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What shall we call them?

Badrya Darwish

Badrya Darwish

I read an article from a colleague, Iqbal Al Ahmed, in Al-Qabas newspaper yesterday. I salute Iqbal for the topic she chose. She talked about the method of naming streets in Kuwait. I fully agree with her. Many times when I'm driving around, it came to my mind, why is this street called so and so? Why is this street named after such and such person? There are hundreds of streets in Kuwait named after people most of us have never heard of before except their families. I did not want to touch on the topic, I thought maybe I'm ignorant about these famous people and don't know and I did not dare ask. But when our colleague wrote about it, I realized I'm not the only one.

So may I ask the Municipality on what basis or criteria do they name our streets? Or even how do they choose the names for our schools, hospitals and other well-known locations? What is the criteria for naming them? Or does it come at random? Do they create a lottery and then choose ballots from the box? I doubt that. Or is there a board or council that meets and discusses the issue and puts it to the public to choose also and agree?

Suppose I'm living in an area and they want to rename a street there. Do the people who are living in that area have the right to approve or at least discuss the name that will be chosen? Or does our MP do it on our behalf? I have no idea.

Whatever the process, if it was up to me, I'd name streets for well-known historical figures or places. For instance, if I'm talking about a police academy, why not name it after our historical warriors or leaders. Or if we're talking about schools, why can't we go into history and find a name from one of our famous poets, or scientists so that maybe the younger generations will hear about and discover who are these people. Or name the streets after beautiful places or nature or stars moons planets.

Bottom line - let's name things after people who made a difference in the world, who left their mark in art or science or the humanities. Or you know what, as Iqbal suggested, let's go back to numbers and no one will be upset. Numbers are easier for street mapping services anyway.

Have a good morning.

By Badrya Darwish

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This article was published on 15/03/2015