Thursday, January 22, 2015

Plumber Bites Dog, Claims Self-Defense

So now I have to worry about this? LOL!!!

Arab Times, KUWAIT CITY, Jan 20: A Kuwaiti has filed a complaint with the South Surrah Police Station accusing an Egyptian plumber of biting his dog and causing it serious injuries, reports Al-Shahed daily. The plumber has denied the accusation and instead blamed the dog of attacking him while carrying out some sanitary works. He also said he had no alternative but to defend himself. A case has been registered at the area police station.

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Ok, so I'm a dog owner (big and small).  If a dog attacked me, my face would be the last part of my body I would want near the dog.  I call bullshit on this one.  He bit the dog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Pet Exhibition - February 13


As part of the Hala February events, there will be a pet exhibition which I am promoting for the Kuwait Kennels Club/Alianz.  KSPATH will be there also.  So it is all-around-good for pet education!








Monday, January 19, 2015

True Kuwaiti Hospitality: The Kindness of Strangers

When I first arrived in Kuwait - way back when I was a mere child - I got all kinds of invitations: weddings, dinners (in and out of people's homes), sight-seeing, events.  All were usually followed with, "Welcome to our country.  If you need anything in Kuwait, we are here."


While my friend was here visiting from the States, I witnessed that same newcomers hospitality to Kuwait bestowed on her.  It won her over in the same way it won me over - and pulled me into returning to Kuwait to live here.  It is for many people kind of an OTT other-worldly experience. You don't get that kind of hospitality in the States (I don't know how other people's perspectives are coming from other places in the world to Kuwait).

When I arrived in Kuwait, I was invited to an enormous wedding that blew my mind.  They gave attendees gifts.  The food was amazing. The people were amazing.  I was introduced to all kinds of wonderful people and they too invited me to other weddings and to their homes. I felt like I was part of something huge.

My new friends took me sight-seeing all over Kuwait.  I got to see all kinds of new and exciting things in a completely different country.

When I moved here, the invitations started to diminish and I settled into a routine of work and home.  I still saw my friends, but usually outside and not at their homes.  If you think about it; it wouldn't be different back in the States.  You might get an invitation to someone's home once in a while, but not all the time.  The newcomer is no longer a novelty, but just another person residing nearby.  Maybe people think you are too busy or not interested.  I am interested and I am always very grateful to receive an invitation.

It shocks me now,  almost 2 decades later, that I sometimes receive invitations out-of-the-blue; often from complete strangers.  And so it happened this week.  Because of my dog.  Well, because I'm on Instagram and part of a community of dog-lovers.  One of the gentlemen raises German Shepherds.  He invited me to meet him and his family; ironically in the same neighborhood where I live.  They were truly lovely people and I am very grateful I had the opportunity to get to know them.

All those newcomer emotions came back:  The hospitality.  The enormous abundance of food that is put out for guests.  The questions about my life.  My questions about their life.  The tentative looks of interest.  The respectable way they sit and address a newcomer.

Again, I felt like I was back 18 years ago, first arriving to Kuwait.  What a wonderful thing to do for a complete stranger!  And that, my friends, is true Kuwaiti hospitality.

I thought about it and I hoped that I could do the same thing for strangers someday; but then I realized that I already do it.  I often invite people to my home that I don't know.  I hope that they walk away with the same emotions that I did; gratitude and warmth.

A special thanks to the Al-Mulla family.  Your kindness is appreciated more than you can imagine.




(....And a word of advice to newcomers to Kuwait.  Accept invitations while you can.  Make Kuwaiti friends when the opportunity arises.  You never know when you will have them again.)




Sunday, January 18, 2015

Article: Deportation Threat Haunts Expats

‘Strangers In Town’ Despite Living Here For Decades: Poll
Arab Times

In this week’s Arab Times online poll, expatriate readers responded to what the term ‘deportation’ has come to mean for them with the majority of voters sharing that it painted Kuwait as an ‘unfriendly country for expatriates.’ Over half of the respondents, 52 percent, felt that the domination and frequency of the term deportation in the country’s civic discourse, presented it as an unfriendly country for expatriate workers. “It has become so common to see the word deportation attached to a new headline in the newspapers”, a reader shared. “I was born in Kuwait thirty years ago, I grew up here and consider it my home, but I will always be a disposable outsider. My family and scores of others like me, who abide by laws and love the country, live with no dignity as we are permanently under the threat of deportation. It seems as though overnight, after living, working and contributing to the development of this country, the lot of us have turned into unwelcome intruders”, a reader commented.

According to the 2014 InterNations’ Expat Insider survey, Kuwait ranked last in the overall country ranking making it the worst place for expatriates to live, owing to its low results for personal happiness and in the Ease of Settling In Index. According to the survey, expats do not think it is easy to settle down, make friends, or feel at home in Kuwait.

