Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Warden Notice Kuwait

Normally, the warden notices are so oblique you can hardly glean anything of use from them, or they refer to incidents that are old, although there are recent aggravations that cause problems. This one is unusual for its clarity.

My niece in Beirut says she is glad to get the Kuwait ones, because the AmEmb in Beirut hardly sends anything at all, and it is never timely!

The Embassy would like to highlight two recent incidents in Kuwait and recommend how to handle similar situations:

Incident 1 – Recently, an American spouse was at the Carrefour store at the Avenues Mall when she was harassed by an Arab male making inappropriate comments. The spouse departed the store to avoid the harassment and was followed by the man to her vehicle who tried to enter it. The spouse was not hurt during the attempted vehicle entry and the she departed the area.

Recommended action: In a case as this, attempt to contact the store management or security personnel or go to an area where there are cashiers or other patrons. Do not go to a location where there are no other people (the parking garage) or lead the individual to your vehicle.

Incident 2 – An American observed what appeared to be an Arab male harassing females walking. The American stopped his car to assist the women, which enraged the Arab male, who then chased him with his vehicle. The American was cut off by the Arab male, at which time the American exited his vehicle to engage in conversation. The Arab male reversed his vehicle and drove over the American, breaking his leg.

Recommended Action: Although the American acted with a great degree of chivalry, there is no upside to getting involved in a situation like this. It is better to report the behavior and location to the authorities, stay in your vehicle, get a license plate number and physical description of the vehicle and driver, and never attempt to engage the other party.

Here are several best practices you can use to help stay safe while living in Kuwait:

♂ Keep your car windows closed and doors locked when driving, and always leave room to maneuver your vehicle in traffic, not allowing yourself to be blocked in.

♂ Always let someone know your travel plans if you are traveling alone, including what time you expect to return and how they can reach you.

♂ Carry your cell phone and keep it where it is quickly available (do not use it while driving).

♂ Have several contact numbers pre-programmed into your phone so you can call in the event of an emergency. Dial 777 for Kuwaiti police and emergency services.

♂ If confronted by a stranger while driving, remain in your vehicle; this will provide a considerable
level of safety and mobility.
♂ If you believe you are being followed, DO NOT DRIVE TO YOUR HOME; go to a safe area such as a police station or a public area such as a mall. Make noise and draw attention to yourself to ward off suspicious persons. On your next trip to a place you go frequently, take note of where you might go if you were being followed. Playing the “what if” game could save your life and will give you something to do while sitting in traffic.

♂ If someone approaches you claiming to be a police officer, ask for identification. Even when shown ID, remain vigilant.

♂ If told to go with someone to a police station, insist on going in your own car and following the officer. Use your mobile phone to call someone and tell them to meet you at the station; also provide the police car license number to your contact, especially if it is an unmarked vehicle.

It is important to remember most criminal or terrorist activity begins with some type of surveillance. This surveillance may last a few seconds (purse snatching) or months (planning an attack on a building).

Pay attention to your surroundings at all times, especially when entering/exiting your vehicle. Mentally record license plate numbers and physical descriptions of suspicious persons or vehicles, and use your camera phone or digital camera if possible to document suspicious persons or vehicles in Kuwait. Common sense will go a long way to keep you safe.

If a situation does not seem right, attempt to get away and call for help. Your personal security takes priority, but if you are safely able to record information of harassing or suspicious individuals, this can greatly aid investigative efforts.

November 21, 2007 - Posted by | Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Shopping, Social Issues

8 Comments »

  1. lol, see i’m not overly paranoid 😛

    Comment by sknkwrkz | November 21, 2007 | Reply

  2. Great info. Thanks for posting it.

    P.S. I can’t believe you flew all the way to the West Coast, USA and blogged shortly afterwards! Kudos.

    Comment by Stinni | November 21, 2007 | Reply

  3. 😐 I tried to blog about this warning this morning but couldn’t get my connection to work. VERY interesting warden message – I have a slightly different take & will link to your post 🙂

    Comment by adiamondinsunlight | November 22, 2007 | Reply

  4. No, Skunk, even a paranoid is right now and then! 😛

    Stinni – you have a keen eye. My computer was broken, and I knew I would be offline for a while, so I had a few posts lined up for while I wasn’t able to post.

    Looking forward to seeing your take, LIttle Diamond!

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 22, 2007 | Reply

  5. I think this is a bit of an over-reaction!

    Comment by kinano | November 22, 2007 | Reply

  6. Probably, Kinan. And I am guessing that they printed that notice because it is drummed into American boys to protect ladies, and that is what got the guy into trouble. They want us to mind our own business.

    Do you think that is even possible? 😉

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 22, 2007 | Reply

  7. Thanks for sharing with all of us these helpful passes. Ideally, the warden messages should be sent out via e-mail and by SMSing, in case of alerts. It’s not good enough posting them on embassy web sites alone.

    Comment by Anonymous | April 10, 2008 | Reply

  8. Mostly they DO come out via e-mail, and we all share the information.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 10, 2008 | Reply


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