‘Need more like you’
As I entered the big house and headed straight into the music room and into the vast inside, where we met every Wednesday evening, my ears could catch the well-known melodies of the great Chopin.
I would then imagine the great European musician sitting behind the piano. For my astonishment, I saw a Kuwaiti youth with Ghutra and Uqal while engaging with all his senses on the keyboard with fingers moving smoothly bringing about wonderful music. The situation was beyond any explanation or understanding as it was completely out of usual context.
The pianist was a wonderful Azmi who fell in love with the art of the international artist that is hardly we can find someone who matches him. Pushed by irresistible love, AI-Azmi has spent years studying and mastering the music of a brilliant musician. This did not force him to dispose of his little beard that still connecting him to his roots while his love to Chopin takes him to new horizon away from our environment that is poor in colors and melodies. He even did not give his little beard any chance to disturb him to fulfill his target.
Faisal Al-Beheiri was an extraordinary artist and pianist who tasted success after success, in spite of all the difficulties of life. He managed to break the barrier of environment and tradition to carve a different and distinctive path for him. Too few are those who are like Al-Behairi especially those derived from similar background.
The Beheiri phenomenon proves there is no limit to human abilities to learn and change the stereotypical life to something sweeter.
The other wonderful Azmi, whose name we heard for the first time, was when we were in a small gathering, while we were watching the announcement of the new government when he was appointed Minister of Education and Higher Education.
It was clear from the absence of comments of either disapproval or approval from the people that none of them had ever heard of him and after a few phone calls it turned out that he was the son of the education corpse and the Assistant Undersecretary for Higher Education.
What the minister did was wounderful. He issued a sudden, unprecedented and courageous decision, seen as the first of its kind in the history of Kuwait, to put an end to the ‘tsunami’ of fraud in the country’s education system at a time when moral and educational corruption had hit rock bottom.
No one knew anything about it, and no one imagined it was so big and so widespread that cheating was the norm and it was acceptable to see someone who ended up his preparatory stage while he cannot read or write.
Hamed Al-Azmi, the latest unexpected coup on the education sector must continue in its full momentum. We are really angry at our situation where we are drowned in the sea of corruption. You must continue in the solid position you have taken and end the domination and control of education by Kuwait Teachers society.
The society itself may have been behind the wave of protests that followed the minister’s decision to reshuffle exam-control teams from one region to another.
We send greetings to you, Minister Hamed Al-Azmi. We desperately need many like you to stop the education system from derailing.
We have suffered a lot from the backwardness of education and we will not rise unless we managed to get rid of that heritage and dispose of the responsible for such backdwardness either men or women in the ministry and outside it.
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf