1,000 Kuwaitis apply for imam and muezzins positions at mosques

Cairo: Over 1,000 Kuwaitis have applied for the first time to work as mosque imams and muezzins amid a vigorous drive in the country to replace migrant workers with citizens, according to Kuwaiti newspaper Al Qabas.

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Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf has eased testing criteria for these jobs in order to encourage qualified Kuwaitis to apply with the aim of raising the number of citizens working as imams and muezzins to 20 per cent. Currently, the figure stands as 6 per cent.

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Kuwaiti pensioners have also been allowed to apply. Conditions include memorization of the Holy Quran and good treatment of people.

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The offer has drawn a record 1,000 Kuwaitis, half of them have already taken the writing test, Al Qabas said.

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Some 230 retiree applicants have been exempted from the writing test.

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Successful candidates will attend training courses on Islamic jurisprudence as well as boost of dialogue-management skills, community communication and vocals. The new employees will be appointed in mosques near their houses.

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There are 1,603 mosques in Kuwait, manned by a total of 1,786 imams including 114 appointed Kuwaitis.

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Foreigners account for nearly 3.4 million of Kuwait’s 4.8 million population.

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In recent months, there have been increasing calls in Kuwait to redress the demographic imbalance, prompting several government bodies to disclose plans to minimise numbers of their foreign employees.

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