Failaka & mi­gra­tion of Per­sians

Arab Times - - LOCAL - By Ah­mad Al-Sar­raf e-mail: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

THE po­lit­i­cal and so­cial move­ment in Kuwait has been ac­tive since the 1920s and the pace of this move­ment in­creased in the 1950s with the pres­ence of lit­er­ary, po­lit­i­cal and sports clubs and as­so­ci­a­tions be­fore a de­ci­sion was taken later to shut them down.

One of the in­sti­tu­tions was the Guid­ance So­ci­ety, which later be­came the Re­form So­ci­ety, the Broth­er­hood’s mouth­piece, and the Na­tional Cul­tural Club, which ad­vo­cated progress and had Arab na­tional as­pi­ra­tions.

The Na­tional Cul­tural Club then is­sued the Al-Iman (Faith) mag­a­zine edited by Ah­mad Al-Saqqaf, Dr Ah­mad Al-Khatib, Yousif Ibrahim Al-Ghanem and Yousef Al-Mashari, be­fore they were joined by Ab­dul Raz­zaq Al-Busir and Ab­dul­lah Yousif Al-Ghanim.

The edi­tion was sold for 6 In­dian ru­pees then equiv­a­lent of 450 Kuwaiti fils, a high price for a mod­est pub­li­ca­tion.

The date of its ar­rival from Beirut was un­known, so the fourth is­sue was the date Nis­san 1953 (He­brew cal­en­dar), not April. In this is­sue, the fol­low­ing ar­ti­cle is pub­lished under the ti­tle ‘Failaka and the mi­gra­tion of the Per­sians’.

“The dan­ger of mi­gra­tion of the Per­sians to Kuwait did not end eas­ily, and the meth­ods used by these intruders to in­fil­trate into the coun­try were var­ied and many, in­clud­ing what we have heard re­cently, that they come in small boats which land on the Failaka Is­land. They live on the is­land for some time and then in­fil­trate into Kuwait with the help of fish­er­men who smug­gle them into Kuwait and ac­com­mo­date them in the shops or homes of their com­pa­tri­ots.”

Of­fi­cials must be cau­tious about the threat posed to this Arab coun­try and the Coast Guard has a spe­cial role to play by adopt­ing strin­gent mea­sures to com­bat the in­fil­tra­tion be­cause it threat­ens the se­cu­rity, health, mo­rals, na­tional iden­tity and the very fu­ture of the coun­try.

If we take a look at the names of edi­tors of the pub­li­ca­tion we will dis­cover they are na­tion­al­ists who were hos­tile to the Broth­er­hood and those who were con­cerned about the de­mo­graphic dan­ger com­ing from Iran at that time.

I do not think that a ma­jor­ity of them em­braced the same ideas af­ter decades af­ter they saw the truth of the dan­ger that threat­ens the na­tion and its full moral ex­is­tence and civil na­ture, which still con­tin­ues.

I can say that a ma­jor­ity of those who came to Kuwait from the desert of Per­sia in the 1950s were non-Ira­nian Shi­ites, who were merged within the so­ci­ety in a smooth way. The rest whose mi­gra­tion was warned of in the pub­li­ca­tion were other Shi­ites, but they were skilled peo­ple and orig­i­nally came from the Ira­nian cities rel­a­tively far away from the desert.

They were skilled builders, car­pen­ters, black­smiths and oth­ers, and they, al­most all of them, re­turned to their home­land af­ter sav­ing some money. There is no doubt that they en­tered Kuwait il­le­gally at that time, and those who re­mained had en­tered legally and did not de­mand na­tion­al­ity or oth­er­wise.

If we look at the de­mo­graphic struc­ture to­day, we will find it strange. The num­ber of Kuwaitis (the orig­i­nal cit­i­zens, if we can say), who were reg­is­tered by an of­fi­cial nat­u­ral­iza­tion com­mit­tee in 1962, was less than 170,000, and if we take the high­est rate in the world for the in­crease of the pop­u­la­tion, we find that the num­ber to­day should not ex­ceed 700,000, but the re­al­ity is that the num­ber is one-mil­lio­nand-a-half.

This means the num­ber of those who were nat­u­ral­ized for po­lit­i­cal and elec­toral rea­sons af­ter the clo­sure of nat­u­ral­iza­tion in 1962 ex­ceeds the log­i­cal num­ber, and here is the real source of dan­ger po­lit­i­cally and cul­tur­ally to the en­tity of the state and as a re­sult came our warn­ing of the dan­ger of grant­ing cit­i­zen­ship under the Nat­u­ral­iza­tion Act of 4,000 on the ba­sis of elec­toral or po­lit­i­cal in­ter­ests.

On the other hand, late Yahya Al-Ha­didi was the first doc­tor to be granted the Kuwaiti na­tion­al­ity, his son Sabah be­came a doc­tor, his grand­son also fol­lowed in the foot­steps of Yahya.

The Al-Ha­didi fam­ily is the only one with three suc­ces­sive gen­er­a­tions of doc­tors, with love and re­spect for all of them. Here is the dif­fer­ence in the qual­ity of nat­u­ral­iza­tion we de­mand.

Al-Sar­raf

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