Kuwait Tunneling Issues Towards Foreigners

KuwaitCity

Over the last couple of years Kuwait has been an area of people unrest because of social issues, so now this year they have diverted people’s attention to foreigners. That they are the cause of many of the issues, and the masses believe anything at this point which is very sad.

Foreigners have been in Kuwait as a country since we declared our independence in 1961 and before that, but now after so long they are trying to make it even more difficult for foreigners to live in this country. There is a large part of foreigners who want to work in Kuwait and make money to send it home, but there are many more who want to live in Kuwait and make it their home. We are making it more intolerable for everyone who is trying to make a living here.

Out of all the foreigners that I work with and that I know many of them have grown up here and only know Kuwait, and they honestly love Kuwait. They have been here since they were kids and can’t picture themselves living anywhere else. People who are investors in this country who have made their wealth in this country who have been here for most of their lives, and now their kids have grown up but at 18 years old they can’t get a license since they are foreigners, even though they have been living here all of their lives.

Foreigners in Kuwait are now feeling that they might not have any future here, that they have to find a place for their children, they will work here until they can’t. Instead of trying to convince them to invest in our country and to keep their money in the country they are sending it out as fast as possible, their lives are getting tougher and the public servants are getting ruder, and I didn’t think that was possible. I hope things get better soon because over the last 9 months things went from bad to worse in the Ministry of Social Affairs and other government entities as well.

Illegal Visa Trader in Kuwait

KuwaitCity

Recently there have been some changes in Kuwait’s Visa process and they want to clamp down on the number of Expats in the country. I don’t think thats a good policy since most of the Expats are here because of a need, most government jobs are completed by Expats and in most private companies the Expats range from 60% to 99%, its just the truth of the matter and there is no going around it.

There is a reason that is the case, a majority of Kuwaitis want a high paying job and very little amount of work. I have met some amazing people in the private sector and entrepreneurs, but these people are not even 3% of the Kuwaiti population, the majority are in government the ones with brains face obstacles and the ones that don’t want to work are happy not going to work and getting a pay check.

Now they want to get rid of the expats so they are applying any law they see fit and they want to get to the Visa Traders (Tijaar Iqaamaat). After all these years this is what they want to do to solve the Visa trading business. You can’t report them, you can do anything with them, and the victims who are the people trying to work end up getting deported when nothing happens to the Visa Traders.

As of this week they have started picking up random expats from around Kuwait City and taking them to Jail if they have Visa Type 20 which is the house staff Visa. With the new Wakeel in the Ministry of Interior he wants to prove that he is the big man in town and so he picked on the weakest in this aspect. They take the Expat to jail and if nobody trys looking for him then they deport them within two weeks, and they contact the sponsor to pay for the ticket.

So instead of putting the Visa traders in jail and giving these guys an opportunity to make a living, they deporting the expats no matter what the circumstance is. Also be careful during this period regarding the traffic laws, it seems he wants to apply those as well, any major traffic violation and it will result in a deportation. Right now I think that these rules are basically bonkers, and extremely unfair.

Messed Up International Calls

What the hell is going on with Phone lines in Kuwait. I just came to accept that when people call into to Kuwait the call quality is usually crap, but when you call out you get a decent line. Over the last few years for some reason the lines have gotten worse, and lately most of the time when someone calls me from overseas I get some random 222#####, very rarely is it with the caller ID and sometimes its a 5 digit number like 29268. Now recently over the past two weeks I have gotten some strange caller ID numbers which start with 9982#### or 9878####. Now it seems that some Zain lines are being used as Voip numbers, I’m sure that it isn’t Zain doing this because all international lines in Kuwait are controlled by the Government for the most part, if they know they have control over it. Seriously, when someone calls me from abroad I would like to know who it is.

