Sunday, 12 April 2015

5 things which Saudis need to learn from their Kuwaiti brothers

The little brother of Saudi Arabia i.e. Kuwait seemed a step back in development and infrastructure till the day I visited it. I was surprised in fact shocked to see that it was totally unlike my perceptions and estimates. It was the first thought when I started planning to visit Kuwait that it is some place which may be surviving as post-war zone and may have gained the status of developing country. It was something totally unexpected to see and confess that it is at least hundreds years forward than Saudi Arabia. It sounds astonishing that little brother is advance than Saudi Arabia and advancement to such extent!! Amazing! All Arabian countries share same cultural norms somehow, they have same demographic basis, and has almost same history. Despite of advancement and development, Kuwait retained its norms and Islamic culture unlike Dubai or Bahrain. It has not only gained top ranks in top Arab countries in Human Development Index but has also maintained highest literacy rate among Arab countries. Some major areas where Kuwait has much more influential structure than its big brother (Saudi Arabia) are;

  1. Women Empowerment: The women of Kuwait are much more empowered and independent than Saudi women. This is one of the main reasons behind Kuwait revival after such a devastating war. A society flourishes till the extent its women are empowered and the same rule works in little brother (Kuwait). The literacy rate is emphasized in both countries but Kuwaiti women are actually free to utilize their education as job rate is 42.5% in Kuwait and Saudi Arabia has just 20% of women employment. These are simple changes Saudi Arabia is required to bring in its social and political culture to feel more advanced and proud in preservation of Arab culture. Women empowerment does not only need to be at governmental level, you need to empower them even at domestic level.
  2. Tourism: Tourism industry of Kuwait is much advance than Saudi Arabia as there is no need of sponsor as is required in Saudi Arabia. Visas can be taken right the way from embassies.
  3. Infrastructure: The infrastructure of Kuwait is much advance than Saudi Arabia. It has barren dessert in its surroundings but has paved roads, sidewalks in a clean and immaculate condition. Lawn is properly cultivated and tress are trimmed which presents and eye catching sight.
  4. Public Parking: You will find many public parks with greenery and it will totally make you forget that there is a huge desert in its surrounding. Corniches of Kuwait are properly aligned with parks, public beaches and entertainment zones. It is far more advance and tidy than Saudi Arabia.
  5. Gender Segregation: The most surprising thing I came across in Kuwait that people work in merged environment and there is no gender segregation like Saudi Arabia. Despite of all this, women harassment rate is far lower than Saudi Arabia. You won’t find any person in mall or on road chasing a woman, calling her names or irritating her, despite of the fact that there is no religious police working Kuwait. Saudi Arabia should apply gender segregation as much as Islam requires it, but sometimes it is felt that they go one step beyond the requirements of Islam.
Although Saudi Arabia is big brother, yet it can learn so many things from its little brother (Kuwait) in order to step ahead in advancement and development for the land of two holy Mosques. The above content was initially published on Blue Abaya
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