Wednesday, June 06, 2007

A Letter to Muna Al-Fuzai - Kuwait Times

Hello. Below is an email I sent in response to this article and the one previous which Mark has provided (Kuwait Times removed the original article.) If I have said anything wrong, then I would welcome your comments. Let the Games begin! :)

Dear Ms. Al-Fuzai,

First of all, I am not generally a reader of your esteemed newspaper, but sometimes a few articles attract my attention. Such as yours that have been spread all over the blogosphere recently, which was titled, "What Not To Do In Kuwait".

Furthermore, no one could disprove the truth of what I had written, even though it was an exaggerated satire.

What part of it was the truth exactly, to be disproved? All you have written was baseless with no facts to back it up. Satire? This is not called satire, this is called tasteless. What you have written in that article alone should be posted in the National Enquirer alongside with "The King is Alive!" headline. If you want state the truth, then state it with facts to back you up.

Today, Local Spotlight will shed some light on those who had thrown stones even though homes are made of glass.

Here's a proper quote for you from a true writer, "Satire lies about literary men while they live and eulogy lies about them when they die." - Voltaire.

Yes, I'm a Kuwaiti. Yes, I love my country. I'm honored to be writing for Kuwait Times and to be given the chance to make this country better by being honest about both its good and bad points. Because I love my country, I want the best for it. I hate to see injustice; unfairness, laziness and willful ignorance by anyone who wants to destroy this great nation.

I am Kuwaiti too, I love my country too. I'm honored to defend the right of free speech and I would shed blood for my country. Yet, 'free speech' is a gray area in which everyone defines it in many different ways. You definitely are not being honest about the bad points, please back up your article with f-a-c-t-s and not half-truths. If all bosses and taxi drivers were rapists, then this country would descend into anarchy. Many people, in fact the majority want the best for Kuwait. You are not the only one, but in order to do the best for your country, do it the RIGHT way. Not by smearing it's image with baseless and tacky information.

I also hate to see guests of my country live in improper ways and think badly about Kuwait, or for people in other countries to disparage Kuwait because of its human rights problems. I believe it is a Kuwaiti citizen's duty towards their country to call for reform for any current conditions that is not in the best interest of Kuwait.

A little too late for that, don't you think? You among others, already did a good job of making others 'think badly' about our beloved country. We're not monsters, we are known world-wide and throughout history that Kuwait is a peaceful nation. We are not a nation of rapists, warmongers nor thieves. If you think it is your duty to call for reform, then once again I tell you, do it the RIGHT way.

What is the rule of journalism? Is it to print colored pictures of pretty girls, singers and celebrity news? Is this what many people want to read and learn about nowadays? Sometimes the pen is mightier than the sword and honest writers don't need a weapon because their pen can talk truly and freely. This is why no matter how we disagree over many issues in Kuwait, we love Kuwait and this is our way of making it a better place for all and not only Kuwaitis.

This is my favorite part, I hope you're still reading this because this is where it gets really good. Tell me ma'am, define journalism. There are different forms of journalism of course. There have been great journalists that I have read about (also read their works). Yet there are a few, who paint a ghastly picture with their pens. They are so good, that the gullible believe every single word. Are you aiming for the gullible, or are you aiming for the intelligent masses? If it's the latter, why bother? If it's the former, then congratulations they are probably nodding their heads in agreement over every single word you have printed.

If you consider your pen a weapon, then use it to fight against realistic issues. Invention is for fiction writers, what sort of writer are you exactly?

You keep mentioning that you want to make this country a better place to live in. Then why not work harder on it? Write about the prodigies that we have in this country. Write about realistic problems which are happening on a daily basis and are actually affecting everyone's (including 'guests') view on Kuwait. Do you have actual statistics about the number of taxi-related rapes? Have you been out and about lately? Have you seen what kind of sexy clothes Kuwaiti women are wearing? Do you see the secret police in every nook and cranny where they can hear us grump about the laws and the way the gov'mint is running things?

Finally, here are the basic rules of journalism for you: Don't make things up; don't take credit for someone else's work; don't become bigger than the story; attribute your information; seek multiple sources. Also, I advise you to look up the word 'satire'.

"Journalism reflects the values of our culture. Unfortunately, it has been infiltrated by some who prefer hype to honesty. We live in a time when it is better to look good than to be good." - Janet Kolodzy

I believe that real press is the one that focuses on the misfortunes of people in order to draw the attention of officials to the needs of all residents and not only the citizens. A real press is one who encourages many Kuwaitis to work for the betterment of the country and believe in their abilities to make Kuwait better by their own pens with their real names open for every one to see and not hide behind fake names and fake email addresses.