Private Sector VS. Government Sector

Kuwait

There has been a lot of talk over the past year over the pay in Government sector being low but in reality these people don’t work much or go to work between 2-4 hours or don’t go at all without any consequences. Its a disaster the way things are going recently, and they complained about incentives that Kuwaiti’s recieve in the private sector but it was an incentive so more Kuwaitis work in the private sector but now that has all gone down the drain with the ridiculous salary increases in the public sector as well as the salary incentives that they receive. Some of them might be valid but a huge majority isn’t and we are only setting ourselves up for failure in Kuwait at this rate.

This below is statement from a friend of mine and he says it very well.

Think about it this way.

How many hour private sector work vs government

The responsibilities/consequences of private sector vs government.

We work longer hours, and have more at stake if we fuck up then they do.

Also as a Kuwaiti employer you are responsible to pay all your electric bills monthly or they will close your file at the government. You have a mandoob whose only job is to make sure to visit all the ministries to make sure nothing blocks your file.

Public sector doesn’t have to pay their bills since they have no need for labor services or other government entity.

We as Kuwaiti business owners bust our asses to get shit done in this country just to have someone in Baladia or Commerce to fuck us over cause we actually followed the rules.

We are Greece in the making people. If we dont start controlling the public sector they are going to run us to the ground.

Now the starting Salary for a Fresh Graduate in any of the Public Sector Oil Companies is 1800 KWD and for the Audit Bureau is 1500 KWD. That doesn’t include that some people will or have already recieved ridiculous salary increases for doing nothing, some people’s salaries will have increased by 6000 KWD monthly which is insane. I honestly think that some people should be paid more for the work they are doing but a huge majority of people working the public sector don’t even work so why should they receive more money for doing nothing. Then you have the strikes for people who only work a few hours a day and want more, its really sad seeing the state that Kuwait has reached, someone needs to make the tough decision and pull the plug like Regean and Thatcher did to bring the public sector inline. We have departments in goverment where 10 people do 1 person’s job yet nothing gets done in that department.

I have friends who have been working the banking sector for over 9 years and their salary isn’t 1500 KWD, they said they are better off quitting and working in the oil sector at this point. If the private sector is to survive they have to really move forward with projects that involve the private sector not put all major projects all hold like it has been for a long time now.

I have lived in other countries before for college and work, but I really wouldn’t want to live anywhere else but Kuwait. I for one remember not having Kuwait during the Gulf War and it was a horrible feeling and at the rate we are going Kuwait won’t be around in 20 years or it will be a disaster of country in 10 years.

Top Picture From Flickr

Small Businesses Stuck

Its becoming more and more difficult to open a business in Kuwait and get the right paperwork done. I remember one time taking over a year to get everything sorted with the company and we knew the right people to help out. An individual would get lost in the process between all the government entities and these people would run in your circles, I remember one time getting stuck for a month about the name of the company.

One major problem we have is that they don’t define small business and have a different rules and applications for them. They make it impossible for you to operate and very difficult to move forward. Now if you want hire labor for your company or need qualified staff you can’t hire from outside the country, you can only choose from inside of Kuwait. So you have a very limited pool of talented people that you can work with or you have a high cost to hire qualified people. And I have yet to see the government make a move on those people trading work permits and bringing people and treating them as slaves, what is sad is that a lot of these people are not educated so they don’t know who to complain to or what to do. To hire people from outside of the country you need at least 1 Million KD as the capital of the company or a government contract.

The new labor laws make it nearly impossible for a company to operate and limiting its capabilities. The main problem is that they don’t take a perspective of the businesses and choose a direction which is more efficient, I remember reading a paper of a student talking about the 10 rules which can be efficiently brought down to one rule with no exceptions so people can get their work done. But they love exceptions in Kuwait so that people can be owed favors, its really a vicious circle we are stuck in at this time.

With all that is going on it is really crushing small businesses in Kuwait and making it very difficult for them to prosper. Someone might have a good product or service but at this point there are so many hurdles that make it nearly impossible to operate a profitable business. Lately there are a lot of desert start ups and I’m happy that people are trying, there is always hope, and there are way to get your business off the ground but right now there is no real support from the government or the tools in place to help. I’m just frustrated with all this.

