October 28, 2010

Half and Half: When your Dad is Kuwaiti and your Mom is not...


I think I have several readers who are half Kuwaiti and half American. I find that fascinating and I would love to hear your story. If one of your parents is Kuwaiti and the other is a non-Kuwaiti then please comment and tell us a little about your life. You can post anonymously if you would like.

*** Please feel free to comment if you are married to a Kuwaiti or a Kuwaiti married to a non-Kuwaiti.  Anyone and everyone can comment on this post.  The response has been outstanding so far and I am honored that you, the readers, are sharing your personal stories with this blog.  Thank you ;D

Questions...


How did your parents meet? Are they still married? Does your Mom still live in Kuwait?


What is your life like as a half Kuwaiti and half Westerner?


Are you a secret from your Father's family and live in another country with your Mother?


*** Please feel free to write about anything and everything you would like to share on the subject.  You are not limited to only these questions.  I just wrote down a few I could think of.  I would love to read your story. ;)



69 comments:

  1. I'll bite. I'm half kuwaiti/half american.

    1. My parents met when my dad was in college in the USA. My mom actually hit on my dad and he asked her out after that. My parents are still married but are having some issues. My mom is living in the states right now but its due to her family's health conditions.

    2. My life... in Kuwaiti I've always been viewed and stereotyped as an American and when I was studying in the USA I was always viewed and stereotyped as a Kuwaiti. Basically I've never really fit into a certain social scene, but honestly I stopped caring about that a long time ago. Everyone loves to judge and I'm judged pretty heavily but I've learned to live with that. I just be who I am.
    As for myself personally, I've struggled with personal identity, but really now I know myself more than ever before. University life has helped me a lot with that.
    As for religion, I was taught by my dad Islam and my mom Christianity, but overall I consider myself a muslim and practice it's teachings... to a certain extent lol.

    3. Um, no! lol. But I'll actually tell you something pretty funny. My dad got married with my mom in the USA without telling his parents, and when he went back to KW during the summer he didn't mention it or want to tell them! His parents decided that he should get married ASAP and was going to marry him to one of his cousins! He then confessed and told them about it lol.

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  2. Yousef ~ thank you for sharing your amazing story and for being so open about your life. I think if you are half Kuwaiti and half American that makes you extra special. You should be very proud to have both nationalities from two great countries. :D

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  3. I'm mixed with 4 races, two in Gulf, One from Asia, and one from Latin.

    1) I can tell Love at first Sight e7m;p Yes Still married, and yes still here. they both still love each other thank god, like crazily in love, mmm why? they both have different views and at the end they agree each other without any arguments as in respect, love, sharing thoughts and so on and nope still healthy relationship between two.il7mdlla.

    2) Half kuwaiti not Half westerner , mmmm I must tell it wasn't hard when I was a kid, but whenever I grow up, I see things different around I mean it's getting harder and tougher, people keep judging and stare at me as in I come from out of space haha, I think being mixed is pretty hard, it's hard to fit in anyways, so my living in my dad's country I go pretty mean and careful with people around me especially Arab men ;p in my mom's world, their people is pretty friendly and humble plus there are many mix people so they get used to it and I was fit in there. And no not all kuwaitis are mean, I do have friends here who accepts me unlike my dad's family who still not accepted us.

    3)Not really, they all know and hated us hahaha, mmm I guess I find it weird that I think it's genetic that my dad's family men, get married and being abandoned from family ex. dad and grandpa ;p but I have to suggest never marry a man whose family do not accept his wife, it'll be so tough on their children. that's for my experience :)

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  4. Anonymous ~ thank you for sharing your incredible story. It sounds like you are a beautiful mix of cultures and if your Father's family doesn't accept you then it is clearly their loss. I wish you all the best and may God bless you. :)

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  5. My wife is Kuwaiti and I'm American. We have two gorgeous little girls and I always wonder how they will identify themselves or what culture they will relate to more. Of course, my girls are American citizens but hopefully one day they will be afforded the right to stay in Kuwait as a permanent resident if they choose to do so.

