girl, could have contributed greatly to this topic, so sorry that you missed it. Although I think that segregation of males/females at the private college level is to a disadvantage to the students who will later work together in the workplace, I don't feel that segregation plays a significant role in the violence levels in Kuwait. The UAE is very segregated, and a much more conservative society than Kuwait, yet they have low violence levels in comparison. The lack of government consistency in the legal system in Kuwait, which the Dr. highlighted is at the core of this issue, and less we forget, the elephant in the room is 'wasta'. I think the population of Kuwait started to depend and 'expect' the wasta system, because of the failure of the government to implement consistent 'law and order'. You also have a society that runs like a 1970's grid. Everything is networked in the UAE, from your driver's license, registration, iqama etc. and without this integrated network and the overhaul of law enforcement, this country will see violence levels increase. "The basic duty of All governments is to provide security and to maintain and develop infrastructure in Any given country."