Backlight: Kuwait On A Tightrope

Kuwait is a country where nothing is as it seems. In the center of the turbulent Middle-East, is the only Arab Gulf state with a constitution and an elected parliament. More...

Documentary -

47'

Kuwait is a country where nothing is as it seems. In the center of the turbulent Middle-East, is the only Arab Gulf state with a constitution and an elected parliament. But beneath the shining facades of the super-wealthy oil state there is also a conservative tribal society in hiding, full of great tensions, just below the surface. A small group of liberal elite are attempting to take the course of those tensions in a different direction. For the younger generation the main question remains: How can you give meaning to your life if you already have everything your heart desires?

Due to the discovery of immense oil fields there was so much wealth created in the Gulf state that the population is guaranteed from cradle to grave of a steady job, free education and health care and a vast amount of free time. Kuwait was able to develop into a ‘super affluent society’; a country with a very high standard of living. What does this super abundance do to a population which consists of mainly young people (55% of the population of Kuwait is under the age of 25)?

Many young people are bored. They know what is for sale in the world but miss the need and desire to work and have goals in their lives. How can they give meaning to their lives and how can you prevent yourself from seeking your salvation in the jihad simply out of pure boredom? Fareah al Saqqaf, a publicist and socially-involved entrepreneur, became concerned about the direction her country was taking following the attacks on 9/11. That is was she created to non-profit organization Loyac in 2002, which attempts to convey liberal values to this young generation. Al Saqqaf wants to show the young people how they can set life goals for themselves so they can take control and contribute to the development of their country, even after the oil. About the perspectives of the future and on-going dilemmas in a super-wealthy and conservative country.

With: Fareah al Saqqaf (founder Loyac), Ibtihal Al Khatib (publicist and academic), Farah Al-Nakib (historian) and Ninnar Al Qames (Loyac)

Documentary
Shuchen Tan
2018
VPRO
47'
VPRO
 

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