Arab Times: Please hire Competent English Writers

Kuwait is a small country; thanks to the efforts of globalization (living in a world without virtual borders), one can partake in the rudimentary exercise of fact finding by picking their favorite poison – i.e. gauging world news by selecting the best possible source. My perfect poison is BBC, because unlike CNN they do not give every Tom, Dick and Harry the freedom to post comments on their articles, which always converge on the same thing – Muslims are terrorists, no matter how trivial or far from Islam the original article is.

Anyhow, I digress. Back to the matter at hand, despite BBC also having a flare for racism, I stick by them for world news. It is only when I need local news that I find my options some what limited. The majority of websites online recycle the same news from the same source with a different stock image – Gulf News, Zawya, ArabBusiness etc. the source always being a local English newspaper in Kuwait, which limits the choice to a very narrow two: Arab Times and Kuwait Times.

For years now my daily morning routine has been to punch in early at work, sit down at my PC, check my emails, read up on the news around the world and then the news in Kuwait. However, I read the latter for two reasons; the first being to be informed of any local recent developments, and the other being to laugh at how Arab Times always make a mockery of the English language.

Here are a few choice pieces of advice:

1) A paragraph is a paragraph regarding a certain theme. If you wish to add another story, USE A DIFFERENT PARAGRAPH! For example:

Hawks Smuggling Foiled

Jan 27: Anti-narcotics officers attached to the Drug Control General Department (DCGC) arrested three men for the possession of about 1.5 kilogram of hashish, 100 grams of ice drug, an unspecified quantity of brain stimulants and money….. The officers referred the suspects and illicit items to the concerned authority for necessary legal procedures. Meanwhile, a video of a tomboy jumping out of a vehicle and trying to beat a youth on a road in the capital went viral on social media.

(link)

WT Actual F does the tomboy have to do with the drug smugglers? The link which leads to the article reads “Three Held with Drugs”, so unless the tomboy is one of the three, or is somehow related to the three, or entertained the three whilst they were shooting drugs, or jumped out of the smugglers get-away car, it has NO RELEVANCE to the article and should be PLACED WITH A SEPARATE HEADLINE. It is not like you are limited by space (as in printed media), you can place as many titles on your website as you want.

Also, your usage of the word “Meanwhile” is far too generous.

2) Learn to use punctuation properly:

The semicolon or semi-colon (;) is a punctuation mark that separates major sentence elements. A semicolon can be used between two closely related independent clauses, provided they are not already joined by a coordinating conjunction. (just by searching Google for “semicolon”)

So believe it or not, this does NOT constitute proper usage of a semi-colon:

Unless the man-thief is sending the woman Porn SMSs, the stories are unrelated and cannot be hooked together

Unless the man-thief is sending the woman Porn SMSs, the stories are unrelated and cannot be hooked together

Was the Haris robbed as a result of the Indian committing suicide? No? No - then

Was the Haris robbed as a result of the Indian committing suicide? No? No – then

Also, your usage of the dash is erroneous, it too cannot be used to link completely different topics such as:

Was the girl found being held by the 13 illegals? No? No - then

Was the girl found being held by the 13 illegals? No? No – then

Was one of the Kuwaiti couple a singer in debt? No? No - then

Was one of the Kuwaiti couple a singer in debt? No? No – then

For the case of the Kuwaiti Couple & Kuwaiti Singer, your premise for tying both stories with one title is the fact that collectively the 3 owe around KD 73,000. So write that! Say, arrest of 3 Kuwaiti’s owing over KD 73,000.

3) English phrases: Learn to use them properly. For example:

Jan 28: Detectives have captured the citizen who went on a shooting rampage in Andalous area and incited fear among the residents after putting the lives of passersby on the line…

(link)

To put something on the line is an idiom commonly used for something that belongs to the SUBJECT. meaning, in the case above, if you wish to use the phrase “on the line” it can only be that the citizen put HIS life on the line. The citizen CANNOT put the lives of passersby on the line as they ARE NOT HIS. What he did was put the lives of passersby at risk or in jeopardy.

