Grieving my country

When it comes to politics or religion, I try to hold my horses and not get involved due to the sensitivity of both issues, but I don’t seem to be able to do that sometimes. It’s not easy to watch my country being raped, blackmailed and misused by ( kil min hab wi dab) and give all that a deaf ear.
It looks to me that there are a lot of Kuwaitis who have a dream ( if not a plan) that one day they would leave this place and start anew in a more civilized place, simply because they feel unjustified and useless against this corruption. The number of Kuwaiti immigrants abroad has risen since the liberation, and the number is still increasing.
And what would happen if we left the country? Who are we leaving this land to? A bunch of illiterates and retards!!!!
Reading through the country nowadays is very depressing, mainly because of people’s confusion and mistrust in government and parliament. I remember how Islamist suicide bummers (when they first started) devastated the West and they could not find any logical explanation for such acts. So writers and scientists began exploring Islam and Islamic history in order to be able to read the suicide bomber’s mind and know what would motivate a human being so much that he would give his own life for a mere belief.
This made me think; how could I understand what is going on in my country unless I live the mentality of my people; the tribal mentality.
Our government is the head of 3asheera, choosing ministers according to kin, renowned families and common interest with other trips and ethnic groups. It had worked for Kuwait before, because the population was less in number and less diverse. This type of ruling does not suit the civilized world of today. Our main (and only) income would soon dry out, we have the luxury today, yet it’s only temporary. How does the future look? Very gloomy!!!
Over-employment for example is underrated and no serious action has been taken to overcome it, a solid plan is not drawn even. The largest section in government budget is dedicated to salaries ( elbab elawal), a big chunk of which goes to people who do not even have a chair to sit on because most of them are in the wrong place to start with. There is no connection between education outcome and the actual need of the work force. And “wasta” is another pain in the neck; we can not deny that we also participated in ruining the country by accepting wasta and whoever can claim that they did not used it at least once in his lifetime is a big liar.
On the other hand; we have so many great minds that are not utilized, simply because we are tranquilized by the system; a lot of us want it this way, it entails a lot of personal gains. The people whom we have chosen to represent us in the parliament are busy working on forcing the government to drop utility bills so that people who have declined to pay their debts are rewarded and needless to say how would that influence our budget. But unfortunately a lot of people view this as a priority. Increasing salaries is another dilemma.
We need reform; we need re-engineering of the system. We need to put the right minds into action and this is the right time with the increase of oil prices.
You may say that this is not new, but are we willing to do anything about it? The most we can think is; stash away some money and I’m outta here when dark days come. Meanwhile; we are getting by, we are conditioned to live with this system and know how to get the best of it. But isn’t this a bit selfish? Thinking me, me instead of us and the future generation who are actually our own kids.
Leaving the country is not the solution; no matter where you go, you will always be considered a stranger, and the feeling of resentment towards whatever made you leave would never subside.
Unfortunately, democracy for a lot of Q8i people is more demanding of personal gains. But, what about the country? We all know that oil is our only resource, and that resource is finite. What will happen to the country then? Did we make any plans for such a day? Why should we? We do not have the mentality to think “planning” and strict execution, we have the mentality of a shepherd; when the land is dry, leave it and look for a greener spot and some of us, have already designed their own escape.

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16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Hisham
    May 01, 2005 @ 17:21:00

    Hi Ruby,

    We all are grieving ours.

    With little minor changes, just change few words and you post can fit any Arab country.
    After Me the Flood. This is our mentality, from the head of the pyramid till you reach rock bottom. I even wish it was the mentality of a shepherd. ‘Cause a shepherd will take care of his herd, defend it, make sure it is well fed and safe, but those supposed to be our shepherd are ready to throw us at the feet of the first hungry wolf.

    And on the other hand, we, members of this huge herd, treat our home countries like a hotel. We are always ready to check out because we are dissatisfied with the room service.

    It’s a vicious circle, who will break it first: A real shepherd or loyal herd?

    Bests me.

