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.)