Kuwait MP lashes out at government funding for Iraq hospital

January 20, 2010
By

Ali Abbas lying in hospital – 2003

A Kuwaiti MP has lashed out at his government after it announced plans to fund the building of a hospital in Basra and homes for Iraqi farmers, charging that it was making “unjustified concessions” to Iraq.

“I am shocked that the development plans announced recently by the government that are being launched outside Kuwait. This is a highly provocative and unacceptable move,” MP Mislim Al Barrak said on Tuesday.

“I deeply regret the decision to build the hospital and the houses in Iraq whe

n hospitals here in Kuwait are worn out and have outlived their life expectancy as they were built more than 20 years ago,” he told reporters.

A Basra delegation visiting Kuwait this week told Kuwait news Agency (KUNA) that the Iraqi authorities have already selected the plot of land to build the hospital funded by the Kuwaiti government.

Kuwaiti lawmakers have often criticised the government for providing assistance to Iraq, which invaded their country in 1990, saying that it must be very cautious in dealing with Baghdad and that aid to the Iraqi people had to be given in accordance with the Kuwaiti constitution.

Kuwait has regularly provided hospital treatment to Iraqis wounded in the 2003 war or in the subsequent bomb attacks that have rocked various cities.

Ali Abbas, the 12-year-old Iraqi boy who lost both of his arms in the war and whose picture in a hospital bed in 2003 sparked a wave of sympathy worldwide, was initially treated in a Kuwaiti hospital before he was flown to London.

The Daily Mirror on Tuesday said that Ali, now 18, will have the British passport after he passed the Government’s Life in the UK (citizenship) test.

“I have lived here since August 2003 and I love the UK. I’ll always be an Iraqi and I consider Iraq to be my home and where my heart is but I feel British too now. Britain has done a lot of good things for me and the British people have been very kind. I hope that as a British citizen I could give something positive back,” he was reported as saying by the British daily.

Ali has prosthetic limbs but finds them too heavy so he learned to use his feet for tasks such as writing and cleaning his teeth, the paper said.

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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