Proof reading is a thing, at least hire some competent proof readers, they can even be part-time workers, but please make sure that if you are promoting yourselves as the “First English-language newspaper published in independent Kuwait” (link) that you live up to the expectations that come with that title.

Calling all Crazy Kuwaiti Cyclists/Runners!

Many a times whilst partaking in my favorite sports, cycling or running, down (or up) my favorite stretch of highway, the Gulf Road, I am plagued by the sight of canoodling couples down the beach front, in dark corners or out-of-sight spots, specifically near Corniche Club a.k.a lovers nest.

images

obviously not Kuwait but you get the picture

 

Whilst cycling, I tend to yell out the words “GOD IS WATCHING” followed by whatever expletive I so feel like saying at the time.

This phenomenon is detrimental to the sports enthusiasts of Kuwait, who feel so embarrassed to be in close proximity of such PDA that they give up their sport of choice altogether, opting instead to become couch potatoes who’s only exercise is lifting the remote up to level with their multiple chins and leaning forward to reach for that magically refilling bowl of Dorrito’s.

couch potato

I was not born yesterday; it is easy to guess where the majority of these couples come from; if I were to approach them myself and try to exert any form of reasoning/ authority, I would probably end up on the 12AM flight back home.

download GCC

 

Therefore I require the aid of a crazy local, to join me in patrolling the stretch of beach front property, and attempt to drive away the evil presence that is lovestruck fools, WHILST partaking in exercise, a win-win on every front!

I was thinking something along the lines of pretending to film such activity and threatening to post it online. Should things escalate and police be involved, the recording device would be proven to be blank, and no unwarranted video was made!

And that dear friends, is the kind of thought process that goes through the minds of runners whilst running solo, aided in part by the drug-like runners high.

running dog

Wanted: Dead or Alive – Expats of Kuwait

When a highly reputed newspaper publishes this image along with this article:

Capture

there can only be one string of images that plays in your head:

I find it hilarious how there are numbers of the expats being “hunted”:

Indians 25,000;

Bangladeshis 20,000;

Sri Lankans 15,000;

Egyptians 7,000;

Filipinos 6,700;

Syrians 5,250;

Pakistanis 2,500;

Iranians 1, 750;

Iraqis 1,300.

BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR AN EXPAT FROM THE ABOVE MENTIONED NATIONALITIES! CONSIDER THEM HOSTILE AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS! REPORT ON SIGHT!

I can almost see it now, people sitting in a restaurant, one of the aforementioned nationalities walks in, they are approached casually by someone who says, “good days friend, where abouts are you from?”, they then look over their shoulder, nod to their friends who reach for their cellphones, calling the cops, “we got one!”

I half expect there to be weekly/monthly updates in the news of how many have been rounded up out of the total, with illustrative charts and graphs:

Capture

Yes indeed.

Winning At Customer Service- Praise to the CEO of @QatarAirways

A real man of the people, Akbar Al Baker has definitively cemented himself as a pioneer in how CEOs should act, inadvertently changing my opinion regarding Qatar Airways completely.

Akbar Al Baker - CEO Qatar Airways

Akbar Al Baker – CEO Qatar Airways

Those familiar with my story will know that I have been embroiled in a battle with QA for quite some time now.

It all started back in Feb 2014, when I innocently booked a ticket to go see my cousin in Qatar; I was denied boarding since my residency job title was not on the list, they had a position above, and one below, but not my own. QA did not even want to refund my ticket, instead offering a mere 10% which was the tax amount applicable on the route. Refusing to stand for this injustice, I kept emailing them and arguing till I received a credit note valid for one year for the full amount. 1st victory.

I changed jobs in 2014, with a new title, and again tried my luck with QA. No visa on arrival. I even went to visit the Qatar Embassy as my title was technically on the list (it says Presidents – all types, and my title read Vice President), still no. The clock was ticking as the credit note expires on 13th Feb 2015. I asked the QA office here if I can issue the in my mother’s name (as she gets visa on arrival with her title), they refused citing “System Limitations”.

