The Land of Litter and Strays

I have been debating with myself whether to publish this or not, as I have no desire to bring any negativity towards the country; however, oftentimes it is seeing the negative limelight that makes us think of change within ourselves.

Some days, I spend hours trying to think of an idea how to bring the people residing in Kuwait, both citizens and expats, to respect the land, to stop treating the country as a giant trash-bin, and how to approach it…but again, and again, I fail to come up with anything else than having the parents and schools (and possibly some government campaign on top) educate the future generation about littering. It’s hardly up to me to tell people what to do – not that anyone would listen. I do all I can at home, teaching my children to hold on to their trash till they see a bin or a dumpster, or even bring it home, only not to join the ranks of trash-dealers.

Not rarely, as I go through my photographs I have taken on a trip or for an occasion, and try to decide what to post, what to keep and what to discard, a number of otherwise decent pictures doesn’t make it due to the unflattering amounts of litter within. These are merely some examples; they’re not the only pictures of trash I have ever taken, but they’re the only ones that survived being deleted.

Kuwait may not sport much when it comes to stunning landscapes or natural beauty, not in the mountainsides and forests or rolling meadows manner, but what it has can be beautiful enough. The vastness of the barren, pale yellow desert, the never-ending line of tranquil blue sea, the hidden gems of the coral reefs. If only…

As of present, it is impossible to set foot on a street anywhere in Kuwait and not find wrappers, plastic bags, food and other kind of refuse speckled across the roads and often non-existent pedestrian paths. It is impossible to go and sit on a beach (if you can get there without being run over while trying to jaywalk between zebras that are sometimes kilometres apart, that is) without spotting heaps of trash buried in the sand, floating by the coast, and random strangers brazenly dumping their entire lunch with the cling foil included right onto the beach, few metres away from your kids trying to play in sand without cigarette buds, Twix covers and chicken bones. An absolute disregard for everyone around, people, neighbours, fauna and flora. Heck, I wager littering isn’t a very Islamic behaviour to start with.

Tell me, who wants to sit and relax between dumpsters? I certainly don’t. So why do we make it so, everywhere in Kuwait?


PS.: Animals are not trash. Discarding them on the streets is super uncool. The Kuwaiti stray problem didn’t spring up out of nowhere – it’s irresponsible pet owners throwing animals they got bored with out of the house and onto the streets, and the general public aversion to neutering (hence why the strays breed, creating even more strays.) Don’t get pets if you’re not willing to commit at least a decade of your life to them, but usually much more. They’re not a fashion accessory. They’re companions. They will require expenditures beyond your initial purchase. Animals are living beings, they’re creations of God as much as we are. Please, treat them as such.

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