Monday, January 22, 2018

Philippines bans Filipinos from Travel to Kuwait

One of my dear friend, American Girl in Kuwait, posted the following today and it mirrors my sentiments about Kuwait.  More needs to be done and unfortunately, it is taking foreign governments to draw the line.

She wrote:

If there's anything I learned while living in Kuwait, it's that change doesn't happen overnight. Or, even over decades. Sometimes it takes action outside of their control to force that change. Which is exactly what the Philippines has done; forced change. Bravo!
"Kuwait will always be a second home for me and will always have a special place in my heart. But serious changes need to take place in terms of human rights and animal rights. When an entire country can have a reputation for being cruel to people and animals, something is fundamentally wrong.
Fortunately, among some of the worst, are some of the best. There are people who step up and take on the issues head-on. They work tirelessly to make changes in Kuwait which is anything but easy.
Yeah, it's a little unfortunate someone has to write an op-ed telling people to be kind to those of different nationalities, but I applaud her for doing so."

This was in reaction to not only the ban, but to an article in the Kuwait Times, by a Kuwaiti woman; forward-thinking Nejoud Al-Yagout.  

The full story can be found here:

I agree.  I think it has been a long time coming.  If Kuwaiti women were being raped and tortured in a specific country, they would immediately stop Kuwaiti women (and most likely men) from travelling there.  Over the decades that I've been in Kuwait, more cases are being prosecuted, but it isn't enough if it has become a culture of abuse.  It is common.  The stories continue and it is almost systematic.  The Philippines Embassy in Kuwait has become an abused women's shelter.  It can't be allowed to continue.

From the Arab Times today, "Kuwait Expresses Regret, Bewilderment...."  Oh yes.  It is shocking and surprising.  Emmmm.....

Well, Safa, you should be really happy about this!  Mabrook, boyfriend!  You wanted more expats out of the country and now you can wash your own dishes and clean your own toilets.  I'm so happy for your win.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Kuwaiti Women in the Military

Grilling threat if women called to arms – Our identity a red line, warns MP

Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 18: MP Mohammad Hayef Al- Mutairi has threatened to grill Defense Minister Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad if women are allowed to enter the military.

On his Twitter account, Al-Mutairi asserted: “Our identity is a red line that nobody should cross. We do not accept alienation of our society. Women have no place in military institutions. They had earlier been allowed to play a minimal role such as inspecting women at the borders and places frequented by women, taking into account their privacy as Muslims.”

--- End ---

Guess what, MP, Mutairi:  You should educate yourself on Kuwaiti women's role in the Gulf War of 90 and 91.  KUWAITI WOMEN FOUGHT IN COMBAT in 1990 and 1991. (And I can name names if you want a list.)   They lived in the battlefield along men.  They fought for their country next to men.  Their rank was given to them by the KUWAITI GOVERNMENT as Sergeant - making the same pay rate as men who had worked themselves up the ranks in the Kuwaiti military.    They were trained by the Americans and they helped liberate Kuwait.  But you won't find that fact in any history book anywhere in Kuwait because of small-minded people who keep it from public knowledge. 

Know your own history - or at least learn from those who have first-hand knowledge of it!  There is nothing about your so-called "identity" that keeps women from protecting their country, their families, and their lives.  It is honorable and should be treated as such!

Duterte aint playin' - I'm just sayin'....


Arab Times

MANILA, Philippines, Jan 18, (AP): Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte threatened Thursday to impose a total ban on sending workers to Kuwait because of sexual abuses that have forced some Filipino women to kill themselves.

Duterte said he wanted Filipino officials to hold talks with Kuwait and tell them the abuses are unacceptable and that the Philippines may ban Filipinos from working there unless the abuses end.
“I do not want a quarrel with Kuwait. I respect their leaders but they have to do something about this because many Filipinas will commit suicide,” Duterte said in a speech at the launching of a Manila bank for Filipinos abroad.

“We have lost about four Filipino women in the last few months. It’s always in Kuwait,” Duterte said, without providing details. Discussing the problem with Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano recently, Duterte said: “My advice is, we talk to them, state the truth and just tell them that it’s not acceptable anymore. Either we impose a total ban or we can have this corrected.”

More than 250,000 Filipinos work in the Arab nation. The Philippines is a major labor exporter with about a tenth of more than 100 million Filipinos working abroad. The earnings they send home have bolstered the Philippine economy for decades. Workers endure the threat of abuses, including rape, in some countries to be able to send money home and keep their children in school. But with their parents working abroad, some children end up being sexually abused or become drug addicts, Duterte said, explaining his anger over drug dealers.

Thousands of mostly poor suspects have been killed in Duterte’s brutal crackdown on illegal drugs since he took power in 2016, alarming Western governments and human rights groups. Duterte has denied he condones extrajudicial killings although he has openly threatened drug dealers with death for years.


