The American Business Council advertised in Kuwaiti newspapers last year for a Valentine’s Day event and showed images of stick people dancing. There was some controversy and the ABCK cancelled the event (again, if someone references something – what specifically happened?) This year, the name of the Valentine’s Day event was changed to “Friendship Feast” (“Freedom Fries”????) in order not to “offend our host nation”. Friendship Feast sounds like it should be something held at an elementary school on Thanskgiving. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. Come on, white people! Grow some cojones! The American Business Council is supposed to be a group of people – either American or having business interests in America; so obviously that implies that those being invited/participating will know something about American celebrations. N'est pas? Who is going to be offended by use of the word “Valentine”?
Yo, Kuwaitis!!!! Are you offended by Valentine’s day?
I have 3 little words: The Sultan Center. Go to any TSC location around Kuwait near Valentine’s day. Go NOW. Do you believe that they are offensive? Is there anyone in Kuwait who doesn’t celebrate Valentine’s Day? I’m pretty sure that even long-beard dudes secretly celebrate it. Al hub!
I believe the ABCK’s problem last year was their advertising, not the use of the word “Valentine”; the use of/implication of "dance" probably got them in trouble (with WHOM? I want to know) last year. Alcohol and public dancing are both illegal in Kuwait (no duuuuuuuuh); so perhaps the dancing stick figures were a poor choice of advertisement; as would an advertisement showing a bottle of alcohol. It was basically advertising illegal activity. Remember when the Royale Hayat got in trouble after press releases showed photos of participants of a hospital party dancing? That’s a no-no. You don’t show photos of illegal activity. It is still illegal, regardless of the event. Dancing happens (bump and grind – all night long, any night of the week in the desert), you just don’t hand the general public the evidence.
I’m a strong promoter of the American Business Council, but I just can’t get my head around being too closely involved with them for stupid (non-business-related) reasons like this. I received several e-mails from members of ABCK’s board of directors, which was further copied to 3-4 other people; I responded; they responded. How many man-hours of effort were just expended on this one nonsensical task related to the naming convention of a globally-celebrated holiday?
I prefer my involvement in the ABCK to be “indirect”. I benefit greatly from attending some of the meetings with interesting speakers; from networking with counterparts in the same industry; and from attending occasional seminars, conferences, and focus meetings. I just don’t want to be included in pissing matches of any kind.
If anyone wants to go to the “Friendship Feast” then please contact the ABCK (link on the right) for tickets. Then, write to me or post here and tell me how it was. You know what would be really funny?.... seeing pictures of people dancing at the event in the newspapers!!! Oh snap - then they'd have to change the name next year again. What a hoot.