    As for my situation, I met my wife at her workplace and we continue to be based out of Kuwait even though I've been spending most of the week for the past 16 months working in Saudi.

    Of course, my family is aware of my marriage as my mother has been to Kuwait 2 or 3 times and we've been back home to visit not counting our upcoming 2 month stay in Texas :-)

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  6. Hi Randy :) The comments keep getting better and better. Thank you for sharing your story. How awesome that you are American and your wife is Kuwaiti. I think that is soooooo romantic! What did her family think about you at first?

    It sounds like you have a great family and exciting life. I hope they change the law in Kuwait soon so your daughters can have both passports from their Mother and Father. I wish you and your family all the best. :)


    I am about to start getting ready for a Halloween party tonight. ;) Good night everyone! xoxo ExpatandtheCity

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  7. EATC: I couldn't ask for a better woman to share my wife with .. honestly. She is my best friend and I enjoy every second I'm with her. Our daughters are just icing on the cake.

    Her family was very cordial and I did go to her father to ask for her hand. It was all very surreal and exciting at the same time. It was such a whirlwind. We were married one month after I went to her father :-)

    I am very thankful that her family has been accepting of me and I am doing my best in life to assure them that their daughter and grand daughters are in good hands and will always be taken care of.

    As for the two passports, I am not really worried about the dual citizenship especially it is not really legal in the USA and now Kuwait is "cracking down" as well. However, I do hope that my girls will be able to stay in Kuwait for as long as they desire seeing how their mother is a citizen.

    Have a Happy Halloween!!

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  8. Lovely post, Expat. As always :).
    To those who commented above, God bless you all. Be proud of your Kuwaiti and American roots (in no particular order, of course :p) and wish you all the best in life :)

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  9. This is a HUGE topic....a PhD thesis in the making in fact.

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  10. Randy ~ It sounds like you both are so lucky to have found each other. Your story really made me smile. Happy Halloween :D

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  11. Dr. Mo Mo ~ thank you. You are just the sweetest thing. :)

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  12. Fishma4 ~ I think you are correct. :)

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  13. Very interesting topic I like it. I know another Kuwait women with American husband. They are living in Kuwait and they are happy.

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  14. Fahad ~ I think it's awesome for an American guy to marry a Kuwaiti girl. It's usually the other way around. In both cases I think it's lovely and romantic. ;)

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  15. IM A HALF BREED TOOO !! my mom is Lebanese my grandmother is Turkish , and my dad is Saudi/Kuwaiti and thats about it :P

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  16. Seems like everyone's part american at least xD

    I'm half British (thanks mum), half Kuwaiti (thanks dad... I think). ^_^

    For my embarrassing answer (for obvious reasons) to question number 1.
    They give me a different answer each time I ask them. :D (I'll let your imagination run wild with this one, cuz that's what mine does everytime!)

    Sadly, they are no longer married ^_^ divorced after 30 years of marriage.

    My mother indeed lives in Kuwait still, she got remarried to... wait for it... wait for it... yep! An american guy! ^_^ So there's my american part!

    My life is pretty interesting, I like to think that I've taken punctuality, good manners and free-thought from my mother! And that I've taken principle, patience, and virtue from my father! =)

    I'm definitely not a secret on either side of the family, but, seeing as how I couldn't answer your first question, I probably came really close to being just that xD

    Yeah, nothing like having fun at my parent's expense ^_^ hahah they're good people though ^_^

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    1. Best of both worlds that's great.

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    2. I met Hamad's Mum once through friends and she is the sweetest lady. So friendly and polite. She also speaks fluent Kuwait and looks very young, tiny and cute. :) I didn't put two and two together until after I met her. I've never met Hamad but he is on my Twitter. Nice guy.

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  17. As you already know, I'm American, husband is Kuwaiti and we have 4 little Kuwaiti/Americans as the fruit of our loins :) We met in the States 16 years ago, still happily married and I'm pretty sure I'm not a secret cuz his mama lives with us!

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    1. Ahhh but does she know who you are LOL. Truly a successful love story!

