Monday, September 26, 2016

Epiphany

I have been quiet about relationships for a while now.  I've been dating a lovely man for the past 6 months.  I will call him, "Wazza" because he's always calling me, "Butta" which can translate to "duck" or "chubby" depending.  I think he's using both terms.

I didn't want to jinx myself by saying anything - even to my family.  It had been going so well.  Every morning he would call me just as he woke up and he would call the last thing before he went to sleep. During the day, we texted each other constantly and he picked up the phone on the first or second ring every time - no matter where he was or who he was with.  He EARNED my trust.  And this even went on while I was in the States on vacation.

Everything was going great.  Until he stopped calling and stopped texting. I blamed him.  I really did.  We were discussing something and we had a little minor (I though) argument. He said that I had made several mistakes lately and he would talk to me about it, but after I had calmed down a little.  Well, I did something stupid and turned my phone off.  He called only once the next day and I was still angry with him.  He stopped calling.  Then I blocked him so I don't know if he called back or not.  Then I unblocked him (so effing childish - I know!!!)

 This isn't the first time.  Everything seems to be going well and then BAM - something seemingly small and it's over and its like the guy never wants to talk to me again.

So I do what every "rational" Western woman does - just brush it off as an "Arab man thing" and move on.

After ten days now of crying bouts and depression over my Wazza (which translates to "goose" in Arabic, by the way),  I started praying for an answer. I have only confided in 2 close friends and they are bewildered.  Both blamed him.  So did I - until this morning.

I asked and I was answered.  You know that place in-between asleep and awake when you are most open to discussion with all things in the spirit world?  That's when I got it.

Have you ever seen, "The Christmas Carole?"  Well, a man thinks he's in the right about everything (obviously he's not because he's mean and he's a cheapskate, but I'm not comparing him to me zacteley).  He's visited by 3 ghosts:  Past, present, and future, who show him what he has done wrong, what he is doing wrong, and what could happen in the future.  It was kind of like that, but instead, I saw a timeline of my life and my serious relationships.  All were serious enough for the men to be considering marriage.

I saw it from their perspective, not mine.

Ya know when people say that if something happens repeatedly, the problem is probably with you?  I didn't see my problem.  Last night, I was SHOWN my problem.  I have hurt people.  And I haven't listened to the warnings they have given me along the way.

I started thinking of other men I've crushed.  There have been a few and I owe them an apology also.

I sabotage my relationships with men.  I get insecure, angry, impatient and eventually most people will want to move on from that.  It is terribly negative.  After they move on, I get horrible depression that gets worse every time (like now - I'm really in a bad way).  Then I blame the guy.

Wazza isn't returning my texts or phone calls.  But, I sent him messages apologizing.  I know it isn't going to win him over, but I had to do it.  I know I hurt him.  I feel terrible today (worse than any day in the past 10 days).

Why do I do this?  Fear of rejection:  I get in the first strike.

I know dogs, so I'll put it in a dog-analogy:  what happens to me is like separation anxiety.  When an owner leaves the house and the dog gets nuts and eats all the furniture and tears up the walls and things.  When the owner comes home, the dog is calm again and all happy and tail wagging, until the next time he/she leaves.  Are they ever coming back?  What will I do?  What will happen?

(I'm not using this as a crutch, but I think it may be part of the reason why my relationships with men go like this):  When I was 3, my parents got divorced. (My mom told me the story because she said she will never forget it.) My dad came to say goodbye and he was crying and I was crying and screaming, "Daddy don't go." My first relationship was pretty much the same - the guy left.  And then after that.  I was young and so were the guys, so that's what happens, but maybe I twisted it so I wouldn't get hurt:  Now I push before they go away.  That's the way I see it anyways.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm trying to analyze myself to see how maybe they can fix me.

My first call was to a therapist this morning.  Soor Center - return calls! OMG.  I want to get help with this.

Work relationships are no issue. I'm tough and no separation anxiety there!   This is just something in my personal life that I haven't dealt with.  Maybe my personal life would have turned out a lot differently than it has if I was more aware of this before.

Thank you, God, for giving me gifts.  This insight/vision/dream (whatever you want to call it) was a blessing.  And a wake-up call.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Conference to announce results of national survey on violence against women

I don't know if this will be in English.  Looks like most likely in Arabic.

A press conference to announce the results of a national survey on violence against women on Saturday September 24 Sayer Hall at Assembly

From Twitter, Kuwait Human Rights Group @kuwaithr


Saturday, September 17, 2016

26,000 workers needed, 1000 arrive weekly

This is so stupid.  How many workers in Kuwait are deported monthly/weekly/daily?  How many more are waiting deportation in "centers"?  Ick!  So as planes full of deportees depart KIA, planes full of new laborers are shuffled in.  How is that cost effective?

Not only that, but this article seems to target real-estate owners throughout Kuwait who are "suffering" from lack of occupancy.  Is it just me or has anyone else NOT seen a significant drop in rental prices?  I think most landlords would rather cut off their nose to spite their face:  leave apartments empty until months/years from now, someone comes along who is willing to pay their price.

______

Arab Times
KUWAIT CITY, Sept 14: The number of workers needed for the environmental fuel project is about 26,000 and around 1,000 employees of various nationalities have been arriving weekly for this purpose, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources from Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC).
Sources affirmed 65 percent of the project has been accomplished and 80 percent is expected to be done by the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2017.

Sources disclosed the labor force for the environmental fuel project has solved part of the problem related to empty buildings and apartments for three years in Fintas, Mahboula and Mangaf.
Sources said the contractors prefer these areas due to their proximity to the project sites while recent reports mentioned that 60 percent of residential buildings and apartments in these areas have been empty for three years so the rental fees reduced significantly.

Sources added the target number of workers as per previous plans is 50,000 at the peak of the project, although the contractors will present their plans next month to determine whether they will execute the work with this number of labor force or reduce it.

Sources confirmed the workers involved in the project solved about 30 percent of the problem faced by the residential real estate business in the aforementioned three areas, although several residential buildings are still empty.


Talking about the empty residential buildings in Hawally, Salmiya and Farwaniya; sources pointed out the buildings in these areas do not attract contractors because they are far from the project sites. Sources explained the role of KNPC is to open a labor file at the concerned government body, indicating other functions such as hiring workers and housing them are under the jurisdiction of subcontract

DNA Database Project



Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 15: The Washington Post, an American newspaper, described Kuwait’s DNA database project as “an idea from a bad science-fiction novel” with an estimated cost of $400 million, reports Al-Jarida daily. (DG comment:  Oh!  Is that funded by the new increase in gas prices?!)

The newspaper quoted geneticist Olaf Riess who argued that the law on DNA is a “huge attack on genetic privacy” which seriously risks Kuwait’s international reputation, adding that “compulsory DNA testing of all citizens and visitors sounds like a nightmare, but this is the new reality in a wealthy Gulf State.”

The daily revealed that various groups and delegations have reached out to Kuwait’s government to cancel the law; indicating the letter of the European Society of Human Genetics, whose current president is Riess, to HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah called for amendment of the law.

Commenting on the issue, constitution expert and lecturer in the College of Law at Kuwait University Dr Muhammad Al-Faili affirmed the DNA Database Law has many constitutional loopholes, the most important of which is limiting the right to choose whether to undergo DNA sampling or not; let alone allowing procedures that violate the right to privacy.

Al-Faili stated the constitutional judge will deliberate on the matter once it is presented to the court to balance between protection of the right and breaching the right for security purposes. He explained the judge will look into existing guarantees that protect personal privacy, determine risks of violating privacy, present a verdict from the European Court for Human Rights which ruled that storing the DNA of innocent people is a violation of their rights and their privacy – the ruling that led Britain to change its policy in storing DNA samples.

The daily said Kuwait’s tourism industry and business will suffer, given that no tourist or business executive would want to spend their time in a country which takes their DNA samples upon arrival, indicating the law will have a major impact on Kuwait as a host of conferences and hinder tourism.
After the bombing of Imam Al-Sadiq Mosque in June 2015, Kuwait’s Parliament ratified a law obliging every citizen, expatriate and anyone visiting the country to submit a sample of their DNA.

The Ministry of Interior considers the creation of DNA database for citizens and expatriates a way of protecting the country from terrorist attacks, while the new e-passports will be issued to citizens only if they submit their DNA samples.

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Kuwait always seem to end up on the negative side of international press.  Unless, of course, there is a Guiness Book world record to be broken.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Saudi Film about Dating: Barakah Meets Barakah

I SO want to see this!





A Saudi comedy about dating? See it this weekend (in UAE)
Gulf News
September 7, 2016

Mahmoud Sabbagh doesn’t want to rock the boat so much that it sinks. He just wants to rock it enough to bring about social reform in his country.

The Saudi writer-director filmed Barakah Meets Barakah in 25 days, made entirely in Jeddah. The satirical romance is Saudi’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars, making it the country’s second-ever submission (Wadjda, submitted to the 2013 Oscars, was not nominated.)

It premiered — and won an award — at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. And on Thursday, it hits theatres in the UAE. According to Sabbagh, two scenes were cut locally — one involving a hand gesture, and the other including ‘mild profanity’.

“But it’s a comedy movie. People need to chill out,” he laughed, speaking to tabloid! ahead of a private premiere in Dubai on Tuesday.

“This film is about freedom, it’s about censorship, and it’s about public space. In my opinion, public space in Saudi has become more limited in the last thirty years. It’s less diverse. You see less presence of women, people of minorities and foreigners in the usual streets,” he said.

But no one wants to watch a film about public space. It’s a ‘very boring theme’, to hear Sabbagh say it.

“So I had to do the classic boy-meets-girl. I tried to do something very original, something avant-garde, something that defies the dominant storytelling techniques. The movie is about Barakah meets Barakah — in public,” he said.

The film is masterfully done, an independent, low-budget passion project that exudes commitment from the cast and crew in every scene. It’s victorious both for its ability to engross the viewer with a gradual exposition of details, and its razor-sharp cinematography, submerged in warm hues.

The film opens with a shot of Barakah staring at a hot pink bra like it might have the answers to the universe. He’s a simple guy. A municipality worker, best friends with a loud-mouthed, grumpy old man named Uncle Da’ash, who’s the neighbourhood’s go-to person for regressive life advice. Barakah dwells in a rundown apartment and spends his free time unenthusiastically cross-dressing for his role as Ophelia, Hamlet’s female lover, at a theatre no one cares about.

Then there’s Bibi. The discontent internet celebrity who uploads lacklustre ads to Instagram with only her mouth, chin and neck visible. Mayada, the controlling woman she calls her mother, hounds her to shut down her account while simultaneously taking photos of Bibi’s bare abdomen for her own account, Heavenly Hips. Bibi is well-off, living in a sprawling beach house and offered millions to market face creams, but she’s consistently dissatisfied with her restricted life.