You see my name in the header field? It's [CENSORED] and I am a proud Kuwaiti citizen, who does in fact try the best I can to make things better, to the best of my own abilities. I'm sorry to say, the Kuwait Times would not be considered 'real press' in my dictionary. Their articles are badly written (if not quoted from other news sources) and the editorial staff could use another English language course. To better your country (this is to the Kuwait Times staff in general), better your attitudes and have an open-minded view in regard to your sources and to your reader. Also, get a proper proof-reader.

How many local daily Arabic newspapers do we have in Kuwait? They used to be five and now they are eight, so there are eight newspapers for the Kuwaiti people to express their wishes and demands.

I don't see the point of this paragraph. What are you aiming at? Yes, I see people expressing their wishes and demands.

Why is it weird to find a group of honest Kuwaiti writers talk about the problems of their own country? Should we sit back and ask someone from the moon to talk on our behalf??? How are we supposed to develop and advance if we ignore our nation's problems and do nothing for our country except hang out in the malls and say, "Wow, how dare he/she talk about Kuwait like that???"

Trying to transliterate quotes and words from Arabic to English is really not a good idea, such as "ask someone from the moon". If you consider yourself honest, why do you call it a satirical article then? You're contradicting yourself. Either the article was satirical with no truth to it, or completely true...where are the facts though? Do I have to come sit with you and walk you through the steps of writing and journalism? I would be glad to give you some pointers for free, honestly. Believe it or not, a lot of people are working extremely hard to develop and advance this lovely little country. You just need to go out more, come visit my company. Go visit the hospitals, police stations and fire stations. Look at how HARD our boys and girls are working on making Kuwait glow bright on the map.

Here's another rule for you, do not generalize. It is one of the mistakes any journalist can do and can result quite a few ugly run-ins. Such as this one.

Giving advice to others in order to help them avoid possible risk or commit mistakes is the Islamic way. You can read more in the Islamic Sunna from the life of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) to learn how important it is to give advice and what blessings you can get out of it. This is the mission of the honest press and this is what my column Local Spotlight is all about.

You may give the right advice and you may not generalize. What blessings are you getting by saying all taxi drivers are maniacal rapists? What blessings are you getting by smearing another's image? That definitely wasn't part of the Prophet's (PBUH) Sunnas.

My advice to you, review what you have written carefully. Read HOW you have written it and you may notice where your mistakes are. I'd like to remind you, that this email is referring to the articles in question, as for the others; I have read them and I consider some of them quite good, so it's a shame to see your quality of writing drop down a few notches.

We need good writers, we need good people. Not hypocrites.

Thank you for your time and patience, and please keep an open-mind when reading it.


System Analyst


DA said...

I wonder if Kuwait Times would publish our responses in the 'Letter to the Editor' section hehee
Good article cheers..
BTW I wonder whats the Kuwait Times editors / management's take on this issue??!!

offmyhead said...

why is your name censored. anyway, good reply. people like you make blogging interesting.

Jewaira said...

Now that is the kind of writing we need Mini.
Really, barradt chebdi!!!
I hope your points are taken seriously.

sws said...

The original article (avoid this and that) sounds like my mother's advice to me as I was growing up.

Don't talk to strangers

Don't expose your body

Don't accept gifts from random people.

Some expats, especially those who are less priviledged and are here to work in an underpaid job, come from small villages in the philipines and Indian and have had a very sheltered life. This could be an eye opening article (little exaggerated) so to prevent problems in the future.

Hopefully we in Kuwait can prove otherwise by our sensibility and sensitivity to those who are less fortunate, and AVOID our constant mistreatment and belittling of Domestic labourers.

Anonymous said...

da: In my opinion, they're spineless.

offmyhead: maybe she'll publish my email, u can read my name then. & thanks :)

jewaira: thanks! :) I hope they take me seriously too. :)

sws: She could've written her article in a more logical & convincing way. With the decency to explain that this does not apply to the whole population in general.

Kthekuwaiti said...

I think Mona Al-Fuzai should stick to writing the ingredient contents on imported food.

Anonymous said...

K: I couldn't agree more. Long time no see man.

Anonymous said...

while i agree her article is greatly exagerrated and inappropriately written, i have one comment to make..

how about mentioning the issue in which kuwait has created a law which doesnt allow certain nationalities from allowing family members to visit them? so this is is a step towards becoming a peaceful country?

