Expats versus Kuwaitis – The local music scene
Published on March 16th, 2013 | by Nabeel
Let’s face it people – in almost every single walk of life in Kuwait there is a tension (to put it mildly) between expats and locals. There are strange relationships of civility between Western expats and Kuwaitis and more of a strong disdain between locals and Asian/Arab expats. It’s a two way street – I’m not pointing any fingers that aren’t pointed straight back at me.
How the hell have we developed into a culture that goes -
‘All Indians/Egyptians/Kuwaitis/Bengalis/Filipinos/Pakistanis/Brits/Americans/Bedoons are … (insert derogatory reference here)?!’
I’ll tell you how. It’s taken years and years of us working against each other, racially-based salary schemes, self-seeking, two-way ingratitude, ego-tripping, cultural stereotypes, anti-social behaviour and refusing to understand each other to come up with this culture. I’m not against generalisations mind you – we definitely have things that are wrong with each of our cultures. But we are what we are.
If there is ANY place in Kuwait where we can salvage our souls, it’s going to be music. Already on certain blogs and Facebook pages there is a call for greater Kuwaiti-Expat understanding. For the sake of the country, our own happiness and for music, we owe it to ourselves to bridge that gap.
Let’s leave money, race, family name, status at the door when it comes to music. As an individual I don’t give a crap about any of those things. I don’t care if you’re from a prominent Kuwait family, Western ambassador, an IT technician or a street cleaner – I am not going to think more highly or lowly of you than the extent of your character.
There is so much that is deeper than all of those things and we as music-lovers and musicians have access to it… and the gift of being able to spread it.
Do you think we can do it? I’d like to leave you with a Rap video from Bahrain. Both in terms of what these musicians consider BAHRAIN to be, and what I hope to see Kuwait become – this was inspiring.