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”
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.