Now initially, I was not supposed to receive a credit note. It was a one off case, awarded to me on account of my persistence. In my line of work, I ensure that all companies abide by their documented policies and procedures, however it is because that is my line of work that I am aware of the loopholes in said system, two magic words, the Bane of Internal Auditors: Management Override!

I knew that my request was not impossible, I just had to reach the appropriate level of management to approve it.

So like any warm blooded netizen, i took to Google, and searched for the highest level of management available: The CEO of QA. I searched page after page for a way to get in direct contact with him via email, and was successful in locating an email address. I sent him a detailed message (dated Jan 13),explaining my story and asking him to please allow me to transfer it to my mother. 

I did this in an effort to appear proactive, not thinking much in terms of a response and still trying on my front to locate someone locally that can assist me in the transfer. You can rightfully assume I was shocked and flabbergasted when I received an email  (Jan 19) from the CEOs office informing me that my request has been approved!

Not only that, they were Oh So Polite about it too!

Not only that, they were Oh So Polite about it too!

I Forwarded that to the same person that had initially refused to allow me to transfer it in my mother’s name (citing System Limitations), and shall pay them a visit to finalize the transfer, issue the ticket, give my mother a birthday present in February (her birthday is Valentines Day).

If this is not winning at Customer Service, and showing what a 5* Airline is all about, I do not know what is!

As of Jan 20, the ticket has been reissued and my mother will be traveling to Qatar in February – all it took was a payment of 10KD (amendment fees), which in the greater scheme of things, is a small price to pay rather than lose 85KD.

Know your rights as a consumer and a customer, so long as you are not asking for the impossible, someone has the authority to approve it.

Many thanks once again to Mr. Akbar Al Baker, wishing you continued success in your role as CEO, the champion of commoners, and overall good guy.

Review of Online Retailers in Kuwait @Taw9eel @blinkcomkw @SouqKuwait @xcitealghanim @QuickKuwait

Today’s market is tough for all retailers, they have to find new ways to reach their target customers. Those with cash open up shop in every corner of Kuwait, becoming literally a stone’s throw away from their customers.

The more innovative ones however have taken to the web in an effort to give customers the satisfaction of shopping from the comfort of their own home, providing quick and easy payment methods (on delivery, credit card, K-NET etc.) to the shoppers content; there are those with both physical and virtual locations, and one would think that they are in a position to dominate the market. That is far from the truth.

However, there exists a difference between each company, and having tried them all, let’s put the comparison to the web:

undoubtedly the biggest online retailer in Kuwait, Souq.com has a wide variety of goods, from perfumes to sporting equipment, even to items that cost in the thousands of Dinars. Deals can be found aplenty, and more often than not, the deals are worthwhile.

Ease of order: difficult. sometimes they send you emails with links to unbelievable prices, however when you click them you end up no where, and find out the item was removed.

Payment options: several, however they still charge a few fils extra if you opt to pay by credit card, which is mundane.

Delivery charges: none if you pay in advance; only on COD (cash on delivery) payment. This too was a recent development that was highly attacked by netizens.

Returns: good returns policy, takes time though and do not refund you your money directly in most cases. I only received a refund when an item I purchased was cancelled by seller, however if you have physical custody of the item, they will pick up and credit your account, you can transfer whole KDs to your bank account, rest can be used for your next purchase.

Delivery timing: haphazard. huge drawback is delivery can sometimes be within a day or take several days. If you do not follow up yourself, you will be left in the dark.

Value for money: high, good discounts. However, delivery does not include installation, which could be tedious and could void warranty if installed incorrectly i.e. washing machines.

Overall: 3/5

Ease of order: very.

Payment options: numerous.

Delivery Charges: BIG RIP OFF! Given that there is an Xcite branch in every nook and cranny of Kuwait, more options should be available for pick-up i.e. self pick up etc. However, the website automatically adds 2KD delivery charges to any order, which is a moot point especially if I am buying something that is less than 10KD in value, therefore the delivery charges end up being a substantial percentage of the item!

Delivery timing: due to the above, we refrained from using Xcite.com and instead opted to go to the store ourselves and buy the item.

