I strongly believe that there are so many reasons to be grateful for when living in Kuwait, and one of the things to be most grateful about is the diversity of our society. Kuwait is a really small country, and unlike other countries in the region of a similar size as ours – for example Lebanon that has 18 different religious sects – Kuwait is very homogeneous. And I strongly believe that we are very blessed to have a diverse culture even though we are homogeneous. We have so many different nationalities, religions and languages, and so many Kuwaitis that have mixed-race parents because of this diversity. There is so much to learn from other cultures and religions and there is so much culture to embrace.
The laws unfortunately sometimes do not embrace these differences. I am not sure if the laws are a reflection of society or if the laws are affecting society, or both. One thing is for sure though – that regardless of what some people say against expats, especially those with power to change the law, they should not be considered as the society as a whole, because in reality there is no way that we can differentiate “expats” from non-expats. It is not us against them – non-Kuwaitis and Kuwaitis are an integral part of our society. Not only are we dependent on each other, we are part of each other, something that I am sure the general public is very aware of.
Here are a few things to consider from a legal point of view:
- Although it is illegal to eat in public, we might consider what other neighboring countries are doing, which is allowing cafes and restaurants to have the choice whether to serve food or not. They are asked by law to put curtains up, so if anyone is fasting and passing by, they do not have to see people eating.
- I have spoken about this for years and will continue to speak about this – I cannot explain the amount of emails that I have received since the start of Ramadan with people asking if their hours should be less because it is Ramadan. The answer is you should not be working more than 36 hours a week, for Muslims or non-Muslims alike.
Again, Ramadan Mubarak to those that adhere to such practices, and let’s all remember that Ramadan is not just about abstaining from drinking and eating, but also about being kind. So let’s be kind to one another.
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By Attorney Fajer Ahmed