Life is a series of choices. Every step is a choice, an option, a decision. We try our best to make these choices based on what we know. What we pick may not be based on what is right and what is wrong, but what we believe in our minds and hearts. Whatever we do decide, we have to compromise. It is always one or the other.

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Law: A Matter of Inconvenience

Traffic Light In Kuwait we are used to this concept: we break the law whenever we feel like it. If we get caught we mostly try to talk our way out of it, or get in contact with certain individuals who help us get out of the trouble we got into. Breaking the law has easily become a matter of convenience.

Most of us have broken the law, at least and most commonly the traffic law. In some roads the speed limit is a joke, and driving at that speed is too ridiculous. At other times we have parked in a no parking zone. Are the parking spots designed that bad that it easily becomes impossible to find a parking spot? Wait, I meant a close parking spot.

The other most common traffic violation (based on my assumption) is breaking the red light. You can see it turning yellow, and you know that if you don’t step on the gas pedal you will be waiting at that traffic light for another 5-10 minutes! You speed ahead, and pass the light just a split second after it has turned red.

Driving this morning I saw cars pass a red light simply because they saw that no one was coming from the other side. It was inconvenient to them to wait for a few minutes (2..3…5.. or even 10 on some of those traffic lights) and seeing that there clearly wasn’t a camera in place or a police car they simply drove off, casually, crossing the red light. If you’d ask them why, they would probably say, “Why not? I’m busy, and there was no one on the road.” Sure, they could say that now, and probably get away with it.

Why has the law become so much a matter of convenience, and breaking it has become such a casual activity, that everyone does it and feels inferior if they see someone else do it, and they themselves don’t!

Do the people in charge believe the installation of more speed/light cameras and higher ticket fines would make it more convenient for people to respect the law? Of course not. People will actually start feeling bitter. Since they are inconvenienced by the current situation, adding more strict laws would only make it all the more less convenient for some. To others, it would make them feel trapped, with stress of laws they have to follow and fear of being caught and/or breaking the laws they are not so quite aware of.

Love Light What would be the solution? Why do we need a solution? The law is there to protect people from themselves. The law is a government decree and should be respected. They are the higher authority and they have a right to place the laws they see fit. This does not mean that we cannot challenge these laws in an administrative manner. Isn’t this why there is a National Assembly? In the U.S. and probably other areas there is a City Council where regular citizens can take the podium and voice their concerns. I don’t believe there is such an entity in Kuwait. If there is however, I have not heard of such a thing.

How is it possible then for citizens to speak their minds, and contribute to this country? We do love Kuwait. There are also people who are not Kuwaiti but have lived here for many years and also love this country. All we can really do is try to talk to the people in charge, however inefficient that may be, or simply complain. Complain. And complain some more.

There is a lot of hate, anger, and resentment that we see in the news, in the streets, and even at work sometimes. I believe it is truly about time these issues get addressed and something serious be done about them.

P.S. To the people with a lot of hate I say: Don’t insult this country. Don’t insult the government. Certainly don’t insult the people. You will not gain respect by doing so, neither will you gain any results.

33 Responses to “Law: A Matter of Inconvenience”

  1. G |

    First of all I wont deny I broke some traffic rules, the one that I always break is the speed limit.
    On the other hand I will never cross a red light which I know is dangerous. Right know they implemented the cameras which people can get away with it buy just paying to the minister of interior. At some areas there are video cameras installed which people think that its a traffic camera to help the police in detecting where is the traffic. But it is a future implementation to add video cameras which is easer to watch and detect a lot of people who are breaking the law. But they need to have a huge Super Computer to save all the Videos in which they will never do, I guess. :P

  2. fashionated |

    i admit i’m guilty of speeding but thats about it i’ve never violated any other laws..except in the states ONCE i had 3 major violations (speeding, making a right turn on a “no turn on red” light and passing a stop sign) my license wasn’t even on me but i got away without a ticket or even a warning (cops love me :P)..no but on a more serious note: we do need a way to voice our concern, something official not just a voiced complaint

