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‘We thank you all expats’ – Contributions a lot

Thank you all, we apologize to you for what some racists and ignorant people among us have against you. We shall always feel grateful and remember your contributions.

Ahmad Al-Sarraf

I thank Saeed, the honest and wonderful Omani boy, who used to work in our house in the early 1950s, and without him, my mother’s life in that big house would have been very stressful.

I thank my English teacher, the Indian John, from whom I learned not only the language but honesty. He refused, after a whole week of trying to polish my rusty brain and teach me English, to receive anything from me because according to him he failed in his mission.

Thanks to Stewart, the part-time Indian accountant who worked at my father’s shop, and did all the correspondence work with foreign companies, registered purchase orders, opened bank credits, printing and following up with the banks. Without him, my father would not have been able to export anything.

Thanks to the Palestinian water tanker driver Abu Mohammad, who supplied water to our house, after the Kuwaiti who was supplying water riding on the back of a donkey had stopped following the discovery of oil.

Thanks to the Lebanese barber Hassan, whose shop was located at the current Palace of Justice, who took care of our hair, after the Kuwaiti brothers Safar and Hassan quit their job in the Clover Market because they were ashamed of this profession.

Thanks to the Iranian builder Mohsen who helped my grandfather build the water pool in the middle of the house, as a reservoir for the winter rain water to be used during the summer heat.

Thanks to his brother, Masoud the baker, who if he fell ill or closed the bakery, the entire neighborhood suffered.

I thank Ajoub, the Armenian for ‘saving’ us because you came in the middle of the hot night in mid-July to repair the refrigerator in the house, because no Kuwaiti knew how to repair it, or an air conditioner.

I thank every Lebanese, Syrian and Egyptian doctor, the Indian, Sri Lankan or Iraqi nurse, who cared for us on a day when there was not a single Kuwaiti who knew the difference between a fork and the needle or a pendulum and a parameter or between an ointment and Namlet (soft drink of that time.)

I thank to every Palestinian, Egyptian, Syrian and Iraqi teacher who left his homeland to teach us the principles of reading, writing, hygiene, healthcare and everything else useful.

I thank every expatriate who contributed to paving our roads, building our homes, public buildings, repair our vehicles, collect garbage, and even bury our dead. Without them such professions were either impossible or difficult.

I thank the army of non-Kuwaiti workers, technicians and engineers who contributed 70 years ago (1947) to extract, refine and ship billions of barrels of oil while we slept in our cozy beds. Even this article, you would not be able to read, had it not been for a long line of expatriates — typed by an Iraqi, edited by a Syrian, checked by an Egyptian linguist, produced by a Lebanese technician, printed by Indian, and finally delivered to your mailboxes in your homes by a Bangladeshi.

Thank you all, we apologize to you for what some racists and ignorant people among us have against you. We shall always feel grateful and remember your contributions.


By Ahmad Al-Sarraf
e-mail: habibi.enta1@gmail.com

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