Value for money: none since delivery charges are so high and no option is available for store pick up, thereby negating a portion of the discount you are meant to receive when buying from the online store.

Overall: 2/5

Ease of order: very.

Payment options: no extra charges for cash on delivery.

Delivery charges: none.

Delivery timing: haphazard. Delayed. Took very long. In addition, the item purchased (32GB SD Card, could be purchased for a full 1.5KD less in Kuwait City, defeating the purpose of purchasing an item on discount).

Value for money: none.

Overall: 2/5 (lose points for terrible pricing, lack of variety and delay in delivery)

taw9eel

 

 

 

 

 

Ease of order: extremely!

Payment options: numerous!

Delivery charges: no charges on COD!

Delivery timing: they say within 4 hours, and they mean 4 hours!

We purchased a Garmin GPS Watch, priced at 39KD, much cheaper than other ones at stores therefore you get a good benefit buying online. The driver calls you and comes to your doorstep, and takes no extra charges.

Value for money: very good!

Overall: 5/5

Ease of order: very!

Payment options: do not charge extra for credit card payments. No cash on delivery option.

Delivery charges: 1KD depending on size of order. Some items can be picked up at the store, majority tho can not.

Delivery Timing: hectic however the driver will come to you wherever you are.

With Blink.com.kw you earn loyalty points that can be redeemed for gifts later; also, if you purchase above a certain limit, you get a free gift, which is nice, even if the gift is small. Plus big orders invoke free delivery.

Value for money: good discounts, especially on console games! other items sold at fraction of price, if they offered store pickup for all their orders, I would place them at a higher ranking.

Overall: 4/5

Comparison of Public holidays Across the region for 2015

Let’s face it, unless you are a teacher, you live for public holidays – the days of the year where you are paid to stay at home, without reducing your leave balance at work.

Who has the most days? Who has the least?

SPOILER: Lebanon (22) & Saudi Arabia (9).

Here are the holidays for the countries in the region (thank you Gulftalent.com):

1) UAE – 10 days.

UAE Does not have compensatory days off like Kuwait, whereby if a public holiday lands on a Friday it is compensated by giving Sunday off. Saturdays are not compensated.

UAE

 

2) Saudi Arabia – 9 days.

No comment.

saudi

 

3) Oman – 15 days.

Not bad, but O-who again?

oman

 

4) Qatar – 10 days.

No compensatory days off.

Independence & National days this year, both same day, both a Friday. STBU if you’re in Qatar.

qatar

 

5) Bahrain – 13 days.

Unlucky. But quite good.

bahrain

 

6) Kuwait – 12 days.

Say it isn’t so!

 

kuwait

 

7) Egypt – 17 days.

Go Egypt!! Why isn’t January 25 a public holiday yet?!

egypt

 

8) Lebanon – 22 days.

Apologies for the tiny screenie, could not fit it all in. No. 1 by a long shot!

 

lebanon

 

9) Jordan – 19 days.

Last but certainly not the least, 2nd in terms of total days off.

jordan

 

And here you can find an article comparing the Arab World to the rest of the World (India leads in that department).

Let’s Go Forward Road Run Review @Forwardinspire

Yesterday, LetsGoForward hosted the first running event of the 2015 Calendar in Kuwait, one of many that seek to transform Kuwait into a runners paradise with several runs touted, from a city run to one on Failaka, an ultra marathon (80KM) and the annual 240KM border run (link to other LGF events here).

When I arrived at the race site, prior to the start by 30 minutes, I ran into the organizer (Yousef) and the MC (Bader), after shaking hands I was asked by Yousef not to forget “the blog post”, as my last one cited 10 shortcomings of the last race I attended in March of 2014.

I write race reviews not to critique the organizers for the sake of ranting; quite the contrary. As a running enthusiast, I love seeing more races on the run calendar of Kuwait. I would love to see these races at top level. I love adding medals and t-shirts to my growing collection, and I love the unity that these races inspire. The more the merrier.

