Tareq and Safaa

It is alright to have diverse views about a single issue. It is also alright to strongly disagree with others’ opinions. Yet, it is unacceptable to try to fool and underestimate us by telling silly stories and giving silly excuses such as those mentioned by Dr Tareq Al-Alawi and MP Safaa Al-Hashem in an attempt to justify their arguments. To support opinions about certain issues, individuals or groups of people may use real life examples so that their arguments would be accepted by the public opinion. This is a very effective method once the argument is genuine and really expresses their opinions.

However, those with weak argumentative skills would resort to making up stories that they hope people would believe and accordingly accept the ideas discussed by them. We often see and hear about public figures, mostly those describing themselves as clerics, making up lies and fairy tales to fool people and enhance their own views regardless of the cost.

A few days ago and coinciding with statements blaming expats for all the deterioration in Kuwait, I heard some funny as well as saddening fairy tales that were hilarious because they were naive and superficial, and saddening because they came from two people: someone who is supposedly an academic of high caliber and another, and a politician who represents the whole nation in parliament.

To underpin his story about the need to have expats pay for health services, Dr Tareq Al-Alawi said that an expat told his brother that whenever he found nothing to eat, he would fake illness to be hospitalized and get free meals at a public hospital, which means that this expat faking an illness managed to fool the doctors and medical examinations to get a free bed and meal.

Such a story mentioned by an academic looks like something taken straight from the famous 1987 Kuwaiti sitcom ‘Mabrouka and Mahzouza.’ In one episode, the two main protagonists could not find a shelter, and thus faked illness to be admitted into a private hospital, not a public one. This means that even the story writer did not dare claiming that those two Kuwaiti women managed to get a free bed at a public hospital.

However, in the story told by the academic Tareq (assuming it is authentic), an expat managed to get a free bed and meals at a public hospital, not to mention that Dr Tareq had unintentionally offended medical staff working at our hospitals including Kuwaiti ones, when he portrayed them as naive and incapable of telling the difference between a sick person and those faking an illness.

Meanwhile, to underpin her story, MP Safaa Al- Hashem claimed that some female expats come to Kuwait to give birth at a public hospital only for KD 2, which overcrowded the public maternity hospital and thus forced female citizens into private hospitals. The lawmaker behind this funny story assumes that we would believe that a female expat would take the risk of boarding a flight shortly before giving birth and paying a flight ticket fare of KD 150-200 only to give birth in Kuwait while she could use the same amount to give birth at a private hospital in her own country.

It is alright to have diverse views about any single issue or strongly disagree with others opinions. Yet, it is unacceptable to try to fool and underestimate us by telling such silly stories and giving such excuses. Therefore, I do beg Tareq and Safaa and those adopting their opinion to come up with more realistic stories to convince us instead of making up such funny stories.-Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Jarida

By Ali Mahmoud Khajah

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