When the two meet, a reluctant romance begins. But where could they possible hang out in Jeddah? They conjure up different scenarios — a dinner date, a day at the beach, a night of listening to music in the car — that all end the same way: the police shutting them down.

“This beach is God’s, not yours,” Barakah says at one point, when he’s disallowed entry because he’s a single male. This question of which spaces belong to whom is a recurring one.

“My character is very virginal. He’s an extremely simple, basic character that is based in his own universe. His conceptions of gender, self, love, romance, intimacy, all these things, are completely unchallenged, because he’s in the nature of his environment. Once a certain person comes into his life, everything goes into a whirlwind,” said Hisham Fageeh, the Saudi writer-comedian who plays Barakah.

At the premiere, he wore a white dishdasha, a dark blazer, and bright red sneakers, with his hair pulled up into a bun. He’s known Sabbagh since the two went to university together in America. Fageeh relocated to Saudi afterwards, where he held a job at Telfaz11 for a couple of years. He was homeless and jobless when Sabbagh reached out about the film.

“We weren’t really the closest of friends in New York — we were busy, and we both had our own scenes — he was in journalism, and I was in Middle East studies. But I respected his work,” said Fageeh. The two ‘flirted’ as creatives, with Sabbagh appreciating Fageeh’s satirical work on YouTube.

“He was like, ‘Listen, I’m doing a movie. It’s about public space.’ And that is so sexy to me as a concept. Because people are usually like, ‘Oh, boy meets girl, or guy trying to find himself.’ But this is about public space,” said Fageeh.

When Fageeh heard he would have to cross-dress, he was sold — a fact that Sabbagh confirmed. “Hisham was in because I know he’s a pervert in the mind, like me,” he joked.

Fatima Al Banawi, who plays Bibi, had never acted before. She was doing a Masters in theology at Harvard when Sabbagh, who’s known her since childhood, contacted her. They rehearsed for four months.

“As Saudis, we’re not used to seeing ourselves on screens written and directed and acted by ourselves… We’re so used to seeing ourselves portrayed by others. This film is by us, from us, to us. And to the world. It’s our attempt to present a picture,” said Al Banawi.

“It’s not every representation, because no such film or person can do that. But it’s one attempt to go about our stories, our city, Jeddah.”

The movie is twice interrupted by historical photographs of Saudi Arabia, with a voice-over narration that suggests the freedom of past generations as compared to present day.

“My movie is my submission to the national dialogue,” said Sabbagh.

“I’m comparing Saudi to Saudi — I’m not comparing Saudi to any other nation, not to the West, not to the East. It’s about Saudi in the ’70s and Saudi nowadays. In my opinion, the best way to compare a society is to compare it to itself.”

Fageeh found the film bold because it took two normative narratives to task.

“We’re challenging traditional media, because there is a certain tonation that happens in traditional media in Saudi Arabia. And we’re also challenging Western orientalist views of what the Arab world looks like, or what we want to be perceived as. A lot of times, a self-orientalisation happens,” said Fageeh.

“We’re working very hard to challenge that narrative, to make something edgy, and people really recognise that sincerity. I think that’s what makes our movie unique.”

Al Banawi said the characters reminded her of her friends, her cousins, her neighbours and the people she saw on Instagram.

Indeed, Sabbagh excelled at creating charming primary characters, but more importantly, engaging secondary characters, who have their own lives, priorities and demons to fight, becoming just as pertinent to the film’s storytelling as the main two.

So is that why Barakah Meets Barakah became Saudi’s submission to the Oscars?

“Every country is eligible to submit one entry, and we were probably the only movie [from Saudi], so they pushed our movie,” said Sabbagh, laughing. Sabbagh and the cast will find out whether the film is one of the five shortlisted nominees in January. He’s still fighting to screen the film in his home country.

In the meantime, Fageeh urged UAE residents to go out and watch the film for two reasons.
“From a selfish standpoint, we need money. From a non-selfish standpoint, for the love of arts. For the grace of arts,” he said.


“It’s been critically acclaimed, and we want to see if that critical acclaim holds up cross-continentally. The West love it. So let’s see how we do over here.”

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Job Interviews

(Note to my employer:  I am not looking for another job.  I have a great job.  I have a handsome business owner who is funny and intelligent and who respects my work. And will probably read this...  Mashallah. :D  No need to look around.)

My mother brought this subject up last night because my sister has been working with a consultant to provide them with better interview/recruitment techniques.  My sister owns a recruitment/placement firm for healthcare and IT professionals.  Mashallah, they are doing very well, but an ongoing issue with her office staff has been recruiting the right people for their sales and recruiting staff.  My sister is usually an outstanding judge of character and has often recruited some of her top sales people from positions at retail stores and other unusual sources; just because her gut has told her that they would be good producers.  Most of the time she is spot-on, but once in a while, she will recruit someone and they turn out to be (not a good fit).  Her business is also getting too large for her to follow up on details and her "people" needed better techniques for bringing in new office and consulting staff.

She discussed it with my mother, who found it to be a fascinating subject.  And so I believe it to be also.

The only question that my mother could remember from the many that the interview consultant brought up was, "Cite a situation at work that influenced your life."  These are the type of questions that allow you to understand a person's character; but also to define how the candidate may articulate/converse with others under pressure - which is exactly what my sister needs to know about her sales people.

I LOVE these kinds of interviews. They are thought-provoking and the interviews are just fun for me.  I guess if you were an introvert, you might have the opposite reaction to these types of questions, but then again, if you are interviewing for a sales or management position (and not IT where you don't have to talk to/convince people) then you might not find these psychological questions terribly enjoyable.

