The Gulf Unrest – Comparative Views

It is a plague of humanity to always want what others have, without being thankful for having what others do not – Lord Aymz.

The greatest obstacle in media is bias, how people attempt to report news without bias.

An impossible task, as illustrated by this fairly simple yet extremely powerful illustration:

Victim.. Agressor... Who is who?

Victim.. Agressor… Who is who?

Take for example the BBC’s “unbiased” reporting as follows:

BBC Bias

Israeli’s Killed, from the verb “to kill” meaning Cause to die; put to death, usually intentionally or knowingly. Palestinians Died, from the verb to die meaning Pass from physical life and lose all bodily attributes and functions necessary to sustain life.

It is no secret right now that the Arab World is experiencing what the world has dubbed “The Arab Spring”, or الربيع العربي.

In each Arab State, the requirements are different, however all are requesting universally accepted definitions of freedom, be it expression, speech, or electoral.

Let us take for example what is happening locally in our very own Kuwait. One would have to have been living under a rock to not be aware of unrest that festers within the borders of an otherwise peaceful Kuwait. Many expats wonder what exactly is the local population upset about? They are provided with cradle-to-grave benefits the likes of which are not witnessed in many other countries.

The reasons, as explained in an article on Gulfnews.com (link) are numerous. The facts given are as follows:

They enjoy scholarships, secure jobs and generous salaries at a time when so many young people around the world have dim prospects and are underemployed. So why are thousands of young Kuwaitis so dissatisfied?

… is about fairness and the freedom to speak out.

“One day we will get married and have children and we want them to have a fair, equal life,” the 24-year-old said at a protest in the capital this month. “It is not about money. It is also about freedom and freedom of speech. Do not think you can give us money and we will sit at home and shut our mouths.”

Although the rallies have been about new voting rules, young people have joined in to protest about wider issues, such as corruption, the accountability of government ministers and elected officials as well as a lack of infrastructure development due to a legislative deadlock.

Young people, who can vote from 21, are offered generous scholarships to study abroad and many choose universities in the United States, Canada and Britain, allowing them to gain exposure to foreign cultures.

Once they graduate, most can go into a stable government job or wait for one and get state support in the meantime. If they choose to work for the private sector, the state often supplements their salary.

Salaries are also good by the standards of most countries. Under government plans announced in March, customs inspectors get a starting salary of 1,200 dinars a month tax-free, while a junior law clerk gets around 840 dinars.

The real gem to this article however comes in the comments section below, from neighboring Bahrain:

Maybe you Kuwaitis should come to Bahrain and then realize how lucky you are. I, as a father, am in student loans taken out to send my two older children to universities. After graduation the job although my son got is very good but the pay is low. Do we complain in Bahrain. No. We keep on trying hard to succeed. Come on neighbors get off your fancy cars and villas and I quote “its not what the country does for you is important but its what you do for the country is important”.

Anonymous, Manama, Bahrain

Does the father of two make a valid point? Freedom, as a concept, encompasses many aspects. What some see as a God-given right others view as a blessing from above if provided to them. The term “Freedom” is to vague to comprehend without drawing comparisons. There is no universal definition. In a world without borders, the act of defining freedom rapidly morphs on an almost daily basis. Switzerland grants you the freedom to end your own life in an assisted suicide clinic (for terminally ill patients), Germany allows for bestiality (Sexual activity between humans and animals) (link). Will there not be one person in a remote area who wishes for either of those freedoms to be extended to them? Or different ones?

It is a plague of humanity to always want what others have, without being thankful for having what others do not.

You decide.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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