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Title: Modern education and Arab nationalism in Kuwait, 1911-1961
Author: Al-Rashoud, Talal
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 1478
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2017
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This dissertation aims to examine the role of modern education in the production of an Arab nationalist identity in Kuwait, a process that played out on multiple levels. Firstly, within Kuwait, modern schools were founded starting in 1911 with the goal of emulating the educational systems of the more developed Arab countries. Kuwaiti educational administrators relied on their ties to Arab nationalist networks to obtain assistance from educators, officials, and activists throughout the region. Kuwait's schools became increasingly "Arabized" as they imported teachers and curriculums from Arab states, most notably Palestine, Iraq, and Egypt. Secondly, as domestic education improved, Kuwaitis increasingly pursued secondary and tertiary study in Arab countries, thus becoming integrated into Pan-Arab cultural and political networks. This became a broad phenomenon in the 1940s when oil wealth allowed for an extensive government scholarship program. Combined with the expansion of education locally, this led to the creation of a new social stratum defined by modern education, the effendiyya (known locally as the muthaqqafin). In the 1950s, this group led the Arab nationalist opposition movement in Kuwait, while at the same time dominating certain government departments. The Educational Department, directed by Kuwaiti muthaqqafin and largely staffed by Arab expatriates, became a stronghold of Arab nationalism within the state. Signs of this include the introduction of Kuwait's first national curriculum in 1955- 1956, which had the spread of Arab national awareness as one of its goals, and the department's support for the protest movement that erupted in Kuwait during the Suez Crisis. By the time of Kuwait's independence in 1961, however, Arab nationalist influence began to gradually decline within the department due to a number of developments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral