Thursday, September 16, 2010

Expat bloggers leaving Kuwait

It seems to be an ongoing trend of expat bloggers having to leave Kuwait. I have had to temporarily leave Kuwait due to the outrageous school fees. Having to sell my cars and leave everything behind was a really difficult thing to do but there isn't much help if you can't afford the private schools in Kuwait. But I know Inshallah one day I will be back which keeps me hanging in there.

I don't know if any of you have followed desert girl Kuwait's blog but she inspired me to start my own blog about Kuwait. Unfortunately she has run into some problems with employment in Kuwait. I know from experience how it feels to be fired from a company for no reason. After giving the company all of your ideas and giving it your all they just come out from no where and fire you. I was the only American in my company and my salary was almost nothing but I loved my job and the people I worked with so I stayed there. Desert girl has had some problems with the same action. Now she is getting ready to go back home after many many years in Kuwait.

After living and working in Kuwait for a long time you get used to the place. Yes, it does have it's good things and bad things but you just become one of the locals after a long time being there. Adjusting to stateside life takes some time. I'm still getting use to the changes. It seems the job market in Kuwait for Americans has shrinked now that the war is winding down. Some Americans have given us a bad name by their actions and it seems we are not as popular as we used to be. Outrageous salaries and VIP treatment has just about vanished. It's ok for those who come to Kuwait to make money and go home but for those of us who have established a new life in Kuwait these changes hit hard.

I know that the feeling is "Why hire an expat for a huge salary when you can hire a TCN for 1/3 that amount and they have Masters and big degrees to go with the low wages." Some of us are willing to take a lower salary just to stay in Kuwait but companies just look passed our CV because they are afraid we want to be paid a large amount.

I wish Desert Girl the best of luck and hope she can find something that will keep her in Kuwait. If not I wish you the best wherever you land!

32 comments :

  1. I'm glad finally TCN's are valued in Middle East. Bottom line is they are more educated and hardworking. Inshallah one day there will be no disparity in wages and everyone will be treated the same.

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  2. More educated and hardworking? So you are saying that others are lazy and stupid? I will not comment any further because I will be called racist again.

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  3. Oh no you didn't!!!! Anonymous of course you wont sign in under your real name...big chicken....its those TCN's that have caused all the problems in Kuwait to start with, why would anyone pay an American a decent salary when they have 120 TCN's waiting in line that will take the job for 1/3 of the cost of an American...if you were a copy owner would you rather have let's say an Indian...opps I mean a TCN who "thinks" he knows how to speak English representing your company or a "real" American....up to you..you get what you pay for..you want cheap you get a cheap employee if you want a professionalist pay for an American...your choice....

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  4. I thought the bulk of the Americans stood for competition and the forces of the market...?
    Having a hard time coping now - are you? LOL

    It is the market forces at play here - no one is forcing Amercian companies to relocate and outsource to China and India - it is purely economic rationality. I don't see you complaining or going patriotic when stocking your cart with cheap imports from China at the local Walmart. I see hypocrisy there.
    Same goes with the job market. If your employer gets the same bang or perhaps more for his buck from a Indian.. he will hire an Indian perhaps at the expense of an American... and perhaps in the future he might get more bang for his buck from a Cambodian over the Indian.
    Learn to adapt and adjust to the times.

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  5. 'real' american?????
    as opposed to what?
    some palestinian who got a green card marriage while studying in the usa flipped it to a passport got divorced and returned to kuwait as an 'american'?

    And some advice there....if you want to be a 'professional', don't type PROFESSIONALIST
    jees, no indian would have done that. egyptian maybe, indian never

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  6. Interesting topic,

    I totally agree with you regarding that the companies are afraid of the Americans want to be paid a high amount of wage.

    May I ask you, from your experience, what is the minimum wage for Americans working in Kuwait in the different sector?

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  7. I know Americans who have worked for 450 KD or lower just to stay in Kuwait. Some companies will still pay 1000 KD or more for upper management positions. Even contracting has gone down so a lot of people are earning much less than they were starting in 2003. I also know Kuwaiti's with degrees who earn 300 KD so anything goes in Kuwait and there isn't any regulation.

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  8. Part of enjoying life in a country other than the one you were born in, is to apreciate the culture and diversity of your new home. I hope you grow to enjoy the diversity that surrounds you in Kuwait. You probably don't know this but the phrase TNC is actually politically incorrect and usually ends up upseting a lot of people. It was coined by countries that once occupied and looted other nations. I suggest using geographical references instead ;). Sorry about the troubles you seem to be having in the work force. I am sure we all end up where we have to be so ...goodluck!

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  9. Crazy in Kuwait - are those figures per week?

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  10. I simply don't believe that there are Americans in Kuwait working for that meager pay. Even burger flipper makes more in the US.

    I have lived in the US for over 12 years and had the opportunity to deal with people at all levels of income. Some rich, some not so rich and some struggled for their daily meals. It was just like any other place on earth and I fell in love with the country and people.

    For most people going to college was a dream. A dream that only was surrounded by clouds of loans.

    Still I always admired the determination of getting there one day. During my last 6 years in the US I advised my company on recruitment. All I could tell that there were many talented Americans and non-Americans alike. All treated the same.

    When I moved to Kuwait I was shocked to see some Americans getting paid as much as 1800 KD for office admin jobs.

    For the past two years I have been part of hiring process in the private sector in Kuwait. I have always noticed that most people from US or UK who seek jobs here in Kuwait are not very competent. Their resumes are not even worth getting them jobs in their own countries.

    I believe its the tax free salary that attracts most. Most times I hear them say 'I have a home loan to pay off, then I am outa here'. I am sure these people will have no issues adjusting back in their own countries. It's not like they are madly in love with the place and people :)

    I believe that one should not be paid on the basis of their origin or nationality (Actually this can get one in serious trouble in the US and Americans in Kuwait know this but still expect special considerations).

    It should be the credentials. After all why should an American high school drop out be paid just as much or more than any other national who has a good qualification and experience?

    A comment about Kuwaitis - the new generation of KU and Foreign Graduates will change the countries job market in no time. They are hard working and are willing to start small with timely appreciation. So yes in some cases undergraduates fresh out of the university are willing to accept lower salaries.

    BTW the least that an American "Upper Management" starts out at around KD 2000-2700 - atleast in the private sector.

    **Above are just my observations. May be they are not accurate. Perhaps few more years in Kuwait will give me a better insight.

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  11. That's your opinion. As an American married to a Kuwaiti I obviously will be living here by choice. I was working for 500 KD with a Kuwaiti company so don't say Americans working for a meager salary don't exist. As a female expat looking for work there are few jobs out there as they want Arabic speaking expats. Times are changing and jobs that once paid outrageous salaries are drying up but the school fees remain the same. There are a lot of Americans working for low salaries just to stay at a job because there are no jobs in America and life is harder now.

    As far as being paid according to nationality that goes in Kuwait so people have to deal with it. Even when foreigners take US or other nationality they are still grouped as their ethnic background. People can like that or leave it. Upper Management employees deserve high salaries as they have to have an education and experience to get to that position. You are still new to Kuwait and haven't experienced what really goes on in Kuwait. You observe it from one side. I see it both from the American and Kuwaiti prospective maybe in time you will know what really goes on.

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  12. It's funny how you said I am new to Kuwait. I was born in Kuwait and raised in a Kuwaiti family, yet I dare to point out evils with in my society. I left Kuwait for the same reasons only returned to be by my aging parents. That might explain who is new to Kuwait.

    Being married to a Kuwaiti should not force you to forget the principles that you were raised with. Justifying biases in Kuwaiti Job market based on ones race, color etc is wrong - Period! Don't be disillusioned by comforts you might be enjoying. How can you ask people to simply accept it or leave it! So if someone touched you inappropriately at a Kuwaiti mall, you would simply accept it? Or leave Kuwait because that's how some crocks in Kuwait behave. This is not an extream case by the way.

    "Just to stay busy" jobs are evidently low paid. In that case one might take anything that comes his way because he cares less for what he is paid. Perhaps your qualification can't get you a high paid job or else you wouldn't settle for that low pay check. I have friends at diwaniy'a who have hooked up their Western wives with jobs at companies where some higher up is at their disposal.

    Try to think of someone in the US who would travel 1000s of miles just to come to work for 500 KD! Away from his family in an little known culture with restrictions. Even in this slow US economy that wouldn't be an option. Also try to think of an Westerner in Kuwait who lives in shared accommodation (You can't get any better with 450-500KD salary). I am sure with all these years in Kuwait you can't even bring one example. They all live in fancy villas or flats overlooking the beach! They cost over 400-600 KD atleast. I know it because we rent out one in Surra.

