Monday, September 28, 2009

The Importance of Culture to the Average Kuwaiti (Part 4-Conclusion)

One could write complete volumes on this complex make-up that is the society of Kuwait today and still not conclude the complete picture accurately, at least not in so many ‘polite’ words!
Finally, consider the needs of this social mosaic as a whole; Economic factors of society like Land, Labor, Capital and Enterprise; The basic social needs like education, health, safety, security, all in all, confined within the responsibility matrix of the current system of government, throw in a few outside influences like political parties, religious zealots and economic disruptions, and you’ve got yourself one great cauldron of trouble brewing on a very large fire.

How is all this related to Kuwaitis and their culture, one may ask? Well, if we take into account that Cultural advances are the result of drastic changes in (or breaks from) from tradition, which are in turn a result of a shift in the reallocation of basic needs and resources to the consumers, one could well relate. For example, it has long been a tradition for the average Kuwaiti to voice his aggravations and bickering with the way things are handled by the Government at or within the confines of the Diwan, among his close friends and relatives. It wasn’t until much recently, with the advent of a Kuwait which had little more than 5 licensed newspapers and a propagandized State-run TV network, did we see Kuwaitis that are not afraid to publicly voice their opinions on the air and in the printed media-even her in the Blogosphere.
It’s a culture of “Free Speech”, which is-in my opinion-more hereditary than privileged by the Government, and it is this ingrained culture that has grafted the Kuwaiti Identity since the dawn of it's history, and it is this culture that certain elements within the Government are trying to clamp down on, as can be seen with the recent maneuvers against certain local writers, TV stations and newspapers, even though this has been going on since the 1980’s, longer than many may remember I suppose, but just a thought!

Furthermore, if one takes into account that, during the early days after the discovery of Oil (and all the other problems that were brought about with it, (such as assuming tribal & hereditary lineage where none exists!) one would find that, should any move or order made by the Government proves inconsistent with fairness, decency or equality, the many Elders of Kuwait would find no trouble with walking straight to the Emir’s office and straighten things out with him fankly and unhindered. Now days, however, people resort to texting a local Satellite Station for a callback and blowing off steam in front of potential millions, and at the behest of the Station managers, who themselves, more likely than not, are completely unaware of what it really means to be “Kuwaiti”.

One final analogy is when certain steps taken by, or with the approval of, the Government, which aim (directly or clandestinely) at erasing, eradicating or altering Kuwait’s history in one form or another, very little voices can be heard that would refute these steps. Worse still, one would find some voices actually applauding the move, ‘in the interest of fairness, constitutional correctness, diplomatic relations’ and any other feeble reason found in a “Diplomacy 101” course.
Examples range (sadly) from the attempts to unify the Kuwaiti Citizenship Laws, to amending the constitution to reflect a more ‘religious’ state, to assigning the Kuwaiti Citizenship to a list of shady characters with even shadier and unpronouncable names, to recognizing Tribal Emirs by patronizing their dinner invitations and unconstitutional bi-elections, all the way to the complete militarization of Kuwait’s natural islands for future use by the Government (as assumed, but in reality, turning them into private estates and beach houses!) Examples abound and all around, and the list goes on, but nothing is being done. At the same time, these issues constantly and successfully obscure the clandestine and gross raping of Kuwait's Economy by the powers that be.

I’m not condoning an uprising nor a revolution, but “something’s gotta give”, as they say, and if the Government is worried about people complaining about the recent Water Treatment fiasco, they’re more myopic than the word carries meaning! I’m not worried about what will happen, since I can surmise it in many different scenarios, but I am worried about the next stick being the final stick that will break the Camel’s back, because we’re still not prepared for it.

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