If there is a country radically changing since the birth of the Arab Spring, then I would say it’s Kuwait. The leading democracy in the Gulf, as many refer to it, saw protests against former prime minister Shaikh Nasser Al Mohammad Al Sabah in 2009, but it needed the boost of Arab uprisings to take the movement to a higher level.
Parliamentary attempts to oust Shaikh Nasser failed constantly with members of parliament accusing him of bribing several MPs to rescue him with “in cooperation votes”.
Parallel to this, the Arab Spring was able to introduce the public in Kuwait to Twitter so far limited to the elite — American-educated liberal bloggers. Twitter quickly became the number one source of news, political discussion, and more importantly the top generator of public opinion.
In reaction to pro-government media outlets, many activists used Twitter to call for protests against Shaikh Nasser. This led opposition MPs to get into Twitter to the extent of making the social networking site the place to publish their statements first. This, more importantly, helped the public to know the opinions of the opposition bloc regarding other issues such as sectarianism, clashes in the region and the rise of political Islam.
Continue reading this column in Gulf News