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Kuwait: My Blog is for Sale

As expected, news in a local newspaper that the Kuwaiti government is studying a proposal to monitor blogs did not go well with bloggers. One popular blogger decided to confront the news head on – announcing that his blog was for sale.

Frankom, who has been blogging since 2003, writes a post entitled “This blog is for sale“:

صحيح اني لم أعد أتحدث بالسياسة لسبب بسيط وهو وجود مدونات أخرى أفضل بكثير مني ولها جمهورها وقادرة على ايصال الرسالة بطريقة أفضل وأعمق … الخبر المنشور على صفحات جريدة القبس (اضغط هنا) ليس بجديد على الاطلاق ! بل أن المراقبة موجودة منذ سنوات ولكن يحتاج الامر الى مجرد خبرين أو ثلاث حتى يتأقلم الشارع مع مثل هذه الاخبار !! ولكن مالهدف منها ؟ وكيف ستتم المراقبة وعلى أي أساس ؟

الوضع من سيئ الى أسوأ !!

صباح الخير

While it is true that I have not been blogging about politics because of a simple reason and that is the presence of other blogs which are much better than mine and which have an audience and are able to express their messages in a way better and deeper than I would, news published in (Kuwaiti Arabic daily) Al Qabas (that the government is studying a proposal to monitor blogs) is not new at all! The monitoring of blogs has been going on for many years but needed two or three articles in the newspaper for people on the street to get used to such a development. What is the use of monitoring blogs? And how will they be monitored and why?

The situation is getting from bad to worse!!

Good morning.

This short post attracted 36 comments so far – which is a large number for this part of the world.

Musaed asks the obvious question:

بجم؟
:P
How much?

And Frankom answers:

مثل ما بي ام دبليو باعت روفر

one pound :)

For as much as BMW sold Rover – one pound :)

Jokes aside, the short post opened the door for discussing a number of issues irking Kuwaitis at the moment – among them the arrest and trial of political activists and bloggers, including the arrest of political activist Khalid Alfadalah – who is being held for criticising government policies. Kuwait has also detained for 48 days journalist and blogger Mohammed Aljasem, who has been released on bail and is awaiting trial. Aljasem has been detained for allegedly defaming Kuwaiti Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammed Al Sabah.

Nasser vents:

الديرة كل مالها تصير دولة بوليسية اكثر
قبل كنا نتغنى بديموقراطيتنا بس باحداث الشهرين اللي طافوا اكتشفنا ان ديموقراطيتنا وهم وحجي فاااضي
This country is turning into a police state more and more. Before, we used to sing laurels to our democracy but the incidents over the past two months have shown us that our democracy is a figment of our imagination and empty talk

.ol spells doom in his comment and writes:

شوف
انا اقولك

اذا نهايه العالم ماصارت 2012 :P
نهايه الكويت بتصير ب 2010 لووول

للأسف خلاص الكويت الحين على الحفه.. وانطر بعد جم سنه بتشوف شلون راح تنتهي
وراح تصير مثلها مثل اي دوله افريقيه فقيره

واذا صرنا مثل البحرين نعمه

وقتها تدري شراح يصير؟ راح ننطرد من مجلس التعاون الخليجي
وقتها لما ننطرد.. شوف عاد منو ياخذ الكويت يا السعوديه يا ايران :)

الله يرحم الحال بس
لا حكومه سنعه ولا مجلس سنع

ولا كباريه ومدراء سنعين.. كلن يبوق بخير هالديره

Look,
I am telling you

If the world did not end by 2012
The end of Kuwait will be in 2012 LOL

Unfortunately, Kuwait is now on the brink…Wait a few years and you will see its doom
We will be like any poor African state

And if we become like Bahrain, it will be a blessing

Do you know what will happen then? We will be thrown out of the Gulf Co-operative Council
Then you will see who takes Kuwait – it will either be Saudi Arabia or Iran

May Allah have mercy on us
We don't have a proper government nor a proper parliament

Not even dignitaries or proper managers. Everyone is stealing the blessings of this country.

