Nejoud Al Yagout
Nejoud Al Yagout

Dear Parliament Member,
In this letter, I have a few pleas. I address this to you because you have the power to make decisions for us. May the words resonate in your soul.

1. I ask that when you walk into that magnificent work of architecture we call the Parliament, you forget you are Kuwaiti. This might seem counter-intuitive, but when we look at the state of the world, we may as well do everything in the opposite way that we were taught. I ask that you forget you are Kuwaiti, so you can take into consideration the pleas of non-Kuwaitis who are terrified of us. I have been fortunate in that many foreigners open up to me, and I have heard firsthand what they say about us. We need to treat them as equals, in our homes, at work, on the highway, in police stations. We need to implement the laws we have created to protect them. I used to be a patriot, until I realized that when we are nationalistic, we place ourselves before others. And I will be the first to admit that there is absolutely nothing special about me being placed in my country of birth. But we have been taught to believe otherwise. We go to school and salute a piece of cloth dancing in the breeze. And then, something takes over: Pride. Pride at the expense of immigrants, expatriates and those who do not think or act the way we do. And pride is an awful sucker. It takes away liberties, and before we know it we are labeled as arrogant, intolerant and judgmental. I cannot stress this more. It is dangerous to deny this.

2. I also ask that you forget you are a male*. I ask that you forget anything that led you to believe that you have the right to dictate our lives, or ruin our lives, for that matter. I ask that you remember your grandmothers, mothers, wives, daughters and sisters when you make decisions. And remember the love they show you and all that they sacrifice for you. I ask you to remember that violence against women is prevalent and there are women, such as the trailblazers behind Abolish 153, who are counting on you to assist them. I ask you to recognize that the phrase honor killing is a great misnomer. And speaking of honor, I once read a great article in which the author wonders why a man’s honor is tied to the chastity of the women in their family. I agree with the premise of the article. Isn’t it tiring enough to deal with our individual honor? Please remember, oh Member of Parliament, that women, like you are here to live, to breathe, to embrace the open sky and to love. Forget you are a male when you walk into that parliament, so we can salute you for being a soul who beckons us toward ascension and transformation.

3. Finally, I ask that you forget you are a human being. Yes, I am aware of the essence of purity in humanity, but let’s face it: We can barely see it now. And we have made a royal mess of our world. It is time to forget we are human beings and remember that we are beings, souls. And we share this planet with other beings, although we behave as though the planet belongs solely to us. When you walk into your office as a soul, you will make decisions for the benefit of the world. You will sign on business deals that are eco-friendly, and that benefit animals, insects, the sky, trees, the desert, the sea, the fish. As a soul, you will allow temples, synagogues and other places of worship to be built, because you know that there is the same awareness in nature, man and all sentient beings. We are aiming towards what is higher, and as a soul it matters not how we reach t(here). There is nothing more beautiful than love within diversity. Each one of us is a unique color in the palette of consciousness. Can you provide us with the canvas on which to paint our dreams?

There are many other things that I may ask you to forget, but this is all I have for now. In the meantime, I, too, will forget that I am Kuwaiti, a female and a human being.

* Only a handful of females are running for Parliament this time and since we are in a patriarchal society, I am addressing males as women are pushing for gender equality and not a matriarchal society.

Love and blessings,

Nejoud Al-Yagout