A recent survey of the American public’s knowledge of Kuwait reveals extensive ignorance. Few understand Kuwait has elections in which women have rights and vote. The poll found 62% of Americans do not know women vote in Kuwait, 58% do not realize there are democratic elections and in a somewhat confusing pattern, 12% believe Kuwait is a “center of terrorism” while 13% believe it is “an ally of the United States.” Although Kuwait has a booming economy in which numerous American businesses are involved, only 5% of Americans believe it is a good place to do business.
The poll results are not surprising given that few Americans ever study about the Middle East or the Muslim religion in their academic career. Information about the area is gleamed from sound bites appearing on the six o’clock news that are presented by individuals who have limited knowledge themselves about topics they are discussing.