Your Highness: With Sincere Greetings and Respect
Emir of Kuwait Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

Your Highness: With Sincere Greetings and Respect

Al Qabas, Kuwait, June 9

I decided to direct my article directly to you, Your Highness, instead of directing it to any member of the government since I believe that this is an urgent issue of the highest caliber and utmost importance to our nation. In the past few years, Your Highness, Kuwait has transformed from a pioneering country to a backward country. Despite all the new roads, hospitals, universities, and museums we see built around us, Kuwait has turned into an administratively backward country. Despite all the bounties that God has bestowed upon us, despite our resilient people and their ability to endure challenges and crises, we have become a weaker state. For too many years, we’ve allowed corrupt people to go about their crimes unpunished. There are many examples of what citizens and residents suffer from because of administrative corruption. Allow me, Your Highness, to give you just two examples, so that you understand the extent of the tragedy that has befallen our country. First, to obtain a work permit in Kuwait, every applicant must pass a medical examination. This is a sensical and reasonable requirement. However, did you know that the average medical exam takes about 14 hours to complete? We have workers sitting and waiting under the excruciating heat of the sun for 14 hours, just to wait for their blood to be drawn. In the age of digital connectivity and artificial intelligence one would expect there to be an efficient appointment system that could streamline the process. The large number of visitors is not an excuse behind which the leaders of the Health Ministry can hide. The medical examination has been in place for many years, and there have been plenty of opportunities to make the service more accessible, efficient, and agreeable for everyone. Second, when an applicant goes to the Interior Service Center to apply for residency or a work permit, one of the first things they’re asked to do is to authenticate their criminal record document, which they used to enter the country. This authentication must be done at the Foreign Ministry. One would expect that if this document was used to enter the country, then it would also be accepted by the Interior Ministry when applying for a residency permit. These are just two examples, Your Highness. There are hundreds like them, and stories abound about cases in which ministries and public institutions serve people based on favoritism, partisanship, and tribal lines. Your Highness, Kuwait was one of the most developed countries in the world, but this ranking keeps on dropping. Let’s restore that title and put ourselves back on the right track. –Faisal Mohammed Bin Sabt (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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