Alcohol & Tourism in Kuwait

on the 29th of December 2007, Alqabas stated some striking facts on the hotel occupancy rates in Kuwait during Christmas and Eid Al Atha holidays which were 30% compared to 96% in Saudi, 90% in Bahrain, 86% in UAE, 72% in Oman, and 65% in Qatar. Why is it too low here in Kuwait? and how can we solve this problem? is legalizing alcohol would change things? listen to us this week and lets us know what you think.

References:

1- Al Qabas – 29/12/07

2- Dinar Chat – Tourism in Kuwait … yeah right – 14/7/07

36 Replies to “Alcohol & Tourism in Kuwait”

  1. بالتأكيد الخمر يعتبر من مقومات السياحة في أي بلد ، عندما نتحدث عن السعودية فإن لديهم السياحة الدينية ، لذلك . الحل في السماح بتدوال الخمور و فتح المراقص والبارات و دور الميسر حتى تتحول الكويت إلى دولة سياحية ، غير الكلام لن يفيد لأن الكويت دولة صحراوية و لا تتمتع بالمناظر الخلابة حتى يأتي الناس إليها للسياحة

  2. I agree with the speakers, Alcohol is not a must to attract people to Kuwait. A lot of things can be done. Hotels in Kuwait may be not offering good deals to customers when compared to what other hotels are doing in other Gulf countries.

    I don’t think alcohol should be a personal choice because the society as whole will be affected by the crimes which alcohol could cause.

  3. loool….there will be no chance whatsoever to bring alcohol to kuwait 😛 …. bes it’s true that you don’t need alcohol to attract tourists. I think some hotels in kuwait lack good management.

  4. عمان -حسب علمي- مافيها خمر و مع ذلك نسبة الإشغال فيها أعلى من قطر.. اللي فيها ، فيعني مقياس الخمر مو راكب ، في أشياء ثانية اهي اللي تجذب السياح غير الخمر.. أو أهم من الخمر يمكن تكونون تطرقتوا لبعضها مثل الاهتمام بالمشاريع السياحية و تسويقها

    المشكلة اللي محيرتني هي ان الفنادق عندنا (واللي على أساس نسبة إشغالها انبنى هالنقاش) قاعدة تخالف قاعدة العرض و الطلب بشكل صارخ ! يعني الطلب عليها ضعيف و ما يتجاوز 30% و مع ذلك أسعارها قد تكون من ضمن الأعلى بالعالم.. أو بالمنطقة على الأقل!

    يعني غرفة عادية بحياة ريجنسي ولا بالهوليدي ان تطلع عليك 70 ولا 80 بالليلة، وين قاعدين؟! يعني بلندن غرفه مثلها أو أحسن منها تلقاها بـ 120-160 جنيه.. بالكثير ، بماليزيا أحسن غرفه بأحسن فندق ما توصل 50 دينار

    و ماني متكلم عن الخيران و الشاليهات الجديدة اللي على البحر! يعني كسايح أروح اسبانيا أو قبرص أو أي دولة من دول البحر الابيض المتوسط وايد أرخصلي.. كإقامة

    علشان نقربها أكثر.. بـ 400 دينار ممكن آخذ ليلتين بشاليه بكمبسكي أو 10 ليالي بسويت بمنتجع جولدن ساندز ببينانغ .. هذا في بحر و حمام سباحة و هذاك في بحر و حمامات سباحة.. شنو تبيني أختار كسايح؟

    بعيدا عن سالفة اسعار الفنادق..

    أنا لو مو كويتي.. جان أحسن وجهة سياحية بالنسبة اهي الكويت 🙂

    يعني قلة السياح تعتبر شيء إيجابي.. عن الزحمة و لوعة الجبد ، و فوق هذا رخص (مقارنة بالدول السياحية الأخرى) و جو بديع.. اذا استثنينا فترة عز الصيف طبعا.. واللي البعض ما يمانعونها اصلا لو يحصلهم بحر يستانسون عليه بالنهار

    و الأماكن السياحية فموجودة.. يعني السايح اللي ياي الكويت اسبوع ولا عشر أيام يقدر يسويله خطة كل يوم يسوي فيها شي يديد ، و يقدر عقب ما يخلص من الكويت يطير دبي ولا البحرين ياخذ راحته هناك و يرد ديرتهم 🙂

    علشان اونسك أكثر..

    شوف رقم 32 بهاللنك من جريدة نيويورك تايمز:

    http://www.nytimes.com/ref/travel/20071209_WHERE_GRAPHIC.html

    في أمل.. بس السالفة تبي تنظيم شوي

    😉

  5. It won’t change anything. Then, and I’m speaking as if I don’t know any better, “All Kuwait has is alcohol man. Pick somewhere else!” Now though, Kuwait has nothing that is going to attract people, at least not that I can see. Dubai has visitors from all around the world… how can Kuwait compete with that?

  6. I don’t think that alcohol would make a significant difference–but that might be because I’m thinking of “family friendly” vacations. Families travel to go to big theme parks (like Disney World), sporting events, museums, or to do outdoor activities. Kuwait could build a good theme park and a nice sports arena. There’s tons of “turath” in Kuwait; is there a guided tour of Old Kuwait? Lots of elderly westerners would be interested in Bayt al-Sadu, Bayt al-Badr, the dhows, etc. Are there standard ways of renting boats or jet skis, or would a tourist have to try to figure it out? Whenever I go to a new place, I look at Travelocity.com or Expedia.com to find out which of my interests I can explore there. Kuwait doesn’t have anything on either of those websites. Maybe a little more advertising would help. Also, there is a war next door. I think travelers are probably not cool with that.

  7. I will express my honest opinion here so please don’t be mad.

    I think Kuwait will remain a backward stone age country until people start getting the freedom to do what they want. If they want to drink alcohol they can, and if they don’t they don’t have to. Why should you or anyone else regulate my life and dictate to me whether I should drink alcohol or not? It should be my choice.

