GLOBAL CONNECTIONS: the Near/Middle East
January 25, 2000: In Kuwait, two women writers are given prison sentences after one is convicted of blasphemy and the other of using indecent language.

Laila al-Othman's use of the word "lustful" to describe sea waves in her book The Departure is interpreted by authorities as having a sexual connotation. She claims this was unintended. Alia Shuaib, a professor at Kuwait University, is found guilty of "publishing opinions that ridicule religion" in a book she published in 1993, Spiders Bemoan a Wound. Each receives a suspended two-month sentence.

NPR Kuwaiti Book Fair
http://search.npr.org/cf/cmn/segment_display .cfm?segID=35956

Kuwait's minister of information has been attacked for allowing books that have been officially banned by the government to appear at a recent book fair.