A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

begging off in Kuwait

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on June 2, 2008

I am so embarrassed.

This morning I read a news article about a visa fee that Kuwait is considering imposing on foreign visitors. Apparently there are too many foreigners entering Kuwait – 500,000 this year already – and the government hopes that raising the fee will discourage visitors.

And its not the mere fact of their presence that troubles the government – its what they are suspected of doing while in Kuwait:

… Colonel Badr Saleh Al-Hamadi, Immigration Department acting general manager, said the ministry was looking at imposing a monthly fee on visitors.

Al-Hamadi said the move would be in line with other GCC members, which charge a visitor fee.

He said many expatriates who entered Kuwait on a visit visa did so to find employment or to beg in public areas, the later of which has become a problem in recent years, he added. …

I am definitely one of those foreign visitors – or perhaps two of them, since I’ve been to Kuwait twice since January.

As for the begging – I’m so sorry about that. I wasn’t begging, honestly – its just that I need to refresh my workout wardrobe. Holes in my running pants, grey socks, big old baggy t-shirt, worn-out sneakers: Americans have funny ideas about what is acceptable to wear to the gym.

(As for the people who do come to Kuwait for grey market jobs or to beg – my sympathies are totally with them. They must be truly in need.)

2 Responses to “begging off in Kuwait”

  1. jiwaki said

    it’s a week or two i read your blog, since
    trigger-happymedia
    suggested it to me. i just wanted to say how interesting it is from the outside (italy in my case).

    by the way, here we’re having shameful immigration laws too with this government.

  2. intlxpatr said

    Kuwait is having a lot of problems – begging is just a tiny tip of the iceburg. Bigger problems include drugs pouring into the country, car thieves, robbers, con men, pederasts . . .Not YOU, LIttle Diamond! You are welcome! Have they ever even charged you for your visa?

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