Saturday , January 21 2017

Positive … negative phenomena!

Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli Former Minister of Oil

LIKE many Kuwaiti citizens, I felt very happy to hear that our brother Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and several youth of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society had crossed the Turkish borders and reached Syria along with volunteers from the Qatar Red Crescent Society in order to distribute aid to our Syrian brothers from Aleppo and other parts of Syria.

It was joyful to know those people are being rescued after suffering from massacre, devastation and displacement for years due to the civil war which is being fed by evil powers without any concern about the catastrophic consequences of their actions.

On the contrary, there are some who call themselves Kuwaitis but prepare bombs and boast about slaughtering innocent children.

We were delighted to know that the Board Chairman of Kuwait Red Crescent Society Dr Hilal Al-Sayer conducted surgery on a Syrian child in a temporary emergency operating theatre that was established in one of the refugee camps.

The real reason behind our sorrow in seeing those who claim to love Syria while adding salt to the Syrian injury is that such strange attitudes distort the reputation of Kuwaiti people who are known to rush in offering help and support to anyone who face hard times.

In comparison to this, we happily highlight the noble attitude of Dr Al-Sayer and his companions because this represents the real Kuwaiti attitude and the true humanitarian nature of Kuwaiti people.

Beyond any doubt, Dr Al-Sayer and his companions represent the true Kuwaiti essence which has nothing to do with those who adopt strange ideologies that contradict the actual Kuwaiti culture which was honored when His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was granted the title of International Humanitarian Leader.

A negative phenomenon that I wanted to highlight is the way citizens and residents rush to travel overseas for every vacation, even if it is a short one.

On Dec 29, 2016, Al-Anba newspaper published the press statement of the Assistant Director General for Aviation Safety at the Directorate General for Civil Aviation. In this statement, he said 119,000 passengers were expected to spend their New Year vacation outside Kuwait during the period between Dec 28, 2016 and Jan 1, 2017. Imagine how many individuals have travelled since Dec 20, 2016!

When I left the country on Dec 22, 2016 to travel to Beirut, I described the situation as the mass escape of the rich during this time of every year, which is due to the strict and extreme control over celebrations of New Year and other such occasions in the country. Such celebrations used to be common until extremists from the Muslim Brotherhood Group and the Salafists emerged with the support of Kuwaiti governments against the general interest of the Kuwaiti society and citizens.

A friend of mine told me that a piano player at a hotel has to renew his license every month from Ministry of Interior — this is indeed a new negative phenomenon! He revealed that such licenses are not issued during festivals and special occasions even if they are Islamic occasions. This is because radicals in this country believe playing music is a negative foreign phenomenon. To those radicals we say, “You are the negative phenomenon that entered our lives.”

By Ali Al-Baghli

Former Minister of Oil