Kuwait: Egyptian Student Dismissed for Asking About the Revolution

This Friday, Kuwaitis had to read with shock the news of a 10-year-old Egyptian student called Bassim Mohammed Fathi, who was dismissed from all schools in Kuwait for asking one simple question “Why don't you have a revolution?”

The shocking part of the story was in the fact that his teacher reported him to the Ministry of Education, which took the decision to dismiss him. The child's father complained to the legal authority of the Ministry, which made a counter-decision to reinstate the child in the school, just 24 hours after the news spread through Kuwaiti newspapers.

Schoolboy in Kuwait. Image by Flickr user Steve & Jemma Copley (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Schoolboy in Kuwait. Image by Flickr user Steve & Jemma Copley (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Decision condemned

Kuwaiti tweeps reacted against this decision and appealed to the Minister of Education to interfere to get Bassim back to school. Parliamentary members have also interfered and the minister Ahmad Al-Mulaifi said the child had made negative remarks against Kuwait.

Kuwaiti tweep, Dr. Fawaz Al-Farhan (@FawazFarhan), was one of the first to condemn this unfair decision of the ministry saying:

على الوزير المليفي أن يرد اعتبار الطفل المصري عن طريق استقباله وإجابته بنفسه عن تساؤل الطفل ، يجب أن ننتزع من قلوب أطفالنا الخوف من السؤال

@FawazFarhan: Minister Al-Mulaifi should get the Egyptian student his respect back by hosting him and answering his question in person; we have to take the fear of asking off our children's hearts.

A Twitter user, nicknamed Zeus (@Zeus_K) wrote that the case of this Egyptian student should be taken seriously and needed public action:

اذا لم يرجع الطفل المصري المفصول الى مقاعد الدراسة ومحاسبة كل من ساهم باعتماد فصله ، وجب علينا الاعتصام أمام مبنى وزارة التربية

@Zeus_K: If the dismissed Egyptian child does not go back to school and those who dismissed him were not held into account, then we should protest in front of the ministry

Famous Kuwaiti nicknamed blogger and tweep called nEo (@Om9edda) has warned the minister about his statement saying:

الى الوزير المليفي: تصريحك اليوم بالجرايد حول الطفل المصري المفصول قد يكلفك سياسيا الكثير لانه دليل على عدم علمك بما يجري في وزارتك

@Om9edda: To the minister Al-Mulaifi: Your statement today about the dismissed Egyptian child will cost you a lot politically because it is proof that you do not know what is going on in your ministry.

Another Kuwaiti tweep Mohammed Alqattan (@MJQ_KWT) criticized the action taken against the Egyptian student saying:

قصة الطفل المصري المفصول يجب أن تنحل بطرق تربوية راقية وفاعلة تتمثل في تقييم الفكر ومعالجته. فلا يجب التعسّف مع قاصر ألقى كلمات بريئة.

@MJQ_KWT: The issue of the dismissed Egyptian child should be solved in effective educational ways by evaluating the case and solving it; There should be no abuse used with a minor for saying innocent words.

A Kuwaiti lawyer called Nasser Najaf (@NasserNajaf) made a comment on how this action explains the level of education in Kuwait today referring to a previous incident of a university teacher who lodged a case against her students because they have criticized her online:

دور المُعلم بدأ يأخذ منعطف خطير، فبالأمس دكتورة تحيل طالباتها للتحقيق، واليوم يتم فصل طالب في مرحلة الابتدائية لتوجيهه سؤال إلى معلمته.

@NasserNajaf: The role of the teacher is taking a dangerous turn; previously, a university professor sent her students to investigation and today a student gets dismissed after asking his teacher a question.

Also, Kuwaiti women activist Nabila Alanjari (@Nalanjari) was the last to write a comment on this issue expressing how ridiculous the way the ministry acted towards the incident:

قضية الطفل المصري هل تستحق كل ذلك اشخلينا للأنظمة العربية المتسلطة

@Nalanjari: Does the issue of the Egyptian child deserve all of this; what did we leave for the Arab dictator regimes?

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