Only 5 percent of survey participants feel completely at home there, and only 7 percent find it very easy to make local friends. 27 percent of respondents shared that the word deportation had created an atmosphere of fear for expats. “You can get deported for any trivial misdemeanor here and then be barred from entering the GCC for years, which I think is very unfair. If the government thinks crossing a stop light or having a barbeque on the promenade is sufficient reason to deport people, what is stopping them for deporting those who wear the colour red, or are left handed.

These laws and directives are so arbitrary, and seem to change upon the whim of those in power. The punishment should always match the crime, how can we respect the rule of law if it is so prejudiced?”, an expatriate who has spent over two decades in Kuwait told the Arab Times. “Instead of tackling the issue of visa buying and taking actions against Kuwaitis who are lining up their pockets, expatriates face the brunt of the penalties.

This is very discriminatory and is not going to solve a problem that is so entrenched in society”, a voter shared. Last month, Al-Seyassah reported that several legal practitioners, psychologists and human rights activists had denounced the excessive use of the word ‘deportation’. They noted that expatriates are now living under the atmosphere of instability, and the situation could replicate in poor performance in their places of work due to fear of running into the ‘troubled water’ of deportation.

In the news article, Professor of Sociology at Kuwait University and member of the Association of Sociologists Dr Mohammad Al-Muhaini stated that “it is necessary to respect the country’s law without need for the government to enforce deportation but the manner in which deportation is used contradicts the spirit of institutional and constitutional state”. He also shared that arbitrary deportation based on frivolities was against the principle of human rights and international charters. Also in the report, Attorney Majid Buramiya had stated that deportation should be based on specific fundamentals, rather than just deporting expatriates for the sake of it.

He stressed that trivializing administrative deportation amounts to loss of rights by expatriates, while arbitrary deportation for every simple issue denigrates the law, indicating the implementation of penalties should be gradual.

He affirmed that administrative deportation is only desirable when the affected expatriate actually threatens the national security. Another 7 percent of expatriate readers, responding to the poll, felt that the term lead to respect and obedience for the laws.

Other voters held that ‘Deportation’ was employed to imply seriousness, 3 percent of respondents felt that the term was used just to inform expats that a strict law has been implemented. “I think the government is trying to use deportation to convey how serious they are about a particular issue. Perhaps citations don’t work in a society where wasta is so prevalent, so the authorities have to use severe threats to curb bad behaviour,” another reader shared.


Other voters, 9 percent of those polled, shared that the term suggested that some administrative staff were viewed as more powerful than Kuwait’s judicial system. Another 2 percent were of the opinion that deportation existed only on paper and not in practice.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hala February 2015 - Where are the Events Publicized in English?! (With Info!)


Hala hala hala February....
("We are sorry.  The number you have reached 
is out of the coverage area.  Please try again later.")


What is Hala February?!
Hala (means "hello" in English) February is an annual month-long celebration.  It is supposed to promote tourism and boost the local economy with events, discounts, etc. - similar to Dubai Shopping Festival.

2/3 of the population of Kuwait is non-Kuwaiti.  Many of us speak English, but no Arabic (or if you're like me, I speak Arabic, but don't read it).    Most of the private-sector businesses use English as their official business language.  Street signs and postings are all bi-lingual.

But TRY to find out what is going on in your own back yard (for example, on days when fighter jets are flying overhead and  you're wondering about an attack of some kind, only to find out later that there is a cool air show going on that you never heard about.... or your favorite Arabic singer was here for something, but hey - you didn't hear about that either).

Man, its hard to be an expat.

It really peeves me that after a near-20 years in Kuwait, the events here are almost never publicized (or publicized in a half-assed manner) in English.  Our biggest events are Hala February (lasting a month) and the National/Liberation day holidays on 25/26 February (technically only 2 days, but everybody turns them into a week).

There are several English daily newspapers here.  They don't publish complete schedules of events.  There are several magazines.  Ditto.  Why? Probably because they can't even get the information.

Go ahead, do an internet search for "Hala February 2015" and see what comes up.....

I figure if I BMC about it enough, eventually a little info will trickle in... Today, a very kind reader posted a website on my DG Facebook site with some info.  However, if  you go to the events page, unfortunately most of them are "pending".

I did a little searchin myself and came up with a few sites and bits of info:


Try this site from Mishref Fairgrounds "Carnival City" (re-branding?)  Again, this is not a comprehensive listing of all the events.  Since all events must have licenses, maybe the dudes doing the licensing could grace us with the information?  This is the "official" site but again... Arabic.

Here is a listing (Google Translated on the official site page) of musicians performing at the Ice Skating Rink.  Performances start at 10:00 pm.  You can purchase tickets online (I didn't get all the way through to buying tickets, but it translates in English at least through the seating and pricing charts.)  SITE HERE.


