Kuwait Times, 3 February 2012
2 Million Ignored
It’s a shame that the agendas of all candidates that I have been watching for over a month now have ignored expats. Expat issues were totally extinct from the candidates’ agendas. As you all know,
’s population is a bit over 3 million people. Kuwaitis make up 1,300,000 of it according to the latest census. That means that we have around two million expats living side by side with us. I find it illogical to totally ignore 2 million people living with you on the same land, under the same sky who share every aspect, both good or bad, and day-to-day problems. Kuwait
All candidates are talking about prosperity of
Kuwait and how to enhance and advance life in . But how can you talk about advancement on all levels when you ignore 2 million people living with you as if they are thin air and don’t exist. Kuwait
Of course, I am not asking expats to be given citizenship. I am not asking anybody to scrap their debts or give them housing allowance or free medical services. I am not asking you to pay for their education or enroll them in government schools or
. But I am asking you to acknowledge their existence and try to have inclusive agendas that protect the minimum of their interests. Kuwait University
I ask for rules and regulations that protect their pride and dignity. For instance, I don’t see why an employee in my company needs to have my consent to get his or her driving license. I don’t see why I have anything to do with the mobility of my employees. It is basic human rights if somebody is eligible and capable to drive to do so. As long as someone is given a visa in my country, this means he should be allowed to transport himself. Why should he or she be under my mercy to drive around? Even when he gets the driving license, why does he need my consent and gracious signature to renew his driving license? Is it not enough that we annoy expats with red tape and loads of paperwork and rules and regulations which change almost on a monthly basis?
At least you can subsidize the low-income people with medicines which are available free of charge for us Kuwaitis but not expats. I do not mean any expats I am referring to the low-income ones. These people who are ignored are the people who build the election headquarters. They are the ones arranging the microphones and chairs. They are the ones who in the end of the night clean the garbage we leave behind. They are the ones preparing the sandwiches and shawarma we distribute at these occasions etc, etc.
If Kuwait Times allows me, I need 24 pages to list the things they do. Don’t you think that they deserve at least one sentence from our candidates? Thank you very much and good day. We live in a shariah-abiding country! This is just a reminder.
By Badrya Darwish