  3. Chirp |

    I am very guilty of speeding .. bas not THAAT much .. I actually test the cops out .. A couple of times i saw a cop car and sped right infront of it .. didn’t put my turn signals .. waiting to see if they would pull me over .. and they didn’t.
    I think the resentment and anger that we feel are some what brought to us by ourselves. When we vote for MP’s we vote for ones that seem either conveinent (they will do things for us once or twice) or bcuz of relations or religious affliation. A lot of ppl don’t look at the bigger picture. These MP’s go into the Parliament for (what should be 4 years), they gain what they want in the 4 years … Make ridiclous laws and forget what is important for the country.
    But ppl park in No Parking places because there are NO parkings!! The parking structure near where I work is shared by 5 buildings!!!!! They build aparment buildings and not put parking for the ppl who will live. Ppl build houses and not leave enough space for their cars, ad leave them on the street.

  4. Cat |

    only speading (not thaaaat much speading) .. other than this .. I stick to all laws

  5. KJ |

    Some of the speed limits are absurd yes, bas since Dubai started to make a strong crackdown on speeders, have lots and lots of cameras, reduced speed limits, and such, the amount of fatalities and accidents have been reduced considerably.

    I think it is not a Kuwait-specific mentality but rather a more Arab mentality of breaking laws. What needs to be done mostly is that the governments need to raise awareness on why certain rules are there. As you can imagine, not everyone loved the idea of an even slower-moving Dubai traffic, but after some awareness campaigns most of the public has accepted lots of the traffic laws that have been passed on.

    There is no need to insult anyone here – it is mere logic that if you cross a red light, then you should expect people to cross from the other red lights on the same conjunction and it doesn’t take a surgeon to tell you what will happen. You’ll need one for autopsies.

  6. KJ |

    BTW I just love how clean your comment box is and your fonts, that it makes me want to comment just because it feels good to type here!! LoL

  7. Enigma |

    guilty of speeding.. aren’t we all?

  8. greyshorts |

    well said

  9. eshda3wa |

    the problem is ina the gov places the laws
    but doesnt enforce them!

    there should be no was6a in crime.

    If that is enforced i am 100 percent sure ppl will think twice before breaking the law!

  10. Ahmed |

    you cant help it, il was6a is everywhere :\

  11. ::: ShoSho ::: |

    I second you.. I think every person must look at himself and fix himself before insulting others (country/gov… etc..)

  12. Intlxpatr |

    N, this is one of the best posts you have ever written. It is straight-forward, well thought out and well presented. I love it that you are getting such a great response.

    Here’s what worries me. I was born in a totally law abiding culture, so law abiding that people don’t even cross a totally empty street if the sign says “don’t walk.” And I am starting to adapt to some fairly cavalier attitudes about the law . . . I worry what kind of driver I will be when I return to my state and drive too aggressively . . . :-(

    You asked about how to raise your voice – I see several ways. First, Kuwait has a limited free press and it seems to me that you can have a newspaper column, or write a letter to the newspaper and have a pretty good chance of being printed.

    Second, you can articulate your thoughts in a blog and stir up thought and comment (which you just did)

    Third – I am impressed with what I saw the diwaniyyas accomplish a couple months ago when they petitioned; they consulted one another, they came to an agreement, they wrote it up, they signed . . .it seems to me a little like the Magna Carta – the nobles agreed, and negotiated a change in the order of things. I was surprised and impressed it had such an impact. It’s an informal consultative body with a lot of influence, with a little order and discipline, it could accomplish a lot of the goals of changing the culture from “Kaifee” to sacrifice for the common good of the nation.

    Again, GREAT post, N.

  13. Amethyst |

    Okay, ummm.. Have you noticed that people here tend to feel like kel shay yamshi 3ala kaifhum?! They think they are superior. Kel shay yamshi b was6at`hum and what not. It’s not a big deal to them. A law is a law unless they can break it.

  14. Laialy_q8 |

    I believe that abiding by the law is part of our religion, therefore, i don’t like to break the law cause it feels like i am doing something bad

  15. Shaymaa |

    Honestly, great post!

    I strongly believe in the power of “setting an example”.

