Thursday, 21 May 2015

‘No Expat Has Right To Talk Negatively About Kuwaitis’

‘Our Society Is Tolerant, Open-Minded’

One of my dear readers commented on an article Arab Times published earlier under the title “‘Punish Criminals Severely, ‘Increase Security Checks’ (May 11 2015). I commented in that article on the increase in expat crime. However, the reader did not seem to have been so fond of the tone of the article! He reacted by claiming that “, no mention of the not so minority of Kuwaitis who force expats into these horrible situations with passport confiscations, unpaid salaries, and threats of violence and jail — false accusations of theft, poor housing etc. etc.
Very one dimensional article not befitting a journalist”! What strikes me as a one-dimensional view, and perhaps what appears to be an anti-Kuwaiti sentiment in the previously quoted response, is the exaggerated fallacy that a Kuwaiti journalist should always praise expats, and perhaps shy away from exposing negative behavior not befitting a foreign individual who lives and works in Kuwait!
Unfortunately, such anti-Kuwaiti sentiments are somewhat becoming frequent, perhaps among those who think they will always be better than us! Nevertheless and even though it is appropriate to admire hard working expats’ work ethics, and praise their commitment and productivity, yet no one has the right to issue anti-Kuwaiti negative statements.
One may also argue that there is in fact among a tiny minority of expats perhaps an unjustified tendency to blame Kuwaiti citizens for the plights or misery of some unfortunate individuals. It seems that one or two individuals would always find an excuse to blame citizens for no other reason other than being Kuwaitis.
To illustrate; I personally have had and continue to have frequent contacts with expats, and what I have noticed so far is that some individuals do perpetuate some anti-Kuwaiti sentiments, perhaps another meaningless way to compensate for their previous troubles with the law or with some Kuwaiti individual. Negative generalizations about citizens tend to come out not just from those who have been maltreated by their sponsors, but also from some of those who seem to live their unimagined dreams of success in Kuwait.
Troublemaking, ungrateful and demagogic individuals will not tarnish the image of our hard working expatriate population because unappreciative individuals do not represent the majority. I will not stop exposing any violations of our laws, social norms and traditions.
Furthermore, I will not be intimidated into silence or forced to sugarcoat what I observe in my Kuwaiti society. As a case in point, some individuals do flagrantly break our traffic laws, dirty our streets, pollute our environment, abuse other expats, and do not fulfill their legal responsibilities toward their employers….etc.
No one has the right to look down on us as Kuwaiti citizens, considering the fact that we have the highest number of educated people, and have one of the most vibrant economies in the region.Our Kuwaiti society will continue to be tolerant, open-minded and progressive.
By Khaled Aljenfawi

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