New Evidence of a 9/11 Cover-Up

Pentagon911

There are new reports surfacing about a possible cover-up of a conspiracy of the US Government in the events leading up to the 9/11 attacks. According to several reports online, it all started when the US government blocked the release of this book by Anthony Shaffer who worked at the Pentagon before 9/11. You can read all the comments on Amazon from people that bought the book but it was never delivered to them.

Shaffer reveals in his book that the invasion of Afghanistan was planned a year before the 9/11, Bin Laden was a CIA asset, paid and trained by the CIA when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan in the 70’s 80’s (reference: Charlie Wilson’s War) and most likely died early 2002 of kidney failure. An apparent conclusion is that the “War on Terror” is fake and mostly staged. The US, UK and Israeli intelligence have been attempting to infiltrate the so called Muslim Terror cells for decades and set them up. The “terror scare” is used to justify the “perpetual State of War” in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan and have replaced the “Cold War with the complicity of US mainstream media.

You can even check the links in Amazon with people saying they allowed the REDACTED format for security reasons, so they basically removed any incriminating information from the book. 9/11 was a tragedy but not everything is what it seems, there seems to be more going then a lot people knew or at least had the evidence to prove it.

False Police Accusations

I always try to think better of those in public service even when I have dealt with some scumbags but there are good people working in the public sector, even when they are hard to find.

Case 1:

This happened on Sunday last week, one of our coworkers, a 40+ yearold indian gentlemen came into work late which is odd for him because he is usually the first person there. He told me that he got his license taken by the police, when he asked why they just told him its a 5 KD fine and to go away. He told me that he was stuck in traffic going under the 5th ring road heading towards Bida’a round about, Rumaithiya on your right and Salmiya on your left. He said there were police checking car after car, and he was slowly moving in a que. Then the police men at the check point told him to pull over, there were news cameras taking pictures of police men giving tickets to foreigners and drivers. So when he gave me the form it said 120/80 meaning that he was speeding 40 kph over the speed limit which I knew was a lie since he doesn’t drive over 70 kph. They were basically pulling people over and giving mass fines, they took over 50 licenses, and the photographers were snapping away as if they are doing a great job. So what is a foreigner supposed to do, I called up a few people and turns out it was a publicity stunt for the MOI. The process to get your license is hell and to try to prove its a false accusation is nearly impossible. At the end after calling several people I managed to get his license after about three days of looking for it. But how can you prove that they are falsifying information when they don’t have to prove what happened.

Case 2:

My friend left Signor Sassi with his family in front of him. He was in the left lane to make a u-turn on a Thursday night from the GulfRoad. The u-turn was packed but going straight was empty so he cut right while the road was empty and sped up to catch up with his cousin and family in the other car. He got to about 100 kph while the speed limit was 80 kph, and way back there was one car all the way in the right lane. The car suddenly sped up with only the lower lights on coming behing my friend, then the police lights came on. He pulled him over and so did his family pull over, they were wondering why he stopped him. My friend got down said hello, he gave him his drivers license and vehicle registration and told him he just sped up but was over the speed limit and he apologizes for that, and will accept that fine. Then the police men said no you cut me off and I’m going to tow your car to the police station then to the impound lot, my friend was shocked from what he said. Then the policemen said you cut me off and you were doing over 180 kph, my friend replied saying you were on the right lane and I was behind my family how could I be going 180 kph, and I wasn’t speeding at that speed. Back and forth, back and forth but the guy was being an ass towards him even though he was being very polite and enquiring why the extreme punishment for going only 20 kph over the speed limit. Then he had to follow him to the impound lot in Sharq, he called several people to see how he could help. He managed to get to friend by the time he got to the lot, he said to hold tight while he made his calls. My friend again tried reasoning with the policemen but he said no you either take your car in or I take your car into the lot. Then he said I’m getting a phone call can you speak to the gentlemen and the police men refused but then he got the number to his direct superior who told him to release him and the car, but while on the phone with his superior he said that the driver endangered my life and many others on the street and kept adding to the form. He added “reckless driving”, “endangerment to people lives”, “refusing to pullover” while on the phone to his superior so that he can get his car locked up. I know that my friend is very polite and doesn’t argue since he was still in shock but lucky to find someone that can help. Now how in the hell are you supposed to get policemen like this off the streets, who lie and do whatever they want to persecute people for no reason. Seriously this is insane, even after getting all the details sorted he was trying to stop my friend from getting his license the next day. The problem is that in Kuwait is that the word of a policeman is not questioned in court but in situations such as this there has to be proof, its getting ridiculous the extent some of these men go.

