Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Committee To Make You Live the Way I Think You Should

From yesterday’s Kuwait Times Editorials is a must read by columnist Shamael Al-Sharikh, one of their most insightful political commenters.

In her column, Dichotomy, she discusses SANPFKS (Committee to Study all Negative Phenomena Foreign to Kuwaiti Society). I have only excerpted the following, to intrigue you enough to click on the blue type above and read the whole article. It is a worthy read, from beginning to end.

Well, unlike these MPs who did not react to the creation of the SANPFKS (the name starts to grow on you, doesn’t it!), I am quite invested in the success of this committee, and as a patriotic Kuwaiti citizen, I will do my utmost to cooperate with the SANPFKS to ensure its success and imminent continuation. There are many things that are foreign to Kuwaiti society and that need to be eradicated from it so we can go back to our roots. Below is a list of issues that the SANPFKS can study, report on, and subsequently eradicate:

1. Bearded men: A post-1991 phenomenon that is clearly the result of influence from other Arab countries. The result is that most Kuwaiti men have become severely unattractive, unapproachable, and mind-numbingly narrow-minded. This phenomenon should be studied extensively and recommendations should be given on how to go back to real Kuwait, where men only wore mustaches.

2. The niqab: same as above. The result is that many Kuwaiti women suffer from the incorrigible heat under layers of black cloth, when in the past, all Kuwaiti women wore an open single layer abbaya, faces uncovered. This phenomenon should be studied extensively, especially in light of the fact that women are not required to cover their face in Mecca during Hajj, making it ridiculous that they cover their face in Kuwait.

This article, from start to finish SANPFKS (Committee to Study all Negative Phenomena Foreign to Kuwaiti Society)

It is followed today by an answering column from Fouad Al-Obaid called “You Must Be Kidding!” where he captures the absurd situation of a country rushing headlong into chaos while the newly-elected ministers discuss mixing of men and women at a hospital party and Star Search instead of using their energies to focus on policies to get Kuwait’s infrastructure moving once again and economic policies to encourage development.

These two columnists make the Kuwait Times worth reading.

June 4, 2008 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Social Issues | , , ,


  1. The truth of the matter is that these MPs somehow believe that they themselves are the room and everything else is foreign. They don’t believe in diversity and multicultural societies. I believe, it is that- which they have to overcome.

    Comment by N. | June 4, 2008 | Reply

  2. room = root*

    Comment by N. | June 4, 2008 | Reply

  3. brilliant column – it made me laugh and sober up, at the same time. thank you so much for bringing it to our attention!

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | June 4, 2008 | Reply

  4. Loved the article…. and I have to say… I simply do not get the niqab….. !!!

    Comment by Hamitaf La B | June 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. only two things can result from articles as such, 1-be ignored (most likely because no one takes journalism seriously in kuwait) or 2- be avenged; it has happened before and it could happen again.

    Comment by Mrm | June 4, 2008 | Reply

  6. N. – I think you are right; they think they are the tradition of Kuwait, but they are very recent.

    Thank you, Little Diamond! I am honored.

    Hamitaf – My understanding – from my Saudi sisters – is that it started as a fashion statement among the upper classes in old Persia. It has nothing to do with Islam. It’s a cultural thing, but not Kuwaiti culture.

    Mrm – YOU break my heart, you little cynic. I don’t want you to be right. And I believe that underneath all that cynicism is a true believer.

    Comment by intlxpatr | June 4, 2008 | Reply

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