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A Nation ‘Drifting’ Without Purpose
Photo taken on Feb. 27, 2021 shows the view of Kuwait City, Kuwait. (Ghazy Qaffaf/Xinhua via Getty)

A Nation ‘Drifting’ Without Purpose

Al-Qabas, Kuwait, March 19

There is a Kuwaiti word for the term “drifting” – the sense of losing control over a situation, like a boat being swept away by the waves and the wind. This word has become relevant to our condition because it epitomizes the way in which we’ve been living for half a century: simply carried by the winds, dragged wherever fate takes us as a nation. For the past five decades, we’ve been living from hand to mouth, extracting oil and spending its proceeds on our luxuries, without thinking about the sustainability of this lifestyle. We never stopped to identify new resources or ration our extraction of oil. More importantly, we never stopped to reassess our behavior based on the value of oil: We maintained the same level of spending when a barrel of oil was $100 as we did when it was half that price. Although our government developed several five-year and 10-year plans during the past half-century, most of them have never been implemented. We’ve never followed through on a plan to secure our energy resources and we’ve never followed through on a plan to improve our education system. Instead, we continue to pour millions of dollars down the drain. Despite this sad situation, there is still hope. Despite our lack of action as a nation, there is still an opportunity to turn things around: to transform sadness into joy and to put an end to our hesitation and doubt. –Ahmed Al-Sarraf (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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