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    2. LOL Kim! You are so funny. ;P

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  18. Justnoon ~ wow, what a sexy mix! Sounds like you have it all. ;P A lot to be proud of. :)

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  19. Hamad ~ what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing. :D Your Mom sounds really cool. You get a taste of everything. :)

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  20. Snow ~ sounds like a fairytale to me. You are truly blessed and he is lucky to have you. :)

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  21. LOL yeah i guess so , thanx :*

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  22. My mom is American and my dad is Kuwaiti. They hooked up about 21 years ago while my dad was attending college in the USA. Shortly before I was born however my dad returned to Kuwait. I have never met him or had any contact with him. I've tried many times. I'm sure I am a secret to his family. I got into contact with a cousin of mine over in Kuwait but he told me that he was forbidden to have any further contact with me. He did give me a little help however and told me where he lives and works and how to contact him. Unfortunately everytime I've tried to contact him I get no reply. At least I was able to attain a couple of pictures of him and finally see who my dad was. I hope one day he'll answer me. I would love to get to know him. I feel like I'm missing a whole half of who I am and my culture. I live in America still but long to at least visit Kuwait someday.

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    1. Sad to hear this. I have heard of a few similar stories. It is hard to imagine that a parent can do this. The society here can be very harsh and horribly racist, some men and women would rather live without the love of their life than go against the family.
      Perhaps your father is married and has a family and can't bring himself to tell them.
      My heart goes out to you.

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    2. I've never heard back from this anonymous who wrote the above comment. The comment that broke all of our hearts. :(

      I only wish the very best for you wherever you are. Your Father will never have a good life here or the hereafter until he does right by you. However, you can because you deserve it. I pray you can overcome it and live a happy life. xoxo

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  23. Anonymous ~ thank you for your comment. What you wrote brought tears to my eyes. Please email me at expatandthecity@gmail.com so that I can respond to your comment in private. I would like to try and help you.

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  24. My post might be a bit lengthy, but bear with me please.

    I'm a half-breed. Non-Kuwaiti father, Kuwaiti mother. Majority of my life has been resided in Kuwait, which is why I speak like them and know the culture more than my father's side (my father has been here since age 11 with my grandpa who worked in spare parts for cars). My father has been living here now for 5 decades.

    Shocking as this may sound, I love this country very much, and I am ready to defend it over and over again. It is a shame though that growing up, I was always and constantly treated as a foreigner, because when asked, the answer is always "oh...then you're not Kuwaiti!", or the 'silent' answer followed by the "look" (a mixture of shock, confusion and disgust). I cannot begin to describe to you the times I cried in solitude every time the latter occurred...I just hated it. I couldn't tell them I was Kuwaiti because I'd be lying if I did...truth does hurt sometimes. Just a minority were understanding and insisted I was Kuwaiti in their eyes (many thanks and God bless them).

    From the government's side, I owe them a debt of gratitude for granting me education and health care throughout my life. On my 21st birthday, however, I woke up to find out all that was diminished (worst present I ever received). The day before that I thought I was somewhat Kuwaiti at the least...how naive I was. My mother tried her best, and succeeded in granting me temporary residency to complete my studies; mashkoora yuma for all your efforts which I will never be able to repay no matter how much I try :\'-) >:D< ...otherwise, it was "ma3as-alama". All that happened overnight.

    Where would I have gone? Better yet, what crime/sin have I committed to receive no recognition from the government? Never would I wish this on anyone. Today, things haven't changed, I still require residency (working or visit). No offense intended, but they make you feel like scum, like you're not worth it.

    With that said, I still love the country dearly. It's the people's perspective that need to change, and I pray that it does.

    Many thanks for taking the time to read this.

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  25. Anonymous (above) ~ Hello and thank you so much for commenting and telling your story. <3 I was really touched by your willingness to share because there are many half Kuwaiti children facing the same problem in Kuwait.

    Readers: Men in Kuwait can marry non-Kuwaiti and their children receive all of the rights of their Kuwaiti father. Yet, Kuwaiti women who marry foreigners cannot pass down the same rights. This is complete nonsense! The papers keep writing about how Kuwaiti men will receive money to take a second Kuwaiti wife (HELLO ~ Can you say divorce?!?) but it hasn't occurred to them to pass equal rights to Kuwaiti women who choose to marry outside their race? Hmmmmm, something needs to change and fast.