Anonymous said...

Today is the gold für wow second day of 2009 ,world of warcraft gold it also a mesos special for me .cheap wow gold Because i have cheap maplestory mesos a chance to go to an english speech of LiYang and crazy to learn english follow him . He is a firendly,kindly person who make me feel gold kaufen What‘s more ,maple story mesos he very confidence .And he make me sure what he can do i also can do,as long as i make a determination and force myself to do it every second,Crazy just like him .wow geld I learn one setence from his book ever :maple story items If you want to succeed always force yourself to do more .I can't agree more with him .wow gold farmen To be honest ,when i was a littel girl i already fall in love with english.But what a pity i am poor in english ,Maple Story Account and it make me feel frustrating .So i want to give up many times ,but i can't as i still love it .So i tell mysefl :if you think you can you can wow leveling,and all your maple story power leveling hard work will pay power leveling Today i am very happy i can listien this wonderful speech of LiYang. I reap a great benifits from him .maple story money As he say :i am the best ,and every one can do it . world of warcraft power leveling Yes,i belive i can do it if i crazy as he buy archlord gold.Now i want to say :i will never give up.

Anonymous said...

If I were gold für wow a boy again,world of warcraft gold I would practice perseverance wow gold cheap more often,maple meso and never give up a thing because it was or inconvenient. If we want light,Maple Story Account we must conquer darkness. Perseverance can sometimes equal genius in its gold kaufen “There are only two creatures,”cheap maplestory mesos syas a proverb, “who can surmount the pyramids—the eagle and the snail.” If I were a boy again,wow geld I would school myself into a habit of attention;maple mesos I would let nothing come between me and the subject in hand.maple story power leveling I would remember that a good skater never tries to skate in two directions at once.billig wow gold The habit of attention becomes part of our life, if we begain early enough. I often hear grown up people say maple story items“ I could not fix my attention on the sermon or book, although I wished to do so” , wow powerlevelingand the reason is, the habit was not formed in youth. If I were to live my life over again,wow leveling I would pay more attention to the cultivation of the memory. I would strengthen that faculty by every possible means,wow power leveling and on every possible occasion.maplestory powerleveling It takes a little hard work at first to remember things accurately;cheap archlord gold but memory soon helps itself, and gives very little trouble. It only needs early cultivation to become a power.

Anonymous said...

To buy shaiya gold , it is not the aim of the cable. It is the game which brings a lot of happiness to me. We buy the shaiya money together. The beautiful story, we can not be forgotten, buy shaiya gold . You will not regret to have cheap shaiya gold . So I will continue to have shaiya online gold , it is a beautiful fairy tale, it looks like my life.

Anonymous said...

Do you know eve isk? I like it.
My brother often goes to the internet bar to buy eve online isk and play it.
After school, He likes playing games using these buy isk with his friend.
I do not like to play it. Because I think that it not only costs much money but also spend much time. One day, he give me many cheap eve isk and play the game with me.
I came to the bar following him and found buy eve online isk was so cheap. After that, I also go to play game with him.

Do you know Archlord gold? I like it.
My brother often goes to the internet bar to buy Archlord money and play it.
After school, He likes playing games using these archlord online Gold with his friend.
I do not like to play it. Because I think that it not only costs much money but also spend much time. One day, he give me many cheap Archlord gold and play the game with me.
I came to the bar following him and found buy Archlord gold was so cheap. After that, I also go to play game with him.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to get some mabinogi gold and the cheap mabinogi is given by my close friend who tells me that the mabinogi money is the basis to enter into the game. Therefore, I should buy mabinogi gold with the spare money and I gain some mabinogi online gold from other players.
It is the maple mesos which make me very happy these days, my brother says mesos is his favorite games gold he likes, he usually buy some cheap mesos to start his game and most of the time he will win the maplestory mesos back and give me some maple story mesos to play the game.

Anonymous said...

Do you want to know the magic of online games, and here you can get more knight gold. Do you want to have a try? Come on and knight noah can make you happy. You can change a lot knight online gold for play games. And you can practice your game skill. Playing online games can knight online noah. I often come here and buy it. And you can use the cheap knight gold do what you want to do in the online game.
What do you know requiem gold. And do you want to know? You can get requiem lant here. And welcome to our website, here you can play games, and you will get requiem money to play game. I know cheap requiem lant, and it is very interesting. Do you want a try, come and view our website, and you will learn much about requiem online gold.