 "Dreams" = Ahlam.

www.7aajz.com


Kuwait UpToDate also has information on their FB site HERE.

I shamelessly promote anything animal-related in Kuwait:






Business idea:  Should anyone publish an actual GUIDE OF EVENTS, they could also publish Kuwait coupons, maps, shopping and attraction locations.

Wait... sorry... that's Dubai and the Dubai Shopping Festival.

Update:

‘Hala February 2015’ - Musical Events Cancelled
Arab Times
KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23, (KUNA): The Hala February 2015 festival Friday announced cancellation of remaining musical and entertainment events following demise of King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia. The higher committee of Hala February has decided to cancel all musical and poetry events, plays and other entertainment activities due to the passing away of King Abdullah, member of the committee and chairman of the Hala February Media Committee Waleed Al-Saqubi told KUNA.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Open letter to my haters

I'm going to stop allowing anonymous posts for a while and I have been strictly monitoring comments because some douchebag hater has nothing better to do than spend his/her time writing stupid remarks.

I guess they have fewer bloggers to hate on since Expat left blogsphere.  I recommend you go over to the haters blog where you can write as many comments as you want - AND have them equally negatively commented back on.  That is just a free-for-all over there.

I'm not into it.

Seriously, don't you have anything better to do?  Start your own blog.  Come up with your own creative ideas.  Bash people on your blog.

Love you.  Therapy helps.  Go talk to someone.


Monday, January 12, 2015

Kuwait Towers - Beacon of.... Corruption?


Kuwait Times
12 January 2014
Kuwait Towers’ Scandal
Waleed Jassim Al-Jassim

“Dad, when can we visit Kuwait Towers?” This has probably become the most frequently asked question by children nowadays, especially whenever a parent drives past the Kuwait Towers. It is an embarrassing question that parents have been unable to answer since 2011 and might as well remain so forever! My two kids have been asking to visit Kuwait Towers for years now, but I am still unable to realise their wish of visiting and exploring this famous Kuwaiti edifice! It would have been much easier if they had asked for a bike, a new mobile phone or a computer game.

The same applies for asking to visit the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Leaning Tower of Pisa despite the high cost I might have to pay. It is much easier than driving your car, parking it underneath the Towers and taking your kids up this beautiful Kuwaiti landmark.

According to what I read in Wikipedia, the idea of building Kuwait Towers began in 1963 and was revived in 1968 and its construction began in 1975 to be finished four years later in 1979, when they officially opened. Building the towers was a simple idea from a very unusual insight such as that of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. When Kuwait needed to build huge water reservoirs to replace the old ugly metal ones, he had an idea of building reservoir towers to hold two million gallons of water, and at the same time, be a beautiful cultural landmark of Kuwait that beats the ugliness of all the world’s water reservoirs.

Though building them from scratch took only four years, such a beautiful unique landmark has been closed for four years now, awaiting a decision to be repaired. The Towers have been closed to the public since 2011, depriving both kids and adults of the joy of visiting them merely because we are unable to make decisive decisions and opting to annoy the judiciary with each and every petty grievance and complaints of corruption. How can we adults explain our incapability to make decisions concerning this edifice? How can we explain our clear corruption? How will they ever comprehend our negligence of the Towers and forgetting to fill them with water, as recommended in their design, for twenty years following the Iraqi invasion, which wore them out and they need repairs now? How can we explain that even when repairs were needed, we failed to do so for four or five years, which is more that the initial construction period when we had less technologically developed construction equipment and materials? Now we cannot even repair them and threw the responsibility of doing so on the judiciary as if we are getting rid of it! No, gentlemen.


Kuwait Towers’ destiny is your responsibility no matter how much you deny it. You have to know that what is happening is a scandal and history will never forgive you for it. — Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Watan

--- end ---

I wanted to take a visitor to Kuwait to the Towers - and then forgot that they are still closed.  The last I heard about the construction was that there was a tender out for an event company to propose an opening event.  Gee, I thought that meant that they were ready to open.  My bad.







It is sad that they are closed now.  It didn't take them long to re-open after the Iraqi destruction caused in 91 (because I visited  there in 1993 when I first came to Kuwait).  They were damaged during the Gulf War, but the Allied Forces were adamant about not allowing them to be destroyed.  The Towers were proud symbols of the country.




 But now, it isn't talking an outside force to destroy them; Internal bickering is once again to blame for yet another downfall.

(None of the photos are mine.)

Help Find Kobe!



This family really loves their dog and wants him home. They are friends of a friend, so I'm trying to help them out. They are offering a 1,000 Kuwaiti Dinars ($3,400) reward for his return. His name is Kobe and he's a male German Shepherd. Went missing from Salwa area 3 in Kuwait several weeks ago.

