Kuwait: “Stand up and fight for your youth!”

Kuwaiti Abdulla Al-Moussawi, “Sayed, The Pearl of Arabia,” dubbed as the next Maradona, has been an issue of much controversy on Mark's blog.

Abdulla is a talented nine-year-old, who had a YouTube clip post of him playing soccer. It was then that Marcel, a Dutchman interested in scouting young soccer athletes, viewed the clip in disbelief and awe. Marcel got in touch with the family and flew down to Kuwait to verify the talent, then went out of his way with the Kuwaiti government to see to it that Abdulla moves to Holland with his family, to continue his soccer education, and hopefully become, according to Marcel “one of the world's greatest football players in history!”

Though it was a struggle for Marcel at first, the Kuwaiti Government did eventually state “that they would support Abdulla and his family” in the beginning. However,”they failed to do so”, Marcel says.

This of course raised the question of to what extent is the government responsible for its youth and developing its talent, to what extent did it have to cater to the family's expenses too, and why should it support a Kuwaiti who might one day play for the Dutch team?

Marcel put it beautifully in the following:

… Even though no one knows what will happen in the future, to deny a young boy his opportunity to develop his unique talent cause he might be playing for the Dutch National Team, is in my opinion -at least- naive. Kuwait, stand up and fight for your youth!

…. I’m convinced that any Government chosen by its citizens, has an obligation to help those who depend on them. Not for themselves, but for the future of the country.

…. Abdullah’s family don’t want to be seen as martyrs. Because they’re not. They’re a proud Kuwaiti family, which wants to educate their children at the best way they can. Like any other parents. By coincidence this family also happens to be blessed with an extremely talented kid. How wonderful this seems at first sight, it asks a lot of sacrifice of the family. They want to make this sacrifice, but without help it won’t be enough. Extraordinary situations ask for extraordinary solutions. In that case its important that you can count on your own people, your country and your Government. Without their sincere commitment it will be impossible.

Abdulla also had a documentary made after him, “filmed in Holland, broadcast on Dutch National Television and screened in Dubai at the Gulf Film Festival 2009″. He had become a popular icon in Dutch media.

The majority of responses to Marcel's writing seem to be disappointed to the lack of attentiveness, appreciation, and support of the Kuwaiti Government to foster Abdulla's talent, especially because they can afford it. They also appraised and had much respect for people like Marcel, who took initiative into supporting Abdulla, and enabled him to pursue further training and development in Holland for three months, only to be appalled and let down by the lack of support from the Kuwaiti Government, that has caused the departure of Abdulla and his family back to Kuwait again.

In the comments to the post, Nael wrote:

Sadly, this is the case in almost the entire Arab world, skilled and talented people aren’t being appreciated, so they go to immigrate to countries that will actually do….

odawg added:

Is it not a shame that us Kuwaitis refuse to recognise and develop talent? I’ve seen kids playign on the street who make the Kuwait national team look like a bunch of jokers. Kuwait competd in the world cup decades ago and we can do it again – Kuwait give Sayyed a helping hand give other talented youth a helping hand even if it means growing our talent outside our desert. Marcel – RESPECT for recognising this young talent – the amount of young footballers who have come out of Holland are because of men like you. Thank you Holland for trying to grow our talent. Kuwait- shame on you :(

And AB noted:

What is the use of the Public Authority for Youth & Sports when it cannot relaize the talent his little guy has and help him in becoming on of the best players in the world. Investing in this kid will help shape the future of Kuwaiti football.I hope someone in a position reads about this little guy and takes notice before it is too late..

What becomes of our future “Maradona” then?

Start the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site