Babylon & Beyond

Observations from Iraq, Iran,
Israel, the Arab world and beyond

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KUWAIT: Migrant workers take to the streets

July 28, 2008 |  2:45 pm


An extraordinary uprising by hundreds of expatriate workers has erupted in Kuwait over the last three days. The workers, many of them from South Asia, are rebelling against their poor living conditions, staging demonstrations at various locations to demand better salaries.

In Kuwait, as in other Persian Gulf countries, laborers often remain in the shadows, silently tolerating grueling work conditions and low wages. They rarely reap the benefits of the huge profit from soaring oil prices, and they are condemned to suffer the subsequent rise in prices even as their salaries remain largely unchanged.