For those of you who can re-post in different languages (Hindi, Urdu, Bengali), it might be of benefit to put up fliers. The reward will possibly make a huge difference in someone's life (with little means); and it will help ease the suffering of a family who has lost a family member (because they are!)

The owner's phone number is 6777 7704. No questions will be asked upon return: just exchange of dog for reward. Please share, repost, tweet, put up fliers in your area. Thanks!



Handymenkuwait.com

I posted about Home Repairs before, but I think they went out of business.  Ladies Who Do Lunch In Kuwait (LWDLIK) blog just posted this about Handymenkuwait.com.  THANK YOU!!!

(Disclaimer:  Because I don't have an original thought in my head lately, I am hijacking other people's creative energies.  Please stand by for re-introduction of DG creativity later in this broadcast....)

I'm going to try these guys.  I am totally sick of calling one dude for this and another dude for that - and having to navigate my way through my poor Arabic vocabulary of terms for home appliances and what I need to have done.

If I can get a 1-stop-shop:  It's on.

I also get asked by a lot of readers, so here goes:

 



Sunday, January 11, 2015



Watch your dog!




There are a LOT of dogs missing right now throughout Kuwait.  Please be careful not to leave your pets unattended - even in the garden of your home (if people are able to see them from the street). Don't leave your dog tied up somewhere or in your car.

During the winter season in Kuwait, it is fashionable/fun for people to have dogs because they don't have to keep them inside and can take them to farms and camps.  So, they steal them without thinking about the feelings of the owners.  When the novelty wears off - around the end of camping season when the hot weather kicks in - the dogs are dumped anywhere.

If your dog is lost or stolen, even having a microchip isn't going to help you find him/her.  Microchips aren't GPS devices (yet - there is still hope!).  Thieves sometimes sell the dogs at the Friday Market or online (like on Instagram or the 4 Sale app.  See LINK.) And God forbid - it is stolen to use as bait for dog fighting.  (I would have to go to jail if someone did that to my dog.  I wouldn't end it with the thief either... just sayin.... I would become Rambo of the dog-owners world.)    It is scary.

There are groups in Kuwait working to help reunite pets and owners.  Help_the_animal on Instagram, Lost dogs in Kuwait! on Facebook.

Treat your dog like your child and don't let him/her out of your sight.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Upcoming AWARE Events

There are some pretty cool events coming up from AWARE.  Check it out.

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GUIDED TOUR: GRAND MOSQUE
Saturday, January 10, 2014 @ 9:15 a.m 
For a rewarding, spiritual & informative experience.

This is a 1½ tour of one of Kuwait’s most famous landmarks. Ladies are required to cover - long sleeves and long ankle length skirt, otherwise the mosque will provide a cloak. If you have your own scarf you’re welcome to bring it.

Cameras are allowed. Children are welcome.
This tour meets directly at the Grand Mosque
This tour does not require prior registration.

                      
AWARE Diwaniya
Tuesday, January 13, at 7:00pm
An Overview of the History of Kuwait by Ilene Winoker
This Diwaniya will be followed by Dinner

Ever wonder what attracted the first inhabitants of Kuwait to settle here and what life was like during its establishment as a desert outpost? Acquire an appreciation for the rich heritage of Kuwait’s past, and how it has influenced the way its people have adjusted to changes and modernization. Dr. Winokur will share video and still images to enhance your understanding of  the very beginning of Kuwait’s past.

Dr. Ilene Winokur AlZaid arrived in Kuwait in October 1984 and has been learning about her “adopted” home ever since. She is currently the Director of Foundation Programs at Gulf University for Science and Technology (GUST) and Managing Director of Specialized Solutions, an educational consulting company. She has taught at the elementary and college levels in private institutions since 1995, and been an administrator for more than10 years.
Ilene holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership from Lehigh University and an MBA from the University of Miami, Florida. She also completed ESL certification at the College of New Jersey, and a BA in History from State University at Buffalo, New York.

 Traditional Kuwaiti Food and Dishdasha Night & book presentation
Thursday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m.
Join us at AWARE for a special event! Dress up in Traditional clothing and taste delicious Traditional Kuwaiti food.
This event will be opened by  the screening of  one of Kuwaiti poet Nejoud Al-Yagout's  creative works "This is an Imprint" followed by drawing names of people who will receive a signed copy of Nejoud's book.
Prior registration required at joumana@aware.com.kw

Nejoud Al-Yagout has lived in many places globally, including China, Pakistan, UAE, Italy and the UK. Since her father was an ambassador of Kuwait, she lived a nomadic life. She returned to Kuwait after the invasion. Al-Yagout currently works as a librarian and loves being surrounded by books and students. She developed a passion for writing poetry in her early teens. In her own words, it was a cathartic way to express emotions buried deep inside. Her poetry includes themes such as transcendence of suffering, the awareness of the ego and the presence of the higher self. She also explores grief, loss and identity crisis to reflect the state of our collective consciousness. Her debut book, This is an imprint, presents poems which reflect such states, whilst offering a higher perspective of being which transcends thought.