My #1 all time favorite interview was here in Kuwait at KGLPI (Kuwait Gulf Link Ports International).  I sat across the table from the Chairman, Dr. Mohammad Mazeedi, the CEO, and their HR Director.  They had obviously taken interview training and I found myself bombarded by fascinating questions!  (Bad memory runs in my family...) I can't remember all the questions, but they were similar to, "Tell us a situation where you had a conflict at work and how did you resolve it."  "What was your most memorable learning experience at work?"  "Who was your favorite boss and why?" By the end of the nearly hour-long interview, all of us were laughing.  I knew I had the job, but I sent them all flowers the next day, thanking them for the greatest interview session EVAH!

KGLPI  offered me the job but later rescinded it because my extremely unethical former employer - who had just terminated me to save money! - threatened to sue them for "stealing his employee".  And this was after he had terminated me and I was looking for a new job!  Dr. Mazeedi, who I admire tremendously, contacted me about 6 months after the incident and told me that he liked me and wanted me to know the truth of what happened.  I understood their predicament completely.  It was unfortunate because we would have made a great team.
I would like to answer this question, "Cite a situation at work that influenced your life."  I told my mother the story last night.  She had never heard the story before (or maybe I told her way-back-when and she didn't remember.  That's ok because I can't remember if I told her or not).  Again, this question has to do with your character and your perspective.  Some people might read into this as a business-related question:  "The day I got Windows 8, changed my life!"  Yeah.... ok.... there is no right or wrong answer.  They're just asking for insight.

Swede Nelson at SAIC was a high-level, tenured manager at the division where I worked.  I only had the blessing of working with Swede for about a year.  He was very knowledgeable and kind.  And, he had stage 4 cancer and must have been in a tremendous amount of pain.  That man came to work every.single.day (although he could have chosen to be out on disability) wearing a morphine pack and ALWAYS wearing a smile.  He always had something nice to say to colleagues. He was always helpful.  He never let on that he hurt, or he was tired. You would never have known how sick he was.  That man influenced my life.  He helped form my work ethic (although seriously - if any of you know me in business, I (think I) whine about health issues quite a bit and I shouldn't.  Swede taught me that anything can be accomplished through kindness, humor, and a good attitude.  When he died, we all went to his funeral and service at Arlington Memorial Cemetery where he was buried with honors, befitting a man of his character.

Ok, so now that I have discussed what kind of interviews I like, let me relate which kind I hate....  I hope that I have had some influence on colleagues who use these "techniques" (or lack thereof) during interviews.  "Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?"  "Why are you leaving your current job?"  "Have you reviewed our website?"  Really?  Seriously?  Snore.  It is not 1950.  Get onto the Googly thing and research current interview questions/techniques.  That's my advice to junior staff.  In knowing how to interview a candidate, you then learn how you can better respond in an interview with a potential employer.  It's easy.

Here is a good article on the subject:

62 Interview Questions People Said Were Their Favorites


Monday, August 29, 2016

The Price of Living in Kuwait

Lets start with the new increase in gas prices in Kuwait - Coming to a pump near you on September 1.

Kuwait Increase in Gasoline Prices - Calculator:  Here is some'in interesting:   a fuel calculator of how much you are paying now for gas in Kuwait (by care make/model/year) vs how much you are about to pay with the random increase in price:  http://www.kuwaitfuel.com/  I supposedly own a Chevrolet "Caniro".  That must be Arabic for Camaro.  Hmmm.  I'll be paying about 3 KD more per fill up.  Good times.

Question:  Where is the money going?  To repair streets?  To enforce traffic laws?

Maybe they could reduce costs if (now get this...) the gas stations were self-serve and accepted credit cards at the pump.  Holy sh*t - now there's a thought!

It's not like Western countries where gas costs more because it is imported and then gas companies pay millions in marketing.

Are you here to save money?

Ya know - people used to come to Kuwait to save money.  Not so anymore.  You think you can save here, but you just get by.  My Kuwaiti friends (who enjoy lots of government subsidies) are just scraping by at the end of the month.  Food costs are pretty high here.  Rent is outrageous (and don't believe the hype about rents decreasing - that's BS).  You can't own anything, so you are giving your money away for free to building owners and often you don't even get maintenance with that - even when it is in writing.  For what I pay in rent, I could be paying a mortgage on a VERY nice property in the US.

I didn't come here to save money (but word of advice to my younger self:  save money!).  I came for a different quality of life.

Quality of Life

When I came here, Kuwait was a lazy little laid-back town where you weren't so drained from work that you could get around to see all your friends and do a few activities that made you happy.  Like parties on weekends or whatever.  Now, I'm afraid to go to parties for fear of raids or being harassed at checkpoints (and I also can no longer stand the loud music and smoke).   I am too physically/emotionally drained to see friends because I'm working hard and stressing about things that perhaps I shouldn't be.  Getting to and from anywhere is a stresser:  Traffic is so bad that I don't want to leave the house anymore.  Literally. You have to have multiple eyes around your head to see predator drivers coming at you from multiple angles. Shopping is not fun.  You have to plan your logistics:  Pick a route, time of day, day of the week, location with easy parking access.  It's all a big pain in the azz.  People are downright rude and you feel like you get shot down if you try to be polite, smile, or make small conversation (in any language).  Of course, I'm generalizing, but when you get poked enough with small pins you get deflated and don't want to do the things you used to do.

Melancholy after vacation?

