Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Most Censored




















At least KW is not in the top 10:
  1. North Korea
  2. Myanmar (Burma)
  3. Turkmenistan
  4. Equatorial Guinea
  1. Libya
  2. Eritrea
  3. Cuba
  1. Uzbekistan
  2. Syria
  3. Belarus
Seriously though, my daughter is wondering whether she can get any magazines in KW. We're not even talking about the lascivious Seventeen, but how about Girl's Life or the dreaded American Girl. What will be allowed; can you get subscriptions in KW at all, or will the moral police, for lack of a better term, take them away?

Is the censorship in KW getting more so or loosening up a bit?

Friday, May 25, 2007

Summertime....

...And the livin' is easy? Well, maybe it used to be, but is it anymore? Sure, we have help with the housework, and technology has made humongous leaps forward, but isn't life just much more complicated now in a way that will never allow for 'easy livin'?

How I long for those days whose hours stretched out before me languidly, allowing for the sinful indulgence in leisure. It seems like now, summer is just a tease. Once you are finished with all of the appointments and obligations you neglected during the school year, and you just start to settle into the schedule of the summer day, it is all cruelly yanked away by the realization of its impending end. And face it, once you know that there is only a week or two left, summer has suddenly lost its allure, as you begin the dreaded countdown of its remaining days.

Ok, I sound like a pessimist, I know. Maybe I am just a long lost relative of Thoreau; maybe I am a closet hippie, or maybe I am just like Ferdinand the bull who 'loved to just sit, and smell the flowers.'

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Room to breathe or Easy commute?

Ok, so now we have to choose, because we will have to rent a place until we can build our own house...insha'Allah, insha'Allah. So, do we rent a place that is closer in to the kids' school and hubby's work but is much smaller, or a larger place that is farther away?

I keep hearing all of the horror stories about driving there, and I am seriously thinking about looking for a tank to drive over there. ;) BUT, seeing as how the kids won't be playing outside that much, due to the charring factor, perhaps it would be wiser to go for more space.

Is there any hope for a subway?

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Is That All There Is, My Friend...?


...If that's all there is, then let's keep dancing...
With all of the money being thrown into mall-building in Kuwait, it makes me wonder about motive. I mean, I am not a paranoid person, but you know the ol' shell trick? The magician occupies the audiences attention while he switches the coin under the shell. I just wonder why do Kuwaitis need to occupy themselves by buying? I know we do it here in the States too, but there are many other diversions and pursuits too. And after all, doesn't consumerism leave people empty and ultimately depressed? Wouldn't money be better spent building better schools, libraries, parks, museums, auditoriums, etc.? And so, I wonder whom all of this benefits? To whom is it important that people are continuously engaged in a shopping frenzy? And why?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

New Planet


"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An odd planet the size of Neptune, made mostly of hot, solid water, has been discovered orbiting a nearby star and offers evidence that other planets may be covered with oceans, European astronomers reported on Wednesday.

Called GJ 436b, the planet orbits quickly around a cool, red star some 30 light-years away, the team at the Geneva Observatory said.

'It's not a very welcoming planet,' Frederic Pont, an astronomer who helped make the discovery, said in a telephone interview. The planet is hot because it is near its star and under high pressure because of its mass...."

When I read stuff like this, I always imagine some creatures on a distant planet viewing images of the newly discovered planet Earth and wondering about its habitability...one could easily say that Earth 'is not a very welcoming planet' either, right now. Scratch that; it is the Earthlings that are not always so welcoming.

On a similar, yet totally different note: I am so encouraged to read that the Kuwait schools will be implementing a Japanese program that teaches environmental awareness! That is progress.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

I am a treehugger


Local flora
Originally uploaded by talbiya.
What in the world am I going to do in Kuwait? I truly love trees. There is something so soothing and relaxing about them. This tree is in Australia-hubby just came back from a business trip there and snapped this shot. I believe this is a Walking Tree.

