For updates on this case please check Mark’s blog (248AM) as well as the Facebook Memorial page set up in honor of the victim, Dr. Jaber Youssef. Both have posted a video, the photo of the suspect who has been arrested, and further details regarding the case.
Last night the stories began, photos and videos flooded Twitter and other social media sites. An assumed stabbing had taken place in front of hundreds of shoppers at the Avenues Mall here in Kuwait. Details were limited and don’t seem to be much more clear now, 16 hours later.
The initial reports stated there was an altercation between two men over a woman resulting in a fight and one being stabbed. The photos were evidence it was far more serious. The amount of blood being shown in photos was enormous.
Today the report has changed a few times; first stating a Kuwaiti stabbed a Lebanese but that he survived, soon being followed with stories of death, and quickly shifting to the perpetrator being a Saudi and the victim being a Lebanese Dentist who was stabbed over a parking space before entering the mall. Because nothing has been reported in the local newspapers, we’re all still relying on eye witnesses and those who knew either party involved.
I’ve now just been told the victim hit his brakes while looking for a parking space at the mall and the perpetrator was behind him (causing him to abruptly hit his brakes as well), and the victim got out to apologize. This wasn’t acceptable so those in the rear car followed the victim inside the mall where they proceeded to stab him to death. Again, only hearsay.
Here are a few links to other blogs who have posted about this tragic incident and can perhaps shed more light on what really took place. Warning: graphic images and videos may be posted on these sites.
Sadly I’m unable to provide any additional information, facts, or details. But that’s not the purpose of my post.
As soon as the news of this broke out last night I was immediately contacted on Twitter by an American. They were considering taking a position here in Kuwait and this prompted serious concerns regarding safety. Understandably so. Please keep in mind, Americans who have never been to this side of the world before know only a few things about Kuwait — it’s next door to Iraq, Kuwait was once invaded by Iraq, Iraq and Iran were often at war, the US only recently left Iraq, Kuwait isn’t too far from Iran, and Afghanistan is ‘over here somewhere’.
Therefore, the purpose of this post is to remind people Kuwait is a safe country for the most part. Certainly as safe, if not more so, than America. Yeah, we deal with people who drive like maniacs, but you even learn to avoid those to the best of your ability. We also encounter silly boys who want to stare at every single female species driving a car, but even that can be resolved by ignoring them. What we really don’t fear are random murders in malls — or anywhere else for that matter. The majority of crime in Kuwait is confined to a few specific areas, are normally crimes among people who know one another, or are within a family (domestic disputes). That being said, if you’re offered a job in Kuwait, don’t allow this one incident to cause you concern. Kuwait is a beautiful country filled with good people. But no place on earth is perfect.
What I was really bothered by were the videos showing the clean-up after this incident. No police anywhere, no one blocking off the trail of blood, and a man without gloves using what appeared to be a wet rag wiping the floors. Evidence being destroyed and bio-hazards all over the place. People taking videos and pictures, and no one trying to contain the situation. Though this was an isolated incident, certain policies regarding this sort of thing should be put into place… for everyone’s protection.
Finally, my deepest condolences to the family of the victim. And I do hope they catch the criminal who felt he had the right to take someone’s life — especially over something so senseless. This case deserves attention and justice should be served.