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At the end of the 1950s, the late Khamis Najm, was one of the unpopular English language teachers at the Al-Siddiq Intermediate School among his students because of his firmness and his harsh criticism of the students, but he was sincere in his job, uncompromising with any lazy student, with a bit of malice in his heart that he could not hide by repeatedly wishing for the demise of oil to see what would happen to us.
Mr. Khamis died a few years ago without seeing the recent developments that affected the morals of the people of the region after the decline in the revenues of their countries which for decades had enabled them to impose their way of life, at least from a religious point of view on others both with strictness and strict preservation of traditions or the application of exaggerated limits.
With the evaporation of high percentages of oil revenues, we began in Kuwait, and perhaps in other countries to think seriously about reducing our dependence on oil as our only source of livelihood, and to diversify our sources of income by encouraging tourism and other things, and this was not possible with the influence of religious extremism and the strict application of limits and this required making major changes, changing, developing and updating ideas and concepts to make society something else, and the opposite of what it was in the days of financial abundance.
I mentioned in an article published some time ago that the local authorities used to prevent playing music in the lobby of hotels at certain times of the year. It also forbade holding concerts, even family concerts, in public places and this resulted in us obtaining the first place in the index of morals globally or so some believed.
The unwritten instructions forbade hotels from allowing a citizen to book a hotel room under the pretext preserving the nation’s morals, and the result is known to us.
However, the same authorities were allowing the foreign visitor to stay in hotels alone or with his partner, without the need to prove his relationship. As for the citizen, even if he was an ambassador returning to his country, he was prevented from occupying a hotel room with his wife regardless of her age and her charm if he did not have a marriage contract. There were, and still are, other similar instructions which are very ridiculous but no room to mention them here.
Suddenly, with the increasing financial deficit of the state, we found that the same customs, traditions and morals that used to prevent the single citizen from booking a hotel room did not mind the authorities.
Were our morals, customs and traditions when the price of a barrel of oil was a hundred dollars the reasons behind compelling hotels not to accommodate the citizen in a room, for him or his family without presenting the marriage contract?
Why are the same morals, customs and traditions now turning a blind eye to the violation of a single citizen staying in a hotel room without the need for marriage contracts?
Will the same traditions, morals and customs return to their previous dominance and prevent the citizen from booking a hotel room if the price of a barrel of oil returns to a hundred dollars, for example?
By Ahmad alsarraf