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In today’s interconnected world, understanding our own identity is crucial. A recent study by Sam Mejias, Rania Al-Nakib, Abdullah Al-Khonaini and Rana Khazbak delved into this topic, asking young people in Kuwait to describe themselves. Students, mostly Kuwaiti and from both public and private schools, were posed with a thought-provoking question: “Who are you?” They were tasked with picking five words that best describe them. The answers provided a revealing insight into their self-perception and showcased the role of their educational environments.

For instance, when it came to religion, a clear distinction emerged between public and private schools. In public schools, 8 percent of the girls and a notable 58 percent of the boys mentioned their religion as one of the five words that describe them. Contrastingly, in private schools, the emphasis on religion was more balanced, with roughly 20 percent of both genders identifying with it. Nationality was another intriguing point of discussion.

In public schools, the sense of national pride was evident, with around 40 percent of students highlighting their Kuwaiti identity as a defining trait. However, in private schools, this sentiment was less prevalent, with only 20 percent doing so. Beyond these descriptors, the study also explored where these students felt their voices were truly heard.

Whether it was in schools, within their communities, in the safety of their homes, or on the vast landscape of the Internet, each space had its unique influence on the youths’ sense of identity and belonging. Furthermore, the students’ views on their rights and freedoms in Kuwait were gathered. Their feedback, both passionate and reflective, indicated a growing awareness of civic responsibilities and an understanding of the societal fabric they are a part of.

This study underscores the diverse tapestry of youth identity in Kuwait. It’s a testament to the evolving narratives and the multifaceted layers of self-perception. As Kuwait looks to the future, these voices, filled with hope, aspirations, and questions, will undoubtedly pave the way.