    Thank you for your comment Anonymous and I hope and pray that the laws change soon. Please keep in touch! :)

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  26. Hello again Anonymous ~ You are very welcome. My email address is on my homepage, search for the tab at the top that says: contact. I had to post your entire comment because we can't edit them. It's either post or delete. I hope posting it is okay. Please let me know.

    I heard what the UAE will do and I pray that Kuwait will do the same for the children of Kuwaiti Mothers. I really feel so sorry for your situation. I can't imagine it! It just broke my heart reading about it. :(

    Thank you so much for sharing how you feel on this blog as I'm sure you have helped others read that they are not alone. I just saw on DG in Kuwait's blog that there is a FaceBook group called: Half-Breed Kuwaitis. Maybe you can meet new friends in your same situation for emotional support?

    I hope that a new law will pass soon granting Kuwaiti women's offspring the same rights as a Kuwaiti mans. I am praying for you. *Hugs*

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  27. Hello Expat. Thanks so much for your reply, and reading my comment. Didn't realize how prompt you would be :)

    Part of the blame can be attached to the govnt for engraving this message and attitude to the generations of Kuwaitis (which sadly exists to this day, but not entirely), and the other part to the people for believing and implementing it. The UAE a few days ago granted the Emirati woman's children citizenship in rememberance of their national day. Here's hoping...

    I'm working in Kuwait, and now I need a working visa to be considered to stay here...to struggle just to earn a living (at this stage many Kuwaitis' reply would be for me to return to my father's country if I don't like it; my father was here since he was 10 would be my reply...and then silence). Even if I marry a Kuwaiti woman, what's the outcome?...just pure negativity; my wife will have to struggle to keep her children with her just like my mother, and that's not including trying to keep me here (because if I ever leave, she'll be in that God forsaken position to choose between her family or country!)

    My Kuwaiti colleagues at work, however, once they get to know me, become disgusted with the idea I'm a foreigner..."you're Kuwaiti", they reiterate, "stop saying you're half-kuwaiti. And IF you're asked if you're Kuwaiti...then say YES! You're not lying"....this time the tears when I'm in solitude are those of hope and a sense that the dawn will rise.

    My utmost appreciation and gratitude for your prayers and hopes. I pray and ask Allah that you have a blessed and serene life as well with your partner. Everyone deserves it, even those who are mean and harm people (although mean people suck...but those people will get their punishment afterwards Inshallah...guaranteed).

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  28. Anonymous above ~ Sorry it took me a few days to remove your comment. I just read your email. :) Best of luck to you. Let us know what happens.

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  29. Hi , I'm Dana and I'm 19 years old

    I'm Kuwaiti half Russian , my dad met my mom when he was studying in Russia
    my step mom is Russian too Lol , you know because it's legal here to be married with 4 wives :P my step mom been with us for about 15 years she's like my second mother , my life is veeery complicated that i cant even explain , when two so different cultures get together it's just ! lol really cant explain it
    my relations with my father's family is not that good and my other family from my mom's side is in Russia , i hate Kuwaiti guys and i have no intention in marrying one any time soon .



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    1. Hi Dana :) What a beautiful combination. I'm also half Russian American. :D At 19 you should only be worried about your studies and seeing the world. Just enjoy life and see all that there is to see. We can't control our parents so don't let their mistakes or choices define who you are or will become. Easier said than done but I wish you the very best. :)

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  30. I have to say after reading all the comments I hope things change. With that being said, I am also in the same boat. My dad is British/Indian who was born in Malawi. My mum is South African/Indian. I was born in Kuwait on the 18th day of August 1990 (Gulf War) My life is hard too and being born in Kuwait has made me feel like I'm part of Kuwait. When my parents were in the process of divorcing which took 12 years as my dad wasn't accepting there was another change in life as she was going to marry a Saudi Bedouin man but unfortunately he passed away before that could take place. He had raised me as his son as his first wife (cousin) couldn't have kids and she and the family don't like us.