    Also not all the time the "Upper Management" employees from west have education. In some cases they don't even have degrees. They simply get paid more because they are from the West! Lots of them don't even add value to the company. It' just some funny trend of keeping few blue eyed heads in Kuwaiti Companies. By the way I don't approve of it regardless of the fact that it happens in Kuwait. Can't " deal with it". I will continue to establish fairness in spheres with in my control.

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  13. Whatever, you have your opinion and I have mine. You see it your way and I see it mine. So continue to try to fight for equality in Kuwait if that helps you sleep at night. One voice in a sea of millions doesn't make a difference. Good luck.

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  14. Kuwait is awesome, why would anyone ever want to leave........?

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  15. FemaleDoctorInKuwaitJanuary 24, 2011 at 9:27 PM

    Dear Anonymous,

    I am a German-Nigerian doctor living in Kuwait, and I absolutely agree with all you say. I have lived for years in Europe and have travelled extensively around the globe...The arrogance with which Americans and Europeans tend to inhabitate another country and culture, always waiting for special treatment and thinking that blonde blue eyes are the be all and end all ...is nerve racking. I have come to know quite a few Americans and Europeans here , and their level of intelligence can surely not be graded at the top...yet they lean back arrogantly and with mediocre cv's and often an age with which, in Europe, they would have long been sent to their pension , they think they can scrape off Kuwait whatever they can lay their hands on.
    I LOVE KUWAIT so deeply and with all my heart, I love the people and their traditions and I wish to contribute to this country which I have fallen in love with. It angers and hurts me when I see these people without any emotion just taking from Kuwait whatever they can get without appreciating anything here...

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  16. Its not how much you get paid,its how much your satisfied with, Even if you get the high Perks , your standard of life will automatically change accordingly, you will spend for a bigger house, kids go to Swiss for schooling, Your Partner will like the latest Bugatti etc etc, till you say the salary is not enough. The more you get the lesser your going to be happy, unless you change your attitude and Thank God for the extra Dollar, KD. Even the Cleaners getting the cheapest KD are smiling unlike all the Millionares at the Stock exchange trading for the extra fils,Enjoy your hard earned money. You deserve it, Go for a movie with you family, Go out for dinner, while you have the health for it. Soon you will not have good sight and hearing and health. Remember Health is Wealth. Keep Smiling and enjoy even if its a dollar a day.
    Possitive Till the End.

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  17. Looks like CrazyinKuwait is out of words... I am what you so called westerners call TCN .. We have slogged for our education no less however we try to get jobs on our qualifications and experience and not by colour or influence " Vasta"
    @crazyinkuwait - You maybe earning 500 kd/month however there are many less fortunate and well deserving, qualified and experienced who do not even get that much .. alas we were not made fair skinned or blue eyed ..

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  18. First of all I don't have blonde hair and blue eyes so stop profiling Americans as being such. That's an example of how other countries think of us. As far as me having no more words, sorry buddy I've got a lot more in store!

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  19. I would like to see the stuff that you have in store....which I obviously doubt you have...I have never faced any discrimination as such in terms of my salary and perks which exceeds the high range salaries some of the high end Americans here are paid....inspite of being a so called TCN.....and please do not think that fair skin entitles you to some kind of special treatment becaue believe it or not you will be upset if you expect such treatment.....so let me put it this way...you guys are no longer valued in Kuwait....accept it or take your fat arrogant all american ass and leave Kuwait.......your cvs are useless.......and please do start off by explaining to me the reason for your leaving home and travelling thousands of miles to kuwait for a salary of 500 dinars.....I would infa

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  20. @Crazy......I would like to see what else you have in store....and I am just curious....why did you travel thousands of miles to get a salary of 500 Dinars.....and the answer is pretty clear...you were useless in your home country and somehow you got lucky and managed to BEG a salary of KD 500....truth is americans are useless and people have come to realise this fact and are treating according to their true worth....which is at best described as arrogant stupidity.....this is the truth....and now I tell this to you...accept the fact..take it or leave it...nobody wants your 'fair skinned superiority' anymore because nobody is buying it...no wonder Indian companies are starting to receive increasing numbers of US CVs....and surprisingly...they are ready to work for $2500 in India

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  21. Your comment doesn't bother me.It's my husband and children's country your smelly arse is living in. After watching slumdog millionaire I realize why you flock to the GCC like a roach infestation because you ride donkeys and clean crap for a living. It's FNs like you who think you own Kuwait when in fact you are still a parasite on society with your head bopping, old lady driving, nasty non Muslim selves.

