Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New Years Eve in Kuwait

My girlfriends headed South to the chalet/camp areas for New Years Eve. They said that the desert was bumper-to-bumper with cars - most likely because no one had anywhere else to celebrate. They also said that there were a lot of checkpoints and some had busses where they assumed the police were going to round up both drunks and - as Sheikha Minor said, "Kuwaiti girls". Men out to have a good time don't have a problem, but women sure do. The police won't target men leaving a party, but they will arrest women: Land O' The Double Standard.


Meanwhile, in another corner of Kuwait....


Slapperella had a 9:00 pm reservation at Totally Fish at Marina Crescent. When she arrived, they were turned away at the door by the host (who apparently was quite rude). She said she spoke to the manager who was incredibly nice (sent her home with an enormous amount of carry-out fish and deserts), but who told her that the authorities were closing the entire Crescent area so that people couldn't celebrate New Years.


Pardonez moi, but I don't believe that alcohol is served in Kuwait. Is it? Why should they shut down businesses? It isn't as if at any given time there aren't thousands of young people around Marina Crescent just milling around anyways (with nothing better to do). Why punish people who are patronizing local businesses?


People - what was your new years eve experience in Kuwait like?


Personally, I think Kuwait is becoming scarily conservative of late. I would be willing to bet that "authorities" will try to shut down the Valentine's Day activities as well, so those of you feeling romantic should probably get to it on the 13th rather than 14th.


When did Saudi Arabia annex Kuwait? When Iraq did it - at least it was blatant, not a slow escallation.

9 comments:

Evil Knievel said...

The closing of Marina Cresent had nothing to do with the acts in Gaza... thats for sure since the Management of Marina told the restaurants already at around the 20st of December that they'll have to close by 10pm.
I believe it's because they had some problems last year. I know that Asha's had a New YEars party with Music and all and people who didn't book their tickets where turned away. Obviously that caused some turmoil since people outside could see how much fun everyone had inside!
Guess you are right with the slow take over from Saudi ... Kuwait IS getting more conservative!

Jewaira said...

Marina was closed by 10 pm on New Year's Eve.

The talk was they were fearful of any havoc that might be caused by large groups of young men (don't want to say gangs).

It seems that there was a big problem in Soug Sharg last year around New Year's Eve and they would just rather not deal with the chaos.

I initially thought it was a nice gesture letting employees off early to enjoy their celebrations.

G4 said...

Amen Sister. I've been saying that for a year now... when did Kuwait turn into Saudi's gaudy step-child? Slow death to all that was tolerable. (sigh) But what can you do? It ain't my country.

intlxpatr said...

We had an early dinner out, then a private film-fest. Totally agree, there is a creeping (and creepy) fundamentalism seeping through this country and no one seems to notice its inexorable progress. Small step by small step the old tolerance is shutting down. Thank God the MOI told the "volunteer mutawa" that they don't need or want their help. But all the same, the creepiness grows.

psytrance said...

i dont think it has anything to do with fundamentalism.The cops just didn't want to clean up the mess created by drunk youths.

Its so sad to see many suffer because of a rotten few ,but this rotten few are growing in number at an alarming rate

Anonymous said...

As a half-kuwaiti half-american who has lived in both kuwait and usa (and grew up in a moderate environment) i am glad kuwait is not trying to be as open as dubai. while i don't want my country to be as limiting as saudi arabia, i don't want it to turn into a completely open free for all either. i don't drink, but i don't wear hijab either. there does exist moderate kuwaitis who do like to live in a muslim country where the islamic principles are present. please do not go off on me at "look around, have you seen people around here, how they behave blah blah blah; those type of people exist everywhere. by that i mean, people who like to push the boundaries of (their specific) societies. thanks desert girl for letting me voice my opinion on this matter. i enjoy your blog very much, both the entertaining posts and the more serious ones.

Desert Girl said...

Dear Anonymous KuAmer :)

Thanks for dropping by.

I'm happy to share your thoughts. Like you, I wouldn't like to see Kuwait turned into Dubai. I think Dubai has had a lot of growing pains - too much, too fast. I think that other countries have learned lessons from their example. I would like to see Kuwait become more moderate - perhaps like Oman which gives out alcohol ration cards to people above a certain economic level (so that poor people aren't wasting their entire salaries on alcohol while their families go without food, etc.). Dancing is also permitted in hotels. Qatar has adopted a similar approach. Kuwait was very different in the 70's with alcohol and parties in hotels and at a time when some Kuwaiti women openly wore mini-skirts. (You go, girls!)

What I am VERY much against is the prostitution in several countries like Dubai and Bahrain. You can have a good time without involving that type of criminal element. I don't even like going to Dubai anymore because it is so prevalent. I have seen a change in Kuwait since 2003 in terms of prostitution - seems to be much more of it and seems like it hasn't been enforced. Most of the women I've seen out are (sadly) Iraqi. Jobs = good. Prostitution = bad.

Anyhoo, I love that Kuwait has retained its culture and uniqueness. I would hate to see that spoiled, but at the same time, I think that the country won't be able to advance economically unless there is some flexibility.

Nina said...

am not a Kuwait or Iraqi.... I know prostitution Iraqi are becoming too much but it is a job.... what i hate are Kuwaitis women who do lots of things more than prostitution.. they are so cheap and vulgar when they come to Egypt or go to Beirut they pay for men to be with them... this is the biggest sin, at least doing something for the need is something else than married women who do things which no Arab women agree to do ... they are shameless and when they go to nightclub act so bad and weird.

after all they are part of Iraq and are similar but what makes them pay not be paid they are rich.

Anonymous said...

am not a Kuwait or Iraqi.... I know prostitution Iraqi are becoming too much but it is a job.... what i hate are Kuwaitis women who do lots of things more than prostitution.. they are so cheap and vulgar when they come to Egypt or go to Beirut they pay for men to be with them... this is the biggest sin, at least doing something for the need is something else than married women who do things which no Arab women agree to do ... they are shameless and when they go to nightclub act so bad and weird.

after all they are part of Iraq and are similar but what makes them pay not be paid they are rich.