One of my friends recently came to me complaining that he cannot bring his father to visit Kuwait as he normally does. I jokingly asked him, “Is your father a terrorist?” He said that they allowed his mother but his father’s visit application was rejected because he was born before 1950. And I told him: Are you sure this is the reason? There are no security concerns or other issues?
Honestly speaking, I’m not interfering in the legislation in my country and especially with any measures that are taken for the security and safety of Kuwait. I also totally support any rules that are for the safety and stability of my country.
But this one, excuse me, I could not digest. I tried to think it through left, right and center, and I could not see any benefit out of it, as the guy is not coming for residency or to stay but only for a short visit to see his son. I’m sure when someone visits, he buys tickets and spends money here, which can boost the economy. Visitors are equal to tourism, but as we don’t have much tourism in Kuwait, so God compensates us with visitors for the people who work in Kuwait who receive their families, and this equals tourism. They come here and buy tickets, eat in restaurants, go shopping, take taxis, stay in hotels, visit local sights, etc.
I don’t know in which way it harms us if people over 50 or 60 or 65 come to visit us. What’s the point of keeping them away? I know a friend of mine who brought his father recently to be treated in Kuwait and took him to a private hospital, and so far he has paid thousands of dinars for his treatment. So in which way does this harm Kuwait?
If the reason for the age barrier is health treatment, then it could be easily tackled. I heard on the other hand that yes, there are a few people who are taking advantage to come and get treatment in public hospitals. But I found this a bit difficult to understand. How are they allowed to do so unless they have wasta or have cheated the system? In this case, they and not the whole society should be punished for the bad doings of a few.
And if I’m wrong and it’s not just a few but many who are doing this, then the government should set a rule to require visitors to have health insurance or set a rule that they cannot be treated in public hospitals. Full stop.
Imagine if other countries tomorrow started refusing to give Kuwaitis visit visas if we are older than 40 or 50 or 65 or whatever age. No one has put an age limit on visitors as long as they are not a security threat.
By Badrya Darwish