‘All you need is a western
passport not a certificate’
By Chidi Emmanuel
KUWAIT: Lots of companies and organizations in Kuwait prefer ‘westerners’ when it comes to employment irrespective of their credentials. All you need is just to get an American, British, Canadian or sometimes an Australian passport, this will automatically skyrockets you to an executive position in the Gulf region. The issue of academic status, career, ability and years of experiences don’t matter much in most cases. The only thing that matters in this region is the passport you are holding. More so, the certificates obtained from those countries don’t really count much for some employers as they are bent on getting a ‘westerner’ not a western qualification.
There is a situation whereby a doctorate degree holder from a western university (American university) is working under a westerner- a high school dropout. “All what matters in the Gulf region is the passport and not the certificate”, an Indian friend told me when I asked him why he is investing much in getting a Canadian citizenship.
Even if the westerner is empty upstairs, his or her mistake will be respected, honored and tagged as ‘western style’. No wonder everyone has now resort to ‘ya men!, whats up! and Am gonna! form of English just to pretend to be western-like. On daily basis, one sees lots of agencies that claim to help people secure Canadian, Australian etc citizenships. Many have fall prey to some of these agencies, as they ‘gradually’ demand a lot of money from their clients. But the brain behind getting this citizenship is mostly just to have the passport not even to stay there. This of course, will enhance your status in the Gulf region.
Lots of importance are attached to nationality than professionalism and academic qualifications in the gulf region unlike other parts of the world. The language has been ‘this is the way we do it there’ (in the west) and not necessarily the way it ought to be. I think it is high time we face the reality and focus much on the person’s technical-know-how rather than the passport at hand. The issue of nationality is a privilege, If being a westerner is by passing exams, a lot of Asians, Africans would have become westerners before the ‘westerners’. There is no reason for such an inferiority or rather ‘superiority’ complex.