    Why are you here loser? Because you can't live in your nasty country of 1 billion? You can hide behind words but I'm sure in public you kiss the ground Kuwaitis walk on. Typical. Big and brave behind words but useless in reality.

    If you had a chance to go to USA and get nationality you would beg to get it just like others of your kind. I hope Kuwait finally wakes up and gets rid of people like you who think Kuwait is your country.

    Again, you are useless and a dime a dozen. Bacha.

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  22. As for Mr. Anonymous my husband is Kuwaiti and if you think you are brave enough to reveal yourself then you can have a chat with him. Your comments are childish and have no place on my blog, I guess it's time to report your IP address.

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  23. Don't give these assholes the time of day. It's obvious through their comments they're not actually concerned about Kuwait's problems but just want to hate on Americans specifically. Not worth the time.
    I do agree there are many problems in Kuwait, including finding a job...and with decent pay.
    I'm an American chick married to a Kuwaiti as well. He's a student so I'm left to be the money maker. The most I've made in my years here is 350. It's BS that westerners make more. It infuriates me that low-income workers ASSume we are only here for the money and make it by the thousands. I would loooove to make decent money (350 is NOT enough to support 2 people I don't care what anyone says) but for now I'm just trying to find the job first and take what I can get. It seems no one is hiring :/

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  24. Wow, someone who understands life here. Americans are not always making the most money. Ever thought of contracting? You can work 8 hours/6 days a week on KBOSS contract. Google ITT excelis and look for jobs. The money is pretty good.

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  25. Hello All,
    I would like to understand, what is the cost of living for a two member family in Kuwait.
    I got an offer in a Kuwait company for 1000 KD and I am contemplating on whether to take it forward.
    Please help me with your thoughts.
    Thank you in advance.

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  26. As far as indians being more educated, its a lie. They come with fraudulent credentials and even the real credentials dont match that of a US University. They dont do quality work. The problem in Kuwait is the Americans that are there and being recruited by US contracting houses, are not the best of what we offer(in general). The contract houses are getting large sums of money and low balling when supplying the people. They just fill slots, the quality they put in the slots doesnt matter. Then if that wasnt enough, they find ways to petition Uncle Sam to allow more and more indian labor to be allowed. But they dont lower the amounts they steal from Uncle Sam. Most Jobs available in Kuwait are US tax payer paid positions in one form or another. But the US Contract houses use that money to sell out the American people in need of meaningful work. We compete in a world with our rules, the rest of the world doesnt have those rules. So guess who looses in competition.
    They hire Expats from countries with no infrastructure, no Electricity, no running water, and call these guys electricians, plumbers, builders.
    The people who say the indian community in Kuwait is more Capable or educated than the Americans are very wrong. Just walk around and look at the work these guys are doing. Doesnt compare to real skilled and educated labor.
    But like I said, the contract houses in Kuwait are not hiring the best Americans, they are hiring the cheapest possible person to fill a slot. A slot that pays large sums of money to them. Not to the one filling the slot. A person with no experience and no education is equivalent to a 20 year vet with a masters degree. -----jss

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  27. I'm quite shocked by the blatant racism I've read here. The assumptions made here about the comaparitive value of a worker based on their ethnicity is appalling. Comments like

    "After watching slumdog millionaire I realize why you flock to the GCC like a roach infestation because you ride donkeys and clean crap for a living. It's FNs like you who think you own Kuwait when in fact you are still a parasite on society with your head bopping, old lady driving, nasty non Muslim selves"

    All I can take from that is a bewildering hate towards Indian workers for no particular reason. You are throwing around assumptions about Indian people which I find mortifyingly ignorant and unpleasant. Ontop of that attacking somebody for being non-muslim is ridiculous.

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  28. damn .... seems like ANON dnt like americans.

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  29. KEEP CALM AND EMPLOY THE BRITISH. We once ruled the whole world including america and kuwait. There was much more peace in the middle east when we were prominent. Im half kuwaiti and LOVE kuwait to death, but british status ultimately beats the rest.

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  30. Dear CrazyinKuwait and Corky,

    Why do you need to work to support your Kuwaiti husbands? Is not a husband supposed to sustain the wife and house according to Islam? I had heard somewhere that a Muslim man cannot marry unless he is able to financially provide for a wife. I am confused.

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  31. Not all Kuwaiti men have money and unfortunately some lie about their finances when they get married.

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Comments are welcome! Personal attacks are not. Thanks!