Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi... What Gives?

By now, there is no one in Kuwait that doesn't know the name "Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi". Kuwait is small, I know, but she is arguably one of the most well known, non-former MP, candidate in the country. Why is that?

In the 2008 elections, Aseel (while articles normally abbreviate using the last name, her first name has become somewhat iconic and is used even in the daily papers)was the first woman to become part of an election grouping. At the time, that grouping was pushed forward by the National Democratic Alliance and inclueded two of her colleauges: Faisal Al-Shayee and Khaled Al-Khaled. She outperformed them significantly.

In fact, Aseel was a mere 600 votes away from snatching victory from HADAS candidate and co-founder Dr. Naser Al-Sane (a seasoned politician who's had a seat in Parliament almost continuously since the end of the Iraqi Invasion). Dr. Naser isn't running this time around.

What is it that makes this candidate, out of all the other male and female candidates, so special? Perhaps its her ability to relate to the youth of the country, by adapting her campaign to the online arena and her extensive use of facebook, youtube, and her Obama-sized website. Is that it? Her facebook group boasted more than 2000 members in less than 4 days, and consists of voters in the district, voters out of the district, a strong underage following, and I even saw a few foreigners in the mix.

Maybe its her calm and logical demeanor. She does have a PhD in political science, and from the US no less. Still, there are very few people, especially from the academic world, that can enter advanced argumentation without sounding eletist and condescending. Strangely enough, after watching more than my share of Aseel interviews, I can say that she sounds sophisticated but not snobby, smart but not stuck up, logical but not bitter.

The more seasoned politicians tend to sound bitter these days. It could be their vast experience in Parliament has worn them down, much like a warrior who's fought one too many fights. It could be that these politicians believe that voters are looking for those who are just as bitter as they are to represent them in office. If the latter is the case, I believe there has been a grave miscalculation. Even the most bitter person wants to believe in our future. They just don't know where to start. Is that it? Is Aseel's continuous message of hope, change, and rejuvenating our nation as generations before us have done the key to her growing popularity?

I honestly can't say what it is that makes Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi such a magnetic personality. Or why its tough to switch the television channel when one hears her talk about what Kuwait can be if we take the time to envision it first. Maybe I like the higher standard of political rehtoric she uses and the fact that she doesn't feel that the Kuwaiti veiwer needs you to "dumb-down" your thoughts for them. Maybe I feel that her educational background gives her resources that many of our previous MPs were lacking, and equips her to make change instead of only talking about it. Or maybe, just maybe...I believe her. You have to decide for yourself, wheter or not you believe her too.

Note: Dr. Aseel Al-Awadhi's official headquarters opens tonight, April 29th 2009 under the heading - "A Nation Renewed"


Navy Girl said...

to be honest i dont know that much about her .. but i really hope she makes it if she is that good ..

Anonymous said...

"Strangely enough, after watching more than my share of Aseel interviews, I can say that she sounds sophisticated but not snobby, smart but not stuck up, logical but not bitter."

You must have missed the famous recording, then. Snobby, stuck-up and bitter describe it well.

Q80 Saracen said...

Navy Girl: I believe she is, and time will tell inshallah. I think that the last Parliament portrayed certain people that don't have Kuwait's best interest at heart and its the job of voters to make sure that those people don't make it to office again.

Anon: Wow...Hadas and Salaf read my blog now? *Pats himself on the back* "Not bad saracen, not bad". I don't know why people insult the intelligence of the average Kuwaiti, in a futile attempt to make someone from a religious home seem anti-religious and insolent. Thank God that our Islamic Faith (Iman) is not guided by some pseudo-adolescent girl with a sound editing program, or the fashionable fatwas of today that appear in times of convenience. Our Islam is from our homes. Like our grandfathers that built this country, and their grandfathers before them. But hey...there are sheep and there are shepherds. The choice of which we'd like to be is for each of us to make on our own. Welcome to The Panic Button.

Navy Girl said...

man your crazy ... talk about something else .. i bet you will show us the crazy side of ya ;)

Anonymous said...

hey, i am impressed with your writing about Dr. Al-awadhi. I am a fan of hers, i just heard about her a little while ago on NPR. I hope she makes great changes, she is a great woman. Peace!

Anonymous said...

oh, by the way, i am sure we can also agree that Dr. Al-Awadhi is also a beautiful woman :))

Q80 Saracen said...

Anon: Thanks a lot for the compliment. Yes, she is good looking and inshallah good for Kuwait too. Only time will tell...

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