Yesterday, during one of my many daily Twitter scans, the color orange seemed to catch my eye a whole lot more than usual. A huge handful of the people on my timeline had either changed their Twitter avatar to a full orange color swatch or had included an orange block alongside their own personal picture.
And, as is the usual way, I immediately got very curious.
I quickly started digging (the sophisticated term for ‘mild Twitter stalking’) and found that a majority of the people who had included this block of orange in their avatar were also partaking in a hastag that goes by the name of ‘#مسيرة_كرامة_وطن‘ which translates into March for National Dignity.
I then did some further digging (so, Twitter plus Google) and found out the following: basically, the Kuwaiti people have been getting a little short-changed when it comes to something as puny and insignificant as their constitutional rights. So, you know, nothing major. According to what I’ve read (so I’m not explicitly saying this for myself), the government could potentially pass a law that has the power to alter the election procedures of the Kuwaiti parliament vote from 4 representatives per district to a single representative which the Kuwaiti people will elect come campaigning season. Basically, this law changes the face of the Kuwaiti constitution’s statement and insistence upon the fact that the people would all be sufficiently represented in parliament. In that respect, many Kuwaitis think that one representative per district is not nearly enough to fully speak for them and that it violates one of their time-honoured constitutional election rights. In a number of ways the Kuwaiti people find that this law would give the Kuwaiti government the power to tell the Kuwaiti people who have a constitutional right to elect whomever they collectively see fit into parliament, “thanks, but no.”
As you can probably imagine, this did not go over too well. Naturally, the Kuwaiti people were insulted by the suggestion of such a blatant disregard and nullification of their right to help shape the way in which Kuwait fundamentally grows and progresses. Many Kuwaiti people are not willing to even so much as entertain the idea of a law which ultimately strips them of this integral, national responsibility. In order to show their out-crying dismay over this decision, many of them took to the Erada Square (ساحة الإرادة) this past Monday to stage a protest demonstration.
Many of the men who participated in this demonstration and who have openly voiced their rejection of this governmental decision were arrested and a good handful of them are still detained. I’ve heard ramblings on Twitter and other places as well that have reported that there are also arrest warrants out for people who have supported the demonstrators opinion through their own personal tweets on their own Twitter accounts. But, again, these could be nothing more than social ramblings so don’t take my word for it.
Right now, there seems to be another, much more expansive and well-organized march that should be taking place if and when this governmental decision to alter the election procedures does get the green light. This march goes by the definitive name of March for National Dignity (مسيرة كرامة وطن). You can find out more about the march and its organization over at the official blog right here. An overwhelming number of people in Kuwait seem to be displaying these orange avatars as a show of support and standing up for the fair, equal, and most importantly, constitutional right of the Kuwaiti people to have an active hand in shaping their own future for the better. Although I’m not exactly sure why the color orange was chosen or what it seems to be symbolic of, so I’d appreciate it if someone could possibly shed some light there.
In my opinion, I think this movement is totally and absolutely vital to the overall development of Kuwait on pretty much every single level. I am not a Kuwaiti, so I don’t personally have a hand in shaping the political structure nor is there really any direct interest between me and the governmental system, but I will always stand in support of the rights of the people to have their say. The rights of the people to utilize the constitutional laws that were specifically placed in order to protect and honor them. The rights of the Kuwaiti people to give Kuwait, a country which has honestly given them innumerably endless bounties, the respect and the dignity that it deserves.
All my love!
UPDATE: Please allow me to be completely clear on a few issues. I DO NOT support the hyper-Islamist perspective of some high profile people who are following this movement. I DO NOT support sectarianism and tribalism in Kuwait which some people in this movement may stand for. I DO NOT support the scathing criticism of His Highness the Amir in any way, shape, or form.
The only thing that I DO support is the constitutional right of the Kuwaiti people to have a say as to how the future of Kuwait goes through fair elections.
That is it. Hope this makes things clearer on where I ACTUALLY stand. Please do not confuse my love and loyalty to Kuwait, the Amir, and the peaceful unity of all those who inhibit this gracious land.