At least with decency

Badrya Darwish

Badrya Darwish

What’s with the sudden attack on expats in Kuwait? I don’t want to beat around the bush. For many, many years, we always had some rules or issues about having too many expats in my country. And we have the right to regulate the population. But for the last 20 years, we didn’t solve any problems, so the ministries come up with new rules and then change them the next day, or change them again or before they are on paper. But this year, I noticed a dramatic change in the attitude of the government – not the people – towards expats.

So what has changed in Kuwait? If we don’t need them, let’s ask them to leave, khalas – but politely and with dignity. We don’t need to slam them, or blame all our problems on them. They have become the scapegoat for all our failures. We can just stop issuing their residency visas, give them notice and tell them to go home. But we don’t’ need to take harsh, inhumane measures against them.

I don’t see expats stopping advancement in my country. I don’t think they are the reason that is preventing us from becoming an industrial country. Or an organized place like Dubai with infrastructure and rules and regulations. Expats are not the reason for the growing cases of bribery or the deterioration of state services. By the way, mentioning bribery, what is going on? Did we become so poor that we now have to opt for bribery? Bribery thrives in impoverished countries with no rule of law. Is that what Kuwait has become?

Sorry, I drifted off course. Back to expats. Did we in Kuwait educate and prepare a generation that can now take over the jobs of expats in the span of the last 20 years? Why don’t we sit down and start educating our people? We don’t need everyone to be a doctor or lawyer or professor in the university and brag because they have a title in front of their name. We don’t want all of us to stay as civil servants too. There are tens of thousands of jobs that any country needs to build itself. Instead of hating expats, we should start training our people, our girls and boys, to start taking over all the jobs that expats do. Open technical colleges.

Just as an example, let’s start with nursing. Leave alone other jobs. Do we have Kuwaiti nurses for our hospitals and clinics? There are lots technical jobs like mechanics, builders, painters, farmers, etc that will require training, and sorry, but are not paid manager salaries. So where are the young Kuwaitis being educated to take on these roles?

Before we start attacking expats left, right and center, let’s prepare our nation for tomorrow. At the end of the day, this is our country and if we don’t want expats, we can ask them to leave any time. But if we want them to stay, as we need them (the legal ones anyway), we should treat them fairly and with decency, as this suits our great Islamic religion.

Have a good day.

By Badrya Darwish
badrya_d@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 14/02/2016