I appreciate Yousef’s concern to ensure that the races are up to expectations. Initially I thought his comment was sarcastic, but a message later in the evening showed it to be sincere.

Road-Run-2_1_2015-566x1024

Suffice to say, we were pleased to note that our observations (link) regarding the last race were taken into consideration, mainly:

1) Did not start on time.

RESOLVED. The race DID start on time this time. Although, a completely new demon reared its ugly head, that of the false start, where one overanxious runner jumped the gun triggering the timer to commence. This can be avoided next time by having a person with a flag or so standing INFRONT of the runners, as opposed to the MC standing on the left with a countdown (plus – cut the music at go time so people can focus). Sometimes people hit the ground running at 1 in a countdown, as opposed to waiting for the “GO!”.

They were able to fix everything quickly, reset the timer, and restart the race, efficiently and without delay.

2) No timer at the finish line.

RESOLVED. Timer was there, working and all, perfect for finish line photos (except the time shows the time for 10.2KM, an extra 200M).

3) Inadequate placement of distance markers.

PENDING. The markers for these races are kept at irregular intervals; 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 5. Different is not necessarily bad, however it does cause confusion, especially when the 4.5KM marker does not appear and you find yourself turning around at 5. In addition, you end up wasting mental energy on mathematics ((5-3.5)+5, +1.5, +1.5, +1.5) to figure out where you are when running back, energy I would much rather send to my legs. The stations should have had two stickers, one on each side, to show the distance for the returning runners. So it would be 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 5, 6.5, 7.5, 8.5.

4) Few and far between water stations.

RESOLVED. Hydration was up to par.

5) Understaffed volunteers.

PENDING. Although the turnout was fewer than anticipated (due to holiday season and teachers/students scrambling to board their planes), water stations had few volunteers at them. I only cite this as I witnessed one runner at the 5KM turnaround look around for the volunteer, who was standing on the other side, to assist them with water, only to get none, run forward, look back, slow down slightly whilst considering running back 10 steps for water or running head 1.5KM to get it at the next station. He opted for the latter.

6) Finish line was not padded.

RESOLVED. Sandy. Padding is only useful for finish line theatrics, which I am thoroughly missing.

7) T-Shirts. medals.

HALF RESOLVED. The medals improved dramatically over last year; despite being plastic, a new thing in the realm of medals, the neck strap was quite befitting and the design was simple and elegant. The t-shirts however are still cotton, and not dry-fit. Dry-fit t-shirts are more becoming of runners, whereas cotton is not.

8) No Refreshments for runners.

RESOLVED. The organisers ensured that water was present at the finish line for the runners in bulk. In addition, Nestle, the main sponsors this time around, gave runners a much needed dose of caffeine, in addition to a second goody bag.

9) Juice at the water stations.

RESOLVED. Not this time. Just water.

10) Pay for everything.

RESOLVED.

7.5/10 RESOLVED. Not bad.

SPECIAL MENTION goes to Mr. Megaphone, I did not catch his name, however I am quite sure he ended up doing at least 20KM of running up and down with a megaphone, motivating runners and shouting encouragement at them, all the while whilst maintaining a smiling demeanor.

Now, there are some points to raise specifically regarding the organizing this year for yesterday’s race:

1) The 5K Run.

If you are promoting separate distances during the race, it is counterproductive to:

a) Not offer timing/ ranking for the 5K finishers.

b) Not offer prizes/ podium rankings for the top 3 5K runners in each category.

Seeing as how the 5K was pushed as a secondary event, it should have been given more consideration as opposed to focusing everything on just the 10K run.

2) Traffic.

Time and time again, this issue is raised. The run is done on a main road, police are meant to patrol the last lane to ensure the safety of the runners. Granted, we were not expecting the entire road to be cordoned off for the runners like the 642 Marathon, however special care should have been given at the entrances and exits of the parking areas, where I saw several runners almost get run over by unsuspecting motorists.

a) Police cars should have been present at each entrance/exit, there were probably less than 15 such spots down the course of the race. Majority of police vehicles were at the start line, few were at the parking lots/ traffic lights.

b) banners should have been placed prompting motorists to stick to the left lanes.

3) Starting line.

In addition to an MC doing a countdown, a visual volunteer should stand with a flag or warning instrument of some sort to signal the start of the race, to prevent false-starts and restarts.

4) Timing.

Due to the race taking place during a time where most schools are off for their mid-year vacations, attendance was lower than expected. Of course the point would be countered by saying doing it earlier also risks non-attendance for the sake of studies, however it is better to schedule the race at a time where many are available and might likely show up, as opposed to many being on vacation and unlikely to show up.

5) Winners.

As I did not stick around till 11 for the awards ceremony, I am not sure if prizes (if any) were presented to the top 6 runners. I know that the previous race had only plaques being presented to the winners. Sure running is its own reward, but something could be given in addition. It does not have to be prize money, it could be a day at a spa or lunch at a restaurant etc.

If this was covered, apologies for not having witnessed it, if not, it is a point for consideration.

My interest is in bettering the race going forward, in alignment with the namesake and mission of the organizer – Let’s Go Forward.

(See what I did there >)

I look forward (I just did it again) to seeing you at the next races, the city run has really piqued my interest, as has the Failaka one!

Coming Soon to Cinema Kuwait: The Deported

IN A WORLD where expats, torn away from their home countries for reasons beyond their control, are forced to fight for survival after having been marked persona non grata and are hunted like wild game in …..

THE DEPORTED.


“I’m Shipping off to (insert home country here)!!”

coming soon to a cinema near you!

(Or not, as they will be deported, hence it would defeat the purpose!)

All jokes aside, the following statistical report was recently released by the Central Statistics Department (CSD) in Kuwait regarding the expat workforce in the private sector (link).

(In the interest of research I tried searching the CSD website (link) for this info but came out short).

Here is an illustrative guide to the paragraph in the first link to paint a clearer picture of the demographics of the major chunk of expats in Kuwait:

(The following numbers are based on the 2014 statistics of population in Kuwait):

Total Population: 3,823,728

of which 70% are expats = 2,676,610 expats in Kuwait as of 2014

as on 30-Jun-14, 1,396,427 were employed in the private sector, i.e. 52%

1) 52% (of the 52%) are Males i.e. 91.4% of expat population in the private sector are Males.

2) Income Level:

Salary (KD Per Month) % Population (count)
less than 60 1.52                           21,226
More than 60 43.19                        603,117
less than 120 14.58                        203,599
120-180 7.13                           99,565
240-420 22.86                        319,223
more than 480 10.72                        149,697

3) Education Level:

Level % Population (count)
Unknown – no records 34.45                        481,069
illiterate 0.15                             2,095
Below secondary level 40.4                        564,157
Secondary level 16.78                        234,320
Bachelor, MSc, PhD 8.22                        114,786

(the percentages above were edited due to the fact that as per the article they add up to 100.71%, therefore the difference was prorated and removed from the mentioned amount)

Mix and match the above numbers to reach the 1,000,000 targeted deportations for the next 10 year period.

The question that remains is; who will replace them? It is a safe assumption to say that the 1 Mil will be made up of the following (if Venn Diagrams have taught us anything):

Education: Unknown & Below Secondary level

Income: less than 420

Gender: Male

If you fall within that category, bad news my friend…

Perfume Pornography in Kuwait

In the wake of Qatar’s recently enforced ban on certain perfumes from the Victoria’s Secret scent catalogue for containing the word “Champagne” or promoting the Playboy Bunny (link), similar actions are required in the State of Kuwait which is displaying in its stores what can only be referred to as “Perfume Pornography”.

DSC_1055

Invictus, Paco Rabanne (and the one to your left)

As most people end up discarding the packaging in which perfume usually pops up in, it would seem a tad pretentious to advertise sexually so blatantly on something that will be discarded soon as the item is opened (or kept beneath the mattress of a horny 12 year old).

DSC_1053

a few more transgressors

What exactly is the message behind this? Is it, “buy this so you too can enjoy the attention of members of the opposite sex who look nothing like this!”?

DSC_1054

need we really say where to look here?

Whereas Qatar is taking steps regarding the content and not the packaging:

Two years ago, Qatari authorities also tightened regulations on the sale and import of perfumes based on alcohol, a common ingredient but which is banned in Islam.

To prevent misuse of the alcohol, it ordered perfumes be sold in bottles with a spray nozzle, that at least one ingredient be added to ensure the perfume could not be consumed and that warnings advising that the product is only for external use be added to perfume packaging, Doha News reported.

We are not prudes, but seriously, wth?

Dear MP’s of Kuwait: A Solution for Kuwait’s Expat/ Traffic Crisis

For the past few months, expats in Kuwait have been living in fear. Understandably so, when day by day the list of crimes punishable by banishment grows. Those that have made a living here, set up roots and have little or no affiliation with their country of origin save their passports are living on edge.

These individuals have given to Kuwaiti society and continue to do so. Granted, those that commit crimes should rightfully be deported; however deportation should not be the magic word to solve the population crisis.

Make no mistake, the reason behind the slew of deportations is as was mentioned earlier, to rectify the Gulf State’s population imbalance whereby residents outnumber citizens 2:1.

Further, due to this imbalance, strains have been placed upon the transport system, which causes further segregation against expats in terms of who is eligible for a driver’s licence and who is not, despite the current public transport system not being sufficient to get expats to forgo cars and use.

So the question now becomes, how do we appease all parties?

1) IF the problem lies with the resident:citizen ratio, simply make residents citizens.

Passport_of_Kuwait

Make residents citizens without the rights of their pure citizen counterparts; No voting, no election to office, no land, lesser loan privileges, housing allowance etc. Structure it so that there are criteria for naturalization i.e. time spent in Kuwait (>20 years), clean record (no major violations during stay in Kuwait), minimum salary requirement and then of course an amount to be paid for the process after achieving all of the aforementioned steps. Structure it in such a way that it is equal opportunity, provided a score of X/Y is achieved. If Canada can do it, why not Kuwait?

Most expats in Kuwait that are earning an honest living want nothing more than to continue doing just that; earning an honest living. Most are here not by choice but by decision, they were born here, their parents work here, they now also work here, making Kuwait home. They may or may not travel back home, some may not ever have been to their country of origin.

If deserving expats are nationalized, that would shift the imbalance to the citizens favor, without negatively affecting the workforce available. On the contrary, it would see citizens in all levels of corporation.

World powers are suffering from stagnant populations where better healthcare has extended life expectancy, and better education has delayed marital age as well as reduced number of children (also a result of rising costs). Kuwait is no stranger to this. This solution works two fold in tackling that as well.

2) FOR the traffic problem, simply put – cover the majority of major roads with tarp similar to school playgrounds (for the grueling summer sun) and give expats incentives to ride motor cycles.

Just imagine I had a designer who would change the colors of this bike to represent the Kuwaiti Flag

Just imagine I had a designer who would change the colors of this bike to represent the Kuwaiti Flag

The reason we request tarp covering the roads is because during the Summer months (i.e. 90% of the Kuwaiti Calendar) the temperatures are unbearable.

Convert emergency lanes to motorbike lanes and encourage expats to use motorcycles instead. In many a developed country, and developing as well, motorcycles are touted over cars for their lesser fuel consumption and reduced traffic. I cite Italy and India as examples of this, from personal experience.

This would even reduce people’s dependency on fuel, meaning you could raise the prices if you so choose. Plus, it would also solve the current parking pandemic felt allover the country in expat-populated areas.

Although, for families with Children, a driving licence should be issued in order to guarantee the safety of the children; many a time I have seen a father transporting not 1, not 2, but all 3 of his children on the back of his motorcycle, in gridlocked traffic no less!

At first glance this can be seen as a joke, but if you really think about it, it makes for a very good solution to resolve both problems with minimal damage.

I am sure this idea is not as far fetched as the “Bring-in-European-Males-For-Our-Spinsters-&-European-Concubines-For-Our-Males”. (link)

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August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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