Mubarak Port project deserves better focus: Forum

September 20, 2011

Kuwait’s government and media have come under criticism for an alleged poor performance in marketing and highlighting the Mubarak Al Kabeer Port.

Participants at a forum on the issue said that a committee should be formed to handle the dispute on the project as well as other standoffs with Iraq, Kuwaiti daily Al Watan reported.

The Mubarak Al Kabeer Port, a project under construction on Bubiyan, the largest island in the Kuwaiti coastal island chain, has waded into controversy after Iraqis said that it was a provocative and unnecessary move by Kuwait and that it would cause a 60 per cent drop in Umm Qasr traffic. Kuwait refuted the charges and dismissed all fears about the project.

Hajjaj Bu Khodour, an economist, said at the forum that he was disappointed that Kuwait failed to market the project efficiently.

“If Kuwaiti officials had taken the correct steps in presenting the project, no one would have objected to it,” he said. “Kuwait wishes to construct the port to cooperate with Iran and Iraq, and I call for setting up a committee that is specialised in handling such a crisis,” he said.

Bu Khodour said that he had suggested turning Bubiyan Island into a commercial area to reinvigorate water channels located there.

“The economic feasibility of the project is great for Iraq and Iran, more so than it is for Kuwait,” he said.

Media person Manawer Al Rajihi accused the media of failing to shed light on Kuwait’s case and expressed disappointment that there were no committees within the government agencies to assist major media campaigns in such cases.

In his statement, he wondered why the government did not use Kuwaiti intellectuals who had “great experience in various economic, social, cultural, and technical fields.”

Former Colonel Fahad Al Sheleimi said that Iraq was a neighbour and Iraqis were brothers to Kuwaiti people despite disagreements.

However, Al Sheleimi said that the Kuwaiti media failed to focus on the project.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) last week expressed support to Kuwait and said the Mubarak Al Kabeer port would be built “on Kuwaiti territories, within its territorial waters and within borders approved by UN resolutions.”



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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