Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tarsheed: The joke that is Kuwait

I don't usually watch Kuwait TV, not out of preference to another channel (well, maybe a little) but mostly due to very little time to spend on TV. I prefer watching some downloaded series, or some Discovery channel documentaries, etc. But ever since Ramathan began, I have been more inclined to surf the channels, looking for something that doesn't involve men slapping their wives, or spoilt children wasting their parents' hard-earned cash, or divorced moms trying to make amends with their family. The list, unfortunately, leaves such series like Tash Ma Tash and Freej - way to go for intellectual education in the Middle East, but there you go!

Lately, however, I've come to see more and more ads from Tarsheed that defy logic! At first, it was barely passable to tolerate those annoying ads whenever the consumption reaches "programmable shutdown" status, or those pesky telephone calls asking us to switch off our AC's in the middle of the day, or that terrible common Kuwaiti language they use as voice-over information (Personally, i don't call the water heater a 'beeilar', or us the word '3ashaan' when i'm talking in an official tone!). But lately, things have gone from bad to worse!

Now there's that joker with the semi-grown salt-and-pepper goatee and the dried pieces of palm tree wood in his hands, talking about how we're so lucky to have electricity powering all our needs and desires, and how we should all be thankful to God's miracle!

How is it that saving and economizing on utilities is a form of obedience is beyond me, but to have someone like that joker wave about a few pieces of wood, and warning the viewers that this would be our destiny if we didn't economize is not only silly, it's insulting!

By comparison, when the same ad shows Dr. Al Awadhi talking slowly, factually, and intelligently, i find myself actually listening - and to some extent, be convinced - that he's actually making sense. There's a stark difference in education, and it's presented clearly when viewing these two different ads, but I fail to see the logic behind having both a scary-looking joker and a PhD in Islamic Sciences both sending the same message. Demographic segregation perhaps? What's even more laughable is the way the message is being presented to the masses, it's as if it was OUR fault that electricity consumption is so high.

We have become the laughing stock of the GCC; Qatari ads are mocking us, GCC citizens are appalled at how low Kuwait has fallen from grace, the rest of the world is writing about how a rich country like Kuwait is asking it's people to economize because the power infrastructure is not meeting demands, and that's just what I see in the newspapers! And now this bearded joker who thinks we're some sort of sheep that would follow him to the gates of hell talks to us about being grateful to Allah for all his creations, including Electricity.

I was so fed up, I decided to contact the Tarsheed people (800 222) and speak my mind. I was received by some bored guy, who agreed with me in principle, but 'wasn't aware' of the ad in question! Although I asked him to convey my discussion with him to the people in charge, I'm doubtful it'll go anywhere, but at least i raised a flag with someone!

I hope some of you out there would be able to do the same, power of the people and all that!


chikapappi said...

I've seen it & it drives me crazy especially with the "salt & pepper" guy :P

They waste so much money on the campaign bas still manage to have these people go on TV & talk about "tarsheed" and "3adam elesraf".. I'm afraid people won't do anything..

bashar said...

Give him a break. The guy is probably there just to make some money during summer :P

I am thinking, I wrote my own longest post perhaps on Tarsheed, same u did and many others. How about a Wiki or shared blog on anti-tarsheed for all to speak their mind.