  16. Soul |

    eb ta36i 9ootek 7ag meno?

    o meno nazel men sokan Bayan?

  17. suspic |

    Obiding by agreed upon rules and regulations and taking some of the people’s absolute freedom for the greater good is the whole concept of laws from my understanding..and from what I see, most of the people aren’t obiding, if they don’t the whole system fails since it counts on the people to apply and obide by it, so adding stricter rules won’t exactly work unless the people agree to obiding again.

    In a more cliche way, the change must come from within the people.

    [/end blabber, continue eating 7ab shamsi]

  18. Navy Girl |

    its all because of the ” wa69a” … everyone knows that they would get outta of it some way some how .. thats why everyone is messing around .. i hate it .. you did something wrong you should be punished .. no matter who you are .. period !

  19. Marzouq |

    Some people have no sense of decency when driving and most of the time they have no respect for others in the road. … I have a bad case of road rage because those idiots in the road that I want to kill!

  20. pg |

    ya 3ammy was6aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :P

  21. asoom |

    the simple answer is there should be more stringent and unconditional law enforcement, then everything else falls into place

  22. Grey |

    Money is not less here, just a simple solution is to install camera’s on “ALL” traffic lights and every 200metrs of higway… and more police patrols cars requierd,

  23. Grey |

    OMG ! i’ve been spammed!

  24. Shoush |

    U’ve been tagged.

  25. Silver |

    so have ever tried driving in egypt? ;p

  26. ? |

    bilthba6, shno ilkilma ely taby twaslha? ya3ny ok law kint ENT na’ib bilmajlis shno taby tgol bhal qathya?

  27. Angelo |

    Sometimes I wonder if the Middle East is really opt for democracy. I mean, Kuwait is one the few Middle Eastern countries where freedom of speech is given and validated by the constitution. And yet, people still abuse it in a very hideous manner such as protesting against the government and the law. People need to stop this shut and get their heads together.

    As for the traffic, I’m really grateful that the ministry issued the new laws regarding traffic violations. But just as you said, that alone isn’t damn enough.

  28. q80saracen |

    That’s one of the major problems we’re facing. I posted pictures as to just how much the law is being broken…lets just say “throwing rocks” has taken new meaning in some areas. People should continue to speak out on this issue…or change will never happen.

  29. princess |

    ok with regards to the traffic laws and how theyre basically ignored, u cannot as an entity put up laws and guidelines, then attach consequences to them only to end up not enforcing them, and having them there for when it is only convenient to use them. this engendered a feeling of futility, ya3ni the law is there for nothing, now that theyre upping the consequences i find it hard to believe that they’d work unless they enforce the consequences fairly, on all incidents , for a long period of time, not only when the topic is still hot and theyre all eager abt it.

    furthermore, i love kuwait, i really do, it has a certain feel to it that i cant find in my own country and all i have to say is allah yi7fath-ha inshala, i mean i know it sounds clichic but i too am sick and tired of all the brewing internal struggles

    madre madre

  30. LaLa |

    I too am guilty of breaking the law once or twice. One was a speeding ticket which I deserve. The other, however, was not my FAULT!! I totally get what you’re saying, but sometimes it’s hard let go of the anger. I got a parking ticket because I parked on a sidewalk. Why? My university has 3000 students if not more, with only 331 parking spaces, so sometimes there are emergencies.
    For me, I think that the law can’t be inforced because law people or whatever they’re called aren’t abiding it themselves.

  31. This Lady |

    It’s our fault for not voting for better legislatures (MP’s), and it’s the governments fault for lousy implementation. The laws here are implemented on the weak only, unfortunately.
    Traffic law, especially, is soo easy to break, because not only are there no harsh consequences, but people can get out of it so easily by speaking to the right authorities.
    Sometimes, as in Chirp’s case, the police themselves are careless.

  32. Elaine |

    Nice post. If only all people have the same opinion as you, we will have better place…Once again, it’s all back to our self discipline.

  33. mma |

    I find this blog very interesting, i will be here everyday till now. Greetings

Reserved, going to add something here later.