I write about this stuff usually right after I return from a vacation.  But I've been writing about it/thinking about it more often over the past few years.  The re-entry into Kuwait is becoming more difficult. Is it because I'm getting a little older (29++) or is it just that things are changing here?  Maybe a little of both?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Sanctions planned for dodgers of DNA – No tolerance

So, the entire country of Kuwait is about to be DNA tested.  To include Kuwaitis, non-Kuwaitis (stateless) and expats.

It's about to go POMPEI up in here!  Maury say:


Arab Times
KUWAIT CITY, Aug 21: The Ministry of Interior expects thousands of Kuwaitis not to come forward for the DNA test because they fear losing their nationality, reports Al- Shahed daily.  (DG comment:  Emmmmm.... I don't think that's why, but ok...)

The daily put this number at approximately 200,000 saying these people got their nationality through fraudulent means.

However, sources close to the issue said the ministry is prepared to take legal action against those who reject the DNA test to the extent of withdrawing their citizenship. Official sources at the Interior Ministry said failure to undergo DNA test to obtain the e-passport will not be tolerated by the government which is determined to set a time limit to undergo these tests and failure will mean cancellation of passports and issuing a travel ban against them even to the GCC states.

The sources added the Ministry of Interior represented by the General Department for Citizenship Affairs shall remain in touch with other government institutions and terminate the services of those who refuse to undergo the DNA tests and also suspend free medical treatment in government hospitals.

The sources also said the government will impose a ban on their transactions of all kinds and their siblings will not be accepted in government schools.


The sources pointed out these measures will not be arbitrary or chaotic, but in accordance with legal norms, and shall be as stated in the provisions of the Kuwaiti nationality law which is in force with regard to withdrawing nationality of those who have acquired it through fraudulent means.

---

Ok, so how are they going to count all those kids that don't belong to they Kuwaiti daddies?  Did they obtain their nationality fraudulently?  One has to wonder what will happen. I believe that there may indeed be a wee bit of chaos on all levels of society following these tests.  Should be fascinating.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Yet another excuse for why there are so many accidents in Kuwait

I love how "they" (and I don't know who "they" is but just "they") blame everything but the true cause of accidents.

Here's what really causes accidents in Kuwait:  Speed, lack of law enforcement/fines, people who get their licenses via wastah and not by actually knowing how to drive, lack of drivers training, reckless drivers/repeat offenders who use wastah to get off and are back on the roads, etc.

Then there are those who want to outdo the Al-Jones' and buy their kid a hot car:   If you are going to buy your kid a high-speed sports car when he (usually he) is too young (30 and under?) to understand or care that speed kills, it isn't the kid's fault:  It is the parents.

Further.... (Just a few, fun Desert Girl pieces of advice)


  • It is NOT ok to reverse up an exit ramp.
  • It is NOT ok to cut across 3 lanes of traffic "just because"
  • It is NOT ok to zig-zag/weave in-and-out of lanes
  • It is NOT ok to tailgate:  putting your bumper so far up the ass-end of the  car in front of you that the other driver can see your tonsils.
  • It is NOT ok to talk on the phone (text, look for a Pokemon) with your kid on your lap, smoking a cigarette while driving.
  • It is NOT ok to make 4 lanes out of 1 or 2.


Also, if you're a dumbass and don't maintain your car, that's another reason for accidents and break-downs.  Tires are important in Kuwait, oil changes, checking the water and cooling system, brake pads...  (Your stupid Sworovski crystal rear-view mirror charm is NOT the most important aspect of your car.)

They were blaming foreigners for the high rate of traffic accidents just five minutes ago.  Now this from the Arab Times:

High rate of traffic accidents in Kuwait tied to ‘fake car parts

KUWAIT CITY, July 16: Deaths recorded in motor accidents in Kuwait reached 429 in 2015 while 461 cases were recorded in 2014. In this context, several citizens and expatriates have attributed the high rate of traffic accidents in Kuwait to widespread of fake car parts.

A Kuwaiti man Ali Jaber asserted that fake car parts from China and Korea as well as some Arab countries have flooded the Kuwaiti market in an unbelievable manner. He stressed that many motorists are forced to buy fake parts considering the high cost of the originals, knowing well it is detrimental to the performance of their cars and shortens their lifespan.  (DG note, then buy a frickin Toyota if you can't afford the maintenance on a Merc, dumbasses!  "Forced" ha!)

“I never source for fake parts for my cars no matter the condition, in order to avoid putting myself in danger of accidents. Another respondent Subhi Imam indicated he sometimes purchases fake car parts because the original is expensive. He cited a particular spare part sold is for about KD 12 but he gets the fake one for KD 2 or less. In his comment, Mohamed Abdul Ali said his cousin burnt the interior of his car about two years ago because he used a fake electrical part, and the end result was deadly. 


Also, mechanical engineer Adel Al-Hamoud indicated the widespread of fake car parts in Kuwait is a dangerous trend. He premised his account on the fact that materials used in manufacturing fake spare parts are recycled more than once, and they are not clean. Therefore, they are easy to break.

A lesson in Mut'a (temporary) Marriage - Repost from American Girl's World Blog

I guess today I'm just not being very creative because I'm just hijacking other blogger's information.  American Girl is a friend who used to live in Kuwait and now lives in North Carolina with her husband and a family of Salukis they are raising.  I love her perspective - and just really like her in general.  Here is what she had to say about temporary marriage with a response from one of her readers.  I thought I would pass it along.  Some might find it informative. It is an interesting read.

Here goes...