GUIDED TOUR: OLD KUWAIT CITY
Saturday, January 24 at 9:00 am
This tour will include historical sites in old Kuwait City. Bring along your camera and comfortable walking shoes, for an enjoyable day out to lean about Kuwait's past.
Transport, Tour Guide and buffet lunch included.
Bus departures from aware at 9:30 am
Fee: KD 5
Limited seats and  for adults only
Registration deadline January 20
For registration email joumana@aware.com.kw


AWARE ARABIC CLASSES
We are pleased to announce that Registration for the Winter II Arabic Courses Schedule (January 25 - March 12, 2015) has started at the AWARE Center.

We will offer Beginner's weekday morning  and evening courses; & weekend morning course.
AWARE Members are eligible for a 20% discount off each course  & Group Registration of 5 or more will be eligible for a 10% discount off the course.

For all course details & registration, please visit: www.aware.com.kw/class.aspx
 For more details, do not hesitate to contact us by email:  saleha@aware.com.kw or through: 2533 5280


AWARE MOVIE NIGHT
Bas Ya Bahar
Tuesday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m.

The first feature film to be made by the state of Kuwait. It is a period piece about Kuwait before the discovery of oil when fishing was the predominant occupation.

"Bas Ya Bahar" (The cruel sea) was produced by Kuwaiti producer Khalid Al-Siddiq. Bas Ya Bahar is a beautiful personification of the treacherous sea and a critical representation of the harsh life in Kuwait before oil. Refreshments provided.

Interesting Dating Articles

8 Dating Customs in Other Cultures

One of my buddies thought he went on a date with a Russian girl, but in her mind, it wasn’t a date. According to her, in Russia it’s not a real date unless the guy picks a girl up, pays for dinner, and gets her home at a time that is comfortable for her. Her expectations may be because she is successful and attractive, but it got me thinking, “What can guys learn about dating customs from other cultures?”
Despite the U.S.’s influence on other cultures, dating customs in other cultures tends to be more traditional. Why do women find foreign men so attractive? Perhaps it’s because there are refined dating customs we could learn from.

Here are 8 dating customs in other cultures we should follow:

1. Family Matters
In the US, our dating custom is to bring a girl home to meet the parents and friends only when the relationship becomes serious. However, in other cultures, family approval is important from the get-go.  In China, first impressions count and “it’s not uncommon for parents and grandparents to set their children up on blind dates with suitable matches they’ve found.” InMexico, “you are not only dating the man/woman, but you are dating the family…” In Armenian culture, it’s important both sets of parents get along before the relationship gets serious.

Even in cultures where family opinion may not take precedent, friend compatibility is important. In Australia and Europe, relationships often come out of groups of friends, which I’d assume equals #instantapproval.

It got me thinking. One of my buddies took a girl he was dating for only two weeks on a family vacation, and we’ve laughed about it ever since. That’s a lot of pressure on a girl, right? But why do we generally wait so long to bring her home? Let’s be honest. The underlying reason we bring her home to meet the parents is to get their approval for possible marriage. So why wait 5-6 months? Maybe my buddy was on to something.

2. Yes, you do ask the father
And not just for his blessing in marriage. In Mexico, “one common expectation is getting the father’s approval [for dating] since he is the head of the household.” Some naysayers will say this is because societies are patriarchal, but in reality, most cultures are simply family oriented. Not only do immediate family members stay close, but distant relatives do as well. Asking her father is respectful and practical because you will be spending ample time with him. Why risk an offense? Even if the father doesn’t approve, your hands are clean, and you’ve at least done your part.

In the US, fathers have become physically and emotionally absent, so I understand why many American women become upset at the notion a guy should ask her father to date her. What would happen if fathers became more active in family life? If a girl greatly respected her father would she require her boyfriend and future husband to do the same?

3. The guy initiates
In Korea, dating customs dictate the man initiates holding hands or kissing. The “man is responsible for escalating the date,” and if he doesn’t, she assumes he’s not interested. In the US, men worry about mixed signals. “Am I coming on too strong, or too weak? Is this the right time to hold hands?” Sometimes it can take a while for a guy to figure things out, and left in the confusion, girls often have to take the lead.

4. There are no games
In the US, a phenomenon called “ghosting” has become common where a guy suddenly stops returning calls or texts. There’s no ghosting in France. Spineless guys are less common. If a date doesn’t go well, a French guy is unafraid to say he’s not interested. In many cultures men aren’t afraid to make their intentions clear. It’s pretty simple. There’s no DTR (Defining The Relationship-which is often initiated more by women in the US). In Brazil, if two people enjoy each other’s company, they soon namorar, or “date exclusively.”

