Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Rights, Cool Women I've Known, Family, and Dogs

I remember meetings held during the occupation in 90 and 91, in and around Washington, DC. I went to all the meetings on Kuwait that I could possibly attend at that time – anything that would help Kuwait and where I could glean more information. I didn’t understand very much Arabic at the time, but I tried to understand as much as I could from what they were saying; sometimes someone nice sitting next to me would translate.

I can’t remember who organized one particular conference, but as I recall, it was the Kuwaiti Muslim Students’ Association. As I do recall vividly, they asked the women to sit in the back of the room, as the men hurriedly took the seats in the front. I remember a few defiant Kuwaiti women (including several sheikhas) who stayed where they were in the front, and when asked again by the men to move their seats, spoke in firm voices, saying that Kuwait is their country too and they could sit where ever they wanted. I was so proud of them. I wanted to go and sit there too, but I’m not Kuwaiti and it wouldn’t have had the same affect.

I have heard that Lulwa Qatami sat between men at the parliament session the other day during the discussion of women’s rights. When she was asked by security guards to leave, she stayed in defiance. Perhaps she was in Washington when I was, attending some of those same meetings with Rula Dashti and our friends.

I received an e-mail today from an American friend who was married to a Kuwaiti and has Kuwaiti nationality now. She (and her children) has been victim of both physical and emotional abuse over many years. (Under normal circumstances, I would say, ‘leave’ but unfortunately, she was married to a member of the ruling family, so her children cannot leave the country.) I was blown away by her negative comments after I sent her links to the articles on the rally: “I am Pro women's vote, although as a Kuwaiti citizen I would question women in key positions in Kuwait, for now. Both sexes need to evolve a bit, and a couple more generations will pass before this can happen smoothly. Emotional intelligence plays a key factor in this transition.” I am truly appalled and at a loss for words.

I received an e-mail from an anonymous person responding to my post yesterday, saying that she was one of the ladies who went as an honorary sergeant with the Allied forces. They trained at Fort Dix in New Jersey, doing their basic training and getting knocked around by the marines. A particular favorite at the base, as I hear, was the gas chamber; where they were asked to take off their masks and breathe. Some of the ladies went on to document the war crimes for the Pentagon. They saw/heard things that many people (including men) couldn't take. Now, I am dying to know which one of the women wrote to me.

I love blogging for several reasons: BMC’ing is right at the top with making new friends and the ironies that come along with writing about issues that trigger things inside other people.

Every now and then, I run into someone who I knew during those difficult days of the Occupation. We were in a different place and time and now, walking down the street, or at a party; I run into them and I feel like they are kindred souls. I’ve changed a little since then, so many of them don’t recognize me, but I always try to stop and say hello. I still have many friends from that period in my life. Sometimes, out of adversity come good things.

… the Desert Girl train is now switching to another track…

I got home yesterday and Desert Dog had left me a "gift" (speaking of defiance). She was obviously QUITE perturbed about my frolicking around with other dogs. I only noticed my "gift" after we had taken a long walk in front of the Scientific Center.

I would like to say that our walk was quiet and pleasant, but it was not. There were 2 men/boys who had a small pack of lulu’s (Pomeranian/Spitz mixes). One of the men/boys was shouting for his dogs to run after mine. This makes me very nervous because I have actually seen small dogs attacked by packs of other small dogs. What happens is that they bite, pull, and rip at the victim dog from different directions, in an attempt to tear it apart. I shouted (as the stupid Egyptian security guards looked on) for them to get their dogs away from mine and to put their dogs on a leash (at least). Poor little Desert Dog was shaking badly. It happened so fast that I was trying to keep the other dogs away from her – when what I should have been doing was grabbing her and picking her up. For the rest of our hour-long walk, Desert Dog kept her tail between her legs and glanced over her shoulder.

This is indicative of how I feel sometimes walking through the malls in Kuwait. The roaming gangs of young men/boys sometimes seem like vicious little dogs that yap and snap. (Same scenario, different bitch, I guess! LOL)

Speaking of bitches… no, I’m not going to go there.

My mother got out of the hospital. My sister picked her up – at the same time that she received a frantic phone call from my nephew, who had just concussed himself falling off his motor scooter with no helmet. Lex is 10 and likes to be the poster child for bangs and bruises. As my mother relates, the neighbors know something is going to happen every time they see him coming down the hill towards the houses. (Refer to “Jackass” Part 1.) One of the most famous brain surgeons in our state is their neighbor, so he went out to help when he fell down. I hope my sister doesn’t receive a bill for $15,000. It would have been cheaper to leave my mother in her hospital room at $800 a day. LOL.

My mom is doing a lot better. She has home visits by 2 nurses daily that give her physical therapy and much better individual care than the hospital. She sounds happy. My dad wrote to me and told me that there is little I could do to help, so it is probably better that I didn’t go back. I feel better. I was having an internal debate because I didn’t want to be a burden on my already-overburdened sister. Too many people in the house. It is a big house, but she needs her space.

By the way, Jackass parts 2 and 3 are both really really bad. I turned them both off. Terrible. I laughed my ass off (not all of it) at Part 1 (the first 5 times I saw it). I think it was because I hadn’t seen their stunts before on TV, so it was all new to me.

Happy Wednesday everybody!


Ms.Baker said...

Poor desert dog. His situation really is a metaphor for a lot of things going on in Kuwait now...

Desert girl, Kuwaiti women are in a serious state of discouraged dismay, and disarray. They have lost faith not only in their government and society BUT IN THEMSELVES. So they live mostly for today - spend my entire salary TODAY, sleep in instead of going to fight for my rights TODAY. Buy that 250 KD bag or outfit to wear to some stupid party TODAY. Go to eat at Lenotre with my new bag TODAY. Why should I get involved? It will just be the same old story again TODAY. Do you really think the majority is thinking of the future? Have you seen evidence that they are?
The dire sitation needs inspirational leaders who do not put on airs, have no personal agenda, who can reach out to ALL KUWAITI WOMEN OF ALL BELIEFS, and show them they have common ground.
We are now all swimming in darkness.

Not_Without_My_Heels said...

"Not all women are shallow but all women are strong in different ways" - HighHeels (e7im, e7im)

bitzer said...

I still can't get used to the antics erm... methods'o'courting used by some of the guys here. I guess it's like the round-abouts and the lack of sales tax; just a difference between here and Virginia. It's easier to get used to the round-abouts and sales tax, though. :p

I feel really bad for your dog, though. I hate the pressure females must be under for it, but I'm a wicked-crazy dog person, so that makes me border-line pissed. I've never met a dog I didn't like more than most of the people I've met.

PinkSuedeShoes said...

Mrs. Baker!

Sa7 elsanich ya Marrah! I am still very angry about the whole political situation in Kuwait and I am outraged at the shenanigans at our so called Parliament. I am also appaled at the divisions between Women's Ranks.

So typical of Kuwaitis to be obsessed with class and rank.

You said it, We Want- no We Demand- Inspirational, Motivating, Decisive Leaders!

This can't go on for long... It just can't.

PinkSuedeShoes said...
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