The Kuwaiti Times reports on a recession-proof career field for young university graduates - censor in the Ministry of Information.
Read no evil – Senior censor defends work, denies playing Big Brother:
Dalal started her career as a censor at the Foreign Books Department and became the head of the department after a few years. “Many people consider the censor to be a fanatic and uneducated person, but this isn’t true. We are the most literate people as we have read much, almost every day. We receive a lot of information from different fields. We read books for children, religious books, political, philosophical, scientific ones and many others,” she pointed out.
“As a censor, I read a book from beginning to the end, word by word. In case the censor makes a mistake, the head of the department will be responsible for this mistake, as they should also read the book. The time to finish censoring a book depends on the kind of the book. For instance, a philosophical book needs about four days to read,” Dalal added.
“We have a list of banned books in Kuwait and we deal with publications containing forbidden material that are not on this list, and which we have to censor. The author or the distributor of this censored publication can appeal the decision issued by the censorship department at the ministry, and then another committee will review the publication to give its decision. Usually we are not very strict with foreign books,” she admitted.
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The greatest load on the department is during the Book Fair. “We start censoring the books in this fair about three months before it is held. We receive about 7,000 to 8,000 books to read. There are about 15 censors working on this fair. These censors take the books home with them to finish their reading. If we find a book containing restrictions, we write a report that is passed to a committee which decides that certain books will be banned from the fair,” she highlighted.
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Working as a censor is interesting. “I like this work. It gives us experience, information and we always learn something new. It takes about a year or a year and a half to become a censor, as the person is first employed as a censor assistant. The employee first starts slow in reading and it takes him a week or days to finish a book. Also, beginners are not given political or religious books in the beginning as these are difficult. Instead we give them children’s books or some scientific books, which are easy,” said Dalal.
The censors have to pass some courses and practicals to be eligible to do this job ... Within a year or so, they will be completely trained ... Usually the employees are graduates from the college of political science, history and similar fields,” she concluded.