Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ministry Conducts Demographics Study

This is from today’s Kuwait Times. I LOVE demographics. I love tagging factors, loading them all into a data base and seeing where the stats fall. You learn so much.

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor is studying effective means to rectify the country’s demographic imbalance. The ministry has reportedly reached the conclusion that the blend of different nationalities in Kuwait has proved detrimental to its societal fabric. One Arab nation’s expatriate population in the country has exceeded 300,000, sources say, which puts the states economic and political stability at great risk. Sources said that the matter is complicated and needs all the ministries’ undivided support.

Expatriates, it is felt, bring with them their own modern culture and customs which are alien to the local citizens, most of whom follow archaic customs deeply rooted in tribal practices. Expatriates are also accused of taking the law into their own hands without approaching the concerned authorities whenever they are confronted with a problem. It has also been observed that expatriates belonging to a certain nationality inhabit certain areas in droves, leaving security officials at a loss to change the situation.

As a move towards controlling the situation, the ministry is to form a permanent committee comprising officials from different ministries to scrutinize all the expatriates who arrive at Kuwait.

It will issue a fitness certificate to eligible expatriates on the lines of medical fitness test. Employers will then be able to decide whether to appoint those workers or repatriate them. The ministry also plans to come down heavily on expats who obtain jobs using illegal residence permits.

Hmmm. Rectifying the population imbalance might require giving up expatriate labor. What laborers do you want to give up? The largest number are probably doing low-skill level work – cleaning houses, cleaning the streets . . .Or do you want to give up those who are managing your stores, taking your orders in all the restaurants, cooking, taking care of the office chores?

I can guess which expatriates are bringing in alien modern customs and practices, but unless you are going to give up television, cable, the internet and travel . . . that train has probably left the station.

So which nationality has over 300,000 expats in Kuwait? And which nationalities “inhabit certain areas in droves?”

Who takes the law into their own hands?

July 17, 2008 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Relationships, Social Issues

6 Comments »

  1. not to worry, if it will take the co-operation of all ministries nothing will happen 😛

    i would imagine th article is referring to the egyptian population.

    more foul for me!

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Yeah ! defently the Egyptians , After the Khaitan Riots back in 1999 , it has caused the Kuwati govt to take cautions i guess.
    From Wiki
    The Khaitan Riot occurred in the Kuwaiti suburb of Khaitan (20km south of Kuwait city) on the days of October 30 and October 31, 1999. The riot lasted 2 days and resulted in the injury of over 120 people and involved over 3,000 Egyptian workers, most of whom were deported afterwards. The riot began as a result of an Egyptian worker breaking a plate in a store owned by a Bangladeshi. The worker refused to pay for the plate and after an intense argument the police were called and arrested him. This sparked rioting by the Egyptians.

    Comment by Grey | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  3. I had no idea there were so many Egyptians. Have most of them been here for two or three generations, like many other nationalities?

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 17, 2008 | Reply

  4. I have to wonder what additional fitness test will be required of expatriates, “It will issue a fitness certificate to eligible expatriates on the lines of medical fitness test”. Will there be some sort of mental fitness test along with the humiliating physicals we already have to receive? And what will it include? Sleep deprivation, starvation, verbal abuse, all done to see if it invokes violence? After all, many domestics and others endure this treatment already, and who will replace these individuals? Who will be willing to put up with it, given the knowledge that is how it will be? I realize that there are many expats working here, making better money than they would in their homelands, and even possibly better living/work conditions. I suspect those people will not be the ones to create the economic and political instability they are so concerned about.

    Maybe instead of focusing on how to keep the “bad people” out, they should instead focus on how to improve the standards of living for all Kuwait residents. Oops! I let one of those modern cultural ideas slip out. Sorry. 😉

    Comment by mimfoy | July 20, 2008 | Reply

  5. I don’t know why, but this sentence reminded me of Detroit, just take out the part of expats

    “It has also been observed that expatriates belonging to a certain nationality inhabit certain areas in droves, leaving security officials at a loss to change the situation.”

    Comment by Chirp | July 20, 2008 | Reply

  6. Mimfoy – yeh the fitness test gave me some images, too, like all the over-50’s contractors running up and down three flights of stairs, huffing and puffing, doing pushups, a squat-thrust or two . . . I can’t imagine, bureaucratically, how it will work, adding yet another layer to the problems of residency. And would you have to renew it yearly?

    I remember my blood test. The woman was eating salted nuts. I actually saw her stop and think about using gloves, but she would have had to wipe off her hands, so she decided not to. I prayed the entire test that she was using a fresh, never used needle, and that God would protect me from any bacteria. Thanks be to God, I survived!

    Oh! Bad Mimfoy! We will have to sic the Alien Practices committee on you, with your alien modern culture and ideas. (Spare me!)

    Chirp – That sentence makes me want to jump off the balcony. News stories about criminals that will not state their names, vague references to certain nationalities, or certain groups – it makes reading the paper a lesson in frustration. It is not news, it is sort of a finger pointing in the direction of possible news.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 20, 2008 | Reply


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