Dishdasha-clad men not always Kuwaitis Need to implement some law
‘Four dishdasha-clad men allegedly beat an Asian expatriate with sharp objects and sticks when the latter refused to hand them his wallet and mobile phone. The expatriate suffered 33 injuries on his face, two on his head, an arm fracture and various other injuries as a result. He is currently recuperating in the intensive care unit of Jahra Hospital” (Arab Times, July 19, 2010). We sympathize with the victim of this recent mugging crime. According to the report the alleged Asian victim lost KD 200, his ATM cards and some personal documents. The dishdasha-clad gang also stole his mobile phone. What is frustrating here besides the continuation of this string of horrible crimes is the distortion of the Kuwaiti national identity. In other words, not all dishdasha-clad men are Kuwaitis! This traditional costume has come to represent a particular national identity and it is usually associated with the native population of Kuwait.
I argued in an earlier article published in the Arab Times that we must have some kind of law which discourages non-Kuwaitis from using our national costume, the dishdasha. In fact, we might need to take such draconian steps due to the increasing distortions of our national and cultural identities by those who do not respect our customs and our laws. Those who just arrived in Kuwait or those who do not have enough information about our society may think that any dishdasha-clad person must be a citizen, which is not always the case.
Moreover, we should imitate our Omani brethrens who seemed to have implemented a certain law prohibiting non-citizens from using their national costume. Why not do the same in Kuwait instead of allowing any would-be criminal to put on our traditional dishdasha, pretend to be a Kuwaiti, rob and molest hard working expats? And of course, we Kuwaitis are not always angels, however, such procedures are necessary to safeguard our image. Some of the dishdasha-clad individuals behave and act in manners and adopt strange attitudes that are usually untypical and do not represent the typical Kuwaiti individual. Furthermore, though we understand that many Kuwaitis these days usually put on Western clothes, yet we can also insist that non-citizens should speak their own dialects, languages when they address other citizens or expats. The situation in this regard has deteriorated to the extent that one has to ask their listeners first whether they are Kuwaitis or of some other nationality.
By: Khaled Aljenfawi