    Until Kuwait separates state from mosque I think Kuwait will always be behind. Don’t try kidding yourself by saying alcohol isn’t a factor. It is! No party is a real party without alcohol!

  8. i enjoy what you said about young mom 😛
    and all what u say is 100% true .. Let the kids be kids and if you wanna them to look good .. let them feel good ( i like the way how u describe the kids like bags 😛 )
    And about the tourism .. i guess we need to delet the Perocracy from the country and educate the kids in school how to love the country cause the older generation love themselves not their country .. when u love ur country u do ur best to be NUMBER ONE

  9. Eee 7adah madri lesh yeshtroon ehdoom ‘3alya 7ag yahalhom. 7aram etlawi3 chabdah it6ali3 il badla min 5ashmah maskeen! LOL.

    About il su2al, 7adah la2. Lazem yesawoon ashya2. Nafs Dubai! Wainhom ma yesawoon shay? 3endohom il mezaniya enhom yesawoon ashya2 wayed, w etha itkalif malayeen, bitrid 3alaihom il 3awayed ib balayeen… so madri lesh a7na chethe. :/

  10. Some people might see a place with no alcohol backward, but to be true, considering the enormous negative impact alcohol has on individuals, families and society all over except for moslem, hindu and buddhist oriented countries, Kuwait is a progressive country.

    I suggest you as a reader take a look a this website: http://www.add-resources.org
    There you will see several good reasons for why I think Kuwait should opt for any other way to the tourist trade.

  11. oh please! Kuwait is not a country primed for alcohol! dont we have enough drunkards killing themselves on our highways every day? we dont need to open up to tourism! our country is relatively safe now and our culture and heritage as a simple, Islamic nation must be respected! opening up to alcohol will not open minds, but only beffudle them! and tell me darlings… what about 90% Saudi? hardly what you’d call the Ibiza of the ME!

  12. Again, excellent podcast and debate as always.

    First, I totally agree that in order to accelerate tourism in Kuwait you need a smart marketing and an abundant increase in activities and events. Kuwait has a rich tradition and I think it will be good to exploit that in a creative way. Hosting international or sports events also helps. For example Qatar hosted the Asian games in Doha in 2006 and Dubai has the international film festival that screens top-quality films (although we need to fix our censorship problem before attempting such a thing) and so on. Not to mention the famous Dubai Open for tennis. Also, I’d like to add that most investors in the Gulf regions are Kuwaitis. So you have to ask yourself, why do they invest their money in other countries instead of their own? I bet both you and I know the answer to that.

    One of the posters above has mentioned that how can Kuwait compete with Dubai? Well, Kuwait can’t compete with Dubai because Dubai is an industrialize emirate; that is, it’s not a place where you can permanently live in. Most Emirate citizens don’t live in Dubai but in other emirates such as Ajman and Abu Dhabi. UAE is big. Kuwait is not. That is why I want to Kuwait to adapt the tourism strategy with similar countries in size such as Bahrain and Qatar.

    I also have to disagree with Mark’s statement about Kuwait being a backward country simply because we do not allow alcohol. That is, unfortunately, an absurd statement. I don’t need to mention that Kuwait has one of the most aggressive journalism in the Middle East and offers more liberties than most Arab countries, but I’ll not talk about this issue further since it’s way off-topic. However, I do agree that we should legalize alcohol but at least in “baby steps”. For example, we can open bars in major hotels but not anywhere else; much like the Qatari law that tolerates alcohol to a certain extent (i.e. public bars and nightclubs in Qatar operate only in expensive hotels and clubs), and so on. I really doubt that Qataris, Bahrainis, and Emirates are less of Muslims than Kuwaitis; just because their countries legalize alcohol doesn’t make them bad Muslims. As a matter of fact, I think Kuwaitis are more liberal minded and progressive in both religion and culture than other Gulf citizens.

    Again, excellent podcast guys. Keep up the good work ☺

  13. Since most of the MP’s in parliament are Islamic mp’s and are trying to turn kuwait into a segregated society like saudi arabia and other backward countries, i dont think that alcohol will be allowed. This is unless the voting public realises and regret their choice in islamic mps. Which is slowly happening. An example of this would be that people are now affraid, and aware of the danger of the islamic mps ripping apart what little decent education we have left in our country. We all witnessed what they are trying to do to NOURIY SABEEH. They want to infiltrate themselves into the education system and run-amuck turning the kuwaiti menhej in schools into their own sick, demented version of education. Like HITLER once said when he created the “hitler Youth Clubs”.. “If you control the youth, you control the future!”
    Already Waleed Tabtabaie has been pressured by many to quit parliament due the letter he publicly wrote to Osama Bin Laden, referring to him as “shiekh Osama” and writing to him as if he were his teacher.
    There are also Islamic MP’s in kuwait linked to ALQAEDA:

    Taliban. Ismail Shati, a founder and board member of the ICM, elaborates further: “They are so poorly organised that anyone can join or leave, and every four or five years there are new splits in the movement; those who are now in Cuba [prisoners at Guantanamo] could easily come from one of those splits. They have extremists among them, it’s dangerous.”

    So there you have it. It looks like their demise is inevitable. No longer can these people fool the voting public of kuwait.

  14. Hello again

    I realize that I am once again late in posting a comment but I’m afraid being a student often hinders one’s ability to participate in these kinds of discussions in a timely fashion. However, this is an important issue and I felt I should offer my two cents, or two fils as the case may be.

    It was reassuring to find that the majority of the comments posted seemed opposed to the introduction of alcohol into Kuwait. To begin with, who wants drunk tourists going about the country? Isn’t one of the objectives of tourism to educate individuals about nations and cultures which are otherwise unknown to them? I fail to see how anyone can truly appreciate heritage and tradition when he/she is inebriated. Granted not all traditions inspire appreciation, indeed some should be brought to an end but that is a different matter altogether.

