Is it safe to travel to Kuwait these days? This is a question worth asking. The world is facing a wave of insecurity and attacks and the entire Arab world is asking: Where next? We in the Arabian Peninsula are in the middle of a hot zone, so it is worth asking about the security of Kuwait. Many people here and those considering a visit may wonder if it is safe. In fact, it’s just as reasonable to ask this question about any GCC or MENA country at the moment.
The sad reality is that nowhere in the world is safe from terrorist attacks. In Kuwait, we go about our daily business and we believe we are safe. But the reality is that the world today faces a real and present risk of terrorist attacks on a daily basis. The target of such an attack would not be Westerners only. As the June 26 Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque bombing clearly showed, terrorists know no religion, race or creed, except bloodshed and horror.
I do not know how foreign embassies assess their warnings, including Kuwaiti embassies abroad, which issued security notices urging citizens to be cautious in general and communicate with the embassy if necessary. I have seen this formula over the years whenever a demonstration or a bombing occurs. But the world today is confronting a greater security risk and this formula is dull and no longer makes sense, because there are no specifics. Terrorism can happen anywhere at almost any time.
I’m a frequent traveler, so do trust me that travelling these days is not as safe as it once was, but we all must take risks in order to live our lives. Recently, Kuwaiti authorities busted a terrorist cell of IS, which was planning to carry out terrorist attacks and bombings of critical locations. Perhaps the coming days will reveal more of these cells, regardless of their nationalities, to thwart any possible satanic attempts.
Although I think security precautions and measures are needed all the time when travelling anywhere, these days I do believe that Kuwaitis and Arabs who plan to go on vacations soon should take extra precautions because they are not always very welcome in the West. Sorry to say that these days, in the eyes of some in the West, being an Arab and a Muslim means being possibly treated like a suspect, attacked or a target of possible harassment.
Kuwait is as safe as any other place in the region and crimes and incidents can occur anywhere. There is nothing like a safe haven anymore. So avoiding large gatherings would be a good idea, in Kuwait or elsewhere.
By Muna Al-Fuzai