5. Time is of essence
In the US, depending on the girl, it’s ok to be a few minutes late. Not so in Germany; being late is inexcusable. The date may not happen if the guy is late. It’s also important the guy has the girl home at the agreed time.

6. Dress to impress
In Italy, it’s important to strike a balance between dressing too casual and too formal. Women pay particular attention to the shoes. In the US, most men are afraid to experiment, and end up dressing like clones for a first date.

7. Pays for dinner without expectation
Somehow it’s a big deal for a guy to pay for dinner in the US. Some men pay for dinner and expect sex, but in both Italy and Russia men pay for meals with zero expectation.

8. Complimenting
American men struggle to compliment a girl. There’s a concern he might come across as too desperate, and because of stereotypes, believes being cold and unexpressive is sexy. Men inFrance are more relaxed and not afraid of girls. In fact, they lay the compliments on thick. Maybe this is why women find the French to be enticing. How can a guy ever go wrong telling a girl she’s beautiful?


Keep in mind, these dating customs are in general. Every country and culture will have its fair share of progressive or old-fashioned gentleman, but it doesn’t hurt to learn from and pay attention to why women find foreign men to be so attractive. Maybe it’s more than accents and looks. Maybe they are unafraid of doing some of the things lacking in American men?

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'Ghosting:' The 21st-Century Dating Problem Everyone Talks About, But No One Knows How To Deal With

After three months of dating, 23-year-old Michael was optimistic about his relationship with Linda*. They were together often, and he'd even met her parents. One night at dinner, the "where is this going?" conversation came up. Michael and Linda mutually agreed that they wanted to move forward in the relationship. He dropped her off at home, kissed her goodnight ... and never heard from her again.
After his attempts to reach her went unanswered, Michael put on his cute-guy hat and delivered Linda's favorite cupcakes to her office -- only to find out his name had been removed from the guest list at the gate.
Ghosted.
The term "ghosting" (sometimes known as the "slow fade") refers to the anecdotally pervasive act where one dater ends a relationship by simply disappearing. The ghost does not give an explanation of any sort, leaving the ghosted wondering where he or she went wrong.
This phenomenon isn't new, of course -- prehistoric daters sat by their curly-corded phones waiting for their ghosts to call, and assumed that call musthave come when he or she was out of the house. (The Discovery Channel has yet to confirm the anecdote, but current 20-somethings speculate as much.)
But in an era of Tinder, OKCupid, JSwipe and Hinge, matchmaking often happens by swiping right and left, making potential daters literally disposable. The ease of app and online dating has allowed ghosting to take new form. Chelsea, a 25-year-old Manhattanite who has been both a ghost and a ghostee says the fast-paced, onto-the-next mentality of online dating makes the need for an "it's not me, it's you," conversation irrelevant. "Even after one or two dates they are still just a profile to you, not a person. I don't feel the normal empathy I would for someone I met organically," she said.

Logan Levkoff, sexologist and expert on "Married At First Sight," explained that online dating and apps take the humanity out of the process a bit, which could make users prone to being ghosted. "[Because] all it takes is a swipe," she said. "The quantity [of how many people experience ghosting] is more because it's so easy to do and it requires very little human engagement in order to do it."
In fact, in a poll conducted by YouGov and The Huffington Post, respondents ages 18-29 were more likely to admit they've experienced ghosting on either end than any other age group.
Breaking Up Is Hard To Do
Dating is, in some ways, a metaphor for Halloween. ('Tis the season, go with me here.) Trick-or-treaters go from house to house, tasting all different types of "candy" (aka men or women) until they're completely exhausted. They go home, put on comfier clothes, consume literal candy until they can't even breathe declaring to their friends, "I'M NEVER DOING THIS AGAIN." That is, until a cute guy or gal ... er, Hershey bar ... messages them.
In a 2012 study, researchers identified seven types of breakup strategies. Trick-or-treaters polled considered confrontation the best way to breakup, while they classified ghosting (avoiding/withdrawing from contact with your partner) the least ideal method to end a relationship. The YouGov/Huffington Post Poll confirmed these sentiments. Only 13 percent of 1,000 adults polled consider breaking up electronically very appropriate or somewhat appropriate.