    With regard to the comment posted by ‘Mark’, the one thing that he and I agree on is the “don’t be mad” part. He’s right, let’s not get mad, let’s get real and let’s get logical. According to him the only way Kuwait can move forward is by implementing the separation of mosque and state concept, he thus seems to imply that such separation, be it of mosque and state or of church and state, exists as a component of advancement. The fact of the matter is that countries that claim to be secular tend to be hypocritical and/or undemocratic in nature.

    The U.S., for instance, generally prides itself on being a nation that supposedly separates church from state. People are prohibited to recite prayers in public schools but children are expected to recite the Pledge of Allegiance which describes America as “one nation under God”. One might resort to the meager argument that the Pledge of Allegiance is relatively old. What about all those American dollar bills that are imprinted with “In God We Trust”?

    And if that isn’t enough, people should consider the interesting fact that the vastly diverse population of the U.S. has never had a non-Christian president. What’s more, when one takes an oath, whether it’s an oath to tell the truth in several courtrooms across the country or an oath taken by someone about to step into office, one is required to take that oath using the Bible. Most of the national holidays are religious ones too. Now some might say that I am singling out the U.S. as an example of a non-secular “secular” state so here are a few other examples.

    There are several countries that are often pointed to as shining examples of secularism and thus democracy. Those countries have managed to justify religious oppression in the name of “secularism”. We all know about France, where students are not allowed to even step into their public schools if they are wearing religious ornaments that include headdresses. It is of course the state, not the general public, that decides what qualifies as a religious ornament.

    In Turkey, whose population is predominantly Muslim, girls wearing the 7ijab are also not allowed to enter educational establishments and there was even an incident some years ago whereby a Turkish woman who was voted into parliament was heckled out by the other MPs because she insisted on keeping her 7ijab on! The list goes on and on but the point is that secularism is virtually non-existent in countries that claim to practice and it paves the way for the oppression of the basic human right of freedom of religion in countries that pursue it.

    People who are reading this would be excused for scratching their heads as they wonder how in the world this relates to alcohol in Kuwait. Kindly allow me to elaborate; things that are associated with development and success range from the introduction of alcohol to the introduction of secularism into a country. Yet neither of these things, nor indeed several other of the things that have been linked with development and advancement, have been proven to have any link to development. Mostly these things have been determined by global powers like the West who are unfamiliar with the realities in other parts of the world, including our part of the world.

    Legalizing alcohol is not a stepping stone towards better tourism, a better economy, or a freer society, rather it is a sign of weakness in the face of pressure to conform to an expanding trend. Even if we assume that allowing alcohol in Kuwait could translate into more successful tourism which would be good for the economy, how much will the economy suffer when the state has to pay for medical care for drunk drivers and their victims(especially in a country where more that half the population is under 25)? How much money should the state set aside in order to pay for the rehabilitation of alcoholics?

    I can understand the desire to diversify our economy but let’s be sure to limit, not diversify, its sufferings while we’re at it! Furthermore, Islam is by no means a dictatorial religion, we are allowed, nay sometimes even obliged, to have discourses about what it tells us to do. Islam is a religion that derives its principles from logic so if something is prohibited it is always supported by reason. Alcohol takes a toll on the individual, on the society, on the economy of any given country as has been, and continues to be, illustrated in nations that have legalized alcohol throughout the world.

    By legalizing alcohol, Kuwait would be decidedly taking countless steps backwards into dark ages that are now buried deep within the region’s history and in doing so, our beloved country would be flinging its chances of moving forward and developing into the very depths of oblivion. I would hate to have to ever feel the urge to recite (tikremoon) اللهم إني أعوذ بك من الخبث و الخبائثwhenever I step onto the soil of a country has always been a home to me and that in turn has a home in my heart.

    Finally, allow me to apologize yet again to those of you who might take the time to read this, I realize that my posts are usually late and tend to be longer that most but there are some things that I feel passionately about and this compels me to speak out.

    And to Ali and Musa3ed, thank you as ever for your entertaining and sometimes informative podcasts. I’ve also added Dinar Chat to my favourite podcasts, please keep up the great work and best of luck in your future endeavours Inshallah.

  15. Look at the bigger picture.. the real issue at hand is really the erosion of our liberties and freedom, not an arguement of alcohol and alcoholism.. it’s like arguing that one should ban cars in order to eliminate car accidents.. what a load of rubbish!
    The arguement of alcohol in kuwait is at the forefront or even “front lines” of fight against freedom and liberty in kuwait.
    We are witnessing our beloved country falling into the hands of dagerous religious extremists, and the most shocking thing is that the people of kuwait are encouraging this and clapping their hands and asking for more. It’s a real shame, these Islamic bigots and extremists should be pointed out and shown to kuwait for what they really stand for, instead of them hiding behind their own twist versions of the islamic faith… It was once said that “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

