Stereotyping Kuwaitis


My cousin sent me a link to Kuwait Times’ article regarding Kuwaitis and negative stereotype. More than 20 students and professors gathered at the AUK library to debate the article ‘Thinking Like a Kuwaiti’ and the stereotypes. Dr Christopher Ohan, a faculty member of the, AUK History and International Studies Program organized and moderated the discussion.

Click Here For The Report

I really found it very enlightening yet the discussion didn’t bring anything new to the table. I guess Kuwaitis come from my different backgrounds and perspectives that uniquely shape who they are.

7 responses to this post.

  1. That’s a very cool article and my kudos go out to the students at AUK. These debates are always interesting…

    However, my dad didn’t walk a few steps ahead of us, and neither would my brothers, it depends on the family itself – again though within the debate there was a lot of stereotyping go around though – I agree that a lot of people may do it but many don’t.

    I hate liter-ing and I’m comfortable with telling strangers off to if they do it. I normally get what’s with you look, but I don’t care. it IS disrespectful.

    “I guess Kuwaitis come from my different backgrounds and perspectives that uniquely shape who they are.”

    You nailed it.


  2. every society and race has its steriotypes

    it was kinda of a moot discussion, same ol stuff

    but the effort is appriciated

    thankx 4 shareing


  3. Posted by Missy-TheOriginal on May 13, 2007 at 12:25 pm

    I was bored at work, browsing online & came across that article. I didnt’ like it really. I thought it was biased, but more than that do you know what I felt? I felt like the rapporteur of the events committee in AUK woke up one day and said “Hmm… golly! We need events, we needs something to do… O i know! D’oh..let’s talk about stereotyping! That always keeps people talkin”.

    They pick contravertial topics just to keep the ball rolling- seriously! How many times do we hear and read this? DRIING DRIING EARTH CALLING PEOPLE! You wanna do something? DO SOMETHING and stop talking about boring subjects jwith run on sentences just to prove that we’re O SO SOPHISTICATED – and it’s not even a FRIGGIN arab who presided that discussion! Now if that wasn’t stereotyping in itself then I dunno WHAT IS…DO SOMETHING do something….

    I see you lookin at me
    Like I’m some kind of freak
    Get up out of your seat
    Why dont you do somethin’?
    I see you lookin’ at me
    Like I got what you need
    Get up out of your seat,
    Why dont you do somethin’?


    Ok… Sorry I flipped i had a very strong urge toI suddenly sing that…I seriously need to go and DO SOMETHING else before I completely lose it =P looooool


  4. The article barely skimmed on the subjects, it didn’t really skim even the top of these problems. I could go into depth with a lot of these problems and give a different perspective on how things work and what exactly is happening. Then again its all about perspective, but Kuwaitis do have bad stereotyping at this point because of the majority, and the majority work in the government sector so they are known as lazy bums.


  5. Posted by Abdulla Taki on May 19, 2007 at 10:58 am


    I just wanted to comment that it was the effort of a fellow student and myself at AUK to coordinate the discussion. This blog has been brought to my attention by a friend, I would like to point out that the actual event was very productive in terms of discussion points unlike depicted in the news story; Kuwait Time’s coverage was very biased. Most of the points were taken out of context and they displayed very poor journalism on their part. The newspaper clearly had an agenda so regardless of what was discussed, they covered it from the angle they wanted.

    For example, the student who said that he sees workers not doing anything in the streets actually said, “Just to play the devil’s advocate…”. Clearly the newspaper had negated that he even said that for a purpose they had. Also, proper journalists should not voice their opinion. For example, if the journalists agree with what one particular student said they should not label that student as “smart” or “brilliant” which they had done so. Likewise, they cannot depict others who they might not have agreed with their points as being too hasty or sudden.

    Overall, the actual discussion was very productive and it pointed out that we have problems within society such as mistreatment of expats. The article however did not touch upon some of the arguments made such as that such problems are not only exclusive to Kuwait. Even the United States have their fair share of mistreatment such as the implementation of sweatshops. The newspaper chose to ignore some of these arguments. If you seek more details regarding the actual discussion you can reach me

    Thank you for your time.

    Abdulla Taki


  6. I ran into this by coincidence, and just had to say something.

    I didn’t attend the discussion at AUK, however i did go through the points in Dr. Sami’s list with Abdulla Taki (the coordinator) over a cup of coffee. We concluded that the stereotypes listed by Dr. Sami are directed at particular social groups in Kuwait (who i believe are a majority), and not “Kuwaitis” as a people. I didn’t mind Dr. Sami’s exaggerated list, for i believe that pointing out the existing evils is the first step to dealing with the problem – however, it would be ironic if we indignantly argued and rejected what Dr. Sami said, and went on to fulfil parts of the list.

    An interesting point that Dr. Sami mentioned had to do with Kuwaiti’s not reading enough. Though there are political influences behind this (dare i say) fact, as a person who has went through both private and public schools in Kuwait, i believe a main reason behind this is the “dogmatic” methods of education in public schools, which of course form the majority of Kuwaiti society. I felt no encouragement for critical thinking in the public school i attended, it had an authoritarian overtone, and most classes emitted an aura of despondency. Still, despite the state’s staggering economy, the quality of education is curbed by the legislating conservatives – and this seems to be seeping into the private education sector.

    Anyway, not to go offtopic, i’ll end it there
    Meng De


  7. @Cixousianpanic

    I share your points exactly 🙂


    Yes at least they are making some effort and that’s a good thing.


    LOOOL Missy that was hilarious and the song…pure genius 😉


    “They are known as lazy bums.”
    You are soooo right on this point.


    Thank you so much for your contribution and for clearing some stuff up. I cannot believe that after all these years and our journalism is still a joke. I really appreciate YOUR time for jolting all the stuff down and making a point.


    Thank you for all the info you provided and your thoughts regarding Dr.Sami. That was insightful…thanks for the effort.


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