Is there any way to 'green' one's space there (KW), or is it too water-wasteful? Also, has anyone out there ever tried to grow tomatoes in pots there? Jus' askin'

Thursday, May 10, 2007

What drives me crazy

I just got the dress code for the children's school next year in KW, and in it it said that "mid-riffs" must be covered. Ok, now this is a school where English is supposed to be the first language! What the heck is a 'mid-riff'? It must be the middle of your 'riff'? That is crazy. I know it is hard to catch all of your errors in writing, but a school should never send something out with errors in it. It is just wrong.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Far from the Home I Love


As I prepare to leave my home and family for Kuwait, I can't help but remember Fiddler on the Roof. I feel like that daughter, saying good-bye to her father. And I wonder: How can I say good-bye to my father? How can I watch him smiling on the outside, holding himself so bravely, being ever-supportive, never trying to hinder. I almost wish that my family had been ugly about me marrying a Kuwaiti man and moving overseas, but they never were anything but supportive. And so that leaves me here, walking, in a way, happily forward, but looking back, ever mindful of the undying love and support that allows me to.

"Far From The Home I Love
How can I hope to make you understand
Why I do what I do,
Why I must travel to a distant land,
Far from the home I love.
Once I was happily content to be
As I was, where I was,
Close to the people who are close to me,
Here in the home I love.
Who could see that a man could come
Who would change the shape of his dreams.
Helpless now I stand with him,
Watching older dreams grow dim.
Oh, what a melancholy choice this is,
Wanting home, wanting him,
Closing my heart to ev'ry hope but his,
Leaving the home I love,
There where my heart has settled long ago
I must go, I must go, I must go,
Who could imagine I'd be wand'ring so
Far from the home I love
Yet there with my love, I'm home."

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Books and Libraries?

So, I got to thinking... I am not a historian or anything, but I know that the greatest and oldest of libraries were in the Arab world, like the picture here of Nineveh, Iraq, or Alexandria, Egypt. And it got me to thinking about the whole bookstore issue and further to wondering about the issue of books, reading, knowledge, libraries, and initiative.
Which led me to wonder: How many libraries are there in Kuwait? I mean public, non-specific ones. And then I started thinking: How many publishing houses are there in Kuwait, or even neighboring countries? I mean really top quality publishing that produces beautiful books. And if, as I suspect is the case, there are not many libraries and publishers, then why the heck are the people not up-in-arms demanding them? I have read so many blogs about The Avenues Mall and how people are upset about not having enough new and different stores in it, but I have yet to see as much of an outcry for books.
And, if the problem is the religious factor, how can they justify that? The whole of the Qur'an is a call to humanity to seek knowledge, think, and read...how could much of the Arab world have moved away from its previous love of books?

Friday, May 04, 2007

Books or boobs?


Ok, for anyone out there who has wastah, or knows someone who does...here is the business to open in Kuwait. Please, please, please!!!

How can a country not have a bookstore?

How can an Islamic country not have a bookstore when the first thing was a command to read!

How can there be such an emphasis on the concern over sexuality, ( I understand this is against Islam-it is the disparity that drives me crazy) and no concern, what-so-ever over violence?? Look at the video games for sale and the movies they show on T.V. with no censorship!

Someone, anyone, in KW, please open a big ol' bookstore. I promise, I will keep your profits up!



Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Kuwait: Summer Destination?


Here we go again...I remember when I first went to Kuwait. It was a July many years ago, when our daughter was about 3 months old. Ahhh, I was so naive then. When we first got off of the plane and stepped onto the jetway I thought, "It is like an oven in here! I wonder why they keep the temperature so hot?" I was about to learn that that oven was not the jetway, rather Kuwait itself.
I have always loved the northeast US. Even though I am a born and raised southern girl, if I had my druthers, I'd live up north. That is where I met my husband and where we subsequently lived for many years, soaking up, what I consider, beautiful weather: falls where the air was light and crisp, giving me what my father says are 'quick eyes', he says people in the south are usually 'slow eyed' (you have to say that with his very southern drawl to truly appreciate it); winter with its snow that made it feel like the whole city was snuggled up under a blanket; spring that was bursting with blooms, colors, and light; summer that was tolerable - not too hot.
I have always abhorred hot weather. Now, is someone testing me? Cause, I found that I was always spending my summers in the middle of the south, oh, the humidity, or in Kuwait! Ok, I could handle the stints away from my preferred climate, but now, now, I am again living in the coastal south and getting ready to move to Kuwait - in the summer!
I remember one summer, in Kuwait, when I donned the abaya and went down by the sea to a place with rides for the children...It felt like someone was shooting hairdryers up my skirt, continuously. I nearly passed out.
I keep thinking - with all the money that Kuwait has, can't they find a way to fix the climate? Dubai has the indoor skiing; can't Kuwait get air-conditioned parks?