Stab City

Knives, Guns, Money, Thieves, Prostitution

Is this the Kuwait we once knew?

Is this possible?  Where have all good people gone?

These were all questions I found myself pondering the other day during my afternoon shift at the Emergency Department.  To see 1 stab wound during a shift is bad.  To see 5 in one shift is terrible.

Chilling in the minor operating theatre, I thought I might pick me up a skill or two since Ive been a medic most of my professional life, and surgery seemed alien to me.  So it was back to basics for me there: Stitches.

Two boys came in, no older than 18.  Ripped as hell, of course, since thats the new trend now.  Steroids are the “in-thing”.  They were here for suture removals, very simple even for a beginner like me.

“take of your shirts and lie on the bench while I get the blade”

To my horror, one of them showed me his back and what I saw was one huge arabic number 7 or ” V ” from shoulder to shoulder cut wound on his back.  Sutured and healed nicely.

“Its alright doc, it doesnt hurt now” he says to me, with a grin. “My brother’s way bigger”

Immediately, I went to his brother.  He didnt have an arabic number 7, he the roman numeral 3 or “I I I” across his back, also well healed.  And 4 stitches on his scalp for good measure, maybe the line in the middle was meant to be the letter ” i ” ..

I couldnt help it, I had to ask what horrendous thing prompted this fight?

“Had an argument with this guy in the gym, pushing and shoving stuff thats all.  He called me up to meet, I went with my brother just to see whats up.  20 of them attacked us”


Thats it?

Working abroad, I must admit, there was a teensie weeensie part of me that felt no matter how close I was, I just wasnt “from here”.  So I couldnt relate to half the trauma, deaths, bereavement, drama I saw there for some strange reason.

But I was an 18 year old Kuwaiti boy once.  I got into trivial arguments before that lead to pushing and shoving.  I annoyed the hell out of people and my parents. But not with these consequences.

You justify stabbing people over an argument in a gym, no matter what it was about?  Have I missed the moment when that became fine?

It shocks me everyday, and I hope I never get over these kind of patients, because the day I do is the day I concede defeat that my beloved Kuwait has become tainted with the sins of ignorance and violence.

But that will never happen.  7 years abroad has taught me one thing.


“Home sweet home” – its the only place worth risking everything for, and never losing hope in making it the great country it once was.




  1. Dalal October 31, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    After reading this post, I really dread what our country is gonna turn into in 16 years time..when my little 2 year old turns 18:( very scary indeed!

  2. abdullah November 2, 2011 at 12:31 am #

    is it truly sad what u mentioned, we dont notice what our country is turning to slowly untill something like that hits you. and yes, no one appreciates what they have untill they lose it, being away from home does make the heart grow loving this country that has been so corrupted, makes us wonder, do we need another tragidy like 1990 to make us appreciate what we have?

    • DrQ80 November 2, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Thats the sad part Abdullah

      This country looks like it needs another “1990” to remind us that we can easily lose what we think we have.

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