ArabLit

This month, there has been a fresh push from Kuwaiti citizens who are fed up with official censorship, both outside the Ministry of Information and online, with Kuwaitis posting photos of the banned books in their personal libraries at . Kuwaiti MA student Abrar Alshammari has been researching about censorship in Kuwait:

By Abrar Alshammari

Kuwait is currently experiencing a serious crisis of censorship. To the sorrow of many, it depicts almost literally the nightmare that Ray Bradbury portrayed in Fahrenheit 451.

In 2016, at the annual cultural conference of Nuqat in Kuwait City, award-winning Kuwaiti novelist Saud Al-Sanousi announced the horrific discovery that the Ministry of Information was burning banned books en masse, thousands of copies of his own novel Mama Hessa’s Mice included. The audience gasped in horror at the unimaginable atrocity of the state-sanctioned burning of literature, a blatant disrespect to books and their value…

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One thought on “‘Literary Massacre in Kuwait’: The State of Book Banning

  1. I just had to reblog this article by Abrar Alshammari, published at arablit.org. Excerpts from the article:

    “In the past five years alone, 4390 book titles have been banned by the Ministry, ranging from works by local authors to other Arab writers […] and the latest victim being Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude. Some are outright silly, the Little Mermaid being the silliest of all, where her mermaid bikini top was seen to be too provocative.”

    And how is it done?

    “A committee is formed […] Lines are taken out of context and seen to be romantically suggestive, politically provocative, or religiously offensive. If one of the committee members is offended by a line or even a word, without bothering to read the whole book and to understand the context and why this word or line is necessary for the overall harmony of the book, they feel the need to extend their reaction to the book to everyone else in the country, and choose to ban it.”

    Like

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