الخميس , ديسمبر 2 2021
السيسى

An Egyptian Christian in Kuwait Unfairly Dismissed from Work and Left with no Shelter

السيسي

In a free country, the dignity of each and every citizen is considered inseparable from that of the country itself.
Sadly this is not so in Egypt, even after two revolutions raising demands like social justice and dignity for all. Expatriate Egyptians coming into strife while abroad still find themselves more or less abandoned by their embassies and the Egyptian foreign affairs ministry.
The dreadful events in this complaint, or rather, cry for help, that we received from an expatriate Egyptian working in Kuwait illustrates this neglect and abandonment all too well.
He says:
“To whom it may concern
I went to Kuwait on February 9th, 1995. On May 22, 2006 I started working there in a company called “Badr Almola” evaluating cars for sale. Things were going well until October 2007 when an Egyptian client bought a car from the company.
This client discovered that the company illegally overcharged him, and reported the manager and the whole team to the police in August 2008. As a team member I was asked to attend the police station for questioning. However, my then manager asked me to give a false account of what happened. I informed him that I could not do this as it contradicts with my beliefs as a Christian.
As a result of my refusing to commit perjury the manager transferred me to Al Gahra branch of the company, which is much further out of town and difficult for me to get to as I do not own a car. Furthermore this transfer affected my earning of commissions which is an essential part of the family’s earnings.
I was called again for questioning and this time the manager told me if I refuse to perjure myself the result would be a dismissal from the company. I repeated to him my refusal of perjury on the basis of my Christian faith. I then submitted a written complaint to Mr Abdullah Almola who is on the board of directors as well as Mr Essam Othman the human resources manager.
After I testified, the prosecution included me into the case files as a victim because of the pressure put on me by the manager to commit perjury. Here the manager decided to punish me for what has happened and fired me from the company and fabricated a report claiming the cause was my absence from work. He then asked me to write a letter saying I had received all my dues. I told him I would give him this letter upon actually the money they owed me. So I was asked to go to the company to finalise my dues and hand over the letter.
However, before I could do this I found out about the fabricated report claiming I had been absent from work. My written correspondence to human resources had also disappeared. I reported this to the police and asked to be given my dues. The human resources manager was found not guilty even though it is clear that my HR file was tampered with.
As for the money the company still owed me, I was shocked to find that statements of my bank account were issued without my consent or even knowledge. This case has been in front of the courts since 2010 with no end in sight… all because of the document tampering that takes place.
I met with the head of the prosecution office in the district but to no avail. One prosecutor actually told me “you are an expat, you are Egyptian, you are Christian…so what do you expect?”
Further to all this, the bank suddenly requested I pay a small loan I had in full even though I had never defaulted on a payment. I appealed this request to the bank management who ignored my appeal. So I filed a law suit against the bank. In the session and in full sight and sound of court officers, the bank representative told me “I will not rest until the likes of you are locked up”. When I asked what he meant by “the likes of me” he said “Christian infidels”!
I was banned from leaving the country which I tried to appeal… but a prosecutor who is an expat Egyptian also told me to just forget the whole thing.
The complaint I put in about the religious vilification was also ignored in spite of the witness testimony.
The bank had claimed that I borrowed the money to restore a building which is an obvious error in their fabrication…as expats are not allowed to own buildings in Kuwait. All my attempts to prove this forgery and tampering of documents via the legal channels fell on deaf ears. Until in 2012 the bank’s lawyer filed a report against me accusing me of falsely accusing the bank of document tampering!
That day the police officer told me “the solution is in your hands but you play dumb. Just become a Muslim and you’ll live among us like a prince”. I was utterly shocked and devastated by what he said and so I didn’t answer him and just left quietly.
I feel absolutely alone and powerless… I cannot find justice simply because I am not Kuwaiti and worse; a Christian! None of the authorities I turned to for help supported me or granted me my basic right to fair and equal treatment before the law. Now I am unemployed and can’t support my family of four nor can I help my extended family in Egypt.
I do not know who else to turn to with my plight but God.
Samih Morris Tawadros”
—-
Mr Tawadros’s plight is ongoing… he’s had to sell everything he owns to support his family. When his father was ill in Egypt he was unable to visit him or help him, and when his father passed away he couldn’t attend his funeral.
All Mr Tawadros has to do is convert to Islam and he will have his life back in Kuwait… but he refuses to lose his eternal life as a price.
This is an appeal to all Coptic activists or anyone who is able to help Mr Tawadros end this nightmare and leave Kuwait. We have all the documents pertaining to the case and can verify every word in this account.

Translated by: Neveen Tawfilis

Written by: Medhat Eweeda

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