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    1. What an interesting story and life you have. At least you have your Mom and hopefully your family is doing well here in Kuwait. It seems you are really looking for that special girl and I pray you find her soon. :)

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    2. Thanks Expat and the City for your comment. Well looking for that special girl is no easy task. But there is still hope that someday it may happen. My life is very complex as no one can actually get me and I will never fit in any one single location on this Earth. Some people have told me that when they try to put the pieces together of where I come from they get a headache :o

      NB: My brother recently did some research and found out that my family could have actually come from Iran :/ I am confused who I am now.

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  31. where do i begin ? , my name is youseff . my friends like to call me a show off cocktail . why ?! , the answer is simple , im dad is kuwaiti , mom is malaysian , grandmother from dads side shes egyptian , great grandmother from moms side (my grandfathers mother) shes japanese , great grandmother from moms side (my grandmothers mother) shes portuguese .

    i think by now you'll get super tired just reading how my bloodline flows when all of this combines into SAMOAN features , sometimes i feel im an orphan (7amdillah not btw)

    so basically my understanding of being mixed is really simple actually . according to the rest of the stories that i heard from my friends who are also happens to be half , mostly our fathers use to study abroad to achieve their academic goals they also have a soft spot for the opposite gender (naturally) so *poof* they got married .
    my dad was a bit different . he graduated college years from egypt and they assigned him to MALAYSIA , and at that time , he was like ( say WHAT ?? ) he never even heard about malaysia . he thought malaysia was in africa lol . turns out college taught him well with all the coordinates and stuff that let him to truely asia :) ..

    dad was in the navey with his white suit being all glowy and stuff . he use to say that ladies love men in uniform .. lol . thats what im wearing right now lol . so met my mom in some govermental sector for some paper works ... then *poof* got married . so far thats what my dad had to offer for this story .

    yes al7mdellah they are both still happily married , god blessed them with 3 children . me being the eldest , a sister and a monster of a brother mashallah .

    being half malaysian basically made my childhood a living hell to be honest . i had a really really tough years . it was hard to be in a society where name calling is so simple . you cant imagine how having asian features doesnt help my years of study to persue greatness . so i had to come up with a plan . with every asian you see . he has bruce lee's character in his or hers bones which makes it even easier for me to learn KARATE . and still playing till today . and by learning true karate i began to see things differently with more confidence . after that . i got even prouder and prouder every time they call me asian , philipino , indonesian .. and so on .. so i began to forget all peoples nonsense and continued with my life . . .

    thank you expat for this awesome topic which i love so much . hope my story didnt bore you or the readers out there .

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    1. Hi Youseff! Thanks for stopping by and sharing your interesting story. I love karate and you were very smart to use the racism you experienced to better yourself. I bet you are very handsome and unique looking. :)