  16. @sfsa78: I do not agree with your car and car accidents analogy; unlike alcohol, cars actually serve a purpose, they are an essential mode of transportation, the same cannot be said of alcohol. However I do agree with you that the issue of alcohol in Kuwait represents the frontlines of a fight, only the way I see it this fight has been clouded with illusions of fighting for freedom and liberty when in point of fact it is a fight against mindlessly conforming to Western standards.
    Like you, I too cringe whenever I hear certain individuals, some of whom hold high office in our country, try to interpret Islam and its values according to their own agendas and I am deeply troubled when I realize that there are Kuwaitis who endorse those fanatics. I find it appalling that those people have sometimes succeeded in deforming Islam in the pursuit of their own interests. And they have indeed presented, as you mentioned, “their own twist versions of the Islamic faith” but by making the argument that legalizing alcohol symbolizes something more meaningful like liberty and freedom, we would be no different than those very individuals that we hold in such contempt and low regard.
    We, by no means, should allow any of our so-called decision-makers to get away with committing such acts, we owe it to ourselves and to our country to hold those people to account over their actions. On the other hand, the saying that you used “the greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”, while applicable to certain individuals in Kuwait, it is equally applicable to the West. The West has time and again shamelessly displayed its double-standards especially as far as this part of the world is concerned.
    The fact of the matter is that there is no such thing as absolute freedom or liberty anywhere; Western countries that claim to support freedom of speech when the matter involves satirical cartoons of an Islamic figure, do not hesitate in incarcerating people who question the Holocaust. Americans found out that their own government was recording their phone calls and monitoring their emails, their own government was spying on them! How is that not a threat to liberty and freedom?
    Let me be clear that I am not excusing the discrepancies and shortcomings of our country based on those of Western countries. What I am trying to point out, however, is that people throughout this region take it for granted that Western values and practices are democratic and egalitarian when in reality they have countless contradictions and Western systems have just as many loopholes and inconsistencies as, if not considerably more than, the Kuwaiti system.
    And the fact that you resort to terms like “Islamic extremists” signifies the presence of Western influence in our country. We hear these terms on CNN and BBC all the time, “Islamic fundamentalists”, “moderate Muslims”, “Islamic radicals”, etc, but there are no “Islamic extremists”, there are only extremists. Last I checked, there were no such religions as “radical Islam” or “moderate Islam”, there is only Islam. In the attempt to scrutinize the situation in Arab and Muslim countries, many of the region’s people accept what is fed to them by the West without question or any scrutiny. The inability to think think independently and critically is an alarming sign of cult-like conformity and an absence of the liberty and freedom for which you yourself are calling.
    Rather than waste our time discussing and considering an argument as baseless, meaningless, and absurd as that which states that not allowing alcohol represents a fight against freedom and liberty, we should invest our time in arguing for more freedom of politically scrutinizing speech. We should call for better media coverage of issues that matter to us both as Kuwaitis and as citizens of the world, we should demand the best healthcare facilities and a substantially better healthcare system.
    We should also call for better education systems that would ensure that Kuwaitis grow up understanding their RIGHTS as well as their duties. We should call for a better foreign policy, one that would adequately represent the collective will of the Kuwaiti public on the regional stage and the international one. That is what would secure our liberty and freedom and none of it would be more achievable with the legalization of alcohol. Those who believe that allowing alcohol into the country would symbolically grant them their freedom of choice are hopelessly misguided, in any case they have the freedom to choose to go to Bahrain or Dubai, where their “thirst for freedom and liberty” will be quenched and catered to.
    The services provided to us by our state are unheard of in many parts of the world, including parts of the so-called developed world, for this we should be grateful but we should NOT be resigned to this nor satisfied with it especially when we know that ours is a country that can be so much more.

  17. to q8iya: 9a7 Lsanich! i agree most of all with the comment that there is no “radical islam” or “moderate islam” but only Islam. This is the invention of those who employ the imperial rule of “divide and conquer”, those who segment society and religion to meet their own ends. THANKYOU! a5eeran!! and also totally agree on all points concerning the “trivialization” of important concepts such as freedom and liberty by representing them with a bottle of Jack Daniels!!

  18. Q8TYA… It seems that you are making the same mistake as nearly all kuwaitis, infact, this is the rant of the Islamic extremists in kuwait.. that is to call the legalisation of alcohol or any other similar liberty to that matter “conforming to Western standards”. Meaning, you have given the monopoly of liberties to the west, thus we cannot allow these freedoms here just for the stupid reason of “conformin to western standards”.
    Isn’t democracy a “conformation to western standards”??!?!?!!
    This arguement reminds me of the Islamic extremist arguement that opposed to changing our weekend to saturday.. the arguement was that we were conforming to western standards, or even because saturday was a jewish holiday, and for that reason alone, we cannot change our weekend to saturday, even though there were immense financial advantages for kuwait in this change. They even go as far as to say that the west should change their weekend to ours!!??! What a joke.

  19. However, i do agree with your point on education. I think that it is paramount in teaching the rights, and the understanding of the kuwaiti constitution to every kuwaiti at school. To teach them that it should be protected, protected against any change. The Extreme Islamic elements in kuwait are fighting to changing wordings in the constitution that will be a vast negative impact on kuwait.. for example.. the kuwaiti constitution states in article 2 “Islamic Sharia shall be a main source of legislation.” The extremists are fighting to change the wording from “A main source” into “THE main source”, or even (what they really want is) “THE SOURCE” (meaning the ONLY source).
    Now to change our laws and legislation into purely sharia means one thing.. saudi arabia, taliban or even Iran… were talking stoning, cutting off of hands of people, cutting off of heads, etc.. If thats not what you call extremist then there’s something wrong with your mind!! It seems these people behind this movement have already fooled you.

  20. @miss ghesquiere: loved the Jack Daniels analogy! Thank you so much for the comment.

    @sfsa78: read the whole post before you start commenting. You either haven’t read the entire post, or you’re being deliberately selective with regards to what I am saying which suggests that you are only too aware of just how weak your argument is.
    Guaranteeing and respecting human rights, which presumably is what democracy means, is not at all “conformation to western standards”, as you say because the fact of the matter is that the West was by no means the first part of the world to acknowledge human rights.
    So by trying to be democratic, we would not naturally be conforming to Western standards. Human rights are called HUMAN rights for a reason, they were the culmination of a collective effort by people around the world over the span centuries, not by a group of Vikings or Celtics!(No disrespect intended towards either one of those groups).
    By the way, it is an established fact that there is no universal definition for democracy and this has been a source of much controversy and indicates that democracy is understood differently in different parts of the world. And this is entirely natural; we do not live in a homogeneous world which is precisely what makes a fascinating world to live in.
    Also, I fail to see any relation between my previous comment and the decision to change weekends in Kuwait?! You really didn’t read the comment in its entirety did you?! You’re accusing me of being like your “Islamic extremists” because I am saying that, rather than take the nonsense being fed to us by some Western entities for granted and treat it as fact, we should think for ourselves for a change!
    Once again if you read the whole comment, you will find that I am not endorsing any kind extremism. What I am supporting is that we should practice our most fundamental right of all, the freedom of thought. You accuse of having been fooled by people that I just criticized in my previous post but it seems to me like you’ve been brainwashed by the West.
    Lastly, I have profound doubts about your qualification to assess Sharia laws. What Saudi Arabia is practicing is not Sharia, it is a manipulated interpretation of those laws. Saudi Arabia practices laws that it devised on its own but their so-called laws are so outrageous that they seem to think that the only way to justify their own severely distorted version of Sharia is by hiding behind a label. If its called Sharia, ill-informed individuals, such as yourself, will believe it to be Sharia. But the reality is that the laws employed by the likes of these countries and the 6aliban are little more than sadistic fantasies which could only be justified if they are somehow attached to Islam. Like the concept of Jihad, for example, whoever said that this meant the taking of innocent lives?! Nowhere in the Quran nor in Sharia can this twisted interpretation be found, but this hasn’t stopped a bunch of maniacs from killing countless innocent civilians.
    Sharia laws are not what is found in Saudi Arabia or in the 6aliban, the danger surfaces when we allow some loons and their goons to try to impose their versions of Sharia. Only then do we risk morphing into the likes of those entities that have sullied the reputation of Islam.

