Selective Amnesia

August 2nd – It has been 23 years since the brutal Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Within just a few hours, the sound of thundering blasts and gunfire shook the country, propelling it into a dark abyss. People were caught off guard at dawn: no sirens, no government warnings; local newspaper headlines the day before trumpeting Kuwait and Iraq’s ‘brotherly relations‘…

This was not a run of the mill invasion; it was a complete annexation of the country, an eradication of its identity. There were no Red Cross convoys traversing in and out of Kuwait distributing supplies and taking care of the injured. There were no reporters on the ground covering the killings, torture, and systematic looting of the country’s resources via satellite. No major charities were established to raise money for the Kuwaitis or Expatriates who were caught in the crossfire. No demonstrations or marches sprouted up supporting Kuwait’s liberation (unless they were organized by Kuwaitis themselves in cities such as London).

If you were out of Kuwait, what you owned, who you knew, how much you were worth, was irrelevant; you were a refugee, forever stuck in no man’s land, fingerprinted and scrutinized wherever you were.

Today, let us keep that in mind and remember the heroes – in and out of Kuwait – who helped unshackle the nation from the chains of occupation. We certainly won’t forget our nation’s feebleness, indecision & geopolitical naivete – fast-tracking Kuwait into that dark void to begin with.

The government may choose to forget; a stark reminder of its incompetence and impotence. But we won’t.

WSJ: ‘Election Isn’t Likely to End Kuwait’s Turmoil’

We were quoted in an insightful, well written post-Kuwaiti election ‘Wall Street Journal‘ article (by veteran Maria Abi Habib): ‘Election Isn’t Likely to End Kuwait’s Turmoil, Say Analysts.’

Well worth reading.

Kuwait, I Choose Not To Play


Honestly, I don’t have much to add.

The political charade continues with another election (the sixth one in seven years).

I am boycotting the election; my decision is intuitive in nature, not political. I am rejecting a system which I suspect is rigged, one that is in the habit of ‘resetting’ the arena in order to safeguard the status quo (one in dire need of transparency & reform).

At this point in time, Parliament & its members are irrelevant. Six months down the road an MP will uncover a ‘sensitive’ corruption deal, the collective political fracas will hit the fan and Parliament will be suspended (again).

Without a broad, tangible political overhaul of the system (driven by both public & private pressure) for full accountability of the Cabinet and Legislative branches, the situation will continue to deteriorate, impeding development, stability and quality of life.

Ultimately, I refuse to partake in a game with opponents who change the rules as they go along. Today, I choose not to play.

Stronger Consumer Base Starts W/ Your Word: Fellow Blogger Tips


In recent years the Kuwaiti Blogging scene has been technology and consumer-driven. There is no shortage of tech-lovers and bloggers at the moment, which is I think is a good thing; however, many of these blogs fall short on providing real or valuable first-hand experience or insight; the sort of analysis you would expect from a consumer-based tech blog.

Some blogs provide readers with priceless information, however, they’re scarce, overshadowed by the information-deficient ones. In this instance, I did not base my claim on statistical data, yet have always been an avid reader of all blogs tech, local and international. Rarely do I ever stumble across a local blog post that provided me with relevant, adequate information to base an efficicient decision on a piece of tech. Questions like “what is the best option available?”, “where can I find a better deal?”, “how to fix gadget issue?,” were often left unanswered after diving into our little gulf of tech blogs.

Since a large chunk of the population is interested in tech, a blog about technology sounds logical; many Kuwaiti consumers may have the financial resources to own a Smartphone, a camera, or other piece of hardware or software, but may lack the all-essential buying guide, or the technical know-how – or the assurance factor that a sincere consumer blog report can provide. This lack of awareness can lead to bad consumer decisions (think KD 340 being shelled out for an IPhone 4S). This doesn’t only affect the buyer but all consumers and, ultimately, services when you look at the bigger picture. Bad business practices will eventually encourage other businesses to slack – they get comfortable with overpricing and neglecting customer needs, and will eventually set new, frustrating market standards.

Let us not kid ourselves here, Money is King – higher local market prices compared to neighboring markets, such as UAE or KSA, make it attractive to vendors and consumer points of view are welcomed, especially blogs, since the interactive nature of blogging envelopes the genuine interests of both visitor and writer/blogger. A consumer’s take is more important to another consumer than all the expensive ads and claims; one reason why companies are targeting blogs, try to influence blogging reviews. Hopefully, bloggers are mainly driven by enthusiasm.

‘Hilaliya’ Hits 7-Year Mark, Updates DNA


It’s hard to believe that I started this Blog seven years ago (2006) during the wave of what we now refer to as the ‘Golden Blogosphere’ period in Kuwait. It was a thrilling period, our major form of collective-communicative-venting tool at the time, miles before Facebook & especially, Twitter, took over.

As the years progressed our community grew, bonds were strengthened, but as Bob Dylan sang, “the times they were are a-changin,”: some became casual bloggers, others retired, and a few such as ‘Hilaliya’ modified their communicative anatomy (with exception of a few random posts); in our case, we opened it up to ‘Guest Bloggers,’ basically giving the blog back to the community that helped nurture us.

