Republic of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh

Muna Al Fuzai

Republic of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh – I don’t know who made up this name, but they probably have their reasons. Let’s see why. Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh is an area near Kuwait International Airport mostly inhabited by Asian expatriate workers, with some Arabs and a few Kuwaiti families. Kuwait has a population of about 4 million, including 2.8 million expatriates from many different countries. The population of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh was 265,000 according to the 2010 census. We are in 2017, so this figure has surely increased over the years.

Wikipedia describes this area, and I quote: “The US State Department’s travel advisory for Kuwait describes Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh as a ‘high-crime area’ and advises US citizens to avoid the area, especially at night.” Well, they said the truth!
Why is this area considered dangerous, especially at night? In Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh, everyone seems to live in accordance to their own system that has been adopted for years, aimed at providing for their needs as they wish and not according to the laws and regulations of the country. This encourages outlaws to hide in this crowded area, and they continue with their illegal and unethical activities until they get caught by the police.

‘Bachelor’ residents often seek to rent small rooms in old houses, so it is natural to see 10 people live in one room! The area has seen several blazes due to a lack of security and safety conditions, and the crowded streets usually delay the arrival of firefighters. Overcrowding is the main reason for the crimes there.

So, I guess this makes this area a republic, because it lives on its own terms. This is not acceptable at all and makes no sense. The area has become a threat to families because it has turned into a nest of residency violators. This poses a threat to the security of a small country like Kuwait.

In recent months, the interior ministry has been strict in applying residency laws and searching for violators through continuous inspection campaigns. Excellent job, but MoI still needs the help of other government bodies. There must be a role for them in cooperation with the MoI to clean up this area, and the municipality comes first.

There have been calls to fix and organize this area, but so far, solutions are few. There is a need to address the problems of Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh with a collective effort and effective radical solutions. Setting up decent labor zones is a must and the MoI should never slow down or ease its hunt for violators in this area.

Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh is just another area in Kuwait, and we should not let it become more than this.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
muna@kuwaittimes.net

This article was published on 16/03/2017