Several times a week I get emails from readers who are involved in relationships with Muslim men and are often seeking advice on religion, culture, tradition, and how the three tie into one another — if at all. Many of them are also seeking advice on marriage and whether or not he’s ‘serious’ when he asks her to consider marrying him. Obviously I don’t have all the answers and never claimed to be a professional in the field of intercultural marriages, so I simply share information based on my experience and hope that helps.

A topic I recently realized I have never covered is Mut’a Marriage. And based on a few emails I’ve gotten as of late, I figured now would be the best time to touch on this.

My experience with Mut’a is pretty much nonexistent. It’s something (from what I understand) that is practiced among the Shia’a Muslims and not so much anymore within the Sunni community. Someone please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m basing this information off of friends in Kuwait and the UAE who are both Sunni and Shia’a. Therefore, I would love to hear from any readers who have been involved in a Mut’a Marriage in hopes of helping out some of the women who might be reading this and could use that guidance.

It’s my understanding Mut’a is a ‘temporary marriage’ where a woman agrees to be a man’s wife for a specified period of time and can then participate in all things husbands and wives participate in; ie. sex. There is no dowry involved, no additional benefits, no financial gain (unless he agrees to pay her a certain amount), and no support upon divorce. Some of these marriages last as short as a few days and some can be a lifetime I suppose. As far as their legality, I know they’re not recognized in the US as our marriages (to be legal) must be documented in a court. A Mut’a Marriage is simply an agreement between a man and woman. I don’t believe there’s any paperwork involved. However, I do believe it’s a fairly common practice for boyfriends and girlfriends as a way to eliminate any Islamic guilt. You know… have sex, pretend you’re married, and Allah doesn’t know any better. No offense intended. Just keeping it real.

That being said, if you’re one of the women who have written me about your boyfriend asking to marry you ‘temporarily’ to ‘test’ out how a real marriage would be, maybe that’s not exactly what he means. It’s possible he has a strong desire to have sex with you but his religious guilt is telling him to ‘do the right thing’ and ‘marry’ you. Of course the real right thing would be to respect you as a woman and keep it in his pants. But, chances are, you’re unaware of his culture and what is and is not permitted in his religion. He can pretty much tell you anything and you’ll pretty much believe it. And of course, once he starts throwing the idea of marriage around, it makes it all that much more appealing. And, well, ‘real’ in your mind.

Do your homework, ladies. And keep your panties on while you’re studying 

Comment:
Anonymous

Muta’a is the Shiite version of temporary marriage, but there is also “misiaar” for Sunnis. Misiaar is a form of temporary marriage when a man travels (supposedly for a long period of time at a location far away from his wife, but more recently people have been bending the rules on this one). I don’t know the details of Misiaar marriages. Neither of these forms of marriage are accepted by legal entities (governments) and are done without witnesses, making them secret arrangements (at the discretion of the couple to tell people or not).

“Orfi” marriage is by contract with witnesses and presided over by an Islamic cleric. Both the man and woman sign the marriage contract. This form of marriage can be approved by legal entities if the couple takes the contract to court (or if the woman becomes pregnant).

I’ve been “temporarily” (“muta’a”) married several times; for very short-term and two that lasted over 5 years each. I didn’t seek the arrangements – it was because the boyfriend asked for it (and in one case, although muta’a is a Shiite Muslim belief, my Bedouin Sunni Muslim boyfriend asked me to marry him muta’a as it made him feel better/less guilty). In the case of both of the long-term arrangements, I was the one who didn’t want to get married in court for different reasons. But – I was educated before I went into it.

I’m not a Shiite Muslim. I don’t believe in the “sanctity” of temporary marriage; but I do believe in commitment and temporary marriage takes the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship to a different level, just by stating that you commit to that person for a period of time. (How many boyfriends can actually put a time limit commitment on your relationship or are willing to commit to anything at all?) You are saying vows out loud which makes it deeper somehow (at least in my experience and maybe I’m romanticizing something that is really just a pretend marriage?). All good and no judgement as long as everybody is in agreement and knows what it is and that it isn’t meant to last forever.

So, how do you get married via muta’a? The man recites a statement and the woman responds with a statement (I can’t remember the exact words). There is a mahar (dowry). It is usually symbolic (like a quarter dinar), however, the woman can ask for whatever she wants (and trust me when I tell you that NO man asking you to get temporarily married will educate you on this fact). In my long-term arrangements, I asked for rings (if you want me to take this seriously, then be serious). (But if you need a new refrigerator and a new set of tires, you can throw that in there – whatever you want.) In the statement, you insert the mahar amount (or material thing) and the duration of the agreement.
In my long-term temporary marriages, other people knew we were married (however non-traditional/controversial it may have sounded to others). Short-term marriages were basically for fun so the guys didn’t feel guilty about sinning. Whatever. There is no formal “divorce.” And – like other forms of marriage in Islam, the guy can marry several wives so you don’t know if he is temporarily married to other women at the same time. Muta’a within Arab circles is usually only done when a woman is divorced (meaning she is no longer a virgin).

My advice to your readers who are asking questions about the possibility of marriage to their Muslim boyfriend: There is no “try before you buy” in Islam. Ask him direct questions: Specifically, what type of marriage do you want? If the guy is serious about a “forever” commitment and wants you, tell him to get serious: put his mother on the phone with you. Tell him what you want. A reception? Flowers? Your family? His family? But get a marriage license first. AND – make sure that you know about the marriage contract before doing anything. If you don’t add in the contract that you want half of the house and/or alimony (specific amount) on divorce, you are going to be left with nothing. It MUST be in the marriage contract.


