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50 years of Kuwait

Yusuf Awadh Al-Azmi

What’s next after 50 years of the constitution? What has changed and which alternatives have we seen in the public arena? Have the people of this country developed for the better or there is “if” and lots of “ifs” of the negative concepts of the past, which continue to prevail despite many have been saying we are beyond such concepts?

After 50 years of the constitution, in the age of communication revolution and globalization, we still find sectarianism, tribalism and partisan at its peak- whereas education is at its worst; health is ailing, and the pride of the Gulf is wrinkling; it is no longer as beautiful as expected.

After 50 years of the constitution, sub-elections are still conducted openly and publicly, results are even announced, organized and advertised with ceremonies to congratulate the winners, while prominent figures rush to congratulate them. Sectarianism dominates the social communication platforms and cheating in the school examination continues to perplex intellectuals.

After 50 years of the constitution, we have yet to boast of a private sector that plays its actual role. Campaigns to encourage locals to work in this sector is just for the show; at the end, you see locals who have been dismissed from private sector lining-up in front of governmental bodies to ask for their delayed monthly financial support after updating the systems.

After more than 50 years of the constitution, we need to build human with the national breath; someone who enhances the concept of belonging and a citizen who grasps the concept of obligations and rights. We need smart governments, not only electronically. Every citizen should feel protected by the law and State to believe that all are equal in applying for jobs and assuming positions.

As for our expatriate brothers and sisters – the important pillars of this country’s development – the law should enhance everything that preserve their rights, and their obligations should be well specified. They should know they are a difficult card in the development of this nation in many aspects. Therefore, the extreme far-right rhetoric against expatriates, which has not been observed in our country alone but many parts of the world, shouldn’t be entertained. It is unfortunate such rhetoric continues to spread even through politicians among us.

The national unity is a principle that should be based on justice – in the sense that – no one feels like second or tenth class citizen; everyone should have their obligations and rights specified. This is the principle of nationhood. It is unbelievably irrational for a citizen to feel he is being granted a favor when receiving something deemed his right, or having to depend on influential people or “wasta” to get public services. Law and law alone should determine how people are treated, and once that is established, it will create long needed reassurance on everyone.

After 50 years of the constitution in a region that is very sensitive and important to the world economically, I wish peace to prevail and the reverence of law cemented, so that everyone may feel that the law is for their good and not against them. Since its establishment within the region, Kuwait has been a model of justice, freedom and human development, in addition to political, social and cultural development; therefore, I fear for this wonderful country to lose the grip on its course.

Indeed, to err is human but we should work on rectifying errors and support correctness and ensuing process for Kuwait to continue being a great and friendly nation to all.


By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi

‘Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”, 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963).

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