SAR’s Academic Freedom Monitoring Project investigates and reports attacks on higher education with the aim of raising awareness, generating advocacy, and increasing protection for scholars, students, and academic communities. Learn more.

Date of Incident: September 12, 2018

Attack Types: Other

Institution(s):Kuwait University

Region & Country:Western Asia | Kuwait

New or Ongoing:New Incident

On September 12, 2018, Professor Mai Al-Nakib posted on Twitter that her book ‘The Hidden Light of Objects’ (published in 2014) was banned in Kuwait by Kuwait’s Ministry of Information.

On September 12th, Professor Mai Al-Nakib, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Kuwait University, reportedly learned that her book “The Hidden Light of Objects,” which was published in 2014 and won the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award in 2014, was banned by the Ministry of Information of the Government of Kuwait. She reports that Kuwaiti authorities have not given reasons for the ban. The Ministry has previously claimed that it does not ban books but that books are reviewed for public release by a censorship committee within the Ministry. According to reports, Kuwait’s government has censored 4,390 books in the last five years.

Scholars at Risk is concerned about the censorship of the nonviolent expressive activity of a scholar within her professional expertise, which is protected by internationally recognized human rights standards. State authorities have a responsibility to protect the rights to freedom of expression, academic freedom, and related rights.