I had generally been hesitant to report on ludicrous news from the tiny, oil-rich feudal autocracy in the corner of the Persian Gulf. This is owing to plenty of nice memories when having lived and worked in Kuwait just a couple of years ago.
The current campaign to arrest and deport expatriate traffic offenders (almost 12,000 in two and half month) in order to reduce the terrifying death rate on various ring roads and the Arabian Gulf Street is so overarching that it can only be described as ridiculous. As a matter of fact, the death toll in traffic is very high, 16.9 per 100.000 per year (in 2010). This is three times higher than in Norway. What is the reason? I doubt that mainly expatriates cause fatal accidents. When in Kuwait, I could hear the roaring sound of car races from the nearby Arabian Gulf Street at 3 am, every night. It was in general young Kuwaiti boys who entertained themselves and others in these races. Driving on the 4th Ring Road reminded me often of the famous scene in Terminator II – Judgment Day. The other meaning of Highway of Death. It was in fact risky, to say the least. But it was Kuwaiti boys. I have written about the testosterone factor somewhere else.
“…[I]t is uneducated young men without any social perspective who are considered the most dangerous species on Earth. It might be called the testosterone factor, which makes life in countries so unbearable, at least for women, where they have got the opportunity of dominating daily life. It’s in a way a shame that especially Islamic countries have developed into ‘boys’ countries’ during the past few decades. Where women (mothers !) have long given up the careful upbringing of their sons, their development of emotional intelligence, empathy, social competence, responsibilities for nature, culture, and so many other things.”
The raids have meanwhile been expanded and residency law violators are now targeted. Deporting expats means Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Philippinos. The poor people in Kuwait, the lowest social class, not the rich Westerners.
But it is Asian workforce which makes this country (and other Gulf emirates including Saudi Arabia) function. That the weakest in the society on who much of Kuwait’s wealth depends are targeted time and again by arrogant “owners” of the country is disgraceful and, well, childish. As childish as the recent parliamentary crisis which has not led to more democracy, just the opposite. There is a long way of maturation ahead.
9 June 2013 @ 7:08 pm.
Last modified June 9, 2013.