Kuwait’s crying trees

By Dr Khalid Ahmad Al-Saleh

Have you seen a tree crying? I saw this – a group of tall, pale trees on Maghreb Expressway across the green Bayan Palace trees. This may be due to lack of water, neglect or both. We are now in the month of May, before the scorching weather of July and August arrives. Despite this, we see drying branches on the sides of the roads, and the disappearance of the touches of beauty from Kuwait’s streets.

There are very few bright trees remaining in all of Kuwait’s streets. A few trees discovered the Kuwaiti mentality, because they do not trust us, and extended their roots to the underground waters to quench their thirst. This is what is taking place today in planting in Kuwait’s streets.

As for the condition of the pavements, it raises the question whether there is a budget to repair them. The repeated ugly image is not limited to one street – all you have to do is to drive on the main streets: Maghreb, Sixth Ring, Fifth Ring and so on, and you will see what I mean.

We, in Kuwait, have lost the spirit of beauty in our streets. Our roads and pavements became neglected, our trees forgotten, and what makes it more worrying is that the cleanliness Kuwait was famous for is fading, and we started to see concrete leftovers, plastic bags and cans of all types thrown on the sides of the roads, in an early sign of the coming danger.

I met a friend at the end of Riyadh Expressway towards Kuwait City, and at the First Ring Road traffic light, I saw trees that are not watered, with broken tiles due to plants emerging from between them. So if you stop at this light, I wish you look around you, as it is a place in the heart of the capital and not in a remote area. We were deprived of the touches of beauty and soon we will be deprived of cleanliness.

A few weeks earlier, I returned from Al-Madinah Al-Munawwara, and our entry was from the western side. The skies were clear, so I looked at Kuwait from this side, and I was scared from what I saw. An arid desert with black spots, so asked myself: Is this the Kuwait we dreamt of? We have lost the touches of beauty, and we are not good at planting. We only succeeded in forming authorities, departments, spending money, officials submitting reports, and the image remained as is. Even Kuwait airport is deprived from green plants and is full of dry, yellow grass.

Who is responsible, and who hears the cries of trees? And most importantly, who will restore Kuwait’s beauty and cleanliness?

Dr Khalid Ahmad Al-Saleh is a retired medical consultant and member of Kuwait Writers Association. He has many literary collections and scientific papers in the field of cancers. He is Chairman of Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer and the Cancer Awareness National Campaign (CAN), Secretary General of the Gulf Federation for Cancer Control, Assistant Secretary of Arab Medical Association Against Cancer, and Secretary General of the Arab Association for the Prevention of Drugs and Addiction. Dr Saleh is also Editor-in-Chief of Hayatuna magazine and Editor-in-Chief of the Gulf Journal of Oncology and wrote a weekly column for Al-Watan newspaper since 1992, then for Al-Rai daily.

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