    Sorry if I stormed into “Kuwaitis Only” party, but your post is really tempting.

    Reply

  2. Jewaira
    May 01, 2005 @ 17:28:00

    What this country needs is an army of selfless committed citizens to raise it from this quagmire.

    The few people that I have known to be like this have become disillusioned, long burned out by the relentless tribal system that puts familial ties and social obligations above personal & educational merit.

    Reply

  3. UzF
    May 02, 2005 @ 03:53:00

    Hmmm
    Looking at some neighbouring countries with similar resources/conditions as ours, and to the great advancement they achieved in relatively a short time; one can hope that with **new and improved** “management” to our country the same improvement if not greater can occur.
    I don’t know, just a thought..

    But it doesn’t seem so bad that people are actually immigrating, at least so far!?

    Reply

  4. AyyA
    May 02, 2005 @ 08:51:00

    Hisham
    Welcome to my blog anytime friend.
    As I see from your profile, you are from UAE, which basically means the same tribal mentality taking control, but I hope at least you have learned from our mistakes and can do something about it before it’s too late.

    Jewaira
    Very depressing indeed, but I still can see some potential in the new generation and I hope they have the chance to participate in at least choosing the right representative. And I also hope that the government has learned that “ 3ala elbaraka” is not working and hopefully it would change course to save the country; but very doubtful that this would happen.
    Today’s parliament session is a real test and I pray to God that the parliament would dissolute so that many laws could be passed and we could at least have some hope for reform before it’s too late.

    UzF
    Neighboring countries that are more advanced than us have somewhat different conditions, but all in all, their fate I can predict is more or less the same as long as they embody the same mentality.
    I’m not against immigration; everyone is entitled and free to do that if he wishes. I’m against the forced immigration when a person wants to live freely in his own country but sadly can’t stand the pressure.

    Reply

  5. Hisham
    May 02, 2005 @ 09:48:00

    Ruby,

    thanx for the warm welcome.

    I’m Lebanese, living in UAE. And Lebanese are the living proof that some people never learn from their mistakes. Hope this will change one day soon. For all of us.

    Reply

  6. AyyA
    May 02, 2005 @ 10:19:00

    I was just talking to a Lebanese friend last night, and we were discussing that, and you are right Lebanon is a typically struggling country for its freedom from this mentality. Ethnic and tribunal prejudices have exhausted the beautiful country. But it seems to me that it’s catching up and rising in the right direction, no? Anyway; the most important thing is that Syria is out now and I’m looking forward to a lot of change, I think Lebanon had enough; it’s time for her to breath.

    Reply

  7. Jandeef
    May 02, 2005 @ 10:50:00

    I have faith in our generation. Although the picture looks really dark, but I see some signs of hope.

    It’s gonna take hard work and patience.

    I think progress has a better chance when the heads are changed (which i think is pretty soon). Yea I know it’s a big possibility that we’ll get new heads that are as bad, but you can’t advance the country forward while you don’t even know how to check your e-mail.

    Reply

  8. mishu1984
    May 02, 2005 @ 15:32:00

    Ayya dear, till we can learn to follow the common good, rather than our own personal gains, we will never get out of it. Guilty as charged, used wasta more than once and porbably will use it many times more, but what can you do when you try to go against a system that runs a country? reform is not from one day to the next, rather it takes time, and the best way to do it is to educate, and frankly, just take a look a K.U. or govenrment highschools…pitty..

    Reply

  9. AyyA
    May 02, 2005 @ 16:37:00

    Jandeef and misho
    I was just about to reply on your comments and let you know that with people like you around I will never loose faith. But when I read this(http://www.alommah.org/home/), I started wondering if you guys will ever get a chance, it’s a flood and you just can’t stand against it. That really hurts.

