REG 200401 Hayat-1585735980105
Kuwaiti actress Hayat Al Fahd Image Credit:

Cairo: Celebrated Kuwaiti actress Hayat Al Fahd has called for deporting expatriates as the country is fighting to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. In a phone-in interview with Kuwaiti TV station ATV, the veteran actress lashed out at the illegals, blaming them for problems in her country.

“We are fed up. When we fall sick, there are no [enough] hospitals,” she said. “How come their countries don’t want them back while we keep them? I am not against humanity, but we’ve come to a stage when we are quite fed up. Send them out!”

Her outburst comes amid growing criticism in Kuwait against practices of some foreign workers in the country during the Covid-19 crisis.

“The iqamat merchants have ruined the country,” Hayat said. “The irregular labour should be sent back to their countries. Kuwait can’t bear this number,” she added without giving specific figures.

Her remarks have sparked an online uproar, with some accusing the 71-year-old actress of inhumanity.

“How can we be the country of humanity and call for throwing out humans?” said a Kuwaiti man named Abdullah Al Saleh in a tweet.

“Expats include university professors, teachers, engineers, plumbers and electricians, etc,” wrote another calling himself bigomda. “They have participated in building their host countries and we shouldn’t be ungrateful to them,” he added.

Some other commentators defended Hayat, saying her criticism was directed at illegal expatriates.

“Her attack focused on illegal workers who manipulate the current situation to their benefit,” a female commentator named Sarah said in a tweet. “Those who bring them in should be held to account for the harm done to Kuwait,” she added.

Foreigners make up about 3 million of Kuwait’s 4.3 million population, according to official figures.