Growing up, my Arabic was very weak. I was an avid reader of books in English, and at the age of six, I was able to speak the language fluently. My Arabic was not as strong. The people in my school, for whatever reason, decided to tease me constantly throughout my school years and mock me for being different.

I know I’m not the only one in the country that has been faced with this issue. All across the nation, you have people of different backgrounds constantly being put down and discriminated against because they didn’t fit the mould that their native classmates adhere to. It just angers me that certain people take it upon themselves to try and make themselves look great at another person’s expense or, as I previously stated, vilify another person just because they’re different, especially in Kuwait.

Let me give you an example: I have a friend that is half-Kuwaiti/half-Pakistani who I had met years ago through karate training. During his days in school, he would repeatedly be called “son of a maid” or “illegal immigrant”, as well as getting constantly beat up by other Kuwaitis who did not “approve” of his family’s background. Who are you to approve or disapprove of an individual’s ethnic roots? Both sides of his family had put aside their differences for the good of their family, yet these differences are still questioned and condemned by absolute strangers.

Another example came to me a few days ago, when a young 13 year-old schoolboy I know had come to me for advice. He started his education at a regular private school, and was constantly made fun of and beat up because he had some learning disabilities that caused him to learn at a slower rate than his classmates, so his parents moved him to another private school for children with special needs, assuming that this would fix the problem. After all, he was among young children like himself. As it turns out, this was not the case. He told me that he has been physically bullied by some older schoolmates ever since he had moved to the school and that he was too afraid to tell his parents, because they thought switching schools had fixed the problem.

Which begs the question: How to do we put an end to bullying once and for all? I personally think it would be a good idea to hold lectures about the long-term effects of bullying in public schools and universities, so that students know what the outcomes of their discrimination lead to. Also, I propose that parents make an effort to get more involved in their childrens’ school life, because you never know what could be going on, and what it might lead to. Finally, I think that young Kuwaitis should try to get to know their peers more; regardless of race or nationality. As for my part in the solution, my upcoming documentary will include a segment containing interviews and backstories on victims of bullying. Hopefully that when it is seen through your own eyes, you get a better sense of understanding about the situation itself.

6 Responses to “Bullying in Kuwait: What’s the Deal?”

  1. Leanah Al Awadhi says:

    Awesome! This blog is what Kuwait NEEDS.

  2. Eliasoz says:

    You raised some good points. I think it really comes down to the parents and the way they raise their children. Most don’t realize/care about the kind of environment they are in and the types of attitudes they develop. No one really helps their children learn tolerance and acceptance.

  3. Ashkanani says:

    bullying will always be around, IMO a conference or lecture wouldnt really make the bullies listen because they dont really care. usually the bully does what he does because of something else, like problems at home or not getting enough affection. i think we should focus on the bullies instead of the bullied, prevention is always better then a cure.

  4. Nadia says:

    That is very true. It is an issue that happens all around the world unfortunately and sadly it is not something that can be stopped overnight. It all comes down to how they are raised at home, many children look up to their older brother’s and sister’s aswell and sometimes they are not the best role model’s in kuwait. I come from a mixed background, my father is kuwaiti and my mother is irish. I do realize how difficult it may be growing up and not exactly fitting in. You can be put down often of your background and seen as being ‘lower’ than others. I see many children using harsh words towards other children because of their race,religion or class. Kuwait is a beautiful country, and there is many beautiful people in it and it would be wonderful if we could change bullying. We do find some Kuwaiti’s who are more accepting than others which is fantastic, but sadly we find some who aren’t as accepting and can put many people down because of their difference. Children are children and are not alway’s aware of their actions, i think if changes could happen in their home’s it would definetely change the way they treat others. Parent’s should teach their children from a very early stage that we cannot Judge others, only God can judge. Islam is a lovely religion of which has beautiful teachings that we could use, Islam is peace and if parents could also teach their children all of these beautiful teachings, and teach them that God love’s everybody as we are all equal, then this would be progress. I do come across some people whom think their better than other’s such as maids/drivers, and i would ask why ? Their simple reply would be, ‘ Because their indian/Because their poor/Because we are arab.’ Sadly, this is also said by adults who should know what is right and what is wrong and this then reflects in their children. This is taken by the children into their schools, and that is where bullying starts and grows. As i said earlier, Kuwait is such a beautiful country with many beautiful kind-hearted people and hopefully in time these people will be able to teach others, and soon bullying and ignorance can be put to a stop. I do think that there should be lecture’s that should be set up at each school/university time by time, to give speeches about bullying and how we can prevent it. I think it would be wonderful if a group could be able to go to schools and talk to children about the importance of being respectful towards each other no matter where you come from. Schools should encourage teachers to talk about this matter every now and then in their classroom’s and teach children the importance of being kind to each other and open up the subject of bullying. Perhaps Parent/teacher meetings could be set up where they can discuss the matters of bullying and perhaps give tasks and talks for children when at home, this would be progress if it could be taught at home aswell as school. It is easier said then done, but i do think actions should be made as the saying goes,’ Actions speak lounder than word’s’ and it is very important for us in Kuwait to make a move and hopefully put an end to bullying. It happen’s all around the world, unfortunetly we cannot change the whole world, but we can start here and really show the beauty of Kuwait. You have suggested very good point’s and solutions which i hope will take place soon.

  5. I know what’s it’s like to be different and i can relate. this is why i’m writing my story on my blog right now chapter by chapter. Life can be hard and we need to hear from others to keep our strength.

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