Personally, I wouldn't want to be caught in this guy's cross hairs.  

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Blowing smoke on real estate in Kuwait

Al-Melham rules out possibility of crisis affecting Kuwait real-estate due to expats
Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 8: CEO of Blue Print Shareholding Company Meshal Al-Melham ruled out the possibility of a crisis affecting the real-estate sector in Kuwait due to the recent decisions related to expatriates, reports Al-Rai daily. He said the market will adapt to the consequences quickly, affirming that the matter is related to demographic reform and not expulsion of expatriates.

Al-Melham reiterated that the market will be able to adjust to the reduced number of expatriates, indicating that trade and investment movement in the real estate sector has declined recently due to worries over the increased water and electricity tariffs. He revealed that the recent fall in the prices of houses is part of the process of correcting the path following a period of unjustified hike in the real-estate prices, affirming that this is the way the real estate sector corrects its mistakes.

Al-Melham explained that there are two reasons behind Kuwaiti citizens’ tendency to buy real estate properties overseas. The first reason is personal. Since some citizens often travel to certain countries for studies or medical treatments there, they choose to buy real estate there.
--- end ----

Ha ha ha.  Keep bullshitting the population into believing everything is juuuust fine. The real deal is that expats (the kind with money) are leaving Kuwait in DROVES and there is a glut of empty apartments.  Prices are dropping due to supply and demand:  There is an over supply and decrease in demand.  Simple logic. 

A note on “bachelor accommodations”:  IF any company is on a US military contract and is supplying labor to those contracts, Army auditors are going out with MEASURING TAPES to check apartment sizes and number of occupants living there.  If the company is in violation, they lose the contract.  But of course, that is just a warning for those corrupt companies who are on US contracts; has nothing to do with laborers working on stuff like infrastructure projects.  Slave quarters for those guys aren’t regulated.

And why are more Kuwaitis buying property overseas?  Well, unless you’ve been living under a rock and/or don’t listen to the news, there has been major instability in the region within past months.  Kuwaitis are feeling itchy again.  It’s that little thing that keeps you up at night:  “Are my kids going to be ok here?  Am I going to be ok here?  What’s going to happen with Iran, Saudi Arabia, the local market… more more more….”

So here’s my thought to lawmakers and “big thinkers” out there:  Stop blaming expats for your issues.  The blame game is cultural to Kuwait.  Think outside the box:  Perhaps make Kuwait a more attractive place for expats to invest in by (get this) not blaming expats.  Maybe become a little more welcoming to investors and high worth individuals who would WANT to live/invest in Kuwait and would also pay the types of rents backward-thinking landlords are demanding.  Stop with the stupid laws like deporting people for traffic offenses.  Make QUALITY OF LIFE a priority to all people living in Kuwait.

That’s my 2 fils on the subject.

(I’m not allowing comments on this post, haters.  Find another way to bash this expat.)

Mic drop.

Friday, January 05, 2018

"Draft laws ready to resolve the bedoon issue"

Every few years, the parliament makes a statement about naturalizing 4000 stateless (no-nationality people - many of whom have been born in Kuwait or have generations of family members born in Kuwait for as long as the the country has been an official country).  They're called, "Bedoon" meaning "without" in Arabic - a shorter version of "bedoon jinseeya" or "without nationality." Not to be confused with Bedouin.

Anyways, today's Kuwait Times:

Such BS.  They bring it up  They drop it.  I was particularly chuffed about the idea to give all Bedoon citizenship to the Comoros Islands nation.  (Yeah....ok.....)

Amazon sells a very good book called, " Kuwait: The Bedoons of Kuwait "Citizens Without Citizenship" It was written by a group of people from Human Rights Watch.  The book (written in 1995) also mentions the governments "plans" to naturalize 4000 Bedoons per year. How many have actually been naturalized since then?

(I don't know who came up with the original plan for 4,000... why not 5,000?  Who knows.)

But don't take my word for it:   Plenty of objective organizations have come to Kuwait to document the issue.  Like Refugees International and others.

I will get comments from people saying that Bedoon are all Iraqis who came here seeking a better life (in their words "trying to get money") during or following the invasion.  "What do you know?  You're just a foreigner!?"  'Yo homey, what do you know,  you're just 26.'  I will happily delete those comments from youngsters who have a one-sided view and should read more/listen less in their diwaniya or from bigots who infect more bigots.

Let the entire country of Kuwait do the DNA test!  DO IT.  Find out where you're all really from!  I dare ya.  23andme can tell you for $99.  And Kuwait being a port for centuries, I'm guessing it's not going to all be what you thought.

I also urge foreign embassy workers to look into this issue.  Don't take the word/perspective of one group of people - educate yourselves.  Maybe even talk to some Bedoon people and learn first-hand of their experiences.