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  32. I'm a divorced Afro-American grandma of five Kuwaiti-Americans. My daughter and Kuwaiti son-in-law met and married while at university. I came to Kuwait thirteen years ago when my second grandchild was born. I have been here since then, except for two years ago when I returned to America to enroll in Social Security. Like older Kuwaiti women, I am almost always at home. I really miss not meeting Americans or Kuwaiti people in my generation. My daughter speaks Arabic and has several sisters-in-law, and American girlfriends whom are also married to Kuwaitis, or have husbands of other nationalities. Their bonds have grown stronger in the years. I discovered I had slowly limited by life to my Kuwait family’s. Recently, I stepped back. I knew they thought I'd fallen into a crater of no return. I really wasn't sure what I wanted, but I realized if ever I were to be responsible for my remaining life, it needed to start then. Small events had led up to my change; however it might have been foreseen.
    I had been responsible for the lunches and training the servants for some time. In the kitchen, I enjoyed preparing French pastries, Russian side dishes, and a small array of Indian Cuisine--I truly miss trying dishes by Jamie Oliver, seen on KTV2, Nigella, on Fetafeat, or YouTube inspired international adventures in my daughter’s kitchen. Far more enjoyable is watching my daughter delight in presenting the family with wonderfully successful dishes she was once afraid to try. Since my daughter isn’t working this year, she can begin to feel her strength in her family and home. I want to give her a set of copper ware to keep up the inspiration.
    Now, the lady of the house was fully in charge. This was fantastic. As a career mom, she hadn’t had much time in the years to spend in the kitchen. I left behind lots of recipes of favorite dishes, traditional meals, and also trained helpers. My daughter and her helpers are having fun "out doing" some of my specialties, the Saturday morning donuts, and cakes will forever be a favorite challenge. I'm enjoying the trays to my room with delightful dishes, treats and teas. I’ll advise other non-Kuwaiti grannies out here to do the same (smile). I'm enrolled in an Arabic class and sewing, something I put aside when pressing needs seemed important. Most of my life, I've lead with my heart, but I’ve found leading by what seems best delivers greater benefits.
    Since I have more time now, I can't avoid knowing as much about what is happening in the region. If only we could be a part of bringing peace. Our most powerful people seem helpless. I don’t know of anything I can do to contribute to peace. Let us all pray to Allah (swt). It can be difficult for us Americans. I no longer anticipate a friendly smile. Enough people have taken their angry feelings out on us. We tend to avoid the public more now. It hasn't been good for Americans living in the Middle East for a long time. My heart appreciates the kind greetings and thoughtful words. When you become emotionally engaged within your family, it isn't easy to leave. When you have been with children from birth, one thinks of their feelings as much as what one wants in one’s own life. Both need to come together. Although I'm not in the family in the same ways, my door is often open to the toddler, or to anyone else who may decide to stop in to chat.
    Keep up your great work with this blog.

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    1. You sound like such a lovely person. Thank you for sharing your unique story on how you came to live in Kuwait. I wish my Mother was in Kuwait. May God continue to bless you. <3

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  33. Hello!

    I have an American (Sicilian/German) mother and a Kuwaiti dad. Growing up with two loud and emotional families has been crazy but amazing at the same time. I've gotten to know both sides of my family as I traveled back and forth between Kuwait and America my whole life. Two years in Kuwait, then two years in american, then back to Kuwait for a few years, and back to America for a few more. Moving between both has really helped me understand a broader range of people. Since the American and Kuwaiti cultures are almost completely opposite, knowing both has centered my spirit to honing what I want in life. My American culture tells me to get out into this crazy world and LIVE it, while my Kuwaiti culture reminds me to protect and respect myself. I am so grateful to have both of these cultures in my life, as they are both so rich with character. But, as I said before, these two culture are opposing each other constantly. For a female college student studying in USA, it's difficult to know how to handle certain situations. I do my best to stay true to myself and cultures, without too much word getting back to Kuwait! I'm not doing anything wrong though, that's the thing. But when rumors hit Kuwait, the whole country will find out haha. But it's all good. I love Kuwait. I love America. People talk in America too. Everyone's human.



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    1. Your life sounds like the perfect mix of East meets West. Thank you for sharing with us and YES people talk in America. Especially when you live in small towns. ;)

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  34. AnonymousMay 30, 2013

    I realize that this was posted a while ago but I thought I'd add my bit in anyway!

    My name is Aisha and I'll be turning 19 in July, My mother is English, blonde hair, green eyes and grew up in a small town in the south east of England. She didn't even know what Kuwait was

    She had met my Kuwaiti father in London,as he was studying there, when he had asked the simple question "Excuse me, where's oxford street?"
    to which my mum replied. "You're standing in it... ?"
    I guess they just hit it off from there, I'm their last child, my mums fifth, my fathers fourth (this is my mothers second marriage, but they're still going strong! Al7mdullah)

    They had slight complications at the start, as it was very uncommon in England at the time for english girls to be with foreigners, she said they used to get stared at a lot, and some of the older women would roll their eyes at them. her parents were strict catholics and weren't completely happy with her decision to marry my father, but she went through with it anyway, her parents both converted to Islam before they died !and so did my mums only sibling, her sister.

    She converted to islam and wore the hijab for 20 years, until the whole 911 incident made her life a nightmare because people were unkind to her because she's white, and supporting islam. To which she felt forced to take it off becuase the threats were getting more and more dangerous.

    All that aside, I've lived most of my life in england, but i have been back and forth continuously, I've just arrived in england to stay for the summer and I'll go back in august !

    We're certainly no secret to either side of the family, my english side is very small
    where as my kuwaiti family is typically very large and i still forget certain uncles and aunties (oops)
    there are a few people on the kuwaiti side of my family who I feel very disconnected with, they treat us (my siblings and my mum) as if we're not kuwaiti at all ...
    but the majority of my kuwaiti family love and adore us :)

    I'm actually very pale, (the palest out of my sisters and brothers) and whenever I tell someone I'm kuwaiti they look twice "SAY WALLAH." haha I'm pretty used to the reactions by now

    I love both Kuwait and England, i have to say I really miss the bukala, and the smell of oud. haha ! I embrace both cultures and have come to accept my identity.

    I will forever travel back and forth between the two countries
    I speak to my dad and kuwaiti side in english (except my grandma, i speak to her in broken arabic ) I'm learning arabic at the moment, and picking it up quite fast, it's about time too

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your sweet story. I really enjoyed reading about your unique family. I wish you the very best. :*^^

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  35. AnonymousJune 13, 2013

    Still going?

    My father is Kuwaiti and my mother is British (although her father was Irish). They met in the USA where my mother was working and my father a student.

    I have always felt like a citizen of the world and I have lived in Kuwait and Europe. People often don’t think I am Kuwaiti due to my appearance and accent and it is interesting to see how their behavior changes when they realize I am Kuwait (Like the maniac who deliberately crashed into my car because he thought I was “ejnebi” ).

    My wife is British (although her mother’s parents were Polish and she was born in an Italian refugee camp during WWII). We moved to Kuwait 3 years ago and now have two daughter.

    I find Kuwait quite depressing, so much wasted potential, a LOT of racism, corruption and arrogance that isn’t justified. I have advised scientists that I have trained in the UK NOT to apply for jobs in Kuwait.

    I don’t think I want my daughters to grow up here.

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    1. I like what you wrote, "I have always felt like a citizen of the world". It's a small world after all. :) Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you and your family a happy life full of love and happiness.

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  36. AnonymousJuly 04, 2013

    I am half American, half Kuwaiti. I live in the U.S. I was adopted at 3 days old by a wonderful family. I never knew either of my birth parents, but when I turned 18 I located and met my birth mother. She lied to me about who my biological father was, she took it to her grave. She is now deceased. Through much determination and digging, I recently discovered my birth father was from Kuwait. I have no idea who he was, as I don't know his name. I have closure in this situation since I now know where I came from, but there is a lingering need to still find out who he was. I have no idea how to go about doing that. I have a few clues to follow, but that's it. My birth mother was in Kuwait for about 7 months in 1979 and was involved with a Kuwaiti man. She came back to the U.S. pregnant. I'm not sure if my birth father even knows I exist. If anyone knows anything that can possibly help me, please let me know! Thanks!

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    1. Thank you for sharing your story. Please email me at expatandthecity@gmail.com so I can try and help you. I will also ask Desert Girl to assist us.

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  37. AnonymousJuly 04, 2013

    Thank you! I will email you!

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    1. I received your email and will write you back today. Your story has really touched my heart and I am going to do everything I can to help you. xx

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  38. AnonymousJuly 05, 2013

    Thank you so much. Can't wait to hear back from you!

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  39. AnonymousJuly 06, 2013

    this is very strange, my story almost mirrors the one above. I am 23 years old and my mum is english but always told me my dad was american and that was it - no name or any other details. she has recently become very ill and after getting back in touch with an aunt who she used to be close with, i found out i may be from kuwait from talking to my aunt the other day. My mum has never even told me his name so has been very hard to find out who he is. Now i am finding out she was with someone she was going to marry and settle with but something happened and i think he may have left and has no idea i even exist... is this a common thing to happen with kuwaiti men? Could she have met him in USA and that is why she says i am just american?

