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Thursday , October 29 2020

Feelings of an ‘expat’ Palestinian


A Palestinian doctor, born and brought up in Kuwait has posted an emotional message describing the pain she felt when she left the country for New Zealand saying she knows no other country other than Kuwait but did not get the nationality nor the right for permanent residence.

I sympathized with the woman, and despite the contradictory feelings in her message that is full of praises for Kuwait, and slander, despite the fact that Kuwait was the country that provided her with a decent living, shelter, treatment, study, work, a good salary and an opportunity to build a new life, without which she would not have had a real opportunity to migrate to New Zealand, her new home.

There are millions of Palestinians and others dreaming of migrating to countries in the West, but they don’t possess the qualifications and are not advantageous like this Palestinian doctor which she enjoyed on the soil of Kuwait, she enjoyed because of the fact that she was born and lived in Kuwait, so why all this ingratitude?

She should have made known of such feelings which lay hidden inside her for decades. She refuses to be classified as an expatriate or resident, but rather wants a different description because she was born in Kuwait and feels she did not get her rights fully. She said she was not respected and was deprived of opportunities, just because she inherited the title of expatriate.

She added when she was insulted, she remained silent, and when she was scorned, she remained patient. She said she had no right to object because she is an expatriate.

This is a blatant exaggeration and does not deserve a response or comment because it is not the reality. This statement gives a reader the feeling that all expatriates are insulted on a daily basis and demeaned and have no dignity.

Then she describes Kuwait as ‘precious’ she loved so much and is grateful for all that Kuwait has given her, but ironically complains about lack of respect, lack of justice, loss of a sense of belonging, humiliation and dishonor.

There is no doubt that the ‘girl’ was completely confused when she wrote her message. How did she obtain all the opportunities for treatment, teaching, education, work and shelter if she was actually treated with disrespect, without justice, and with humiliation? And what shall be described in New Zealand, before she obtains her nationality? This girl was born in a government hospital, and afterwards she received treatment in government clinics, and enrolled in Kuwaiti schools, even if the schools were private, what her father earned from Kuwait was spent on her.

She also received free education at the State University, and graduated as a doctor with state funds, and worked as a doctor, so what did she want, more than that?

Kuwait is not America, New Zealand, or Canada, and it is lack of prudence to compare it to big countries that need manpower to work and have to pay taxes to the state, and for this it encourages the migration of young and educated minds, to benefit its economy.

As for Kuwait, it is a  state that cares about the citizens from the cradle to the grave, and it is unreasonable to grant its nationality to everyone born on its land, and if that happened, its population would have become ten million, which would make it impossible to provide a decent living for a number of people given the state’s limited resources and its small area.

If this girl had obtained the Kuwaiti nationality, as she is demanding, she would not have hesitated to oppose granting nationality to everyone born on the land of Kuwait. Note that many countries in the world, Arab and Western, do not give their nationality or permanent residency to those born on their land.

There is no doubt that the naturalization process in the past fifty years was bad by all standards, and it was supposed to grant the honor of carrying the nationality of the state to the outstanding, or those who are of benefit, but what happened has happened, and the situation became difficult, and it is not wise to make the situation worse by continuing with the naturalization process.

The disadvantages of random naturalization surfaced after the budget deficit threatens to devour the entire state’s savings within a few years. We do not forget in a hurry that the Arab League had previously called on Arab countries not to grant a Palestinian the nationality of the country in which he/she resides, so that he/she would not forget his/her cause.

e-mail: a.alsarraf@alqabas.com.kw

By Ahmad alsarraf

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