Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Is it hard to be a Half-Kuwaiti adult in Kuwait?

I've been reading comments from half-Kuwaiti kids on Facebook, there's a group for them and they voice their opinions about everything. Is it hard to grow up as a half-breed here? As a mother of children who are half-American quarter Kuwaiti and quarter Moroccan I wonder how they will be treated in the future. Most of the people in the FB group are being raised mainly by their mothers who are divorced from their fathers, does that make a difference?

One of the guys mentioned he was a teacher and he read papers from Kuwaiti students which were about foreign women marrying Kuwaiti men and ruining the Kuwaiti heritage. I can see where they are coming from actually. Maybe the students feel that way because sometimes the foreign mother doesn't become Muslim and they continue to practice their own religion which could confuse the child? One of the girls had mentioned children who have a Kuwait mother and foreign father tend to act more Kuwaiti? The mother really does have the most influence on children.

I know mixed children can be called McChicken because they speak English but not Arabic or their Arabic is not so great which makes them stand out. Personally I am sending my kids to government school so they can learn Arabic and grow up with other Kuwaiti children as private schools are  a joke and hardly anyone learns to read and write Arabic.

I visited a friend of mine who is Hispanic and married to a Kuwaiti whose mother is Iraqi and he and his siblings grew up in the states. She cannot read or write Arabic and speaks a little which means she can't help her kids with Arabic studies and because the father grew up in the states he doesn't speak or write Arabic very well. They have 3 kids and they all go to private schools because their parents can't help them with Arabic which is sad because Arabic is the way of life here and one must be able to read and write to get a good job.

Another American friend who had 2 daughters already when she married a Kuwaiti brought them to Kuwait and put them in government schools because they were young and today they are all adults and speak Arabic like Kuwaitis. There are so many stories out there and so many different ways of life within Kuwait. From my experience I see children whose mothers have become Muslim raise their children in a more Kuwaiti cultural way and those who do not convert have children who are more westernized. I am trying to gain as much knowledge about Kuwait so I can teach my children.

Marriage is such a complicated thing, just because you marry a Kuwaiti woman doesn't mean the children are going to be great especially with the high divorce rate going on and if you marry a foreign woman how will your children be brought up? We can raise our children as best as we can and hope they turn out to be tolerant human beings.

Let us not forget the Kuwaiti children left behind by their fathers who studied abroad, had relationships and families but decided to leave them behind to return to Kuwait.

4 comments :

  1. How do your children feel about going to Kuwaiti government schools? I am a 26-year old half Kuwaiti, half America. My parents put me in government schools for most of my childhood, until they were able to afford sending me to a private school in high school. To be honest with you, I never forgave my parents for putting me in those awful Kuwaiti schools. The teachers used to always beat me and discriminate against me. The other students were no better. My brother suffered irreversible psychological trauma from the government school he attended. We were outcasts in our schools. Maybe I come from a different time and things have changed drastically. I hope so for your kids. But if your only reason for sending them to Kuwaiti schools is so they can be "Kuwaiti," and not financial constraints, I suggest you have a long talk with them and make sure that they are happy where they are. Blending in with this culture is not worth all the hurt. The international schools aren't a joke, although some of them are, many are excellent. I'm sure you know what's best for your kids, and I'm not judging you as a parent. I'm just giving you my perspective.

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    1. It's extremely expensive to put the kids into private schools so yes, that's a major factor. I'm sorry you both had bad experiences with the govt schools. My husband has daughters from his previous marriage who are mixed and yes they have problems with the girls in their schools because they are different. My plan is to have my kids in govt schools until they are able to read and write Arabic and then transfer them to bilingual schools in the future which are cheaper than private schools. I really want them to be able to read and write Arabic. From what I've read in the FB group the mixed children seem to be picked on in society which sucks but only time will tell and I hope things will change in the future. They could really use some mixed breeds in the Ministries that deal with foreigners and in schools as well. I'm sure some of the private schools are better but I can't pay 3500 KD or more knowing they won't receive the best education no matter how much I pay. Are you still in Kuwait?

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  2. ...

    Half of Kuwaitis were initially immigrants 40 years ago and the other half are ethnically diverse in ancestry. I don't see the point in picking on mixed breeds, especially considering how many Kuwaitis are non-Arab in ancestry. Some Kuwaiti students at government schools are racist to full Kuwaitis. My cousin was bullied due to his Persian ancestry in a ''Badu'' school in Jahra. Even some private schools have racist fights between Kuwaitis.

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  3. I guess education wise there is no comparision between most private schools and the government school. I am sorry to say but am terribly disappointed by the government education system, the kids comeout of school even uni with really low level of understanding. I won't put my kids through this. The primary school is the most formative, just for linguistic skills I cant risk their intellectual development.

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Comments are welcome! Personal attacks are not. Thanks!