By Muntaha Al-Fadhli, KUNA,
Kuwait : Youth have shown their ability to push for political issues and to influence outcomes and decisions, including elections, and many become the link between candidates and voters when they promote the agendas on one hand and convey the remarks of constituents on the other.
Kuwait University’s Professor of Social Sciences Dr. Yousef Ghuloum spoke to KUNA about the role played by youth in election campaigns, and the need for raising political awareness among those under 21 years of age, as well as the extent to which youth could make their own decisions without being pressured.
Youth are energetic, motivated and forward-looking, he said, but the absence of a civil society that can contain them places them in danger of being recruited by certain groups, whether they be tribal, religious, or political.
He noted that candidates recruited these energetic of youth and directed their thinking along a certain track, thus exploiting their insufficient political awareness and their lack of maturity in this area.
Ghuloum said, however, that democracy was not complete without political parties, which represented the protective umbrella for the society and not only youth, stressing the need for political awareness programs.
Moreover, he said that despite the fact that the democratic experience in Kuwait was five decades old, there was no clear political track “and we are still going around in the same circle, even though the terms used for political tools have changed, and this of course affects political awareness among youth and drives them to follow others.” On his part, psychologist Dr. Marwan Al-Mutawa said that the keys to the country’s future was in the hands of educated youth who could work as a team with the government, and not as a competitor.
He explained that it was youth that led the movement for change in societies, noting that advanced communication technology made this easy for them today.
Furthermore, he noted the importance of engaging in discussions at “diwaniyas” (gatherings) and how this served to broaden the political scope of youth, whom he said could not be isolated from social circumstances.
As for Dr. Anwaar Al-Khurainij, Social Sciences Professor at Kuwait University, he said that youth, by nature, sought to make direct contact with the society and were affected by the political, economic and social changes that took place in the country.
She said candidates sought out these youth to assist in their campaigns, stressing that they needed to be given the freedom to select their representatives or those they wished to support.
Dr. Mohammad Al-Moussawi, Professor of Psychology at the Arab Open University, said the agendas of candidates included many proposals that affected youth, adding that it was good for the political sense to develop in youth through such activities, He expressed belief that the coming years would bring out a generation of youth that took their decisions independently, based on good analysis of the situation and circumstances.