Know Your Rights in Kuwait (Re-Post from Kuwaitiful Blog)

Kuwaitiful did such a wonderful job of listing  little-known-rights facts that I am reposting it here. I've been here 20 years and some of the information he's listed was news to me.

Here goes....

Video: Link
If a cop stops your car and asks you to open your car’s trunk to inspect, you can politely tell him not to proceed until he shows you permission from the “Bublic Prosecution“.

Video: Link
A cop approaches you to investigate or arrest you but wasn’t wearing his cop uniform, do you have to comply? Yes but only if he shows you his identification card.

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If you were going through financial hardship and wanted to write a check with a date in the future (to avoid the person cashing the check today) would that be permissible? No, the bank by law is obliged to cash a check if it is handed to them.

Video: Link
If you rented an apartment or a house for 1 year, you are qualified by law to extend the rent for up to 5 years. The owner cannot kick you out before then.

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If you purchased a used car with a document from a company saying the car is functional with no problems and the car turns out to have issues you have the right to go back to that company and demand compensation.

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If you have comprehensive car insurance on your car (the one that covers you whether the accident was your fault or not) and you make a fake accident document to cash in, you will face 7 years of jail time.

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If you use a fake fingerprint item to register a co-worker on the attendance machine you will get fired and face jail time.

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In most cases, you will have to bring your witnesses because no one else will order them to attend for you and if you don’t you increase your chances of losing your case.

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If you wanted to lend someone money, if it’s less than KD 5,000, there should be a witness(es) but if it’s more than KD 5,000 then there must be a written contract stating you have lent him the amount or else you won’t be able to file a case against him if he refuses to pay you back.

Video: Link
If a crime was taking place, and you were standing next to the people doing the crime while they were doing it then you are considered a partner in that crime and might face jail time.

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If you work at a bank and you took a loan from that bank, the bank cannot charge you an interest fee regardless of how large the loan is or how long it will take you to pay it back.

Video: Link
If you accuse someone of a crime that wasn’t registered against him/her by the law, you might face jail time that goes up to 2 years.

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Every person has the right to exchange an item they purchased within 5 days if the item was damaged. It is against the law to have a store stating an item cannot be exchanged or refunded.

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A crime can be as simple as throwing water at someone. If someone assaulted you they can get up to 3 months to 10 years of jail time. If you get physically harmed go to the hospital first, get proof that you have been assaulted then go file a case at the police station with proof.

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When you receive a check, you have 4 months to go to a bank and cash in the check from the day the check was issued. If the issuer of the check had insufficient funds in his bank account, you can submit a complaint to the prosecution (you have 4 months to do so, else your submission will be void).

Video: Link
You have the right to pay your rent fees of where you reside anytime before the 20th of that same month. If you pass the 20th and haven’t paid rent yet the owner has the right to file for your departure. If you pay before the 20th of the month and the owner refuses to accept your payment, you should file a complaint to the government so that he wouldn’t force you to leave the apartment for good on the basis of not paying your rent fees.

Video: Link
Having a weapon without an official licence can get you jail time of 5 years. Even just having ammunition of a weapon without an official licence will get you in jail. I say having instead of owning because just having a weapon with you will get you prosecuted, you don’t need to own it.

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If someone physically attacked you (either male or female), you have the right to attack back to defend yourself. Part of self-defense is not over-exaggerating, if someone pushes you for example you cannot go and stab him on the basis of self-defense. If you do so, that will get you prosecuted.

Video: Link
If you beat someone up and that person dies as a result of his/her wounds but it was proven you did not have the intention of killing that person, you will face 10 years of jail time.

Video: Link
Sometimes you rent a place and find something is damaged, it can be in the AC, Elevator etc (something leaking for example). The owner must pay for fixing what was damaged, if the owner refuses to pay you can take permission from the government to fix it and have him pay for it.

Video: Link
If you own a house and you’re renting part of it while one of the people you’re renting to is noisy and disrupts other neighbors. You can then as the owner of the house file a submission to force him to leave for good. You will need in this situation to have witnesses and they have to be neighbors of that apartment.

Video: Link
If you take a photo of someone that does not want you to take of a photo of them, you will face 2 years of jail time. If you also share their photo with others or make it available online, then you face 3 years of jail time. This should make you think twice before taking a photo of someone without their consent.

Video: Link
Any Kuwaiti that is registered in a company he doesn’t work in to receive the monthly labor support salary from the government will face up to 7 years of jail time if caught as well is paying back all the money he illegally received.

Video: Link
If you accuse someone of a crime and it later turns out the accuser knew the accused did not do the crime, then the accuser will face 2 years of jail. I would guess this also applies when a girl falsely accuses a guy of rape.

Video: Link
If a person falsely called the fire department, or the police to report a crime, or accident and in reality there was no such thing. This person faces 3 years of jail time plus all expenses endured by the government for his actions.

Video: Link
If you purchased a car outside Kuwait and went to the local dealership and they refused to service your car or asked you to open a profile with their company first and pay a fee, this company has went against the law. You can then file a complaint against them at the Ministry of Commerce to get your issue resolved.

Video: Link
There are some that open a commercial license then rent it to someone else. This is considered illegal by law.

Video: Link
There’s a government sector that deals with complaints. Any girl that files a complaint of someone threatening to make her images public or recorded conversations, she will be taken seriously and with complete privacy.

Video: Link
It used to be when you go to a store and bought a product on discount, you wouldn’t have the right to return it. The rules applied have changed, you can now exchange the product within 14 days of purchase.

Video: Link
If you find out at the end of the month that your Telecom provider has billed you for services you never used or even knew you had, you can file a complaint at the Consumer Protection sector (call 135).

