Most citizens and expatriates were terrified a few days ago when news spread about the flying manhole covers, scattered on the roads and streets. A heavy iron manhole cover hit a citizen who was driving in peace along one of our streets. This is similar to our conditions on many levels…corruption, backwardness, thefts in broad daylight, and infrastructure suffering from backwardness and negligence.
The citizen, who was hit by the manhole cover which flew from his place and smashed his windshield, died instantly due to the fatal injury … If we were in a self-respecting country, we would exact punishment on anyone who, through his negligence and corruption, caused that citizen to lose his life.
Last week, I was happy when I traveled for several days to our second beloved country – Lebanon. I stayed in one of the beautiful resorts there, enjoying the supernatural magic and beauty day and night. I did not go anywhere along the streets of the capital, Beirut … because of the problems that occurred there last week and upon the advice of my dear friend Abdel Aal Al-Qena’i, Kuwait’s Ambassador to Lebanon.
Lebanon, which does not have oil and suffers from a record financial deficit at the level of the State and its citizens, and even the banks in which you may have a bloated ‘dollar’ balance, but you cannot withdraw your own money … The value of a dollar recently reached 21,000 pounds. The so-called ‘gas canister’ has reached more than 300,000 pounds.
The minimum wage is no longer sufficient to purchase two jerrycans per month, in parallel with the steady increase in the price of a cylinder of gas; which reached 230,000 pounds and is expected to reach 280,000 pounds in the next two weeks. Without this cylinder, the people in homes on the mountains and cities of Lebanon cannot live.
What caught my eye after all these misfortunes that the Lebanese have been experiencing for about two years are their roads in cities and mountains. Their roads are clear of gravel and the asphalt everywhere I went by car is as soft as an Iranian carpet!
As much as I was happy about the conditions of my family in Lebanon – Shiites, Sunnis, Christians, Druze and others; I was saddened by our precarious conditions as manifested in the flying manhole covers, and dozens of misfortunes we witness daily and make our blood flow … We have become one of those whose hearts are broken!!
According to one of Basil Al-Sabah’s conditions to board any plane from Kuwait, I had a PCR test before traveling for an amount equal to $60!
I was surprised when I arrived at Rafic Hariri Airport in Beirut as they conducted another PCR test for me and it was free … Yes, this country that suffers from bankruptcy did not force me to pay even one dollar when entering it!
Basil Al-Sabah, before traveling back to Kuwait; I had the test at my hotel in Mount Lebanon and it did not cost me more than $12.
Upon my return to Kuwait, the ridiculous and annoying electronic programs (Shlonik and others) forced me to adhere to home quarantine and monitored me to make sure that I did not leave the house for seven days – until I did the home test which cost me $60. I got the result after eight hours, stating I was free of Covid-19. The Minister of Health promised us that this will last until the Day of Resurrection.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil