Political activity within the diwaniyas is a form of political participation and an attempt to influence political decisions and the orientations of public opinion...
Experts: Diwaniyas have impact on Kuwaiti parliamentary elections
(See translation in Arabic section)
KUWAIT -- Diwaniyas, a sort of socially based town halls, are very famous in Kuwait for bringing people together. During elections, they play an important role in shaping public opinions and even influencing voters.
In interviews with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), several experts stressed that Diwaniyas would once again play a pivotal role in the election especially the upcoming 2023 National Assembly elections scheduled on June 6, via encouraging the democratic process in the country and also boosting the importance of political awareness.
Diwaniyas help shape public opinion and it has an impact on the voting process, said professor of psychology at Kuwait University (KU) Dr. Kamal Al-Farraj.
Political discourse at Diwaniyas help educate the masses on the vitality of partaking in the political and democratic process that help shape the future of the country, he argued, indicating that issues pertaining to society, the economy, and other important aspects of life were usually discussed during Diwaniya gatherings.
He noted that Diwaniyas also provided a place for people to network, share opinions, and collaborate on a multitude of matters.
Providing his outlook, professor of public relations and media at Kuwait University (KU) Dr. Hussein Ibrahim claimed that sometimes Diwaniyas have a stronger media voice than media outlets themselves.
Diwaniyas help move the proverbial democratic wheel in Kuwait, steering individuals -- through dialogue and arguments -- towards certain candidates and ideals, he added.
He argued that Diwaniyas could also be digitized in a sense that candidates could hold virtual Diwaniya gatherings on any Social Media platforms online to directly connect with people and get their opinions through.
Also commenting on the importance of the Diwaniyas in society, professor of social studies and services at KU Dr. Yaqoub Al-Kandari said that such venues could plant the initial political seeds of an individuals and groups.
He also said that Diwnaniyas would be sometimes referred to as "miniature parliaments" due to the vast political opinions and discussions on how to deal with social and economic problems facing Kuwait.
While Diwaniyas in the past were gathering places to the well-known figures in society prior to the discovery of oil, nowadays any normal citizen could establish his Diwaniya and all were welcomed to attend, he added.
Diwaniyas in Kuwait, since the 1920s that , were venues dedicated to gatherings amongst people to discuss life in general and also find solutions to problems facing society as a whole, he pointed out.
He noted that currently, Diwaniyas played a part in monitoring MPs and letting them know what the people were really thinking about them and their efforts at parliament.
Speaking thoroughly on the history of Diwaniyas, historian Dr. Yaqoub Al-Ghunaim revealed that actually Diwaniyas existed in Kuwait for some 300 years.
The modern version of the Diwaniya as we know today began around 1921 with the establishment of the Shura (consultation) Council, he indicated, adding that Diwaniyas continued to develop as the political scene in grew with between 1961-63 after independence and the first National Assembly elections.