Blog archive: Kuwait

  • 5th March 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In countries where gender discrimination is considered a social and religious necessity, the dividing line between male and female is not to be crossed. Men must behave and dress as men, and women as women – or face punishment.  In Saudi Arabia last week, police raided a gathering of...
  • 4th February 2017
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Robert Spencer, the notorious American Islamophobe who runs the Jihad Watch website, is jubilant at reports that Kuwait has stopped issuing visas to citizens of five Muslim countries – which he sees as vindication of Donald Trump's visa ban on seven Muslim countries. "The US is not allowed...
  • 8th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A British flag flying shamelessly alongside those of repressive Gulf regimes at the GCC summit in Bahrain yesterday signalled the opening of what prime minister Theresa May hails as "a new chapter" in foreign relations. Mrs May has decided that when Britain extricates itself from Europe the...
  • 6th December 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Britain's prime minister, Theresa May, is in Bahrain today for the annual summit of the rich autocrats' club, the Gulf Cooperation Council. As the official announcement from Downing Street excitedly points out, she is the first British prime minister – and the first woman – ever to attend...
  • 12th October 2016
    By
    Hiba Zayadin
    What was meant to end in a swift victory for the coalition is rapidly turning into a protracted civil war with grave humanitarian consequences. The Saudi-led intervention has wreaked havoc on Yemen and inflamed sectarian rifts across the Gulf region. Eight months after Saudi Arabia said its...
  • 29th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    According to Islamic tradition the Prophet Muhammed once said: "Pay the labourer his wages before his sweat dries". But in the devout Gulf states that is one religious instruction employers are often content to ignore. Stories abound of workers being unpaid for months – and sometimes never...
  • 4th September 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The wealthy autocrats of the Gulf have traditionally relied on money to minimise dissent and keep themselves in power. In the initial alarm over the Arab Spring uprisings, the king of Saudi Arabia dipped into his pockets and produced a £133 billion social spending package to include bonuses...
  • 3rd September 2016
    By
    James M Dorsey
    Global soccer and global sports governance have for the past nine years and certainly since a fateful meeting in late 2010 of the executive committee of FIFA, the world soccer body, witnessed crisis after crisis. Invariably the scandals involved corruption: financial corruption, political...
  • 10th November 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The rich Gulf states have always been wary of granting citizenship to long-term residents of foreign origin. The result, in Kuwait, is more than 100,000 stateless people – many of them born in the country – who are known as bidoun. "Bidoun" is Arabic for "without", and there are many rights...
  • 24th February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia. View of an alley with several tailoring businesses. Photo: Nadine Compton   This is the sixth in a series of blog posts exploring employment problems in the Arab Gulf states. Part one: How it began Part two: The iniquities of kafala Part...
  • 23rd February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    This is the fifth in a series of blog posts exploring employment problems in the Arab Gulf states. Part two: The iniquities of kafala Part four: Working outside the rules Part six: Jobs, politics and ethnocracy      THE ARAB Gulf states have long been dependent on...
  • 19th February 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    For sale of return: A recruitment agent stands with a group of Ethiopian domestic workers as they wait for potential clients at an agency office in the Hawalli district of Kuwait. Women who leave employers and return to recruitment agencies – either as a result of their employer’s decision or...

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