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‘Summits come and go, life of common man stays same’ Use money on public welfare: poll

 Kuwait just hosted the Afro-Arab summit and the next summit is not far to come. In the melee of all these highfalutin events of world leaders visiting the country, racing motorcades, fluttering multicoloured flags and sudden unexpected holidays, The Arab Times sought to find out what the common man makes of it all.

In this week’s online poll, the Arab Times asked voters what is the benefit for commoners from international summits. The reactions were mixed, although a majority of voters had a negative take. About 40 percent of the voters said that far from benefits, summits only brought hardships such as traffic blocks. Talking to the Arab Times, respondents said that certain roads were off limits to public during the recent summit, which caused some problems for commuters.

Others said that traffic jams are nothing new to Kuwait and that people are quite used to these conditions. “The government had the farsightedness to declare holidays so that trouble to the public could be avoided.” 20 percent of the voters felt the greatest benefit from summits was the holidays. It’s a nice feeling, especially for children, when they get unexpected holidays. The announcements came just a day before, that added to the excitement.

For 11 percent of the voters, the repairing of infrastructure such as relaying of roads and sprucing up of the gardens and parks were a welcome change. “Even when the summit is over, these changes remain and we people get to enjoy them long after the delegates are gone.” About 16 percent of the voters were very sceptical of summits saying that these summits don’t bring any qualitative change in the life of common man. “We are more concerned about inflation, rising food prices, the quality of education, healthcare and so on.

Summits come and go, but these issues are the same.” Respondents said that the money that gets spent for the organizing of summits should be put to better use for the benefit of the people. Another group of voters, 8 percent, begged to differ saying that summits do affect our everyday lives, although in an elliptical way. “The decisions reached at these summits help in greater integration between nations, which enhances economic activities that ultimately benefits common man. A small minority of voters are simply happy to see the colourful flags of nations embellishing the roadsides of Kuwait. “It’s a nice sight to watch.”

By: Valiya S. Sajjad Arab Times Staff

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