ATTACKING and blaming expatriates indiscreetly and indiscriminately by regarding them as the secret behind our degradation and the vicious disorder in every sector of our society is wrong “according to his conviction.”
We, as Kuwaitis, are the main partners in the degradation, disorder and corruption; whereas it is difficult — except on rare occasions — to find a Kuwaiti to replace expatriates with the same privileges given to them who help us have a luxurious and easy life, and build wealth.
You and I brought them to this country. A group of us brought them here as they need to have better living conditions and employment. Another group brought them not for their services, but to trade in them and fill our pockets with earnings from their sweat.
On this occasion, I am glad to present to my esteem readers a letter I received from someone concerned with Kuwait’s affairs; who is among the noble ones in this country. In his letter, he expressed feelings similar to ours due to the level of degradation our condition has reached. I will let you comment after reading the letter.
“May the peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you. My name is Ahmad Abdul-Kareem, an Arab national who has been living in Italy for 32 years. I have visited Kuwait several times. I read your articles and I share your opinion in most of the topics that you write about the widespread financial corruption in Kuwait.
Part of my Master’s degree dissertation which I submitted to a university here in Italy was on Kuwait — about its economic development, growth and demography since the discovery of oil.
Until the late 1980s, Kuwait was a pioneering country not only in the Gulf region, but in the entire Arab world and in everything. We cannot forget traveling on board Kuwait Airways which was a symbol of luxury at the time in terms of services and distinction since the aggression.
Kuwait has degraded from the higher ranks it gained and it has dropped to an unenviable level. Definitely, this is not due to poor planning or lack of skills as the State spends millions in preparing and sponsoring citizens studying abroad.
Everyone sees a common factor, whether someone close to Kuwait or far, that is the participation of majority of Kuwaitis in this degradation; not just the influential ones. We witness negligence and slackness in many corridors of ministries and directorates, as well as the government corridors; even the ordinary employees.
For more than a decade, the electricity problem in Kuwait continues, especially during summer, due to overload in the electricity network which has not been upgraded since the 1970s despite the capabilities to invest in it.
In this regard, we cannot fail to mention the deteriorating condition of Kuwait airport, Kuwait Airways, even the road network and infrastructure.
I have visited many government offices several times with some friends to process some transactions. Surprisingly, these offices were empty. If you find a Kuwaiti employee, the response you might get is: “I am not in the mood.” This is contrary to what I experienced in the United Arab Emirates which is nearby.
Here in Italy, a proverb says: “Non si può avere la botte piena e la moglie ubriaca.” This means: “One can’t have a full barrel and a drunk wife.” In other words, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.”
We want development and services without exerting any effort. Everyone wants to accumulate wealth without sweating for it. The problem is oil will never sustain reckless budgeting forever.
Therefore, it is imperative to have alternatives. Before these alternatives, there is a need to change the mentality of citizens from childhood in order to have a generation keen on serving the country and its government. They should be motivated to work for the sake of Kuwait, not for the sake of filling up pockets and bank accounts.
I wish to see Kuwait as it was during the days when a Kuwaiti loved his country not only for the oil money to fill his pockets. Thank you.” End of the letter.
I responded by saying to our brother who is interested in the affairs of our country more than many of us: “I thank you on behalf of every reader for the bubbling sentiments. I agree with everything he mentioned in his letter, apart from one issue.
We have not had any power cut this year. Credit goes to our undersecretary Muhammad Boshahri and his assistants to whom we extend our appreciation and gratitude.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil