Yesterday, I was walking my dog at the beach next to Enjifa (the public area across the street from Salwa 12). It wasn't at Enjifa, but adjacent. The reason I take my dog walking on a deserted beach is so that people won't be frightened by him in crowded areas. I also enjoy the solitude.
It was a LOVELY evening. When I first arrived, there were a group of guys in the distance, taking photos on the beach. They left and I walked down and saw a few Kuwaiti youngsters around. Basically, I was alone with The Big Dog (on a lead, so he wouldn't scare anyone, trying to play with them. Trying to be a good canine citizen...).
I walked him for a while and decided to sit down and watch the birds over the water as the sun set. It was lovely. The same group of Kuwaiti youngsters came over to ask me about the dog and basically seemed very happy to make my acquaintance. "I want to go to America..." It was so sweet and one of the girls added me on Instagram. I made fast friends. They left and went back to one of those huge houses on the beach.
I was there for a few more minutes when I heard from behind me, "Excuse me! Excuse me!" and it turned out to be a Ministry of Interior police patrol. Although extremely polite (to both me and the dog), they told me that I was not allowed to be there. It was very disturbing. In 18 years in Kuwait, I have never been told to leave anywhere by anyone. And here I was, alone, on a beach with no signs to the contrary stating that I couldn't be there, being asked to leave by police. I frequent that beach all the time. Other people do too - families, people walking their dogs.
They told me that they had received a call that I had been sitting there for a while (I was watching the SUNSET!) and that I was too close to The Emir's home (approximately 1 mile down the road). Again, I found the whole thing shocking and disturbing. (And if their logic applies, then both Enjifa and Bidaa restaurant areas should be closed/patrons asked to leave.)
The whole reason I was alone with my dog was because I didn't want any more negative human interaction. I have had far enough of that lately and I just wanted to be alone. Lately, I have intentionally alienated myself from everyone trying to cut down the noise. I'm tired and I guess it has hit the "depression" mark. I'm not even answering calls anymore. But the one thing I really do enjoy is being out with my dog. Until this happened yesterday.
I was really upset by it and immediately went home, got into my PJs, ordered a pizza and went to bed. But not before calling a Kuwaiti friend...
He told me Kuwait is on a security alert. "Don't you remember when we were sitting in the tent and Abood's boss called him and told him to come to duty?" Oh yeah. I remember Abood was pissed (both the Briddish and the American definition). The security forces have received information that Kuwait may be sabotaged in some way. They also found 2 Kuwaiti policemen were members of ISIS/DAESH this past week.
Ok, so I felt better after that (and the entire pizza... and desert...), but I was still traumatized.
For information on the security alert in Kuwait, see:
Kuwaiti Police Officers Fired
Threats of Sabotage (Arab Times), 6 December
Now, this doesn't mean that people should be flocking to the airport in fear; just cautious as always. I don't know if you heard or not, but in 1990 (not so long ago), Kuwait was invaded by a neighboring country to the North. A lot of people died. Others were tortured. Women were raped. Corpses were either hung or left in front of homes where they lived so that they would be a message to others. This kind of stuff has a way of making people cautious and maybe a little alarmist. And that's a good thing: So that really heinous stuff like that doesn't happen again.