  21. I fundamentally disagree with you on all counts.. we all know that Democracy and Human right are two different things. Democracy is political system for choosing and replacing the government through free and fair elections, with the active participation of the people, as citizens, in politics and civic life. It is a rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens, UNDER WHICH, all civilian’s human rights and other rights are protected.
    Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.

    Now saying this, do you believe that you can trust the sharia law, even when it’s in it’s “correct” version to protect everybody’s equality as a civilian? May i remind you that the koran clearly states that the word of a man is equal to two women in sharia law?(just to give you a small and simple example). Lets not even go into the argument about the the punishment of apostasy (leaving the islamic faith), which is punishable by death.(then these people have the audacity to say that we don’t need human rights in kuwait, since sharia will protect this. It’s all self evident.
    So, taking your righteous arguments of human rights.. don’t you think if a man that wants to have an alcoholic beverage in his house he has a right to do so? In your last post you argued that there’s a difference between the right to drive and the right to drink alcohol, this is a joke, since our friends in Saudi arabia would love to differ with you. There, they say it is against sharia for a woman to drive.
    My point that i would love to get across to you is that it is dangerous to base a democratic country’s law based upon religion or religious laws (sharia). Trusting the sharia is one thing, blind faith or trust in the clerics that implement them is another. You’re opening the door for an erosion of liberties and freedom, especially freedom of religion.. (and freedom to drink alcohol! 🙂

  22. You say that democracy and human rights are two different things but whichever way you look at it the two are inextricably intertwined; you can’t really have one without the other.
    And you say that you “fundamentally disagree with (me) on all counts” but look at what you wrote:
    “Trusting the sharia is one thing, blind faith or trust in the clerics that implement them is another.”
    And here’s what I wrote in my previous comment:
    “Sharia laws are not what is found in Saudi Arabia or in the 6aliban, the danger surfaces when we allow some loons and their goons to try to impose their versions of Sharia. Only then do we risk morphing into the likes of those entities that have sullied the reputation of Islam.”
    With regards to our friends in Saudi Arabia not allowing women to drive, I think maybe if they laid off the booze they might begin to sober to the reality that women in that country will not be willing to tolerate the violation of their rights for much longer. And I stand by what I said about your baseless analogy regarding cars and car accidents and alcohol and alcoholism, it is obviously an analogy that has yet to become acquainted with logic.
    And while you mistakingly submit that Saudi Arabians would disagree with me, I can assure that there are countless Bahrainis who would disagree with you. In Bahrain, alcohol is legal but I find no signs of the freedom and liberty that you claim allowing alcohol entails, there people are persecuted because of their religious beliefs and convictions.
    And consider Egypt where they allow alcohol too, how democratic do you think life is in that country?!
    Then there’s Russia, the home of vodka and election-rigging. Oh yeah and China, which has the highest execution rate in the world.
    All of these countries and a long list of others have alcohol but show no signs of being any closer to achieveing democracy, liberty, freedom, or respect for human rights.
    And to answer your question (” don’t you think if a man that wants to have an alcoholic beverage in his house he has a right to do so?”) I do believe that this man of yours would have the right to have an alcoholic beverage in a country that allows this moronic and meaningless ritual and there are several of those, even in this part of the world.
    I suppose that in the end, if you insist on refusing to listen to reason and on not presenting a logical argument and I definitely have no intention of allowing myself to be brainwashed by the alleged point you’re trying to make, we will simply have to agree to disagree.

  23. I couldn’t agree more with what q8tiya said in her comments. Here, we’re discussing this issue of allowing alcohol in a country which hasn’t allowed it before. As any new low discussed you have to weigh up the pros and cons before deciding whether to agree or disagree. We’re not discussing religion here, but we can’t allow it just because other countries allow it. Alcohol will affect the country as whole. We don’t know exactly what the impact on the society will be. It’s not only the individual be harmed here, so it’s a naivety to say it’s part of the freedom of choice.

  24. Salah.. this is an easy argument… 🙂 You base your whole argument upon the fact that alcohol is new to kuwait, in which you state…. “allowing alcohol in a country which hasn’t allowed it before.”
    May i refer you, and everyone on this blog to this TIME’S article dated Friday, Jan. 22, 1965, in which it clearly states the disadvantages of this sudden ban on alcohol of which we can congratulate the same kind of insane people that brought to you the Islamic revolution of iran. I say this because ever since those days there has been a cult like fever of an extremist view of this religion, not only on iran, but the whole of our region.

