3 Things I Would like to Forget about my Trip to Kuwait (Guest Post)

Good morning everyone.  One of my close friends recently traveled to Kuwait and had a few interesting experiences.  He shared them with me and I thought they would be good to share on the blog.  Here are his experiences:

1. Kuwait is one of the countries that as US citizens, you can obtain your Kuwait Visa at the airport, so that is exactly what I did. I gave my passport to the Kuwait Visa agent, after a minute the agent waived for his supervisor to come over. The agent and supervisor where speaking Arabic, so I had no idea what they were saying. The supervisor smiled at me and asked me to please have a seat. So that is what I did, I had a sit for over 2 hours. During my 2+ hour wait, I saw over 5 Americans come through with no problems. I was watching carefully where my passport was located, for it seemed it was getting passed from person to person. I watched as an agent went through every single page of my passport writing down notes from each page. I thought to myself, am I in trouble for having a passport with many visas like Russia and Brazil, to name a few? Finally, after 90 minutes, I decided to ask what was going on. They told me my passport number had been used by another US citizen, and that US citizen did some very bad things in some Middle Eastern countries. So now my inquiring mind wants to know, what those bad things are, but they refused to give me any details. Very interesting. Finally, after 2 hours, the supervisor apologized, gave me my Kuwait Visa, and off I went. There is really nothing I can do while I am traveling here in the Middle East, but once I get back to the US, I will inquire what I need to do.

2. I was going through security for my flight from Kuwait City to Bahrain. While my carry on was being x-rayed, the security agent asked if he could look in my carry on. Since I never have anything to hide, I said no problem. The agent removed every single item from my carry-on, I had no idea what he was looking for, but he could not find it. The agent finally said where is your razor. I went into my toiletry bag and handed him my razor. He took my razor and told me razors were not allowed on Kuwait Airways. I said really, can you please remove the razor and just give me my razor handle, so that is exactly what he did. Since I had some time to kill, and there are no Priority Pass airport lounges in Kuwait’s new international terminal, I decided to sit and watch the security screening process. Now most Arabic men have facial hair, so I only focused on the ones who were clean shaven. To my surprise none of the clean shaven travelers I saw had a razor packed in their carry on, they either knew not to bring it on as a carry on, put it in their checked luggage, did not bring a razor on this trip, or they knew how to hide it from security. I don’t even want to consider I was targeted for having a razor, so they took mine and nobody else’s.

3. So I am sitting in my 17C aisle seat on my Kuwait Airway flight to Bahrain. The plane is getting full, and two ladies dresses in black point to the two seats next to me, so I got up to let the ladies in. One lady sat by the window, the other in my aisle seat, leaving the middle seat open. I kindly asked her to move to the middle seat so I could sit down, but she did not reply. The flight attendant came over and spoke with the two women. The flight attendant and two women were almost screaming at one another, and then the flight attendant turned to me and told me these two women did not want to sit next to a man. I thought OK, no big deal, I will just find another seat. After moving three time, I finally found an empty seat, and I was good to go, sitting right in front of these two women. Each time I got up from my seat, I turned back to the two ladies and smiled, but they never returned the smile back to me, go figure.

If you were my friend, what would you have done in these situations?  If you have any questions, please leave a comment below.  Have a great day everyone!

7 thoughts on “3 Things I Would like to Forget about my Trip to Kuwait (Guest Post)

  1. Gene

    @ Grant — I would have expected such treatment traveling to Kuwait on my American passport. Maybe you can be cut into pieces with a one saw and flushed down the drain with toxic chemicals on your next trip to Saudi Arabia. Probably best to wear a MAGA hat for that trip…

    Reply
  2. Chris

    Your friend handled the security/passport issues perfectly. He didn’t get pushy but kept a close eye on things and got some information about the reason for passport issue. Now he can get in touch with U.S. customs to try and get a new passport.

    Reply
  3. Kalboz

    Thank you for the report but your post raise so many questions and I have some observations!

    Mossad and other intelligence agencies use fake passports to execute operations abroad. But you hardly hear any of them use fake US passports. https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-does-the-mossad-still-use-the-passports-of-olim-1.5229577 I don’t believe the reason given to you by passport control and they should have given you a break since the US saved their nation when Stormin’ Norman liberated Kuwait. Kuwaitis compromise only 30% of the population, and, thus, they are familiar with foreigners. Most foreigners are there to serve the Kuwaitis. And while they have a parliament, Kuwait is an emirate (ruled by an Amir or Prince) and your civil liberties can be stripped away very easily. One quick question, are you naturally born American or a naturalized US citizen? How about your ethnicity? Maybe I’m over complicating things here! Good job at being calm at passport control.

    Why the surprise? We all know not to pack a razor (or anything that can cause injury) in our carry on, even here in the US. Always packed my toiletry bag in the checked luggage including the nose hair trimmer (tiny blunt scissors)! ;) It’s was good to learn that you were allowed to roam and chose your own seat on the plane. This doesn’t usually happen in the US.

    Finally, the two black-clad women. This is a very conservative society (we call it backward ignorance but it’s traditional norm for them) not to say there aren’t any liberal women in Kuwait. It’s also very hard to crack the cultural divide and befriend Kuwaitis, unless it is in an educational or professional context. Also, in general, befriending Kuwaiti woman is damn near impossible, I dare say!

    I understand that most of us in this hobby want to visit as many locations as possible. Kuwait is a wealthy nation and has some interesting architecture in its capital, but I am puzzled as to why would anyone want to visit that particular country if you weren’t on a mileage run, transiting, or not experience premium product as it seems like you were flying economy.

    Reply
    1. Mark

      you can definitely carry on razors that are used for shaving in the US when flying. not a straight razor by any means but the ones that 99% of the population uses to shave are no problem (which is the kind the poster was likely using by his description of having only the head removed and keeping the handle). interesting post!

      Reply
      1. Kalboz

        Not my experience – disposable (handle and all) razor, or the kind where you replace them with cartridges, yes. But a safety razor is a no-go! The OP did not specify which type he was packing. I have had my nail clipper confiscated which had less than 2 inches protruding metal filer. This is not to mention the said nose hair trimmer (tiny blunt scissors) which was confiscated in a different instance.

        Reply
  4. James

    I don’t ever carry razors or shavers with me in checked luggage. and if I am flying carry on only, i prefer to buy disposables at my destination. Too many airports have individual rules and its hard to keep up with all.

    And regarding the women of middle east, women wearing hijab/burqa/ whatever seem to have more authority on the middle eastern airlines than others (read foreigners). I was flying to Dubai last year in Emirates and a couple of women behind me were shaking my seat back and banging it every couple of hours. When I complained to the cabin crew, she told me to just tolerate as middle eastern women tend to get loud and might complain about me when we land and the airport staff might stand by them!

    Reply

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