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Not even the dead are spared discrimination

THE letter which was published by the Al-Qabas daily on Monday, Dec 23, was said to have been addressed to the Director-General of the Municipality by the Deputy Director of Services Affairs at the Municipality. The letter contained this request: Only Kuwaitis and their like should be buried in Kuwait’s graveyards while foreigners should not be allowed to avail this facility except in some circumstances as specified by the Kuwait Municipality administration.

I and thousands of honorable Kuwaitis and foreigners were stunned by this racist attitude which reminds us of apartheid in South Africa — the apartheid which has been done away with for good. It is surprising that the Kuwait Municipality blinds us and deafens us with such (apartheid) attitudes. This is the same Municipality that is well-known for its corrupt practices. It is said the weight of this corruption is so heavy that two camels will not be able to carry the load on their backs. The Kuwait Municipality and its infamous racist decisions have opened for itself a can of worms on both the local and foreign spectrums.

In the local arena, we hope every honorable person who believes in equality for mankind will reject such unjust attitudes. Overseas Kuwait will be accused of adopting racist policies and discrimination among the peoples of the world - not only when their alive but even after their death. Kuwait is not Hong Kong which has limited expensive land. Kuwait occupies 18,000 square kilometers of plain land, 93 percent of which is an empty desert.

Moreover, expatriates who opt for burial rites in Kuwait are the poor who cannot afford to transport the remains to their native land unlike those who can instead of burying their dead in the sacred land of Kuwait. In short, we have distinguished Kuwaitis from foreigners by opting to prevent them from burying their dead in Kuwait. We have distinguished between the rich and the unfortunate poor expatriates.

The well-off expatriates will not worry about what decision Kuwait takes in this regard, but the unfortunate ones, according to the Kuwait Municipality’s draconian orders, will be forced to bear the cost of transporting their dead to their native land. We hope the Director of Kuwait Municipality and the Minister for Municipal Affairs will disregard the proposal, because discrimination between humans is forbidden even after their death.


Footnote: I wrote this article on Dec 23, and the next day, the Director of Municipality vehemently refuted it... but we are happy of the fact that the proposal was fundamentally rejected.

By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil

By: Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli

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