Kuwaitis cancel celebrations to sympathise with Syrians

February 14, 2012

Kuwait’s information ministry said that it decided not to broadcast the concerts to be performed during the Hala February festival out of respect for the victims of difficult conditions in Syria and other Arab countries.

“We will not air any concert on radio or television amid the dire conditions in some Arab countries, particularly the Syrian people,” the ministry said.

Kuwaiti star Nabeel Shuail said that he would not sing in the annual festival, citing sympathy with the Syrians.

Recently re-elected MP Waleed Al Tabtabai said that he cancelled the reception he scheduled to host to celebrate his win in the parliamentary elections on Thursday.

“The cancellation is in solidarity with the Syrian victims,” he said. “I urge the organisers of the February festival to cancel all concerts in respect for them,” he said.

Kuwaitis have been particularly vociferous in their support for the Syrians and in their criticism of the Syrian regime.

On Friday morning, the Syrian embassy and ambassador’s residence were attacked by a mob who smashed their way inside the buildings and damaged offices and furniture.

The Kuwaiti foreign and interior ministries pledged a zero-tolerance policy towards storming diplomatic missions and buildings as more than 30 people were arrested.

Several lawmakers have urged the authorities not to deport them for the assault, saying that they would be sent to a certain death in Syria and argued that they should be imprisoned in Kuwait.

However, controversial MP Mohammad Al Juwaihal said that they should be kicked out of the country for breaking laws and threatened to grill the interior minister if no action is taken against them.

Al Juwaihal will most likely wade into further controversy after he called for sacking all non-Kuwaiti national working in the administration of the parliament.

“Kuwait is for Kuwaitis,” Al Jouwaihal said. “I will give the next parliament speaker 30 days to dismiss the non-Kuwaitis working in the parliament,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Shahed.





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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