A few days ago I attended a conference in Dubai.
I attempted to check in at the ‘Kuwait Airways’ desk at Dubai Airport, amidst a frenzied crowd, and was told there was ‘an eight hour delay from the ‘Kuwait Airways’ side’
The crowd around me, consisting of families and businessmen were cursing the state (“What is wrong with our country?” and “Why are they refusing to develop it – where is our money going?”). There was anger in the crowd, pure venom. They didn’t care if Emirati citizens or foreigners were listening – they have had it with Kuwait’s lack of services and mean, tight-fisted ways and they were verbally generous.
We scurried, managing to transfer our tickets to Emirates Airlines – departing at the original KA time – at the brand new, gleaming, high-tech Terminal Three (there was a work-in-progress metro rail outside that looked like something out of ‘Epcot’).
The trip was smooth. Even in Economy passengers were treated with the utmost respect and service was excellent (if it were Economy in ‘Kuwait Airways’ the personnel would have treated us all like garbage, especially the Asians).
A perfect landing by the Emirates pilot was briefly interrupted by a screeching brake.
“We are sorry ladies and gentleman, there was a driver who managed to speed across our tarmac during our arrival,” said the pilot. Passengers burst out laughing, “Yes, we definitely are in Kuwait now!” they hollered.
We exited our planes and were met with crowds of laborers and tourists, cigarette smoke, filthy ambience, dim lighting and the obligatory pink airport signs – yes we had arrived at Kuwait Airport, a far cry from whence we came. But hey, its home isn’t it. We were relieved and content.
Two days later, the electricity goes off in my neighborhood, for three hours. The Ministry of Electricity’s line was constantly busy. I went to check the local transformer/electrical building and found expatriate Ministry of Electricity technicians waiting, unable to do anything (“Please call the Ministry,” they implored me, “we are waiting for the hajji Kuwaiti engineer.”). They wanted my help in contacting their ministry – think about that for a minute.
This morning I open a newspaper and see quotes by Ministry of Electricity Under-Secretaries admitting there will be more power cuts this summer. Bloggers and columnists have been writing about this crisis for over five years – why didn’t the government do anything about it? Oh wait, they spent half a billion on decrepit generators that didn’t do the job – genius.
Let me say one thing to the movers and shakers (and I know for a fact you, your kids and your relatives follow this and other blogs): enough is enough, get your heads out of your posteriors, forget your egotistical, tired summits and conferences, and get working for the state, for this country. It is time you provided basic services to people without humiliating them – there is a resentment and anger towards government and officials in this country that you are not aware of.
We are a rich country. Use our resources wisely and work for us – that is what you are there for: public service.
Patience is not indefinite. And God won’t forgive those who don’t take care of their flock.