I have heard of many stories of policemen harassing females and doing whatever they want on the road. How do you expect people to respect them when they do this, its sad when its just few who are like this. They should be held responsible and thrown off the police force, and not be employed in any other government body.

Kuwait Female Police Officers

Kuwaiti female police officers during the graduation ceremony of the 36th batch of police officers at the Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah Security Sciences Academy today 24 March 2010 . Only women who have a university degree can graduate with a diploma in police officer studies and will acquire the position of Lieutenant

This is honestly something to be very proud of, at last Kuwait is moving forward in this field. I’m sure there are a lot of females who are motivated to join the army and police, and I think they can only make things better in this aspect. Some of those women look like they are ready to shoot and ask questions later, and some look bigger then the men. Some of the females have higher ranks because they graduated from University and then went into military education which automatically gives them a higher rank then a lot of the men.

Thanks Bader
Link: Flickr


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Sout Al Kuwait – Yoom Al Destoor

Sout Al-Kuwait is a civic lobby group protecting personal and social freedoms through the activation and preservation of the rights stipulated in the Kuwaiti constitution. The Group meets its target through organized media campaigns, public relations and direct communication with the Parliament member and other State decision makers. Since its establishment, the Group published several booklets and brochures providing simplified review of constitutional rights, their impact and importance, and their conflict with some of the current legislations – (available on www.soutalkuwait.com). Sout Al-Kuwait also participated in several exhibitions, rallies, and carnivals in an attempt to educate the youth about the Constitution articles and relate them to our daily lives. We lead several educational activities in schools, colleges and universities introducing students to concepts like citizenship, human rights, constitutional rights and encouraging their involvement in volunteer civic and social work.

One of our most important events is the celebration of the anniversary of the Constitution of Kuwait which was signed off by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem in November 11, 1962. This year we plan a grand carnival in front of the Kuwait Parliament (Sahat Al Irada). This event will be a collaborative effort by other NGOs and some civic groups. It is a family event filled with activities suitable to all ages and interests. There will be a special area for children and another for art and poetry national music band lead by Belal Al-Shami and many other outdoor activities. Participants will be taken through the amazing journey of the Constitution in a fun and friendly environment.

We hope that you and your family will join us celebrating the Constitution anniversary this year on Wednesday, November 11 in front of the Parliament from 5:30 to 10 pm

Homeland Security – Search and More

We all know that the searches performed at Airports in the US aren’t random but most of us who travel there tend to accept it as the cost of going and don’t really mind, but not this is going a little overboard. Homeland Security just passed a new directive that these border patrol people can search your digital media, meaning that they can switch on your computer and go through your data, and make copies of your data if they see it as necessary. That includes photo and video data on your camera or video camera, they can store that as well. And this is all based on their discretion, this is for domestic and international flights, so you are at the mercy of government agents who are at the bottom of the food chain being paid very little. The bad part is that the decision is left to these people which I think will be a catastrophic. Just for those who don’t know, if they find any copyrighted data such as movies or TV shows they might act on it. So I think its a time for people to get a little tech savvy in keeping their private data private.

Link: DigitalTrends