Letters to Badriya

badriyaMadam,
Thank you for your lovely article about expats. I grew up in Kuwait, went to school there and was in grade 10 when the invasion happened in 1990. I had to leave with my parents and sister and never went back. Although I am Indian, I have always thought of Kuwait (and the Middle East) as my home, my people.
What you said in your short piece is very humane. You’re absolutely right. If expats aren’t needed, they can be given notice and sent home. After all, we all will retire and return to our homeland someday, sooner or later. But mistreating someone is not a very nice thing. Your other point is also poignant, about training one’s own next generation for the roles and responsibilities that are needed to be taken on for their own nation.
Kudos to you!

Jennifer Pinto


Madam,
I read your article. It was excellent. I am an expat in Kuwait from India. I truly agree with your viewpoint and acumen. I really love being in Kuwait and feel happy if I could initiate something that leads to the country’s prosperity.
But in the past days, the government seems very aggressive in dealing with expat matters. No doubt, illegal residents and other activities must be stopped with a strong hand. But at the same time, many decent expats are really working hard for the country’s prosperity.
A recent decision by the government was to stop visit visas for those above 50. What is this? Prior to this, visit visas were reduced to one-month stay, and now this age factor. This is a strong human rights violation issue. Day by day, expats are treated very badly.
Let’s hope for the best.

Satya


Madam,
We thank you from the bottom our hearts for what you have written. We always wondered why expats are targeted as we follow the rules. In the past months, there have been articles and pictures showing expats being taken away from their beds at 3 am in the morning after the raids were conducted. They were handcuffed and taken away like criminals.
One has to notice that every expat that has been caught is a loss in one way or the other. For example, every expat pays the following to the country:
1. House rent: Goes directly to Kuwaiti owners.
2. Mobile connection: Subscription fees go directly to the government and mobile companies.
3. Vehicle fees: Money goes directly to the government.
4. Health insurance: Paid directly to the government.
5. Visa fees: Paid directly to the government.
6. Essential food: Purchased from co-ops – revenue goes to Kuwaiti owners.
All expats are paying out of their salaries to live here. Where do they go wrong? If the salary is good and an individual can afford a single bedroom apartment, he will definitely live in one. The only reason many expats of low income live in sharing accommodation is because they cannot afford a single apartment, since salaries are defined by companies and rents are high.
Every expat living here spends money in the country to live that directly or indirectly goes back to the Kuwaiti people. The government must train people who are looking for jobs in various sectors and train them to the level that they can carry out all the jobs and systematically reduce the expat population.
Expats are a source of revenue for the country. We really applaud you voicing our pain. God bless you.
Jerome Michael


Madam,
I am from India and I daily read Kuwaiti newspapers. I agree 100% with your opinion in the article ‘At Least with Decency’. Yesterday, I came across an article that the government has imposed a restriction on visit visas for those above 50, because medical expenses are huge for these visitors. Last year, the government also imposed restrictions on parent visas on the same medical expenses ground. Due to these restrictions, I am not entitled to get a Kuwait visa. I am writing both to the Indian government and the Kuwait government to get the visa on genuine grounds. If the Kuwati government has a problem with medical expenses for visit/dependent visa holders, the respected government should insert a clause banning such visitors to get treatment from public medical facilities. But it is unfair to not issue them visit/dependent visa. I suggest you to raise this issue through your column in Kuwait Times.
Vinod Mago


Madam,
Is this serious? A citizen publicly stating something that will most probably offend the nation! If it’s true, then you’re very brave and two thumbs up to you. Kuwait is my second home and I probably love it more than my real home. Despite all the negativity, there are still a lot of good things, like the initiatives in sports where I’m currently a participant and all the other citizens who are exerting full efforts to give back to Kuwait.
With everything you said, I hope that you have some initiatives that will bring change to Kuwait for the betterment of everyone, and if an extra hand is required, please let me know. I would love to be a part of this.
Gracias/Salamat. From the three stars and a sun – Philippines!

Teresa Biniola

This article was published on 20/02/2016