But while most don't condone ghosting, that doesn't seem to influence whether they'll do it to someone else.
Chelsea admits that's the case for her and a bunch of her friends. "I'm a total hypocrite in that respect. I'll ghost someone without a second thought but when it happens to me I'm the first to run to my girlfriends in disbelief saying, 'The least he could do is let me down easy,'" she said, adding, "It's probably karma."
So, Is Ghosting Morally Wrong?
New York-based location scout Victoria Carter protested the slow-fade in a 2013 blog post on XOJane. "When you disappear into the ether without any indication why, all I can do is come up with a million and a half reasons why you’re not into me," she wrote. Ghost victims have certainly been there and done that too, wondering... He could be out of the country without cellphone service, maybe she really is busy at work, Miranda's date actually died in one SATC episode... it could happen.

To members of Ghosters Anonymous, Carter continued, "Until you close the door and close it completely, I can hold on to that tiny unrealistic shred of hope that you DO still want to hang out, and that maybe you’ll call (text, who am I kidding, nobody calls anymore and I hate it) and it’ll all be great."
But Greg Behrendt, author of the best-selling book turned movie, He's Just Not That Into You, firmly believes that silence speaks louder than any words could. "What I find weird is that there has to be an explanation after two dates. If someone doesn’t call you after a couple days, that should be enough to say, he's just not that... oh God, I don’t want to quote myself," he said (quoting himself anyway).
It's simple, and there's no need to contemplate the many "reasons" a date is unresponsive, he explained. "When someone's not texting you and you see they've read your text, then you should really get it," said Behrendt, who recently co-authored a book with his wife, appropriately called, It's Just A Fucking Date.
Defending ghost tendencies in an Oct. 2013 post on Slate, writer Amanda Hess echoed that sentiment:
The idea that a direct message is necessary to cement a relationship’s end is yet another obfuscation. When it comes to modern digital relationships, the rhythm of the exchange tells us as much as its literal content, and it doesn’t take any specialized skill to read between the lines. If you’re initiating all the texts in the relationship, the recipient just isn’t that into you; if you’re not getting any texts back, the recipient isn’t into you at all.
Yes, lack of response from someone you're digging feels crappy. But is it morally wrong? Behrendt doesn't think so -- and he can't understand why humans can't apply the same understanding about changed feelings to relationship as they do to virtually everything else.
"Feelings change about a lot of things... about a band, about a food, about certain things you thought were fun that you don’t think are fun anymore. But it becomes so profound in relationships like, 'that's never happened in the history of relationships and why would he just walk away?' Well haven’t you just walked away from a million different things in your life because you weren’t into it? It's the universe taking care of you saying, '"I'm sorry but that particular thing is over, go this way,'" he said.
But... What About R-E-S-P-E-C-T?
On the flip side, Levkoff feels offering an explanation -- even if it's a short one -- is just part of being a standup woman or man. "It's nice to be able to say to someone, 'Listen I've enjoyed getting to know you, but I don't think this is going to move forward in a romantic way,'" she said.
The likelihood is that you're not going to feel great if a relationship ends, be it one minute or a year. So a statement like that might hurt feelings, "but it means they respect you if they care enough to be upfront with what's going on," she said.
Plus, without a conversation, you run the risk of a ghost coming back to life. "When nothing else is going on those people tend to show up again, and then you're like what happened for all that other time?," Levkoff said.
Writing about the subject on The Date Report in May, reporter Sara Ashley O'Brien explained that ghosting just prolongs the time it takes to move on:
A simple acknowledgment of an appreciation for the time we did spend together, “Hey, I had a fun few dates with you but I don’t think we’re right for each other beyond that,” would provide so much more closure. It’s always a blow, but you can get over it in a few days. When the ghost disappears, you spend the first few days wondering when you’re going to get a text back and then weeks trying to figure out what went wrong.
At the end of the day, Levkoff explained, it's each ghost for himself. "We have to take ownership and hold ourselves accountable," she said.
It's not them, it's you?
In the days post-ghosting, the unanswered often retrace the ghost's steps, looking for possible clues as to why he or she disappeared. "I don't get it, we had such a great time on our date," or "He promised he would call! There were no signs!" are frequent quotes that friends of ghosting victims hear.
But Behrendt believes that's never the case -- there are always signs. "Part of it is the way you set the relationship up, and what you allow to happen so that somebody is going to be able to escape," he said. That's the big problem with #kidsthesedays and relationships via text or Tinder or Hinge. If the majority of your "relationship" takes place on one of these platforms, there's a surefire sign that the receiver of your iMessages might disappear. Rule of thumb, Behrendt warns: "If it's not in person, it's not real."
But given that not-in-person early courtships aren't going anywhere -- what's a woman or man who wants to avoid being ghosted to do?
Ghosts don't necessarily have personality patterns, and so, the onus is on you to be clear and upfront. Echoing Behrendt's take, Levkoff said, "If we don't acknowledge what we want right from the start, if the beginning of your relationship is about texting back and forth and the conversation is fairly benign and short, it lends itself to easy in, easy out she said."
That's one place where dating sites and apps might actually lend themselves, she explained. It's very easy to start a Tinder conversation with, "Hey, so why are you on here?" for example.
Levkoff advises throwing the idea that that type of conversation is "off-limits" out the window. "I don't believe there are any rules when it comes to love and sex and relationships. I think if there’s something you want, you should be upfront about it. I don't think game playing makes sense at all, and if someone doesn't respond well to directness, then they weren't the right person anyway," she said.
And if your potentials keep disappearing, take a step back and look in the mirror (unless of course, you are the ghost, in which case, owning a mirror would be quite silly). Ask yourself these questions: "Is there something with the people you're meeting? What do they have in common? What are you looking for that's causing the same outcome over and over again?," Levkoff said.
Behrendt adds a few more warning signs to watch out for: "Look at where he wanted to meet you, look at what his plans were, look at how difficult he was to get in touch with."
And if you're unhappy with the answers to those prompts, rest easy knowing that even the most notorious ghosts will change their stripes when the right person comes along. Right, Casper?