Anonymous said...

they are like me and tell me anything about them wakfu kamas, I know wakfu gold. one of my friend likes to go to play buy wakfu kamas, I can not stand praising the land and the nature wakfu money , It makes us to be wakfu kama.
I am so happy to get some aion kina from my friends. They know I need aion online kina, they give me. So I always can get some aion gold from my friends. I buy aion kina with my spare money. It makes me happy that I can still earn some cheap aion kina.

Anonymous said...

Have you heared about 9Dragons which you need use 9Dragons gold to play, and you can also borrow 9 Dragons gold from other players? But you can buy 9 Dragons gold, or you will lose the choice if you do not have cheap 9Dragons gold. If you get 9Dragons money, you can continue this game.
Have you heared about a game which you need use Anarchy credits to play, and you can also borrow Anarchy Online credits from other players? But you can buy AO credits, or you will lose the choice if you do not have Anarchy online gold. If you get Anarchy gold, you can continue this game.

Anonymous said...

I like holic gold very much. Since I entered into this game, I learnt skills to earn holic money. Thanks to holic online gold let me know a lot of friends. It is my habit to buy holic online money, and I get some cheap holic gold from my friends and Internet.
I like to play last chaos, because I like its name, also I like last chaos gold. My friend told me that she would buy lastchaos gold for me, and I was so happy. I do not like to go shopping, because it always spends a lot of money, but I never hesitate to buy last chaos gold. You can buy cheap lastchaos gold; it is so easy and convenient. I believe the future of lastchaos money is bright.

Anonymous said...

Do not mean bad.Thank you so much! I just want to show some fashion wedding dress, cheap wedding dresses to all of you. I like wedding dresses, because wedding for a girl, it is the most special day in her life. Do you want to have the beautiful wedding dresses and designer wedding dresses in perfect day?? Here are the most popular discount wedding dresses and lace wedding dresses even plus size wedding dresses for all of you. Also the cheap evening dresses and evening formal dresses are a great choice for you. Let you dream come ture!! When you take part in a party, you can choose party cocktail dresses, also fashion but cheap cocktail dresses and cheap prom dresses here. Besides, the cheap bridesmaid dress and cheap flower girl dresses are also provide to you!

Anonymous said...

nike air max 90
nike air max 95
nike air max tn
nike air rift
nike shox r4
nike air max 360
nike shox nz
puma mens shoes
puma shoes
puma speed
nike shoes
nike air
nike air shoes
puma cat
air max trainers
mens nike air max
nike shoes air max
nike shoes shox
air shoes
nike shoe cart
puma future
cheap puma
sports shoes
nike air rifts
nike air rift trainer
nike air
nike rift
nike rift shoes
cheap nike air rifts
bape shoes
jeans shop
diesel jeans
levis jeans

nike said...

Truly a nice blog! Thanks for your great work! Wish you a nice day!
cheap puma shoes
cheap sport shoes
ed hardy ugg boots
ed hardy love kills slowly boots
ed hardy love kills slowly
discount puma shoes
nike shox torch
nike tn dollar
cheap nike shox
ed hardy polo shirts
ed hardy love kills slowly shoes
ed hardy wear
cheap nike shox shoes
nike shox r4
ed hardy love kills slowly shirts
ed hardy trousers
ed hardy jackets
puma mens shoes
cheap nike max
discount nike shox
ed hardy t shirts sale
ed hardy womens t shirts
ed hardy boots
cheap puma ferrari shoes
nike mens shoes
nike shox nz
ed hardy womens clothes
ed hardy womens shirts
ed hardy clothes
discount nike running shoes
discount nike shoes
nike shox shoes
ed hardy outerwear
ed hardy womens
ed hardy womens jeans

nike said...

cheap nike shoes
nike sports shoes
puma running shoes
puma sneakers
ed hardy bags
ed hardy winter boots
ed hardy t shirts
nike shoes kids
nike women shoes
nike running shoes
ed hardy womens shoes
ed hardy t shirts for men
ed hardy mens jeans
wholesale nike shoes
nike shoes
nike tn dollar
nike air max 90
nike air max 2009
nike air max 2010
nike air max tn
puma cat
ed hardy mens shoes
ed hardy womens hoodies
ed hardy mens tees
puma shoes
ed hardy clothing us
ed hardy clothing
ed hardy outerwear
ed hardy t shirts
ed hardy boots
ed hardy hoodies
cheap ed hardy
ed hardy clothes
cheap ed hardy clothing
ed hardy wholesale
ed hardy men’s
ed hardy women’s
ed hardy kid’s