Saturday, March 01, 2008

Patriotism, what?

I've just spent the last couple of hours watching a special program on Alwatan TV where the host, Khalid Al Abduljaleel, who is usually a Thursday night-only guest in the weekday talk show "Taw El Leil" hosted a series of interviews, both in studio and over the phone, discussing the recent moves in the Mughnia issue that has swept Kuwait like a firestorm in recent days.

What I'd like to know is, where exactly does patriotism cease to be patriotism, and become over-inflated rush of emotions? When did we all become so patriotic that we forgo who we really are?

Speaking as a Kuwaiti, and to Kuwaitis only, I say this: Read your History!

We don't need to indulge ourselves in feeble disguises of patriotism and loyalism to Lord and Country...our short but rich history allows us to pride ourselves in the achievements of our ancestors and grandfathers, who were all in one camp in confronting the dangers of the past, both natural and neighborly.

We don't need to make our children memorize 'we love Kuwait and Baba Sabah' and force them to repeat it every day in front of the cameras! We don't need to paint our faces with the Kuwait flag's colors, and make baseball caps and Dishdashas out of the flags in order to show our pride as nationals of this small but proud country! We don't need to sacrifice our intelligence for the sake of our emotions just to prove just how much we love Kuwait.

We are an intelligent people, educated beyond the basics of reading and writing. We have a thriving economy that is run-contrary to international opinion, by Kuwaiti Captains of Industry. We have a very liberal and outspoken opposition that is so free in it's prorogation of opinions that it's patrons are free to establish international Satellite channels to voice their opinions, especially during the Parliamentary elections.

We don't need to see Kuwaiti lawyers on TV talking about how we should 'love' our country when we should have these same lawyers talk to us about how to amend the laws of the land so that silly issues like the Mughniya fiasco never occur, and if they ever do, how they should be dealt with within the realm of the Law and the Courts. We need to know how the Kuwaiti Ministers should be empowered to swiftly deal with crises before they become so inflammable that they overspill to other countries, not tone them down under the table!

We need to be assured that whoever desires the separation of Sunnis and Shiites in Kuwaiti under the banner of patriotism are dealt with in the harshest of means and to the strictest letter of the Law. We need to know that our leaders are well endowed with executive powers to deal with and uproot all forms of terrorism and extremism, be it local or internationally sponsored.

Again, I blame the weak educational system in Kuwait, and I'm not referring to Secondary school education! I mean socio-political education, whereby the state, in it's responsibility to create and protect a freely thinking society, should inform, guide and educate it's citizens about parliamentary life, political life and electoral responsibilities so that the simpleton Kuwaiti would understand the difference between a Candidate for the people and a Candidate for the tribe! We need to see how the Woman's vote plays a role in our lives, and how we can distinguish between those that can deliver our needs to the Government and those that need to be delivered to the nut house!

Had people chose wisely two years ago, characters like Adnan Abdulsamad and Ahmed Lari would not be representing their constituents in Parliament, and would not have subjected them, as well as all other Kuwaitis, to the shame that has come to be known as the 'Glorification' of a murderer, especially in times of Patriotic festivities and Shiite-specific religious events, of all others!

There's an excellent Kuwaiti play, called "Hami El Diyar", (Protector of the Homes), a sort of 'Cliff's Notes' shortcut to Kuwaiti history, both political and religious. It exactly and accurately personifies everything that Kuwaitia stand for (or at least, should!), and how they tackle and overcome the hardships of the past, and learned from them in order to overcome those of the present.

We are a great people, we are a proud country, one that has produced great leaders, whose soft and sincere words have moved the world's leaders to a standing ovation. Let's not forget that!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your post moved me and I am not even Kuwaiti! You were very eloquent, I hope Kuwaiti's will read this and take to heart what a wonderful country they have. From what I have seen here, Kuwaitis need to be more pro-active in their involvement in Kuwait, they have been given a blessed oppurtunity at being Kuwaiti, a blessing some would kill for.