Nobody Walks in Kuwait

More Photos!
April 11, 2007, 8:52 am
Filed under: Life in Kuwait

Hello! I’ve been a bit slow on the posting this week, but, until I “unblock” my brain, here are a few more photos of Kuwait…

Kuwait City Sunset

Hard Rock Cafe

Photos Finally!-Part One
April 8, 2007, 9:51 am
Filed under: Life in Kuwait

I have FINALLY managed to transfer some of our recent photos of Kuwait – Salmiya neighborhood, etc. Enjoy!

Downtown Kuwait City at Sunset

Marina Waves on Salmiya Waterfront

Famous Kuwait Towers

Iran, America and the British Detainees: Analysis
April 4, 2007, 8:45 am
Filed under: Geopolitics

Here is some quite cogent analysis by George Friedman of Stratfor (Strategic Forecasting Inc.) of the current geopolitical situation playing out in Kuwait’s “backyard”. I know it’s a bit long, but worth a read. I absolutely agree with Friedman that there are few “good” options for the U.S. administration at this point. These countries seem to me, from my feminine perspective, to be acting much like men, challenging each other with their bravado, which can hide substantive internal problems…Perhaps I should have gone for that degree in Political Psychology!

The British Detainees: Reading Diplomatic Signals

By George Friedman

Last week, Iranian forces captured 15 British sailors and marines in the Shatt al-Arab area, where the territorial distinction between Iraq and Iran is less than clear. The Iranians claimed the British personnel were in Iranian territory; the British denied it. The claims and counterclaims are less interesting than the fact that the Iranians clearly planned the capture: Whatever the British were doing in the area, the Iranians knew about it and had plans to do something in response. The questions are why, and why is this occurring now? Continue reading

Credit for Photo of Salmiya from Post Yesterday
April 3, 2007, 1:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Please bear with me as I still learn the details of this blogging business…I have realized that I failed to properly attribute the source of the beautiful photo of Marina Waves at Salmiya yesterday.  I thought that when I pasted in the URL it would be shown on the post somehow, but OOPS, it doesn’t work that way, so here is the site this photo came from:

I do apologize, as I did not mean to represent that photo as my own!  I am no photographer!

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Veil protest dogs Kuwait minister
April 2, 2007, 4:33 pm
Filed under: Life in Kuwait

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Veil protest dogs Kuwait minister

I had thought from my observations and interactions with Kuwaitis here so far that opinions were fairly moderate on the issue of women’s dress, even though many Kuwaiti women do wear a veil, but perhaps I have only met more “Westernized” persons…

I find the whole issue in parliament rather interesting in light of the fact that the veil worn here is usually festooned with rhinestones or other decoration, which raises the question…

Is a veil Islamically “modest” if it’s rather flashy in some of its details? Something to ponder…

Disturbed in Kuwait, Part Deux
April 2, 2007, 10:37 am
Filed under: Life in Kuwait

OK, I’m really having a string of bad fortune here in Kuwait these days. I can’t seem to shake the “disturbed” or “disturbing” elements of this society.

Last night, my husband and I decided to go out and have some exercise on the seafront walk in Salmiya, because it was a lovely cool evening…

Marina Waves, Salmiya

I thought it might change my somber mood and shed a few calories (important!)…

My husband went jogging, but I decided to walk, so off I went on my own, very much enjoying the fresh air, when, about a half-hour into my stroll, three young men (Kuwaitis, I THINK), passing me in the opposite direction suddenly sprayed me VERY HARD with water bottles!! I was soaked and in such shock that I just stood there for a second!

In another country, I very well might have run after them and run the risk of injury by letting them know exactly what I thought of that in graphic language, BUT, in Kuwait…I have to admit that I really hesitated to do anything, because, after talking to people here and observing, it is CLEAR that all non-Kuwaitis are often blamed for any incident. Dare I say that we are second-class citizens here…I fear it’s true. As such, I didn’t feel I had much recourse.

So, I ended up shaken, angry, but OK, which is what counts. Still, I have to say that my Lesson for Today in Kuwait is:

Some youth here really learn absolutely NO discipline at home and are nearly out of control in their public behavior. They are presenting a most unfortunate image of their country to visitors who wish to harm to one, and I would hope that older folks here might wake up and smell the coffee before the whole place is ruined in the future by this young generation! And, for the record, I’m in my 30’s, so I’m not some crotchety old-timer complaining…

Next time, I’ll try not be so negative…

Disturbing sights in Kuwait
April 1, 2007, 3:00 pm
Filed under: Life in Kuwait

I haven’t really written a post in a few days because, since this weekend, I have felt disturbed by certain elements of life I’ve seen so far here in Kuwait. I just didn’t know immediately how to put into words a growing feeling of unease, but now I will try.

This unease comes from my observation of the whole “system” of labor upon which this place runs. Though I have referred to this before, I now feel even more strongly that something is rotten in the hearts of certain persons with money here. I say “certain persons” because I DO NOT want to be misunderstood; I have been shown great kindness and hospitality by Kuwaitis and others since my arrival here, and for that I am appreciative.

Nevertheless, I just personally witnessed this week disturbing signs that domestic and construction workers here, who are largely of South Asian origin, are routinely disrespected at the least, and abused at the worst.

I know that this is not at all “news” to anyone who has been here for a while, but it is QUITE a SHOCK to see abuse firsthand, namely, a construction worker being beaten by his supervisor for dropping something. Here is another example of mistreatment of domestic workers recently cited in a local paper.

I feel so incredibly sad about this kind of criminal behavior against people who work so hard to feed their families far away. I have to say that I feel rather helpless to stop such things, as I’m in the delicate position of “visitor” or, if you prefer, non-“native”. At this point, I feel I CAN do my bit, though, to always thank those who do all the tough jobs and maybe just to give them at least a smile and a reminder that we are ALL human beings. Naive, I know…