Thursday, April 30, 2009

What if...

What if my family hadn't come to Kuwait when they did?

What if we hadn't made as much money as we have today?

What if we were still in India and still poor?

What if my wife's family hadn't moved from the Philippines to Canada?

What if they hadn't become Canadian citizens and had the option of being middle class?

What if they were still in the Philippines and still poor?

Would then my own mother, sister and the woman who I would have married - have come here as nannies and housekeepers?

What if it all happened to them?

What if Kuwait had never been liberated, and citizens had no home to go to?

What if they had to make a living in a foreign country among a foreign people?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New writer on Q8SWS

Hi there blogfans, my name is nabeel. Sws has kindly invited me to share my thoughts on this blog as a new writer -- and rather than just intrude right away, I thought I'd start off by ways of a little introduction.

I'm a third generation Indian citizen in Kuwait, born and raised. I have no gift whatever for languages so I dont speak more than a few words of Arabic - or any Indian language for that matter. I went to an English school in Kuwait and did my University in Vancouver, Canada. I'm married to a great gal from there and now I'm back in Kuwait, working. ..And recently I've started involving myself in a little social work and have been utterly amazed by what I've seen.

About that - hopefully over time, I'll be updating you with reports of human rights abuses here, and my perspective on it as an expat. As I'm sure you're already aware, the Gulf region has come under a lot of scrutiny for this sort of thing. Please feel free to ask any questions, air your opinions - and mostly... please get involved.

I will start off with a report from a Nepali Humanitarian Organisation "Asha - Nepal" which is headed by a British gentleman:

"I wish we could stop these girls going. They are aware of the situation, but are pursuaded by the agencies that they will be looked after and of course the money is a huge draw.

We had a case three years ago, with Kuwait Airways carrying a seriously demented girl on a plane to Delhi in her night dress. (In Kuwait) she had been taught to offer herself to any man that came near her. The girl in question committed suicide just under a year ago. We want to write to the airline and the Kuwaiti Embassy in the UK although they aren't likely to reply. They didnt last time."

You might think this is an isolated incident, but in one of our hospitals right now is an Indonesian girl who was 'lent' by the agency to a man who forcibly slept with her and then 'sold' her to another man who forced her to sleep with 3-5 men a day. Then - like many stories you might here - she jumped.

Guess where she will go after her discharge from the hospital?! Jail. After that its the deportation center and if she's lucky enough, she will be booked a ticket home in a month or so, with only the clothes on her back and not even a month's worth of salary. But then what sort of salary do you get from forced prostitution !?

And then the real shame begins as she tries to live in her community, a rape victim and penniless.

One case in hundreds. What are your thoughts?