- Kuwait Times Extra
The volume of traffic on Kuwait’s roads is back to normal as it is nearly mid-September and children are slated to return to school, be it private or government-run institutions. Also, holiday travelers, who had gone abroad to avoid the scorching weather are now flying back. Naturally, traffic has peaked at the levels we are used to seeing in Kuwait during the last couple of years. Bumper-tobumper slow moving traffic is now common, especially near schools, and around the time schools and offices open and close, which is in the morning, at midday and in the evening.
Traffic is generally heavy all day and night, but it is at its worst around 7:30 am and 2:30 pm. This is but natural as every country suffers from traffic congestion. It is especially a problem in big cities like London, Cairo, New York and New Delhi, etc, which are notorious for the dense traffic plying on their roads. Kuwait is also one of those countries, but that is not my reason for writing this story. I want to share information about a local TV station, which recently invited a Kuwaiti woman as a guest to discuss the traffic congestion being experienced by our country.
What was shocking was that the TV station allowed her to make several ruthless and irresponsible statements. For instance, she was quick to blame the expatriate population for all the traffic problems in Kuwait. She also posed some harsh and unjustified questions such as, “Why are expats driving on our streets? Why do we have to suffer for their sake? Why can’t they take the bus?” etc. The worst example that she used to illustrate this problem was, “The other day I needed the services of a plumber and to my amazement, he came by car. Why should a plumber possess a car? Why are we spending money on the bus transportation system if expatriates are going to block our roads?”
I would like to ask the lady in question if she expects the plumber to transport his heavy work equipment on the bus when he comes to fix the drain in her kitchen. And which bus network is she talking about? Is it in any way equal to the transportation system in countries such as France, New York, Canada or even close to the one existing in neighboring Dubai? Do you see our bus network capable of competing with these countries’ system or even reaching every corner of Kuwait? I would like to invite the lady to personally come and stand on the street and wait in line for a bus. Let’s see if she is able to find a sheltered bus stop as good as the ones that have been constructed in Dubai which shelter travelers from sandstorms and the heat.
It is easy to sit in a luxurious car or on a big comfortable sofa and issue statements about what others should do, and then hold a grudge against expatriates, when you should be blaming the Traffic Department for its inefficiency. If the economy is bad, we blame the expatriates. If traffic is bad, we blame the expats. If we have shortage of water and electricity, guess who we place the blame on? Expatriates. Finally, we also blame them for the government’s political stagnation and an inefficient parliament. Next, we will blame the expats for the miserable state of our national health and education system, which by the way, we have done in the past.
The only thing for which we haven’t blamed them is the country’s weather. Perhaps if they leave, we will have clear blue skies and the temperature in summers won’t exceed 25 degrees Celsius.
Have a nice weekend!
By Badrya Darwish
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