Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The psychological toll of the constant threat of deportation

"Deportation" has become the new buzzword among lawmakers in Kuwait. You're not cool if you can't create a law that says that someone is going to get deported these days.   You can be deported for barbecuing, for partying, for various traffic offenses, for various visa offenses... the list goes on and on and there seems to be a new deportation law coming out every week.

I've been depressed for a year.  I guess I didn't realize how bad it has affected me until I took steps back to look at what is going on in my life.  Ok, there are other incidents which have led to my feeling down, but every week, I worry about something else.

Now, it is walking my dog.

Every day when I finish work, I go home, get my dog, and take him out for a walk.  One he became large (he's a German Shepherd), I stopped walking him in my neighborhood and at our local walking track to avoid the possibility of scaring, startling, upsetting anyone who fears big dogs.  (Other large breed dog owners in my neighborhood continue to walk their dogs at the track.)  I put my dog in my car, and usually drive several miles from my house to Engifa or the beach close to it.  I thought I was being considerate.

A law has just been put into effect stating that large breed "dangerous" dogs can not be walked on beaches or in public areas.  So my drive will be longer.  Now, I am going to have to take my dog somewhere to a desert so that he can have decent exercise.  How am I going to accomplish this in a sports car?  I am going to have to buy a 4x4.

Why?  Because instead of deporting me, they will do the unthinkable:  take my dog.  (and do what with him and who will determine that? Who knows because these new laws are vague and seemingly subjective.). You see, Kuwait still sees pets as "things" as material.  To SOME of us, our pets are our family members.  My older dog has been with me for 18 years; through wars and troubles and boyfriends and jobs.  My big boy is still basically a puppy. I don't have family in Kuwait;  my pets ARE my family.  And like my human family, IF anyone tried to harm them or take them from me, I would unleash a level  of crazy unheard of in several centuries of history.

I've been in Kuwait for 18 years.  I didn't come to Kuwait for money.  I came because I loved Kuwait (even before I arrived here).   That was then.  This recent Kuwait is depressing and almost intolerable.  While I am grateful for a great job and other benefits of living in Kuwait, it is depressing.  Sometimes you can't feel how oppressive it is until you leave.

When you are trying to live your life in peace and contentment, how is that accomplished when you have a sword  constantly dangling above your head?

Life is too short.

Now, some of you readers have commented that I'm stupid and I should know by now that none of this is ever going to be enforced and blah blah blah....  Ok fine, but I believe those people commenting were probably not foreigners living in Kuwait.  Kuwaitis don't have to worry about being kicked out (well, that's not true, but it would take a lot more and it is a totally different subject all together).  Kuwaitis aren't going to lay in bed at night thinking about what MIGHT happen because you broke the latest recent-most-stupid-law.  Some people don't do that - I do.  I worry.  I think worst-case-scenario first and then I can go back from there.

I know I'm lucky.  I know I'm from a country that has preferential treatment in Kuwait.  I have Kuwaiti friends that I could call on (but I rarely rarely do).  But I still worry about it.  Probably because I love Kuwait and consider it home.  So the mere threat of all this deportation stuff is damaging.  It's negative.  It's bad.  And if I'm feeling this way; how are others who are less fortunate feeling?  Sorry, but a threat is a threat and there is no way to look at it as a positive/pleasant experience.  It is bullying - and on a national level.


This is a perspective blog:  MY perspective. How I feel.  I'm not the frickin voice of my people.  I can only add my voice.  You don't have to like it, but you don't have to read it either.  I'm not blogging out of a need for additional readers to collect advertising fees.  I don't give a rats smelly ass about stats.  I blog because I enjoy it.  I tell it like I see it.  Quite a few people have commented on MY blog lately using quite negative and even insulting language to express their dislike of MY perspective.  To which I say (as I have said before and will say again):  NO ONE is holding a gun to your head, forcing you to read this.  If you dislike, disagree with, or just get pissed off with what I have to say:  stopfuckingreading it.  Create your own blog.  Vent your opinion there. I'm not Fox f-ing news.  I'm the author of a teeny weeny little blog in a teeny weeny little country writing about my teeny weeny view of things.  That's it.  There is no conspiracy.  I think I will stop allowing comments for a while because I CHOOSE not to partake in other people's negativity.  The drama is destructive to my chi and that, my friends, is no f-ing way to start a new year.


sala6a said...

