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On (the lack of) academic freedom in Kuwait 14, April 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Kuwait.
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I’ve just read on MESA’s website that Kuwait has banned two scholars from entering the country after they were initially granted a visa.  Professor Nasr Hamid Abu Zayd from Utrecht University and SOAS’s Madawi Al Rasheed were both deemed unsuitable and banned from entering. I do not know of Abu Zayd but Al Rasheed is a scholar of the first order who recently wrote a fantastic book on Saudi Arabia. She was due to attend an annual meeting as well as give a public lecture to the Institute for Women’s Development and Training.

As the letter from MESA’s editor points out, the fact that the visas were issues and subsequently revoked indicates that pressure from above was applied even after institutionally speaking ‘Kuwait’ accepted these Professors. I’d go further and say that this is a classic example of the personalised nature of Gulf politics, where any Sheikh of stature can take offense to anything and anyone at will and do as he pleases, regardless of laws, procedures and practices.

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Comments»

1. petey - 18, April 2010

possibly pressure from saudi too


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