Meanwhile, some readers did not see a problem with monitoring the blogs. 7moon notes:

و شنو فيها المراقبه؟ بالعكس شي جيد
المدونه يمكن تكون سلاح قوي , و تغير افكار ناس , سواء الى الاحسن او العكس

لازم يكون في كنترول شوي, و خطوط حمره واضحه

And what is wrong with monitoring the blogs? On the contrary, it is a good thing.
Blogs can be a powerful tool, and change the perceptions of people, whether for the good or the bad.
There has to be a little bit of control and clear red lines.

S. adds:

شبيراقبون ٩٩ بالأميه من المواضيع عن الكب كيك والكاكاو
What will they monitor? Ninety-nine per cent of the topics on blogs are about cup cakes and chocolate!

q8travelbud thinks that once monitoring and censorship take root, there will be no end. He writes:

I don’t think it’ll stop at political issues only!

And last but not least, another reader, who signed his name as Porsche Owner, concludes:

انا مستانس على كل شي يسوونه الحكومه لانه كل شي يسوونه قاعد يرجع عكسي عليهم ومن حسن حظ الشعب انه الحكومه موقادره تستوعب

قبل 30سنه كانت مظاهرات الاثنين عباره مئات او الف الفين شخص

اما اليوم قمنا نشوف مظاهرات العقيله والاندلس الحضور وصل 15-20 الف يعني جمهور ملعب

قبل 30 سنه اغلب المعارضين كانت اعمارهم فوق ال30
اما اليوم قمنا نشوف معارضين الحكومه واعمارهم من 18- 25 والدليل ايام نبيها خمسه والكل شاف الشباب الصغار واقفين..يعني حتى الصغار لاعت جبودهم من التعسف الحكومي

بالاضافه الى ذلك انضمت الطبقه المتوسطه الميسوره الى الطبقه تحت المتوسطه في خط المعارضه . يعني احنا نتكلم عن اكثر من 80% معارض من بين مليون كويتي

زبدة الحجي: اذا استمر نفس الحال من بوق حق اموال الدوله عيني عينك وظلم بالناس وكليوم وترك مطفين الكهربا وقاطعين الماي وقاطين شباب صغار بالسجن كل ابو قال كلمه او كتب سطر يعبر عن رايه…حزتها راح نشوف بعد 5 سنين معارضات بالشوارع عددها 50 الف وفوق …. وبعد 10 سنين راح نشوف 100 الف…حزتها منو بيقضبهم؟

وقتها اي اصطدام بين الحكومه والشعب راح تكون فيه الخساره للحكومه بدون شك

نصيحه للحكومه: اذا نفسكم طويل ترى نفسنا اطول :)

I am happy that everything the government does has an opposite reaction. What is good for the people is that the government is not comprehending this.

Thirty years ago, a few hundred people would turn up for demonstrations. Today, between 15,000 to 20,000 people show up – the equivalent of stadium spectators.

Thirty years ago, most of those in opposition were older than 30. Today we see opposition members whose ages range from 18 to 25 years, and the proof is the last few days, when young people stood up. This means that even youngsters are fed up of the government's abuse.

Moreover, those from the upper middle class all the way to those below the middle class are sympathetic to the opposition. This means that 80pc out of the one million Kuwaitis are in the opposition.

Moreover, if the situation of daylight robberies of public funding continues, people continue to suffer from injustice, electricity and water cuts continue and every time someone speaks up, he is thrown in jail – in five years, we will see opposition rallies and demonstrations attended by more than 50,000 people.. and if the situation worsens, there will be 100,000 people on the streets in 10 years. Will they then arrest them all?

When that happens, any confrontation between the government and the people will result in a loss for the government.

My advice to the government: If you have the will to continue with this, our will is stronger :)

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