It remains to be seen how many scantily dressed cartoon characters will end up in the booths of that book fair, due to be held in November. More generally, it remains to be seen where Kuwait is going with its censorship, and how strong the influence of religious circles will remain on the country’s cultural life. Al-Yagout is optimistic that things will soon change for the better. “Their time is up. Nothing should be censored anymore, but if they want to censor something, let them censor terrorist booklets by some crazy clerics.”
Results for Category: Kuwait
Kuwait has a relatively open media environment in comparison to its Gulf neighbours, and is ranked highest of all the Gulf states in the Reporters Without Borders 2016 World Press Freedom Index. However, its ranking of 103 (out of 179) indicates that Kuwaiti journalists face restrictions on their reporting and that negative portrayals of certain subjects, such as Islam or the ruling family, remain off-limits.
The opposition, against the government and so against the previous parliament, which was deemed merely an extension of the government, is far from united. The elected opposition candidates, who won 24 of the 50 seats in the election, range from liberals to Islamists, including Salafists and members of a group linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Whatever the results of the election, with political tensions on the rise, it is likely that the new parliament will be an unstable one, potentially leading to yet another dissolution and election. This may be the only way for the opposition to oust the old guard, which it deems corrupt. If it succeeds, accusations of electoral fraud will almost certainly follow.
Nada Faris made the conscious decision to write in English to reach a global audience, and to avoid risking the nuances of her work getting lost in translation. Her writings shifted her perspective on writing and empowered the audience with knowledge that would make them think, question and discuss.
Surrounded by regional powerhouses like Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran, there could always be someone after your oil. That is the sentiment of many Kuwaitis, with some of them even using the word ‘monsters’ rather than ‘powerhouses’. Kuwait has good reason to be wary of its neighbours, although news reports about oil-greedy neighbours should be viewed with caution. This is not only because one neighbour may try to slander the other, but also because Kuwait may have an interest in scaring its own people.