    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,940860,00.html

    OIL OIL EVERYWHERE, BUT NOT A DROP TO DRINK

    A month ago the oil-rich sheikdom of Kuwait banned all liquor within its borders, and since then many of its thirsty citizens have been drinking everything in sight from perfume and eau de cologne to rubbing alcohol and Sterno — with predictably disastrous results. By last week, an estimated 150 Kuwaiti had died from alcohol poisoning, several hundred more had been blinded, and Kuwait’s hospitals were filled to overflowing. Bathtub gin is flourishing, and bootlegging the real thing has become Kuwait’s fastest growing business. A fifth of Dewar’s White Label Scotch now commands a sheik’s ransom of $50 on the black market.
    Prohibition came to Kuwait as deviously as an Arab horse trade. In theory only Christian residents of the predominantly Moslem nation could drink, using ration cards to obtain whisky through London’s Gray Mackenzie & Co. Ltd., which has had an import monopoly on Kuwait’s liquor flow for decades. In fact, Moslems imbibed increasingly, and drunken-driving fatalities mounted apace. The nation’s stricter religious leaders then teamed up with local merchants who resented Gray Mackenzie’s lucrative monopoly to introduce a prohibition bill in the Kuwaiti Assembly. With voting a matter of public record in the tiny Moslem land, the bill passed easily, despite its manifest unpopularity and whatever the legislators’ private lapses from the temperance of Mohammed’s grace might be.
    Gray Mackenzie padlocked its doors, and the poisoning cases began to stagger in as sales of after-shave lotions and cologne soared tenfold. Several dozen British and American petroleum engineers served notice that they would not renew their employment contracts if Kuwait stayed dry. Several influential Kuwaitis have applied to remote countries for posts as honorary consuls, hoping thereby to qualify for diplomatic liquor privileges. Many of the thirsty began flocking to Basra in Iraq, 100 miles from Kuwait City. Their pilgrimage has also produced agitation for repeal of the law from their weekend widows left behind. They fear that the forced-draft drinking by the boys and the wiles of the women of Basra may prove a dangerously combustible mix.
    http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,940860,00.html

    I tell you again… the extremist Islamic elements in Kuwait have fooled you. Especially with their twisted propaganda.

  25. sfsa78: you realize that was written in 1965 (NINETEEN SIXTY FIVE) by an AMERICAN magazine. and you realize that people use numbers TO THEIR ADVANTAGE and that TIME was not AT ALL as global as it is today. You also realize that in 1965, the Americans LOVED the British and that 1965 was the first ever year that the Americans sold WEAPONS to Israel, their ALLY. and in 1965, the Americans, who were ALLIES with the British, regarded the SOVIET-ALLIED Arab states as BARBARIC. and you realize that just less that 4 YEARS before this lovely article was written, kuwait became INDEPENDENT from the oil-loving, exploitative British and took control of their oil supply, a trend in the Middle East not favoured by the Brits and the Americans, who had MANY INTERESTS in the area and had it to thank for their deep pockets. Get my gist? The halting of Grey Mackenzie in its tracks, so to speak, was not welcome news. To run a tidbit like this in their magazines at the time was only to reaffirm the rising feeling of American superiority and to give credit to the one-sidedness of their “righteous, “patriotic”, thinking. In 1965, the people who wrote Time could not put themselves in anyone’s shoes. If more that a decade later, they still found it A-okay that Kissinger gave the green light to kill 2 million people, have the rivers literally run RED and overthrow a good leader in East Timor because they suspected a communist uprising, what the hell do they care? the middle east was painted the way they liked, and it was usually a negative picture when one of their “modern, democracy-loving” monopolies collapsed.
    anyway, people can behave the way that they like. if they are stupid enough to drink perfumes, then to hell… neither the countries nor its policies are to blame for these unfortunate acts of stupidity. I see you failed to note the LACK of statistics on alcohol abuse before the ban was implemented or the reasons WHY. oh, and as the article mentions alcohol was permitted ONLY to Christians. where is your point? there is so much more i can say, but i beg of you not to be influenced by outdated articles of such irrelevance ever again and espcially not to use them to justify an already tragically weak point.

  26. So, let me get this straight… You’ve turned the ban of alcohol in kuwait into a “geopolitical” argument??? where i sensed even a hint of the 80’s style paranoia of israel, and how The brits were resenting being “forced” out of kuwait??? And you call my argument weak????
    I shouldn’t really be even entertaining this argument, not only because of its stupidity, but because of it’s irrelevance to the matter of alcohol and the article.
    However, since this is also an easy argument, i will help you get out of your blind bias of the west and your confusion of the case that YOU brought up.

    You base your WHOLE argument upon the fact that the time’s article is biased against kuwait, and is not telling the truth due to the British (their allies), being pushed out of kuwait and out of the oil business in kuwait (since kuwait nationalised it’s oil sector).

    First of all, the scenario you gave was the scenario that happened not to kuwait, but to Iran!!! The brits were FORCED OUT of the iranian oil sector due to the the iranian parliament ENFORCING nationalisation of it’s oil,
    and EVEN then, the Time’s magazine named iranian Prime minister Mossadegh (whom was the architect of the nationalization of the Iranian oil industry, which had been under British control through the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company, today known as British Petroleum, and who was passionate about keeping the brits out of iran’s affairs) as the MAN OF THE YEAR !!! so this fact ALONE tears apart your argument of Time’s magazine being biased of kuwait due to it’s nationalisation of it’s oil. Do you get MY gist??!?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Mossadegh

    Secondly, kuwait’s oil sector became nationalised waaaaayyy before kuwait became independent from the brits. Kuwait nationalised their oil and formed KNPC in 1960, Kuwait became independent in 1961. So your theory of brits angry due to kuwait claiming independence thus forcing them out of kuwait oil is baseless and obsurd.
    http://www.kpc.com.kw/www/h_default.htm

    Thirdly, if the brits were really upset over losing “their interests” in kuwait (as you put it), explain to me why, in 1973, only a few years after kuwait’s independence, the Brits REFUSED TO HELP THE AMERICANS(“whom they loved” as you put it) which wanted to invade Kuwait, KSA, and AbuDhabi and take over the oil fields at the hight of the 70’s oil embargo???? Surely that was their chance to get what they lost?? And to help their ally the americans??
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3333995.stm

    Fourthly, (which personally i think is priceless) is that there seems to be a “few” facts that seem to be more fictional than fact, of which you seem to need to be clarified upon. You wrote: “in 1965, the Americans, who were ALLIES with the British, regarded the SOVIET-ALLIED Arab states as BARBARIC. and you realize that just less that 4 YEARS before this lovely article was written, kuwait became INDEPENDENT from the oil-loving, exploitative British”. Now if you STILL haven’t seen the blatant inaccuracy, i’ll point it out for you, since it might help you become less confused on the issue…. Kuwait a soviet ally!?!?!? When?? i always thought kuwait to be a british protectorate!?!? (which is quite the opposite !!) I think once again you are getting confused, but this time with Iraq, which was indeed a soviet ally, (but what on earth has that to do with this whole issue kuwait and alcohol.. i really don’t know!?!?). very amusing.

