Muna Al-Fuzai

We are a few days away from welcoming a new year with hopes for a future full of success to end all the pain and failure that we may have come across. I wish you all a good holiday as the world celebrates two occasions – Christmas and New Year. In Kuwait, it seems to me there is modest interest in the New Year. We have a public holiday on Tuesday, January 1 and will resume normal business on Wednesday, although I expect absenteeism among employees and students will rise because there is a good chance of short trips out of Kuwait to participate in New Year celebrations.

I think traveling during these days is tiring and expensive, because I see that ticket prices are rising unjustifiably, as well as the prices of hotel reservations. Congestion at the airport and the possibility of flight delays are very troublesome, so usually I avoid traveling during the holiday season.

It is also natural that this period is an occasion to look at the past and the future and think about the achievements we want to accomplish this year. But it is certain that a person often feels nostalgic for family meetings and gatherings, especially if they are expatriates and far from family and friends. This is an evident reason why many expats head to their countries at this time to be close with their families, aiming to spend a few days in peace and harmony.

But 2018’s events and issues will not end with the passage of a year. Will Arab communities be kept waiting for miracles to change their conditions? Societies must set goals and plans for themselves, and every year they need to carry out an assessment of what has been achieved, monitor the causes of success and identify what has not been done to address weaknesses.

It is exciting that we have the same hopes every year for peace and love as the world ignites in violence and the rate of the unemployed and borrowers who are sinking in debts is rising, with many issues of concern such as human rights, freedoms and the acceptance of others’ opinion still unresolved. We are still suffering from the same daily concerns, so we are not moving forward. It is regrettable that many European countries today are now suffering from an increase in the number of homeless persons and incidents of violence that place their identity and international reputation at stake.

All these issues mean that the world is heading for more violence and a few days of the holidays will not lead us to forget the loss of a family member, friend or right. There is little space for real hope for peace. The holiday season has already begun and for those who could not afford to travel, maybe it is time to spend these days planning for the future and a better tomorrow.
Happy holidays!