Here There and Everywhere

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Kuwaiti Youth Read Books

Wooo HOOOO on you, Kuwait! 😀

Kuwait”s youth bucking the trend, more open to reading books
Nadia AlـNassar
Staff Writer
Al Watan

A solid core of knowledge comes from reading. No matter what book a person reads, numerous benefits come from it; unlike watching TV, reading exercises the brain through an active mental process. Kuwait is often cited as one of the top reading Gulf countries in terms of print news, but is said to be amongst the lowest in terms of books. However, there is a visible trend emerging in the youth, with the number of teenagers reading in Kuwait over the past few years gradually increasing

Talking to a manager of one of Kuwait”s prominent bookstores about the readers who visit the bookstore, he noted that about 50 percent of the customers are now between the ages of 13 and 17 years old. He said that the majority of them choose bestsellers and books that were made into television shows or films.

Most of the readers choose to read English books, while there are some who read English books that are translated to Arabic, said the bookstore manager, bringing up the fact that there has been an increase in the percentage of teenage customers witnessed over the past year.
When students were asked why they think the youth of Kuwait is reading more, their responses were diverse, as well as interesting.

Saud said, “I think that our parents are much more educated than the parents of previous generations, therefore our parents comprehend the significance of reading more than the previous generation of parents.

“Our parents are trying to promote reading by getting us into the habit of reading at a young age.”

Mariam had a different view; “I think that the students are reading more nowadays because Hollywood is creating more movies based on teenage novels, such as Harry Potter, which makes teens compare the book and the movie.”

Many of the students brought up the fact that teens enjoy discussing books together, which influences their friends who do not read to do so and be able to join in the discussion.
Haifa, a 17ـyear old, said that there are more English books than Arabic books available to read in the book market, and more students now are better in English, therefore they have more options to read.

“I personally have always been a reader, and I have noticed that teenagers in Kuwait are reading much more because reading is becoming more worldwide and is being more publicized on the Internet, but yet I do not think that they are reading enough,” stated Jasmine, a high school student.

Faisal, a sophomore in high school, said he is reading over the summer to stay ahead in the courses that he finds challenging, whereas Jasmine reads for a different purpose.

“I read because reading takes you to a different place; it”s like traveling, and I am always willing to explore new places.”

Whether it is to enhance their information about the world or to entertain themselves, numerous students in Kuwait have realized the importance of reading and have taken it into their daily lives.

One of the most popular genres that teenage girls are reading in Kuwait is romantic fantasy, such as the Twilight series. Teenage boys on the other hand are interested in different genres.
“I”m very picky with the books I read; I usually read thrillers, fantasies and series such as Harry Potter and Charlie Bone, said 14ـyearـold Saud.

Sara mentioned that teenagers in Kuwait are also interested in reading psychological books, such as A Million Little Pieces, one of the more adult books making its way into the small but growing new generation of Kuwaiti readers.

Last updated on Tuesday 4/8/2009

August 4, 2009 - Posted by | Books, Cross Cultural, Education, Kuwait, Social Issues


  1. […] the rest here:  Kuwaiti Youth Read Books « Here There and Everywhere Posted by jedwan Uncategorized Subscribe to RSS […]

    Pingback by Kuwaiti Youth Read Books « Here There and Everywhere | Ephemera 21 | August 4, 2009 | Reply

  2. Good news about teenage readers, and the fact that they read in English. I’ve heard that for Arabic readers in general it is still a problem to find foreign books translated into Arabic.

    Comment by Miss Footloose | August 5, 2009 | Reply

  3. Most of the Kuwait young people I know speak excellent English. And I am so impressed, because I can read Arabic, but only very simple words, and I know how hard it is for me to sound things out and then to try to guess what they mean. I love it that the Kuwait young people are reading, and they talk about books. They are real thinkers!

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 5, 2009 | Reply

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