In the spirit of our ‘golden heyday’ (& 7th Anniversary) I’ve updated the Blog, moving it from the Movable Type system (which I found cumbersome & inflexible) to WordPress, adding all the modern Social Media bells and whistles (‘Like’ Buttons, ‘Share’ & so forth). The Blog is also smartphone-friendly now.

Thanks for your support.

In the meantime, I’ll be lurking in the shadows.

بيان مجموعة من المدونيين و المغردين و الكتاب الكويتيين

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

إيمانًا منا بأن “الناس أحرار بالفطرة، ولهم آراؤهم وأفكارهم، وهم أحرار في الغدو والرواح، فرادى ومجتمعين، وفي التفرق والتجمع مهما كان عددهم ما دام عملهم لا يضر بالآخرين”

وعملاً بالمادة ٣١ من الدستور ” لا يجوز القبض على إنسان أو حبسه أو تفتيشه أو تحديد إقامته أو تقييد حريته في الإقامة أو التنقل إلا وفق أحكام القانون ولا يعرض أي إنسان للتعذيب أو للمعاملة الحاطة بالكرامة”

وبالمادة ٣٦ “حرية الرأي والبحث العلمي مكفولة, ولكل إنسان حق التعبير عن رأيه ونشره بالقول أو الكتابة أو غيرهما, وذلك وفقا للشروط التي يبينها القانون”

والمادة ٤٤ “للأفراد حق الاجتماع دون حاجة لأذن أو إخطار سابق, ولا يجوز لأحد من قوات الأمن حضور اجتماعاتهم الخاصة والاجتماعات العامة والمواكب والتجمعات مباحة وفقا للشروط والأوضاع التي يبينها القانون, علي أن تكون أغراض الاجتماع ووسائله سلمية ولا تنافي الآداب”

نعلن نحن مجموعة من المدونين والمغردين الكويتيين رفضنا القاطع لاعتقال الزميل المدون حمد الدرباس كاتب مدونة صندوق حمد من قبل قوات الأمن وتقييد حريته هو وخالد الديين وأنور الفكر صباح اليوم أثناء ممارستهم لحقوقهم الدستورية في التعبير عن رأيه والاجتماع العام.

واذ نستنكر اعتقالهم ونقلهم لمخفر شرطة الصالحية والمماطلة في عرضهم على جهات التحقيق لمدة ناهزت الثماني ساعات، كما نستكر عدم السماح من قبل ضابط التحريات في المخفر لمحامي المتهمين أن يلتقوا بهم أثناء التحريات وعدم السماح لأقربائهم من التأكد من سلامتهم حيث شاعت أنباء عن سوء معاملة وحالات ضرب لبعضهم .

ولايفوتنا أن نتذكر بقية المعتقلين الذين تعسفت جهات التحقيق بقرار حبسهم احتياطيًا وتعسفت كذلك السلطة القائمة على السجون في عرضهم اليوم وضمن الميعاد القانوني لقاضي التجديد لنظر تظلماتهم من قرار الحبس الاحتياطي المتعسف بالرغم من خلو حالتهم من مبرارات الحبس الاحتياطي.

وعليه فإننا نذكر السلطة التي انتهجت نهج القمع وتكميم الأفواه وارهاب الرأي الآخر بالملاحقات السياسية نذكرها ” بأن حريات وحقوق الإنسان جزءاً من الضمير العالمي واستقرت في الوجدان الانساني، وقد تطورت هذه الحريات فأضحت نظاماً اجتماعياً وحقاً للأفراد ضرورياً للمجتمعات المدنية لا يجوز التفريط فيه أو التضحية به”

كما نذكرها أن الشعب الكويتي يأبى الخضوع لصوت التهديد والانصياع للغة العنف كما يأبى اختطاف إرادته السياسية بأي حجة كانت وبأي سلطة كانت، ويجب أن تمتثل السلطة لقول الدستور وتقف عند حكم القانون الذي كفل لكل فرد أن يعبر عن رأيه – مهما كان مخالفًا لها – بأي وسيلة من وسائل التعبير الدستورية شريطة أن تتسم بالسلمية.

وعليه .. نطالب السلطات الأمنية بالافراج الفوري والغير مشروط عن معتقلي قصر العدل اليوم وعن جميع المعتقلين السابقين الناشطين في الحراك الشعبي

بوركـت يا وطنـي الكويـت لنـا
سكنا وعشـت على المدى وطنـا

يفديــك حـــر فـي حمــاك بـنـى
صـــرح الحيــاة بأكــرم الأيــدي

،،، الحرية للمعتقلين والمجد للوطن

Bloomberg: ‘Kuwait Opposition Rallies Urging Boycott of Tomorrow’s Election’

An excellent article by Bloomberg’s Fiona MacDonald, ‘Kuwait Opposition Rallies Urging Boycott of Tomorrow’s Election’ in which yours truly is quoted.