By Sumayyah Meehan, MMNS
Keeping secrets is a centuries-old ritual that typically occurs between friends and foes alike, held in a sacred trust that is often dependent upon just how juicy the â€˜dirtâ€™ is you have on one another. By definition, a secret is simply something that you donâ€™t want someone else to know. Unfortunately, most people spill their secrets to a trusted friend or confidant and often find that the secret is not always kept in the confidence it was intended. If the secret revelations of some high-profile celebrities splashed all over the news in recent months is any indicator, the leaking of other peopleâ€™s dirty laundry is big business.
Despite the conservative nature of the Middle East, most of the populace has just as many secrets as their western counterparts do. However, the spillage of secrets in the Middle East is not as â€˜foot loose and fancy freeâ€™ as it is in the West. Certain secrets can land people in the slammer or worse. So, for many, they have little choice but to keep their secrets tucked safely inside where they slowly eat away at their very core.
For this reason alone, a string of secret exposing and tattle-telling websites have popped up on Kuwait-operated servers to help people in the tiny Gulf state clear out whatever skeletons they have lurking in their closet. The most recent website called â€˜Kuwait Exposedâ€™ was launched this past week. The website is very simplistic in nature, as minimalist as it is supposedly confidential. No one really knows the face, or faces, behind it. And the websiteâ€™s mission statement leaves everything to the imagination, albeit in very questionable English, â€œThink of this place as a confession box, a place where you can share whatever you cant share out there in the real world. No one will know you, but youâ€™ll get that junk of trash out of your mind. Sometimes things cant be shared with no one, its hard to, feel free to share whatever on your mind on here, this is our confession box. Let go on now, throw it all up!â€
A foray into the posts is quite revealing and a bit painful as human tragedy is brought up close and personal. There is something a bit disconcerting about reading about the deep dark secrets of others. One anonymous poster shares, â€œLike every high school, there are always the girls who gossip and spread harsh rumors. Well, I was one of them and ruined someoneâ€™s high school days. She was practically the most beautiful girl on campus, with the most awkward personality among the other girls. With only one of two friends, she occasionally kept to herself and could be called a loner. I was envious of her beauty, and decided to make up the most random and crazy rumors which were mere lies concerning her having relationships with boys, even girls. Then on, she was the talk of the school. Fingers were pointed at her all the time. I always wondered if she ever questioned the origins of these lies.â€ There are dozens of entries that have already been shared, with romance and bitter scorn making up the bulk of posts.
Some critics of the new website has lambasted it as a mere imitation of another Kuwait-based website called Post Secret Kuwait, where users can send in their secrets on digital or real (delivered by mail) postcards. Others have said they detect a similar writing trend by most of the posters thus accusing Kuwait Exposed of being a scam. Quite notably the website administration issued this statement earlier in the week, â€œThank you to every one who criticized us, either positively or negatively, we appreciate every word you guys said about us no matter how harsh or judgmental it was, we believe and respect different opinions, and we are open to hear any more future critiques.â€
The website has gotten off to a running start thanks to some local bloggers in Kuwait helping it get off the ground. In itâ€™s first week, Kuwait Exposed racked up over 10,000 hits. Looks like exposing secrets, in Kuwait at least, just might be the new national pastime.