Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Help find Spike!!

I don't know these people, but I read the story in the Arab Times today and it made me so sad. My heart goes out to them.

I don't know what I would do if something like this (God forbid) ever happened to me and Desert Dawg. I think I would probably have to go after the people who did it - regardless of who they were. I don't think even their great-grand-children would be safe from my wrath.

What the HELL is happening to this country when even the police are perpetrating what would be crimes other places in the world?

And speaking of injustices:

My former maid's sister-in-law (Indian) was just released from prison where she spent 23 days. Why? Because her EMPLOYER was involved in shady visa practices. The municipality raided the salon where she worked and took all the EMPLOYEES - NOT THE OWNER!!! - to jail. The woman, my friend, does nails for Gods sake! She is shy and quiet and God-fearing. During her time in prison, she was never able to take a cold shower, nor were they given anything hot to drink (only cold water and only 3 glasses per day).

Do I need to leave Kuwait? Is it just me? I think it is getting worse.


Anonymous said...

May be this is new for you... but this is common in this country.

I have come across so many with same cases. One simple eg: just bcos two people were talking in there national language & a Loca was passing. The local thought that they are abusing or cracking a joke on her. The local repoted to the cop at the station & both the ladies were questioned & its over 3 months.
What you say for this....

Snow said...

I do know the owner and she really is very upset and it's even harder because they're not here at the moment. Everyone is on the look out. I do think Kuwait is getting worse and I've only been here for 9 years! It's terrible what they do, it makes me speechless.

Anonymous said...

They took the workers? That's just so bloody messed up :s

Anonymous said...

I wish and pray for Desert dog to be safe, happy and healthy.
I think I saw this dog at Andaluse last week, but I have to go back there and have closer look it, he was a lovely dog and I loved him from the first sight.
It's the block cross the street from KFH branch.


Papyrus said...

We all need to leave Kuwait, I know I'm going to by end of this year.
The days of glory of this country are gone, everything is going downhill veeeeeeeeeeeeery fast.
I know some of the reasons, but mentioning it willl probalby get your blog shut, so, I'll leave it up to you and the reader's intelligence. got to go, have a suitecase to pack, boxes of books and CDs to ship.

I feel owful for that dog and his owner :(

Desert Girl said...

Hey As*&^hole - you who wrote the note about everything being perfect in America and why don't I just leave.... I never said things were perfect in America or anywhere else either. but you - as "a Kuwaiti" are in denial if you think that all is rosy here and things are improving. Keep your hatred to your own blog.

As for the decent folk - thank you for your very kind comments and I appreciate your assistance.

Anonymous said...

I would like to thank you desert girl for all the help you r providing and i hope i gtto meet u wheni come to kuwait. And many thanks to SNOW....or Um Faisal...thanks dear for your kind comments. You know home much we love Spike and he is more than just a dog, he had a legacy back then in kuwait when he was with us, he never hesitate to growl off those perverts who were coming to close to my girls or to me, he chased away nasty ppl at the beach in salwa so we could sit in peace.
And to ANONYMOUS....pls check if this was my dog u saw in andalus..he responses immediately to his name Spike, hates it when u touch his long tail, has a white whisker on left side, and under his neck he is dark brown and big white patch. I taught him many tricks, he opens doors when u point to one and say :Up - open..he is really amazing. Hoping still for a miracle.
Thanks to all - Maria

Lifeloverinkw said...

DG, if you leave Kuwait, Who is going to espouse all these atrocities.
I’ll back you up!

BoBader said...

Regarding injustices..

As a kuwaiti,, I must admit our country is severely lacking in terms of protecting human rights and it really hurts to read/hear about these injustices on a daily basis, and i really do believe the mindset and culture have to change regarding the present treatment of other ppl as subordinates rather than as equals in terms of dignity and respect.

But i do have a couple of questions though, since i cant answer them myself, or im too naive to know what the true answer is:
Do we not live in a country where the rule of law still does apply?
Are expats ( third country nationals especially) knowledgeable and aware about their full rights as residents in kuwait?
Last one..hypothetical.. if an employee, (domestic workers especially).. goes to a police station and files a complaint against his/her employer.. will they be belittled? rejected? or will they be taken seriously?

Sorry for taking up too much space,

and btw this blog is amaaazing

Desert Girl said...

Dear BoBader,

Thanks for your comment. I really appreciate it (as well as the compliments!)

I’m not Kuwaiti, but I’ve always considered myself an adopted (miscievious!) child of the country – living by the same rules as the family. It does hurt to see what is happening here lately.

I don’t know if laws still apply. It all has to do with 1) proper laws being established to begin with and 2) enforcement of those laws. If the authorities responsible for enforcement of laws don’t take them seriously and set examples for others to live by, then the people won’t take them seriously. I think we have anarchy on most roads in Kuwait right now, for example.

I think most expats know their rights under the law. Our teaboys and cleaners at work seem to have a pretty strong understanding and they have formed networks within their own groups if they need information. Their own embassies have formed networks of assistance as well.

I think the fault is more within the law. Even the new law is too biassed towards the employer: It still amounts to employers/business owners being allowed to get away with bad behavior. For example, it is nice to have more holiday and vacation pay; however, we are still in a position where if we have a problem with our employer, we can't do very much about it without the employer making our lives miserable.

I’m American and I have had major problems with my employer before. I don’t feel comfortable filing a grievance with the Ministry of Labor & Social Affairs (sha’oun) because of the repercussions. If I did, I would be terminated by my company, they would hold my salary and indemnity (“Go to court if you don’t like it” – taking up to 2 or 3 years to receive compensation.).

My Kuwaiti credit cards are tied to my salary. Many people don't know this, but when you are terminated and your salary no longer goes to the bank, the bank automatically deducts your balance to cover your credit card. (so as an example, if I have 1000 KD as a credit card balance and 1000 KD in my account, I have NO money). What do you do? How can you leave? How can you pay your rent? How can you work? If any lower-income expats/laborers have borrowed any money, they are in the same circumstance. Laws don't cover this. The bank is allowed by law to take 100% of your funds.

I think (and this isn’t from personal experience, but from what I have heard) that if laborers go to the sha’oun, they are putting themselves at risk for arrest and deportation. I don’t feel comfortable going to any police station for any reason – and that includes traffic accidents. I have had several in 13+ years. I understand Arabic. Officers talk about me in front of me in a vulgar manner. They are rude. It is very very uncomfortable (unless you pull out the Wastah Bomb). And contrary to popular belief, our embassy does NOTHING to help you with the police or in filing grievances. If the US embassy is incapable/unwilling of helping, what will the Bangladesh or Indian embassy do? (And if there are lawyers out there reading this, I have long thought that you should pool your resources and do pro-bono work for expats who need assistance in the community. Put your money where your mouth is.)

I think that the lawmakers need to listen first DIRECTLY to the expats living in the country (rather than their employers) before establishing laws that govern them.

BoBader said...

Thank you for the clarifications,

just a follow up comment if i may..
Regarding current laws, well im not familiar with the law but if it is really geared towards employers and employees are reluctant, as you pointed, to file complaints or voice their opinions then i dont see why lawmakers would take the initiative to change the laws. and i dont blame them? why would they? if the ppl who are affected first hand didnt provide the feedback? How would lawmakers know what they need to amend?
Then again, this would make sense ideally, bss would it make sense in kuwait.. madry

and about traffic and police stations.. aaaaaaah no comment...

Thanks again