Monday, January 05, 2015

Video on Domestic Workers in Kuwait



"The American University of Kuwait is a private liberal arts institution based on the American model of higher education in Kuwait City, Kuwait. Although established in 2003, the University opened to students, faculty and the general public in September 2004. It is sister colleges with Dartmouth College, in Hanover, New Hampshire. Professor Dr. Nizar Hamzeh currently serves the office of the President.

The American University of Kuwait boasts a large number of diverse professors hailing from Canada, the US, the UK, and other parts of the world. Unique to other universities, AUK also offers a Student Worker program with students assisting in various departments such as the admissions office, the registrar, faculty offices, and so on. They are required to wear name tags to identify themselves to provide assistance.

Last December 31,2014 American University Student published  Video and share what they think of the situation of maids, cleaners anddrivers in Kuwait.Uploader Named as Areeg Moustafa.
The video started with this caption with a nice background music ” Maids, Cleaners, Drivers ” Did you try to ease their  pain fromhomesickness or did you double it? Were you ever aware of their pain? Did you ever ask how they felt?


Check out below Video and don’t forget to Share!  ( To hear it clearly just switch off the Online radio below )"

Source:  LINK HERE

Interesting.

Complaints, Not Patrols To Trigger Action On Dogs

Complaints, Not Patrols To Trigger Action On Dogs
Arab Times, 5 January 2014


KUWAIT CITY, Jan 4: Dog owners expressed outrage and concern at the news report that wild animals and dogs are banned from public spaces like parks, beaches and promenades. Major General Abdul Fatah Al Ali ordered Directors and Heads of security in six provinces to track down persons, residents and citizens, who accompany wild animals in public parks and frighten visitors and passersby, as reported by Al Anba newspaper, last week. Instructions have been given to security heads to deal with complaints in this regard and deliver these animals to concerned authorities.

The security chiefs of Hawally, Mubarak Al Kabeer and the Capital governorate responded and translated the instructions, launching surprise campaigns in which three individuals were arrested last week for possession of wild animals and referred to the police station.  An official from the Ministry of Interior confirmed to the Arab Times the directive, and stated that they had started bringing in individuals that take dogs for walks in public places. He stated that this will most likely be enforced in response to specific complaints rather than daily patrols. But he clarified that if the dog was determined to be docile and showed no signs of aggression during investigations, they might let it go. He revealed that the reason for this act is the huge number of calls and complaints the MoI has received from individuals reporting that some young people scare others with their menacing dogs.

The directive is targeted towards curbing the dangerous prevalence of wild and exotic animals, especially big cats, as ‘luxury pets’ in the country. While the ownership of wild and exotic animals has always been illegal in Kuwait, the issue came to the fore with the tragic death of a Filipino woman who was mauled by her employer’s pet lion. Since then, lawmakers have pushed for a ban on wild animal trade, and suggested that violators be jailed for six months or fined KD 20,000, or both. Recently, several Municipal Council members condemned the phenomenon of breeding wild animals inside private residential houses, and asked for deterrent laws banning the practice.

Speaking to the Arab Times, a local dog trainer whose income solely depends on training dogs, said that this move by the MoI is similar to a directive it issued some years ago listings breeds of dogs that were banned in Kuwait. Like that last directive, he believes that this one is not going to hold and that it is going to cause more harm than good. He shared that walking is an essential need in any dog’s life and is going to be restricted by this new action, resulting in numerous negative behavioural impacts, including aggression, which is claimed to be the main reason of this decision.

He also revealed that an overwhelming number of dog owners had been contacting him since the news broke, asking for advice on what are they supposed to do with their dogs, and he noted that instead of banning the practice as a whole the ministry should have taken a smaller step and approach the matter with more understanding, for the dog owner community in Kuwait is not as small as people think.


 By Arab Times Staff

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