Johnnie Johnson,CLP---- Up-Date from Saudi Arabia
Leasing News asked Johnnie Johnson, CLP, how things were going where
her worked right after the terrorist bombing in Saudi Arabia. Here is
is his response:
Sorry for the delay in answering....but have been in the US on vacation!
Actually, had the pleasure of attending my daughter's wedding. But, I am
back in Kuwait now, and find all well here.
Please give my thanks to all who have expressed concern.
The situation here in Kuwait is substantially different than in Saudi
Arabia. First, let me say that the Kuwaiti people are very supportive of
the US role in the Middle East (except for the US policy with the
Palestinian/Israeli conflict), and have been actively supporting the
activities of the Coalition in Iraq.
In Saudi Arabia, most of the foreign workers live in "compounds"--special
areas set aside for housing such workers. This means that there is a
concentration of people that are readily identified as being "western", and
thus more vulnerable for the sort of terrorist activity that happened in
Saudi Arabia. In Kuwait, foreign workers live in and among the general
population, so it is much more difficult to find a "target".
To answer your question about the accuracy of the information, the US
Embassy, in their latest bulletin for Saudi Arabia, has indicated the
evacuated all non-essential Embassy personnel (which means mostly family
members) and has advised US citizens to "strongly consider" leaving the
country. This is one step down from the most serious warning, which is to
actually advise people to leave. There is a real threat of terrorist
activity here, and that can't be ignored--but in our current world
situation the same kind of threat exists everywhere to some degree.
Unfortunately, there happens to be a few more of the "crazies" actually
physically located in this area.
On the positive side, the Kuwaiti police and military have been doing a
great job of sorting out the "bad guys" and in protecting areas where there
is a higher percentage of westerners. They typically provide such areas
with a 24 hour patrol of either police or military. Common sense and the
instructions from the US Embassy help to minimize the risk as well. There
were a number of foreign workers who left Kuwait just before the beginning
of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but most are now coming back into the country.
From a personal standpoint, while living here is not without some risk, I
feel very comfortable with my situation, and have no plans to leave.
I can't make the above comments without making sure that another point is
clarified. The current world terrorism is unfortunately often tied to the
teachings of Islam. I have meet and worked with many fine Muslim people
during my stay in the Middle East. They are generally a devout, family
centered people, trying to live and do what is right.
After many discussions and substantial personal study, I can say unequivocally that the actions of the "Islamic terrorists" of the world do not represent the
beliefs and teachings of Islam. What they do represent are the actions of
men who perversely use religion as a tool to reach their own selfish
ambitions and/or political agendas. Bad people are just bad people, no
matter what banner they fly...
Once again, thanks for the concern....
W. R. Johnnie Johnson, CLP
Exec. Vice President/Chief Operating Officer
The International Leasing & Investment Co.
P. O. Box 3716, Safat