Everybody I meet lately is depressed. This is not a once-in-a-blue-moon emotion (like the one we witnessed yesterday). There are no smiles anymore on the faces of people. I go to the co-op and find people are weary and crushed to the maximum of their abilities. I walk in the street and see the same. Drivers are angry – be they Kuwaitis, expats or Japanese tourists. Everyone is in a rush and hurry and everyone looks angry and frustrated. Maybe if you ask someone why are you angry and not paying attention on how you’re driving, they won’t even know!
I told myself: Let me take a walk in the park – I’ll feel better. But the minute I entered the gates, the soil is dry, the trees are drooping, devoid of color and full of dust. The lack of rain has its toll on the city and all of us. We have nice buildings but they don’t look fresh. We have beautiful and architecturally-interesting high-rises and lovely villas, but our gardens need rain. Our walls need rain and the streets are filthy and dry. Leave alone that, people are sick and the air is not clean. Flu viruses are spreading like mad. Whoever I see has the flu, cough or fever. I don’t want to even go to the clinic to see the queues.
The lack of rain is a metaphor for all that Kuwait is lacking right now. Is it this year only? When you talk to businessmen and shop owners, they ask why is there no business? Why business is not good in Kuwait anymore? The population is at its peak with expats and Kuwaitis and they all need to buy food, furniture, clothes and cars and pay school fees and rents. Some need to buy necessities, and for many others, luxuries too.
So why the dour attitude? Why isn’t there more confidence and optimism in the market? Everyone I talk to doesn’t have faith in the market. People have lost faith. Why is that? There is no shortage in our oil or in our revenues and income. In fact, Kuwait’s oil prices have been steadily climbing, even higher than those projected in our budget. I know we have a deficit, but compared to other countries, it’s a trivial amount, and we have plenty of reserves if we have to tap them.
So why all the gloomy faces and attitudes and behaviors? I think people should have more hope and faith. Yes, maybe Kuwait is going through something of a dark and dry spell, but we have always risen before. And we will rise again, insha’Allah. So be a little bit more optimistic guys. Maybe it will rain tomorrow, God willing, and bless us all.
Have a rainy weekend!
By Badrya Darwish