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SAFETY and LIVING in KUWAIT, i.e. PROXEMICS & LIVING NEXT to the CIVIL WAR in IRAQ

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SAFETY and LIVING in KUWAIT, i.e. PROXEMICS & LIVING NEXT to the CIVIL WAR in IRAQ By Kevin Anthony Stoda, Fahaheel, Kuwait   

Children of America in the 1980s recall President Ronald Reagan’s anti-communist speech, in which Reagan attempted to create fear in the hearts of Americans that the country was facing a RED DAWN.  That is, a communist takeover of America was in the wings.

 

In that oft-quoted and sometimes ridiculed speech, Reagan warned that the wars of Central America was just one day’s drive from Harlingen, Texas.

 

As I live in Kuwait only about an hour or two from Iraq’s Civil wars, I might ask myself with the same urgency:  Do I feel safe?

 

I might, in turn, ask the hundreds of thousands of Americans, other expatriates, and Kuwaitis who live in Kuwait the same question, eh?

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  RESEARCHING SAFETY IN KUWAIT 

Last month, I spoke on the topic of “Sense of Safety and Awareness in Kuwait” at the AWARE Center in Surra.

 

Whenever I travel outside Kuwait, many people are amazed to hear me share with them that Kuwait is very much safer than perceived. 

 

These listeners and distant observers wonder at how 3 million people living on the border with the infamous War-Zone Iraq (and so close to Iran and Saudi Arabia) can feel so relatively safe to many other peoples scattered around planet Earth.

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In order to investigate whether my personal feelings about this subject of “safety in Kuwait” (1) have been correct and in order to (2) create a clearer picture for those living in and outside of Kuwait about what the “levels of relative and perceived safety” are in Kuwait, I have conducted an initial survey on the subject in January 2008. 

 

I presented these findings at that meeting at the AWARE Center in Surra, Kuwait. 

 

Prior to conducting the survey and interviewing a few other peoples from various lands, I also posited a hypothesis about sense of safety  by individuals based upon their own cultural identity related to cultural “proxemics”.

  MY BIAS AS A RESEARCHER ON SAFETY As a western born male, my personal bias when carrying out any research in Kuwait is based on personal experience and is naturally a bit skewed and subjective, i.e. I am a large male with red hair & beard and, therefore, stand out like a sore thumb.  My own opinions about safety also shift or depend on whether I have just finished driving on Kuwait’s  high-speed roadways or not. 

As I first came to live in Kuwait in February 2004 and earlier as I lived in the UAE in 1999-2000,  I perceived that both countries appeared to not have much overt crime and observed little overt levels of violence or threats.  For this reason, I agree with the findings revealed in the survey from adult western male reports that in the Gulf states, I am safer than living one’s homeland—in my case: the U.S.A. 

 

Moreover, aside from my 2 years living in rural Japan in the 1990s, both Gulf States were indeed are probably safer than in any of a dozen other countries I have ever lived in or worked in, including France, Germany, Mexico, & Nicaragua. 

 

Only living in rural Japan in the 1990s had I perceived a similar standard of personal safety & freedom to walk, live and travel about, i.e.  not becoming too worried that:

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(1) someone would break into my flat, that

(2) I would be abused by some bully or that

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KEVIN STODA-has been blessed to have either traveled in or worked in nearly 100 countries on five continents over the past two and a half decades.--He sees himself as a peace educator and have been-- a promoter of good economic and social development--making-him an enemy of my homelands humongous DEFENSE SPENDING and its focus on using weapons to try and solve global (more...)
 

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