    You have failed miserably trying to connect the ban of alcohol or the Time’s article to any conspiracy theory that you may have presented. What you have achieved is to cause a smoke screen over the real issues, changing the subject, and have clearly shown your confusion over historical events. Do you get my gist??

    So, once again… I say to you: The the extremist Islamic elements in kuwait have fooled you. (it’s obvious that it wasn’t a hard task judging by the amount of confusion already existing)

  27. @miss ghesquiere: it’s fantastically refreshing to see that there are people like you who actually take the time to conduct a bit of research about relevant issues and present logical arguments and counterarguments rather than allow themselves to be force fed a load of nonsense that is all too often taken for granted by far too many! Best of luck oo mwafega Inshallah : )

    @sfsa78: it’s funny how you think that everybody has been fooled but you…

  28. Q8tiya…
    So it’s funny that i’m not fooled by the islamic extremist in kuwait.. ?!?!?
    No.. what’s funny is why you don’t reply to my last post.. that’s what really is funny…
    But nice try anyways.

  29. I agree with Mark. I say total separation of mosque and state, and only then can this country become a true democracy.
    It is a a shame that people of our part of the world are basing laws made up by these geniuses:

    http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/1/15/101803.shtml?s=ic

    http://www.nysun.com/article/46707

    group of Islamic clergy in Saudi Arabia has condemned the letter “X” because of its similarity to a hated banned symbol – the cross.
    The Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which has the ultimate say in all legal, civil and governance matters in the kingdom, issued a fatwa, or religious edict, against the “X.” It came in response to a Ministry of Trade query about whether a Saudi businessman could be granted trademark protection for a new service with the English name “Explorer.”
    The request from the businessman, Amru Mohammad Faisal, was turned down.
    “Experts who examined the English word ‘explorer’ were struck by how suspicious that ‘X’ appeared,” Youssef Ibrahim writes in the New York Sun.
    “In a kingdom where Friday preachers routinely refer to Christians as pigs and infidel crusaders, even a twisted cross ranks as an abomination.”
    In response to the turndown, Faisal wrote an article that appeared on several Arabian Web sites, sarcastically suggesting that the authorities might consider banning the “plus” sign in mathematics because of its similarity to the cross.
    Among the commission’s earlier edicts is the 1974 fatwa declaring that the Earth is flat.

    Between 1993 and 1995, various newspapers and magazines published accounts that Abd-al-Aziz ibn Abd-Allah ibn Baaz, who was at the time the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, had said that the Earth is flat.[71] Baz strongly denied that claim, describing the allegation as a “pure lie” and saying that he “only” denied Earth’s rotation.[72][73]
    Supporters of Ibn Baz said that the book in which the flat earth claim was supposed to have been laid out does not exist, and that the entire controversy was based on one interview with Egyptian journalists. They said that Ibn Baz, as he clarified later, was referring to the surface of earth that we walk on being flat although he believed the Earth to be spherical. In Arabic, the same word is commonly used for both the earth as well as the ground. The journalist, having not paid attention to this distinction, misquoted Ibn Baz and created a story; the story was picked up by a Kuwaiti magazine (Assiyasah) and from there spread around the world. Ibn Baz was an admirer and a scholar of the works of Ibn Taymiyyah, who did not support the flat earth theory.[74]

  30. i agree hugely with q8tiya. seriously, sorry sfsa78 but you REDEFINE selective criticism! and i said the ARAB STATES were soviet allied. egypt ring a bell? the planned ARAB STATES war on isreal ring a bell? and scuzi.. 1980s israel PARANOIA? PARANOIA? excuse my language but who the hell is the warped one here?!! in the 40s they shoehorned themselves in one of the holiest sites for all three religions, bulldozed its residents’ homes and claimed it in hostility for their religion and theirs alone and continue to be backed by the world’s influential powers to divide the middle east and BLAST its original settlers out of their own homes!!!! feeling sorry for the poor little israelis now? is it not doing much damage with a war that’s in its 60s??!!! am i paranoid sfsa78? or are you just DELUDED? trying to brush away relevant FACTS with condemning the truth and succumbing to a WESTERN mentality which places anyone not with it against it?!
    a ONE year difference in has nothing to do with anything really, and NEITHER does iran for Heavens sake! you do realize that things can be made to look very similar when you want them to? and OF COURSE the brits were not going to support a ridiculous weakened-American plan to take over anything! NO WAY were they going to miss the opportunity to regain the ground they lost in the ME with such a ridiculously promising and rapidly growing economy! They could get their companies in there and THRIVE! how crazy do you think they are? the days of colonialism were over for the British Empire. You argue that my arguments make no sense. I can say the exact same thing about yours.
    did you even read the second part of what i wrote? i would love to hear your comments concerning that! and also, please dont accuse us of siding with the “Islamic” extremists. we see alcohol as a hindrance, a destructive, truly unnecessary added problem. i have my own views, my own very strong opinions and i always make sure to keep an open mind. to shove myself and q8tiya into that sordid category and accuse us of being brainwashed is an insult. i dont believe that you already know i was in parliament the day they annonced the Nouriya verdict to show my support for her and AGAINST those people. i dont beleive you know that i spoke on NATIONAL television agiainstthese people! much to the fury of two that were standing right there as i spoke my mind in front of the camera!
    you are the one who seems extreme to me. pitting yourself against people just because they dont think more drunk teens on the road would exactly make this country a utopia!

