Sunday, April 6, 2008

"They Be Frontin!"

In urban America, particularly among the African American population, there is a concept known as "frontin". Depending on its use, it can mean a number of different things, but mainly its used to describe a person who talks a big game, but when it comes time to actually do something, they opt for inaction. A lot of people do that in life. You know them, I know them, and we all have our impressions of what we think of them, whether we like them or not.

Frontin is what the Kuwaiti government has been doing for the past year. After the Ministers acknowledged that there was a genuine cry from the people that our laws be enforced, the Kuwaiti government decided to take action against those infringing on the law. Mainly, I am referring to the issue of the removal of Diwaween. See, for the longest times, anyone with a few meters squared in front of his house felt at liberty to use that land in the hopes of adding more space and practicality to what maybe a limited home. Some built gardens, and contributed to the beautification of the area. Others brought in ready made rooms from tin and metal to house their local house workers. Then there are those who made Diwaween.

What do all these people have in common? They are all, without exception, breaking Kuwaiti Law. Yes, granted, the person with the garden perhaps deserves to be judged less harshly than the person who built a room above an electric generator and rented it to a local Hindi tailor (Fact). However, the law is the law. It must be obeyed, it must be respected and it must go above the selfish needs of individuals. It must, because there are other laws that we rely on daily. Laws that allow us to say what we please in the media, and roam freely around the country. Laws that give us the freedom to move in all hours of the night without worrying about infringing on a national curfew. Laws that ensure that no black knights will barge into our homes, take us away from our families and lock us up for years at a time because of what we think.

The government has a duty, nay, an obligation to the people to make sure laws are enforced. It is one of the factors that are necessary in both economic and political growth of a nation. That is what we are right? Last I checked, we are a nation? Well then, a nation has rules that protect us and protect the prestige of our government. A government without prestige leads to situations like we see in Lebanon, where the disenchantment with the political process has peaked to the point of not wanting a President. Make no mistake, people: the only thing worse than inaction is a government that "fronts".

You said you were going to do something, well do it. The Kuwaiti people are with you, and for those who are not, who cares. They are law breakers, and they are not breaking the law of dictators, they are breaking the law of the people put there by OUR parliament. So with all do respect: don't be frontin, do something son!



greyshorts said...

I see ya3ni frontin means emhaaya6 =P

7zaya said...

Drawing a parallel between black urban American slang and the Kuwaiti government's behavior huh? Interesting :) I am afraid the issue is not with putting up a front though I think the issue is of MASS "TIDOODDIHH"

Lone Ranger'ess said...

Ahaa! U have finally addressed the issue that has been lingering in my thoughts for quite a while now...

The diwaween issue.

As much as I respect the laws that a nation sets forth and the fact that it is in our duty, as mature citizens of the nation, to abide by those laws and set a great example for the younger generations and for random onlookers as well…. I still bileev that when a leader tackles an issue, he shud tackle it to the very end. In other words, if Kuwait were to abide and enforce every single law it sets, then yes ill be complaining and ranting about this diwaween issue and the idea that many are opposing, regardless of the fact that they have no say in it being that the law has been enforced already.

But since Kuwait has been lenient with a few laws here and there, and it has permitted certain citizens and given them the green light for god knows why… that's why im opposing this diwaween issue. My personal view is that I don’t blame any1 for breaking this law… cuz Kuwait, sadly, has been vague with the punishments in the past. It has tolerated a lot.. so shda3wa iwgifat 3ala ildiwaween?

In addition to that, some of those ppl that are occupying lands they have no say in.. are "beautifying" them.. and the others that have chosen to construct their diwaweens on those lands.. y3ni if the govt. removes those diwaweens, will they really make use of that specific land?? No they wont.. so just let the ppl be. Yes I understand that some are actually destructing the land, extending to the streets, building tailor shops, and causing a chaos of some sort.. those shud be interrogated and they shud reconsider their actions …but for those that 'harmfully' made use of unwanted territory, their luck striked.

This is the unfortunate reality.. if Kuwait were to stand in the face of all opposition and punish evry1 that breaks the law, then yes ill support its actions. But since it hasn’t done so, im opposing. Afterall, a nation must be fair.

Lone Ranger'ess said...

...i hope u dont mind me taking up this much space;p

eshda3wa said...

i totally 100 percent agree with what u said!

lone ranger'ess

they have to start some where!

they SHOULDN'T be lenient with any law they set.

whether they are beautifying the land or not, its not theirs to beautify in the first place

oo if the gov. chooses to leave the land barren, well thats their bussiness

All laws should be enforced and the ppl just have to suck it up and learn to abide by em!

Q80 Saracen said...

Greyshorts: LOL..."frontin" is catchier. Welcome :-)

7zaya: You like that? And who says Hip Hop ain't culture. It may very well be tidoodih, but even in Zimbabwae, the law is the law. If there is one issue that people can agree on is that in a country with relative freedoms such as ours and where there the air of democracy is clearly present, the government can feel secure in implementing the law, and any objections form the people can be presented by way of our MPs...we all put up with the separation of our Universities, and even though some woman still complain that they are left behind because of the shoddy implementation, the government implemented the law. It should do the same in all cases.

