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UK couple jailed for a kiss 4, April 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Emirates, UK.
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Courts in Dubai have upheld the decision to jail the British couple who kissed in a restaurant in the city for one month. This is a despicably stupid and hypocritical decision by an Emirate where prostitution is rife and obvious and which relies to a staggering degree on foreigners working there. The absurd nature of this incident is encapsulated by the fine that the defendants had to pay for consuming alcohol…in a restaurant that legally serves alcohol.

The state of Gulf newspapers 4, April 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Kuwait.
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The more I read Gulf newspapers the more I despair. Not only do many articles resemble sycophantic drivel peddled under the thinnest guise of theoretical impartiality but the English is just so poor, the construction of sentences so painfully amateurish and the tone so flagrantly unprofessional that it boggles the mind.

The article below that I look at is taken from the Kuwait Times, one of the oldest and most respected newspapers of the region. I worked at the paper for an internship and know that there are some good journalists and editors working there. So how can a torrid little article like this one be published under their supposed good name?

Nice start

Nice start? That is the title? It conveys no information whatsoever.

It has been less than 24 hours since the Amiri Diwan happily announced to the nation the start of the implementation of “Kuwait Vision 2035” project.

‘Happily’ is not a good choice of adverb. It is weak and incongruous when used in this context.

A beautiful vision which aims to transform Kuwait into a financial hub which could make Kuwait one of the leaders in the world.

Impartiality…anyone…heard of the concept? No. Seemingly not.

‘One of the leaders of the world.’ Unequivocally the worst line of the whole article. It is a truly meaningless phrase. Leaders at what? Commerce? Finance? Ping pong? Yahtzee?

This vision intends to transform the infrastructure and the minds of the people completely and to create a new generation of young women and men in the workforce who will lead Kuwait into becoming one of the most advanced countries in the globe.

So the vision had two aims, to transform the country’s infrastructure and ‘the minds of the people completely’. First, I don’t believe that. Second, any details…at all? Change Kuwaitis’ minds? How? From what to what? Kuwaitis are happy with having their ‘minds completely changed’ by a report written by Tony Blair? Information and analysis please, not breathless, empty, hyperbole.

We all laughed when Mr Blair was announcing his vision.

An unprofessional sentence, I would suggest, even in an editorial.

We all imagined our parliament and how hopeful it would be in implementing this vision.

This sentence does not make sense. Imagined what of the parliament? Why is the parliament hopeful?

No surprise. Yesterday, one of the MPs suggested to the government to ban women from travelling unless they have a mahram (first of kin male companion – a rule which adheres to the sharia laws) or unless she has a written permission from her legal guardian. Today, the only country that applies this rule is Saudi Arabia. But Saudi Arabia is exempted because it is the heart of Makkah and Madinah and the heart of Islam. There, women never broke the rules and it has been working under this rule for thousands of years.

What? How have we arrived at Saudi and questions of women’s rights? How are these two sentences linked?

Saudi is exempted? From what? I thought that Saudi ‘had’ this law? This is confusing.

Kuwait is a different story. It never applied the rule before.

Why are we talking about this rule? What does it have to do with the 2035 vision? Did Blair suggest implementing these rules?

Women are travelling for business, for leisure and with family for many years.

Wrong tense, poor English. An editor ought to have corrected this.

Imagine, every time I want to travel, I have to run to my son. Is my son my guardian now? Do I have to drag him wherever I go? Even if I accept the idea, would he be free to leave his family and work to accompany me? What about other women who have different circumstances and whose fathers have died or who are divorced or everyone else in their families is busy with
their own life?

Again, I don’t understand why this is being discussed. I thought that this was an article about the Blair-Kuwait 2035 vision?

I think the honorable gentlemen in parliament was enthusiastic to ask for this law because of the incident which allegedly took place at the airport between male and female officers who travelled to Sharm El-Sheikh without stamping their passports – a story that was later denied by the Ministry of Interior.

Ok. The article appears to have changed entirely and it’s focussing on a different topic. What happened to the vision?

This is a poor recap of a story. It is unclear what happened.

Suppose, it was true. Does this have to apply on the rest of the nation and become a law?
Anyway, the proposal was passed in the parliament’s legislative and legal committee in to study it which I hope they will reject. Nice start for the Vision 2035!

Ignoring the poor English, it seems that the author was going for an ironic juxtaposition of the vision versus this act in Parliament. Fine. A nice idea, poorly executed.

It was as if two articles were accidentally merged into one. In order for this juxtaposition to work, the Kuwait 2035 vision needed to be elucidated and its ethos explained. Then words like ‘however’ or ‘despite’ or a phrase like ‘in contrast’ ought to have been used to provide a link and highlight the incongruous contrast between the two.

All of this is, of course, just my personal opinion. If you disagree then please feel free to voice your thoughts in the comments.