  31. @miss ghesquiere: THANK YOUUUUUU! Ye36eeech elf 3afya! You pretty much read my mind on this!

    @sfsa78: again you twist my words, I agree with miss ghesquiere, you really are shamelessly selective. I never said that I think it’s funny that you are, as you put it,”not fooled by the islamic extremist in kuwait”, I said that I find it funny that you THINK that everybody has been fooled but you. It’s funny because you have managed to lure yourself into believing that you’re the only person who hasn’t been fooled when the odds of that actually being the case, as has been confirmed by the utter incoherence of your comments, are so astronomical that they’re practically incalculable.

    With regards to not replying to your last post, my reply is to simply let you keep posting your comments since you’re doing a great job of making my point for me; the more you write, the more obvious it becomes that your argument is severely lacking in logic and consistency.
    What’s more, everything you claim in your posts has already been addressed and responded to in my previous posts. If you actually read them you will find that I have articulated my point and argument instead of resorting to selectively presenting the opinions of others to do so, I hence see no point in wasting my time repeating myself.

    You will even find a response to your brand new “separation of mosque and state” claim way back in post no.14. All you’ve been doing in your latest comments is posting links and regurgitating what has been claimed by people who would even rival you for the title of ‘most selective and subjective argument ever presented by any given individual’.

  32. “Selective criticism”??? Where do you come up with such rubbish?? Twisting your words?? oh, Pleeeaaase. Give me a break!! Bringing into the argument of alcohol ban in kuwait the palestinian issue and bulldozing??? That just speaks for itself on what kind of silliness these posts have come to. Are you trying to out-do each other or compete in who can write the most illogical gibberish?!??
    Anyhow.. I simply stated my arguments clearly, backed up with links and historical proof etc.. so it’s pretty obvious that you are obsessed in trying to win over the argument by being very economical with logic. You guys are so defensive!! why? You deny the right of alcohol, now you wanna deny the people’s opinions??? Ganging up, and writing patronizing comments, almost to the point of patting each others backs in the process. Is this what your replies have boiled down to?? What a joke!
    I have the right to my opinion, which is neither influenced by religious ideologies, nor ignorance.. unlike some hypocrites here. I am a kuwaiti that believes in freedom and liberty FOR ALL. Is that such a bad thing? It looks like it’s a nightmare for some who have no tolerance for any other opinion except theirs!! And people say why is kuwait the way it is!! And don’t even think of playing the “you are influenced by the west” card, because, quite frankly thats getting boring and old really fast.

  33. Wow, i hate it when i’m always proven right… this article proves exactly my point of the extremist islamist and their erosion on our freedoms and liberties.. an article taken from the kuwait times. But to some it is illogical and incoherent..What a joke!!! THEY SAY IGNORANCE IS BLISS. Some here have taken this to a whole new level.

    http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=MzUwODQ2NzA0

    There is no need to be paranoid

    The Kuwaiti government has decided to monitor all Kuwaiti blogs. Government officials say it’s an attempt to safeguard the values and morals of the Kuwaiti society and to preserve order and respect for law. OK, we all know the former is just a filler to give the state more credibility and appeal amongst Kuwaitis, especially Islamists.

    So there you have it… yet more proof that you have been fooled by the extremist islamic elements in kuwait…. I won’t even go into the news of MP Ali ALRasheed being threatened by seven bullets to his chest by the islamists in kuwait due to him wanting to reverse the or cancel the segregation laws in kuwait.
    But again, my words are twisted by some here, claiming that i say that ALL or everyone is fooled by the islamists except me… what a joke.. Here are a few like minded kuwaitis that share the same ideas..where you can read more into the evil doings of the extremist islamic elements in kuwait that are eroding away our freedoms and liberties.
    my ideas are Incoherent with no logic… loool what a joke! maskhara!

  34. In one of my earlier post I mentioned taliban and how the extremist islamics elements in kuwait want to turn our country into a taliban like state.. of course that was laughed at and belittled by q8tya an her side-kick.. I just watched MP Mohammed ALSaqer interview on AL-Rai talevision.. He was commenting on the dangerous situation of kuwait posed by these extremist elements, and in particular he commented on the threat of killing MP Ali Rashid by these kuwaiti islamic extremists because he simply wants to cancel the segregation law in universities ( but some here say islamic extremists in kuwait don’t exist!! Maybe a figment of our imagination created by the west?!?!!?!). Mohammed AlSaqer said something to the effect of “We reject these types of taliban style threats, and let them go back to the taliban”..
    Again i am proven right, however, batwoman (q8tya) and her side kick think that this argument and others are incoherent, and “lack logic”. What a load of crap!
    I say to them, wake up and smell the coffee!! you’re in denial!! Face the facts.

  35. Bismialllah Abrahan Abrahim:

    I converted at Islam 1999.I want to beleive that Islamic countries are strong and conservating clean to Kuwait country, I pray to Allah for muslim arabian to keep safe the culture, and to put far the influencias of wester countries, from tourist or others….not permisive alcohol.sex on road, etc etc.Please.

    Canary island was the most clean and famous country for tourist before. In these days 2008 all the democratic and freedomm of Wester countries also afect to our country.
    All the young people drink at night on the road, going to the beach and through all the alcohol dirty bottle at the beutifull beach- the british tourist, German tourist drink alcohol, break the aparthotel, throught paper, all their rabbish in any places—
    They dont respect, they hate muslim rules.So the quality tourist will understand it without to ask about alcohol and enjoy the arabian culture.That´s it

    Thank you
    Mariam A.

  36. Hi Mariam,

    I thank God that you converted to Islam and I hope you find your soul rest.
    I tried to reach you via email but it seems your address has a permanent error. I’ll wait for your new mail address.

    Best regards,

    Nabil

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *