Separateness

Dear Ms Darwish, It is always pleasing to read your columns. In your column of April 14, 2016, you state that an increase in the rates of electricity and water charges for businesses and expatriates is akin to apartheid. Apartheid is an Afrikaans word (apart and hood), literally meaning “separateness”.

The policy of apartheid was practiced in South Africa from 1948 until 1994. I believe that this separateness is apparent in Kuwait for quite some time. Let me give you a few examples. A few months back, my wife was shopping in the ‘new’ Jabriya Co-operative Market.

When she reached the checkout counter, two young ladies were ahead of her and talking to each other, quite oblivious to their surroundings. My wife politely asked them to take a step forward so that she could put the three items from her basket on the counter. One of the young ladies turned around with a frown and said, “how dare you talk to us like this – you are not even Kuwaiti”.

The policy of apartheid is quite visible in the salary structure as well. Expatriates, without exaggeration, work for longer hours and also have better productivity, but their salaries are much lower than those of the citizens.

Please keep writing as your columns are an excellent boost to the morale of the expatriates and keep us working diligently, thinking that at least someone from the citizenry is on our side.

An expatriate

This article was published on 19/04/2016