Finally in Kuwait, we have a new government body that will focus on the nation’s youth—- a state ministry for the youth. It is no longer just a wish to dream of having an official government department to seriously and officially have as its mission the carrying out of its duties towards the youth of Kuwait and recognize their needs and demands.
I think this higher action recently taken by the Kuwaiti government shows how the youth are finally being seen as an essential instrument for the development of Kuwait and its people. I personally salute the Kuwaiti government for its decision, as much as for the choice of who should lead this ministry, being Sheikh Salman Hamoud Al Sabah. A search of Google finds much information about this man, himself being an athlete, which means he understands youths and is knowledgeable in both the field of sports, youths and politics. These, I believe, are elements that could and should make the difference in the coming period.
I always believed that development is not about building high skies or new streets or malls, but it is about human development. Bringing and shaping new/old ideas to society and youth, and rebuilding these ideas for better performances and understanding is what we need in Kuwait for the youth and for their future.
I have thought for some time that the youth have felt they are being deprived and forgotten in many aspects of life, such as in getting dream jobs, considering their talents in sports or cultural pursuits. These seemed like good wishes, but now they have become a reality.
I do believe now, more than ever, that all of this and others things are now possible. I am not saying all dreams comes true, but I feel positive about change, changes that are possible if only they are re-shaped in a proper manner and with the right people to offer guidance. Recently, I met with some young Kuwaiti women in their mid-twenties, and we spent hours talking about the need to work for youth and how to help young Kuwaitis learn about their needs and abilities.
I came with an opinion that NGO’s are not being managed or beneficial for young Kuwaitis. In Kuwait, we have NGOs, but they are not as productive as those in the U.S. or Europe. Here we need to have the youth take the lead in the NGOs and not be left out of the administration and making policies for those NGOs.
We need to encourage and energize many young Kuwaitis, men and women, to participate in NGOs, especially the environmental and societal ones. In this way we might reshape their ideas about what Kuwait, as a country, expects from them if they are to become active and productive citizens.
Think of the high rate of car accidents and divorce among Kuwaitis, especially those between 20-30 years of age? Some may think these are not top agenda items and not related to politics. Yet in Kuwait, every societal file has become a political issue that needs support and consideration by the government.
So it is important to recognize that the Kuwaiti government has assigned a new minister for the youth. I have many hopes now, and more than ever about the youth. I hope the new minister of youth, Sheikh Salaman Al Sabah, will help many Kuwaiti youths, to provide the best for Kuwait and its future since, after all, its their future too.
I have faith in his leadership.
(Muna Al-Fuzai is a columnist at Kuwait Times, where this article was published on Dec. 17, 2012)