Kuwait: Election rhetoric, arrests and the whole shebang

Greetings fellow global bloggers and readers! My name is Amer Al-Hilal and I am the new ‘Global Voices’ co-author covering Kuwait; a vibrant, highly passionate and astute blogging community, one that has throughout the years encompassed all sorts of interests and events, from consumer-oriented services and products to politically charged calls for protecting freedom of speech, culminating with and leading the ‘Orange’ 5 for Kuwait movement, which has led to the government redistricting five political constituencies instead of 25.

Ever since the dissolution of Parliament and the announcement of the Kuwaiti elections (to be held May 16) bloggers have been in overdrive posting about the ongoing drama and the cynicism concerning our upcoming elections (our third in four years). Let me kick off my introductory post with some election-related coverage:

Blogger Mako Amal (There is no hope), in a post titled Oh Minister of Interior: The Awazim Tribe and Hadas Have Raped the Law, asks the Minister of Interior why he hasn’t acted yet to uphold the law banning consultative elections featuring the Awazim tribe – proof of which is in the following You Tube video posted by Mako Amal:

In other election-related news, Hilaliya reports on the arrest of Municipality Council and Parliamentary candidate Khalifa Al-Khorafi by the State Security for criticizing the ruling family, and elaborates:

“Additionally, there are reports that Badah Al-Hajeri, ‘Scope TV’ s anchor has also been summoned for questioning. Islamist MP Daifallah Bu Ramiah is still under house arrest at the State Security apparatus for insulting the Defense Minister and Acting Prime Minister stating he ‘wasn't fit to be Prime Minister’.”

Meanwhile, Here There And Everywhere’s Intlxpatr praises the role of the current US ambassador to Kuwait Deborah Jones in her post “Kuwait Will Work It Out”:

“No one can accuse Jones of being a weenie. The woman is lion. And you get the feeling she loves what she is doing, and that she is truly connected with issues and activities in Kuwait.”

Moving on to other matters, Anafilibini in her post entitled “120 KD For A Filipino Professional Nurse?” criticizes the low salary requirements offered to a Filipino nurse to come work in a Kuwait hospital:

“Com'on Kuwait, if you want grade A, qualified medical professional you gotta PAY UP! Our company tea boy get paid more than that and more – I heard that doctors all over this country is going on strike because of low wages and I have a friend who's wife gave birth but had to endure 5 operations due to one botched job after another.”

Kuwait Advertiser writes about his ‘Trip to Bahrain’, saying:

“We flew out to Bahrain last week Thursday, first time with Jazeera Air. Not bad at all… My friend Hamad from Saudi told me not to miss out on ice-cream from the Marble Slab Creamery… found it in Seef Mall. We rented a car, pretty cheap and drove around the island. One of the places that amazed me was the man-made islands that the built and then do developments on the islands. Really beautiful places.”

In a post entitled ‘Missing POWS’ blogger TeachTheMasses School Days highlights a little known humanitarian tragedy involving Kuwait POWs and other nationals missing from the Iraq occupation of Kuwait:

“Imagine the heartache if you are still waiting for news of a loved one after 19 years. Imagine the 19 year olds in Kuwait and elsewhere who never got to meet their father because he was one of the Iraqi ‘disappeared’. This needs to be concluded once and for all.”


Some Contrast posts an interesting tidbit about the probability of the ailing national carrier Kuwait Airways:

“Might be just a rumor circulating on emails, but Kuwait Airways are thinking of re-designing their look for their aircrafts. the one I liked is option #3”

Blogger Twenty Three criticizes CNN anchor Jack Cafferty due to his previous views on ‘radical Islam’ and his current view that obese passengers should pay for two seats on a plane.

“So instead of asking the question Cafferty ‘should obese people pay for two seats’ – how about ‘should airlines make bigger seats and stop being greedy gold-diggers’ ……. kind of like schools here in Kuwait, fill as many seats as possible regardless of whether children have room to walk around their classrooms..”

Our last stop is with Don Veto, who highlights Kuwait pictures taken in 1961 by Verity Cridland, who explains that the photographs were taken by her mother as ‘color slides,’:

“In 1961 cameras were hardly airtight and these pictures had a lot of dust on them. This was on the actual film rather than just dust from old age! They also had a scratch on each slide caused by sand and grit inside the camera.


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