Image: Link
You can put ‘No Parking’ signs in your private property but at the same time you are not allowed to damage or harm any cars that park in your property. Instead, you let the police deal with it.

Video: Link
Any restaurant that has a minimum order or has service charges is not permissible in Kuwait. If you end up dealing with any of the two you can file a complaint at the Consumer Protection sector (call 135) and if you win the case you can ask for a refund on the money that you were unjustly charged for.I remember I was in Fridays once and when we got the check, there was a big service charge so when we asked them to remove it because it’s not legal they said our lawyers said it was okay to keep it and we ended up paying for it. This was at least 5 years ago so I can’t remember the exact scenario, what I remember for certain is they refused to remove the service charge.

Video: Link
If you have a relative that is addicted to drugs, don’t wait until he gets caught and jailed for possession of drugs. You can instead file a complaint (for his/her own good) at the drugs department and they will open a file for him there and treat him as a sick patient, a case will not be filed against him.

Video: Link
If you resign from your job and qualify for end of service benefits while during your job you used to get a bonus end year salary every year then the end of service benefits must also include the bonus with your salary.

Video: Link
If you took your car to the dealership for maintenance. The dealership is obliged to give you a paper that includes maintenance duration, what will they need to fix and what are things that will be replaced if any.

Video: Link
Most car dealerships tell you if you do your maintenance outside their dealership it will void your warranty. This is incorrect, you can by law do your maintenance anywhere as long as they abide to using the correct equipment for maintaining your car

Image: Link
If you wanted to sue someone don’t do it a while later, you have to file a lawsuit as soon as possible because every dispute has a limit of days if passed and you still haven’t sued, then you can’t file for a lawsuit.

Video: Link
Many think if you curse someone without mentioning their name then that person can’t sue you for damages. That isn’t true, if you curse someone with information leading to that person than they can sue you on that basis.

Video: Link
If you go to a store and give back your product then ask for a refund while the store says we can’t give you a refund in cash but you can purchase anything from us with the same amount, that store has gone against a law because they are forced by law to refund you with cash.

Video: Link
Expensive items such as diamonds and watches can be returned within 24 hours if on the receipt it mentions the 24 hour duration. If it doesn’t mention that duration then you have the right to return the item within 14 days.

Read more: http://kuwaitiful.com/information/know-your-rights-in-kuwait-parts-1-6/#ixzz4EprFDKSi



Sunday, July 03, 2016

Tenancy Case Continues...

Now I am Lawyer #4.  I've decided to pursue the case only because it amounted to psychological terrorism and I'm not willing to back down.  I am sure that asstard is doing the same to other tenants - maybe even as I'm writing this.

I have met with some of THE most unethical people in my life during the past year.  I invested time and money to people who led me down the wrong path; who knowingly referred me to work with a law STUDENT when they knew that the creature I was signing a contract with was not in fact an actual lawyer.  I paid that lawyer out on the recommendation of the same person, only to be misled yet again on her referral of Lawyers #3; changing the terms and conditions for payment and contract signing after 4 months of having my power of attorney.  Really?  (How long does it take go go get police reports?!  It took me 4-5 hours each time to document the police reports and not one lawyer can just obtain them?)  Anyhoo, this person lives in its own little world, believing its own BS, so I should have known.  Well, my fault for trusting someone with so little ethics and moral fortitude.   You want to believe people, but you learn.   Que sera.

Bygones.  As AHE says, "That was in the past." (He thinks "in the past" is even a day ago, but he's right.)

#4 is a guy who I am not going to pay until he gets the job done; money in hand.  From what I've been told by a Sheikh friend, "He's a magician in the ministries."  So maybe he'll be my lucky charm. Who knows?  Nothing to lose on this one.

I just know that this whole thing has been a learning process.  I've lost a few false friends over it and I really don't have any regrets because its all for the best.  God shows you who your real friends are, and blesses you when you find out who they are not.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

K9 Massacre in Kuwait

(Note that I am adding links to articles that are appearing almost on a daily basis now around the Globe at the end of this post.)




This has been all over social media and the written press is just starting to take a look at it.  It happened on June 17, 2016,  at a facility in/near Mina Abdullah that had a contract with KNPC.  According to the story and various sources, supposedly 24 dogs (but as many as 40)  were killed when the company lost it's contract - apparently in a form of revenge.

There are still 91 dogs at the facility and everyone is very concerned for them.

Kuwait Animal Rescue Unit Q8 can be found on Instagram KARUQ8 if you wish to follow their progress.

Note that I have not mentioned the name of the company nor it's owner/management because it would be illegal to do so in Kuwait.  However, you can read any of the internationally-published stories to learn more.





Articles (Local and International):

Ladies Who Do Lunch Blog posted HERE.

Arab Times:  Outrage as Dogs Culled Article HERE.

Al-Qabas Article HERE:

The president of the company has been in trouble before:  CorpWatch Article

Mission K-9 Rescue Article 

Retired Military Working Dogs Article

Facebook site HERE.

Kuwait Times HERE.   KNPC Clarifies

Daily Express (UK) HERE.

New York Post HERE.  (REALLY good/detailed article.)

New York Post #2 HERE.  And oooooh - this one has his photo!

Snopes.com HERE


I am saddened, sickened, and distressed by this. I go home and look at my own German Shepherd and wonder how anyone could be so evil and cold-hearted to such wonderful creatures.  They will do anything for you for just a little love.

To all of you working to help in this case, God Bless You and keep up the good fight.

June 26, 2016 Appeal for Help