    Reply

  10. AyyA
    May 02, 2005 @ 17:05:00

    Misho
    The government had the decree that regulates women’s participation in Municipality on the top of parliament’s agenda today but the parliament voted in favor of postponing the subject to an unspecified date and instead they discussed salary raises and assigned next session for voting on that, which goes to tell you what is people’s priority!!!!
    MP’s only did that to insure their seats in the next parliament. And I am sure there will be a lot of debates about the raise in salary and how would that affect the budget, let alone inflation rate accordingly and how the KD is affected by it; all of which that have to be discussed and waived. Which also means more delays in women’s political rights, be it in municipality or the parliament.

    Reply

  11. Rawand
    May 02, 2005 @ 19:11:00

    Rabab:
    Your cry had an eco in my heart, put I don’t want to flood your plog, and I don’t know how to add a link to the comments section. So pleas do me a favor and read my post “shoot the shepherd & let’s fix that bridge” whenever you have the time.

    Reply

  12. Shurouq
    May 03, 2005 @ 01:41:00

    Ayya,
    A friend from work was talking about leaving the country for good.. And now reading your post makes me wanna cry!

    How’ve you been? 🙂

    Reply

  13. Jaded Saudi
    May 03, 2005 @ 09:56:00

    Yes, it is very sad indeed how things are; and yes Ayya, your post pretty much covered the entire Gulf countries, Kuwait does not, in any way, stand alone in this backwardness.
    People in Saudi hate Saad Al-Faqih, and don’t get me wrong, he’s a terrible person who’s campaigning to overthrow the government…but I can’t help but, in a sense, blame the government for Al-Faqih’s behavior. People can’t stand up for their rights, and the system will stay the way it is because it’s a society where “you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours” and just as long as the people in power are getting fatter and richer then they really don’t care about anyone else. It’s a selfish, selfish place, and it makes me depressed and mad!

    But hey, maybe I shouldn’t talk about this, seeing that I’m Saudi and all, and we all know what happens to us when we speak out against the government. :s

    Btw, I love your blog it’s so intellectually stimulating 🙂

    Sarrah

    Reply

  14. AyyA
    May 03, 2005 @ 12:44:00

    Rawand
    I hear you sis, I hear you, but how to kill the shepherd is the question.

    Shurouq
    I meet and see people that want to leave everyday, most of us have already purchased a property abroad. Our excuse is always security, making provision so that incase something like the invasion happens again we would at least have a place to run to. The danger my dear is more inside than outside. I feel like we were never actually liberated.
    And thanks 7abeebti for asking about me, I missed you too 🙂

    Sara
    Welcome dear in my blog, and thanks for the nice compliment.

    Using violence is never the way to freedom, and I honestly sympathize with you, your situation is way harder and more complex than ours here; allah ye3eenkom, but that should not make ours any better.
    And let me tell you; neither you nor I are talking against our governments. I respect the royal family and I’m sure you do too. We are discussing reform, and whoever tells me that I am not being patriotic for doing so is a hypocrite that I would not hesitate to fight.

    Reply

  15. gatorbait
    May 03, 2005 @ 16:54:00

    I have gotten the impression that the Royals are not the problem in Kuwait. Your posts seem to bear this out. I have had the pleasue of meeting post war, Kuwaitis who have to potential to lead Kuwait IF the tribes can ever figure out that they can do more as a nation, rather than tribes. It has been said that before our Civil War , we were a nation of states, post Civil War, we truly became the United States. Kuwait has a lot to offer the world and itself. You all have that chance, right now. Something tells me the majority of the Royals have your back as well.

    I see what we call the Middle East waking up to their potential. I see very slowly, but surely, movement forward.

    Reply

  16. AyyA
    May 03, 2005 @ 20:28:00

    Gatorbait
    You are very optimistic about the Middle East dude; it’s more like moving in a circle.

    Bad news everybody; I just heard the news in radio Sawa that voting for women participation in municipality has been postponed two more weeks. And since the decree for regulating the voting process is supposed to be issued today, which means that even if the outcome of the voting was for women participation, it would not be functional for four more years. Which also means that we have lost municipality as well as parliament. Very depressing indeed 😦

    Reply

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