Lone Ranger'ess: I'm going to address your last point first. The whole reason behind all my posts is to have an intellectual and comprehensive discussion so feel free to take up as much space as you like. I believe in learning from what others have to say, and benefiting from diverse experiences (as long as all you agree with what I'm saying always with no consideration to your own opinion ;-)) I had a similar discussion with a friend and he was of the same opinion which can be summed by by two words: why now? Well, my view is why not now? No country in the world, not Pakistan, not China no where does one actually have the prospect of getting compensation because the government decided to enforce that law and someone lost petunias. I like that you said that "a nation must be fair"...but I disagree...I think a nation must be JUST and we have a mechanism for deciding what just enforce this law, and every other law and let us sleep well at night knowing justice is served on all levels.

eshda3wa: "Suck it up" Yeah, I couldn't have put it better myself. People that break the law understand, in a sense, what they've done. That's why 194 of the 200 Diwaween targeted for demolition were removed by their owners. When people know you mean business, they tend to clean up their act...and hopefully, these same people, as well as us the average joe, will think twice before breaking the law as a result.

Lone Ranger'ess said...

if they do decide to enforce this law, then they shud enforce it among all citizens.. playing the justice card like u proposed earlier.

and by all means, from now on, kuwait shud start acting on their words.. let this diwaween issue be the beginning of a new journey towards improvement.

Ahmed© said...

they did a move to remove the Diwaween? YAY! they spent millions of Kuwaiti Dinars on removing them? YAY! so instead of Rebuilding the ruined streets *which is alot in kuwait* and building Streets in the South Coast Of kuwait and fixing whatever proble the SEWER in sharg has instead of chocking on the SMELL OF THE CENTURY over there instead and instead ans instead...etc

they did that? hmmmmmmm...
dont tell me (we have to start somewhere) because we all know that were no less than 30 years behind in EVERYHTING comparing to any other country with ONLY 20% of resources as our beloved country..Kuwait.

7zaya said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
7zaya said...

Ahmad, I don't care all that much about removing the diwaniyas but it really ticks me off that someone goes BLATANTLY against the law like that. This isn't speeding, this is "ta3adi 3ala amlak il dawla". Yeah we're behind in a lot of things it's true, but don't you think that one of the major things that we're behind in is the lack of respect for the law by some people? How can we claim sovereignty or that we are a modern state when something is legislated and only applied as per some citizen's wishes?

(oh and you mentioned "millions" spent on removing diwaniyas... sounds like a major exaggeration, care to quote your source?)

Q80 Saracen said...

Lone ranger'ess: Inshallah, allah yisma3 minnich :-)

Ahmed: LOL...somebody sounds like their Diwaniya got wrecked...j/k

Ok, first of all the SMELL OF THE CENTURY was priceless. Every Kuwaiti knows that spot, and every one who has an even less than average sense of smell supports a nuclear strike to that whole area just to put our noses out of their misery. The only thing I can say, may end up frustrating you further which is not my intention but: we have to start somewhere.

30 years or even 40 years, moo mohim. We have to make genuine steps to restoring the prestige to the government and law making institution in the country, or we are headed for trouble that goes beyond extrasensory experiences. As costly as it is, it is necessary and does not contradict with all the other necessary issues that need to be addressed such as those you mentioned. (welcome :-))

Q80 Saracen said...

7zaya: I agree with the notion that things are nisba ow tanaasub. A guy building a room on top of a government owned electric generator, which is dangerous, illegal and immoral, is worse than speeding and even worse than run down roads. What Ahmed said about our resources only adds to the frustration we all feel when we ask "why aren't all these issues being addressed?" Well, in the meanwhile, bring on the destruction.

intlxpatr said...

'frontin' came from confronting, and your use is absolutely accurate - posturing with the intention of intimidation. Street slang has an amazing way of becoming everyday language.

Your blog is one of the most thoughtful conversations in the 'sphere. You are bringing up great topics and a great moderator in the discussions and comments.

Ahmed© said...

Q80 saracan: hehe, no man, no diwaniya here, were completly GAHWA-PEOPLE no worries, but it is frustrating innah theyr focusing on the dewaween but not other things, il give you an example on my next topic, i want you all to SEE the pictures that i will provide and you will know why MINBA6A CHABDI

im 10000% with START SOMEWHERE, but lets REALLY start on SOMETHING like PAYING THE ELECRTRICITY BILL or WATER BILL or even the TELEPHONE BILL, THOSE are things that i THINK is a little bit more important than dewaween.

7zaya: there was a SINGLE dewaniya in saba7 il salim, this was the CREW that carried out the removal;

1- 5 crew men and each crew man's day-pay is no less than 3 or 4 kds, so 4 * 5 = 25kd perday

2- 2 cops

3- 1 tractor driver, most tractors lease for 50-70kd perday

4-1 city employee

so this is AT LEAST 100kd for start, it took around an hour to finish this one dewaniya, how many TAJAWIZAT do we have in kuwait? you do the math..

PS: sorry q80 saracan for taking this much space *TAJAWIZAT* for my comment :P

Q80 Saracen said...

Intlxpatr: Thanks so much for the etymology of the slang. I think it helps everyone understand it a little better, because I honestly had no clue that this was the background of the word.

I appreciate that so much. I hope I am able to hold this blog to the standard which you described. Your contributions help make that possible.

Ahmed: A picture is worth a thousand words. I'll be lookin forward to your next post. Bes tara inta moo ibrou7ik. Ili7sas illy inta ga3ad it7is fee, kairik ga3ad yi7is fee ba3ad. There is a definitely a flaw in the system which has stirred up such strong frustrations and daily pessimism. All the examples you listed are further proof of that flaw.

As for your point about the cost incurred by the Diwaween issue, I just wanted to note that a lot of citizens with self respect decided to take care of their infringements themselves. Still, any cost is too high in my book, especially for violators.