Very depressing. Nothing can be done to fix it i guess. Its we either live with it, or simply run away...

Anonymous said...

Kuwait has become an inconvenience and I now use the word Kuwait as an adjective, it is no longer a proper noun in my opinion. But when everything seemed to hit rock bottom a glimmer of hope came out of Parliament with MP Nabil Al Fadhl. He stated," Independent MP Nabil Al Fadhl made the comments as part of his aim to persuade lawmakers to reverse the ban on the consumption of alcohol, which has been in place since 1964.
Al Fadhl also called for the lifting of tough restrictions on musical concerts, which were imposed 10 years ago, and vowed to challenge an article in the Kuwaiti constitution banning non-Muslims from getting Kuwaiti citizenship. Kuwait has become a place of misery and it appears their nationals are fed up and a large part of the population just want to smile again.

American Girl said...

"Sometimes you can't feel how oppressive it is until you leave" -- Couldn't have said it better myself.

Egyptian said...

well i thought you are semi kuwaiti which means u will never be threatned with deporting, i understood too that you are american girl well hunny u need to think about the people whose countries are facing bad and hard phases for example syria and egypt
we are not feeling safe.. here they wanna deport people are none sense reasons and our countries are unbearable anymore

Anonymous said...

So sorry you are having these difficulties in this country. Try to keep a positive attitude. Hope that the new year brings happiness and only good things for you! We are all in control of our choices. So always carry that thought in your mind.

Anonymous said...

This is a rumour:

Rumours are not facts.

Proposals are not facts.

The media is misleading and misreporting. Proposals are proposals. There are millions of proposals in Kuwait. There is no reason to report every proposal and blow it out of proportion.

The media is misleading its readers by reporting rumours and proposals as facts.

Not everything you hear in the media is true. The media is sensationalist. The media exaggerates. The media is not reliable.

Desert Girl said...

Anonymous 4:33 - That is just truly fascinating. Really? The media sensationalizes?? I had no idea. I guess I'm not that smart because I thought everything I read on the internet and in newspapers (ESPECIALLY in Kuwait) were 100% true. You mean to tell me that it's NOT TRUE??? OMG!!! (fainting...)

Person, this is my perspective; what I have read and heard from Kuwaiti friends.

And you seem to have been on a rant, so I'm not publishing your other lovely 2 pieces of hate mail.

Again, no one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to read my blog. If you don't like MY perspective and what I have to say, move on.

This post is reflective of how I FEEL right now in Kuwait. This is a perspective blog. MY perspective. Thanks for your comments from the ivory tower.

(From your previous ranting comments:) I know the Bedoon situation pretty well, youngster. I also love Kuwait and FUCKING FOUGHT FOR IT in 1990 and 91. Have no doubt about that.

Anonymous said...

MP Nabil Al Fadhl is very racist, he said the Bidoon should be put in desert camps and he also said most Bedouins are Saudi dual citizens. I don't understand why Nabil Al Fadhl hates the Bedouins.

MP Nabil Al Fadhl is worse than ex-MP Mohammed al Juwaihel

Nabil Al Fadhl claims to be a liberal, yet he's racist to the Bidoon and Bedouins. That's not liberalism. Liberalism is advocating justice and equality for everyone, not just your kind.

MP Nabil Al Fadhl is also known for his pro-government stance. He tried his best to demonize the opposition.

It's funny that number 5:10 believes MP Nabil al Fadhl is a glimmer of hope.

10 years ago, the 'restrictions' on musical concerts were imposed by the parliament, which is elected by the Kuwaiti people. Most MPs in the parliament wanted to impose restrictions on musical concerts. That's democracy. The Kuwaiti people are entitled to democracy. The parliament represents the people.

Funnily enough, many musical concerts were held in Kuwait in the past year: