Kuwait: not the Land of the Lawless

Ask any expat in Kuwait and they will most likely tell you the same thing: Kuwait is the land of the lawless. I have evidence to the contrary, despite prolonged delay, the wheels of justice do in fact move forward.

Slow and steady, slowly but surely, things will get done here. Expats in Kuwait have a habit of throwing in the white towel when bullied, especially by other expats. Take the following example; a few months ago, September to be exact, on a Thursday night after a long day at work much like today, eagerly looking forward to the weekend as I pulled up at my building and was delighted to spot a great parking spot, as I moved in for it, I realized my happiness was short lived. A person living in the building next to mine decided to place two metal poles in the middle of a ground in front of the fence of his building to deter anyone from parking in that spot, as it caused him grief in taking his car out of its parked area. Everyone responded by either parking sideways, or park far away.


Perp A


The empty parking lot belongs to the car parked beside the fence; complete opposite mentality of live and let live

Regardless of the geography, what this person did was criminal, as it is considered encroaching upon government land. Not only that, he had the audacity to call the police on me as I insisted on parking there, and blocking his vehicle in the process.

So in return, I called up the emergency number for the municipality, and attempted to file a complaint. I was told it would have to be in person. I tried circumventing this by submitting a written report through their website of the encroachment along with several others around the same area, as the major problem with expats is they simply state, its not my problem and move on. Not me. Given the nature of what I do for a living, if I see something wrong, I have to exhaust all possible efforts to correct it. Again, no dice. With the written method, I wrote an essay that basically had this neighbor working in cahoots with Saddam Hussein himself in 1991.

I received a call from the municipality, they checked their email which was great, however again I had to go in person, with pictures. At the time I was working from 10AM to 7PM. I live in a densely populated part of Hawally, and anyone that lives close knows that the morning drive is MURDER. Huge traffic jams, rush hour is a terrible thing. So I decided to mount my bicycle and ride from Hawally to Salmiya where their office is, at 7AM in the morning on September 24th.


The Route to get to the Municipality from my house; all 16.36KM of it

I got there, made small talk with the male secretary who was taking my statements and was disheartened when he told me that in order for my complaint to be lodged, I would need to bring a copy of my rent agreement, my civil ID along with 6 other tenants, write a formal letter of complaint that this person encroached upon government land, and also get the landlord to file the complaint themselves. He might as well have asked me to have it officially notarized and stamped at the foreign offices. I was told that without wasta, nothing would happen. However, I refused to give up.

Not one to be disheartened, I wrote another letter on the municipality website, this time accusing them of not wanting to do what is best for Kuwait; and that is prevent the likes of this neighbor from hell from getting away with such heinous crimes.


The grey path made into a parking lot is supposed to be a road in between two buildings, not belonging to either, taken over by Perp B

Fast forward to last weeks Thursday, and I received a call from a municipality employee who, albeit insisting on calling me Nasser, had noble intentions at heart and asked for directions to the scene of the crime. Upon explaining them over and over as he took wrong turn after wrong turn and I found myself having to visualize the map of all shops in the area in my minds eye so as to get him where he needs to go. I rushed to the scene and found him furiously writing citation after citation for the three buildings surrounding me, each with its own transgression, including the foul neighbor that verbally abused me (which he did, actually). He informed each hares to take the citation to the owner of the property, he was not phased when the hares of one building told him it belonged to a sheikh, he merely informed him that the law is the law, and that the chains and poles had to be removed. He then told me that they had 3 days to remove the poles, if they were not removed I was to call him. Last week, 3 days later from the date of the citations, the municipality guy called me up to check on the progress.

The foul neighbor had finally removed his poles, and I got to park there, in a sign of poetic justice. The other two had not done so. That’s one point for the working stiff!


The shaded parking is supposed to be a road between two buildings, not belonging to either, taken over by Perp B


Not one to miss the fun, Perp C (yellow building) also capitalized on the closure of half the road by taking the other half to themselves


Apparently neither Perp B nor C recall who erected these poles, as explained to the Ministry Man


The extent of Perp C’s territory is as far as the paved area goes, the tarmac’d area does not belong to them

I received another call from the Ministry this week asking if all obstructions were removed, I informed them that B & C were still at large. They are on it.

It may take time, but in the end, justice prevails. Expats should not be complacent Yes-sayers, if someone breaks the law, you report it. You follow up on it. You do not turn the other cheek, for that empowers others to likewise perform similar acts of transgression.



August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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