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I and five other partners of different nationalities established a business half a century ago. One of the partners died, two left the country to return to their homeland, and I stayed with the other two partners. We run the company, we distribute the profits to the heirs of the first partner, and transfer the profits of the other two partners to them annually.
After a while, the two partners who were with me felt a kind of jealousy, as they are the ones who, in cooperation with me, do all the work, yet the rest of the partners enjoy the profits without making any effort in management, and they suggested deducting part of the profits of the non-executive partners, and distributing it among us.
I rejected the idea and reminded them that each partner risked his money and time when founding, and each one played a vital role in the success of the company, and they should not be punished or their heirs only because the circumstances of their lives have changed, and it is wrong now to deprive them of their rights.
I have been reading and hearing a lot about the struggle of parents and grandparents and I never believed the exaggerated sayings and I do not think that they were better than others.
All people have suffered and struggled, so they had no other choice but to go hungry. The frequency of the sacrifice increases when talking about how the English colonialists stole our oil wealth, and how they subsequently accepted the principle of participation, and how they ran the company for their own benefit, and how they robbed us openly in broad daylight and deprived us of its resources. Some claimed that we could have managed it through the use of foreign expertise, as we had the brains and the money in our hands.
At a later stage, Kuwait nationalized its entire oil industry by a sovereign decision and as a result of popular pressure, and it was the first country, after the Mossadeq revolution to do so, but the company was subjected to blatant abuse, and this does not mean that the nationalization decision was wrong, rather it was done without planning or arrangement or in a hurry, we also did not have enough competence, experience, and most importantly honesty to manage it.
The foreign oil company established an entire city to manage its operations in a semi-high area called ‘Al-Ahmadi’, after the name of the late ruler Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber.
Within a short period, the new city became exemplary by all standards, and we used to spend the weekend among its tall trees. We shopped in its stores that used to sell what was not available in the Capital City shops. We were also jogging in its lush gardens, and just driving the car on its organized roads with utmost pleasure and fun.
After the nationalization of oil, the management of the oil companies left, leaving everything in the hands of the dishonest national administration in most cases, and looting, sabotage and deterioration began to seep in from day one.
Although the foreign oil company left Al-Ahmadi distinguished by its model and in its best condition, its exemplary position did not last long as the new administration and what came after it failed to maintain its splendor, but rather it was sabotaged.
It is unfortunate that we failed, despite everyone’s admiration for the Ahmadi’s planning method and the way its houses were built, to build something similar, not even to match it in the services it provided to its residents while we still, after seventy years of Ahmadi experience, buy cooking gas cylinders, dirty and heavy from the co-op to our homes.
We called them the colonialists, because they colonized the land and made it good. We called ourselves liberators because we were freed from all their achievements. What an exemplary way of thinking.
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By Ahmad alsarraf