Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the latest here

I mentioned the chance (smidge of, distant, remote) of an Arab autumn here a couple posts ago. Between then and now, I had the opportunity to ask a Kuwaiti man about what I'd been reading in the papers. Let me say this: the papers, my friends, do not publish everything. Nor will I repeat much of it here since I'm not stepping out into the world of investigative journalism via small blog. While he explained that what he relayed to me and the few others gathered was common knowledge among Kuwaitis, I cannot blab based on that alone.

Unless you email me.

The thing is, most countries like to be seen in a polite light. Moonlight. Candlelight. Lamps set around a room. No one says, "Turn on the fluorescents."

Anyway. In the news yesterday and today: the Prime Minister and some other members of Parliament resigned. The Emir accepted the resignations but asked them to remain on as part of the "caretaker government" as the New York Times put it. Imagine how excited protestors were about that. Read the Kuwait Times' article. The last paragraph of the Kuwait Times' article reads:

"A stalled economy - despite 12 consecutive years of  multibillion dollar budget surpluses - has left many frustrated as Kuwait has been overshadowed by fast-growing Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in the past 20 years. 'It's becoming difficult, almost impossible, to reach a compromise that will put our country back on the right track to achieving its aspirations,' wrote columnist Sherida Al-Maousherji in the daily Al Jarida."

I wondered about this shortly after arriving in Kuwait a couple of years ago, expecting to find clean and organized and discovering that our neighborhood had no paved roads and trash floated through the sky on breezy days. (The least of it, really). I couldn't figure out why such a monetarily wealthy country didn't have the best educational programs, healthcare, or infrastructure. Or why the country's generous citizen welfare didn't also extend to many of the poorest worker residents. So while I have heard sentiments like the one above expressed, I hadn't seen them in print before. (Probably because I didn't look hard). I know countries and governments need to sort themselves out and I do hope that Kuwait does. There is much to be gained.

1 comment:

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