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    1. Anonymous 9:28 ~ The possibilities of what could have happened are endless. Pop us an email (contact tab). :)

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  40. Jaber Al-SalehJuly 07, 2013

    I’m a Kuwaiti citizen and I spent 12 years in the U.S. starting at the age of 15. My son was born in the U.S. and his mom is American. He currently resides with his grandfather (his mom’s dad) as a result of the divorce settlement between his mom and me. Due to state law in Texas, you cannot be granted custody if you are unable to show that you can support your child, so basically if you’re out of work, your chances of custody are slim. It gets better.. Federal immigration law states that you cannot be granted residency in the U.S. based solely on your child being an American. President Clinton closed that loophole in immigration law when he signed one of the immigration bills during his presidency. However, if you do have custody of your American child, you can be granted residency. So basically, I was in a catch 22.
    When my wife filed for divorce, she stopped her sponsorship of my application to become a permanent resident, so my work permit was cancelled, and I was no longer able to work or to show the state court that I could support my son. Long story short, I had to leave the U.S. by December 2000 to comply with a Voluntary Departure order handed down by immigration court. At that time, my son was 2 ½ years old. I saw him one more time the following summer when I applied for and received a 10 year multiple entry tourist visa to the U.S.
    Prior to 9/11, I maintained good relations with the grandpa and I was in constant contact with them. Around the time of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the calls, emails and pics became less frequent from the grandpa side, and eventually came to an end. I still call and email but it is a one sided conversation. When my wife filed for divorce, she did it in her hometown in north Texas (Archer County) so the case had to be dealt with there; my lawyer didn’t represent my interests as well as he should’ve, and I unknowingly signed away my parental rights all together. I found this out when I consulted with an Austin based lawyer who advised me that I would first have to have the court ruling overturned before I could petition the court for international visitation. The financial cost of this undertaking is well beyond my means, so you heard it here first folks, not all Kuwaiti’s are rich ;)
    My son will turn 15 this month. There are no words that I could use to convey the gut wrenching, heart crushing, and hope killing feelings I’ve had to deal with over the years.
    I have since remarried and I have a daughter who is a year old. She knows her brother in pictures, and I hope she’ll get to know him in person one day. I welcome your thoughts and comments: jaber.alsaleh@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you very much for sharing your story. I hope and pray you that you will be able to see your son again soon. <3

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    2. Thank u for sharing your story. It must be very hard for you. Your son knows you care and love him and will one day understand the bureaucracy involved. I commend you on your efforts and hope you will be reunited soon.

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  41. Jaber Al-SalehJuly 22, 2013

    Thanks LWDLIK :)

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  42. AnonymousMay 12, 2014

    Hi

    I hope you are well.
    I came across your blog whilst browsing for similar experiences to mine.
    My mum was English and my dad is a Kuwaiti. They hooked up about 40 years ago while my dad was studying in England. Shortly before I was born however my dad returned to Kuwait. I have never met him. My mum sadly passed away several years ago. I've tried many times to contact my Dad, I traced him through the Kuwait embassy when I was 20, only to find out that I come from a very well known respected family that have done good for Kuwait. This was good news and upon contacting my father he sounded very happy, told me he had kept a photo of me as a baby and said he would meet me. This was about 17 years ago and I have still never set eyes on him, he has always let me down. He even told me I have a brother and sisters which due to my own research I now know their names, but I'm reluctant to contact them as this is the reason I suspect my dad will not allow me to be part of my family. I contacted a cousin of mine over in Kuwait on Facebook, I met him in London, we got on instantly, like we had known each other for years. Unfortunately though, after telling his dad about me, he told me that he was forbidden to have any further contact because his Dad said it would cause trouble within the family but did say my dad lives near messilah area, but that's all. Unfortunately every time I try to contact my dad I get no reply. Last year he unexpectedly contacted me and said he would meet me and my 6yr old daughter at Christmas and he will let me know when. I have not heard from him since his message and he has now blocked my number. He plays with my feelings, but now it is having the same effect on my daughter, she thought she was going to meet her grandfather and he has let us both down. I would love to get to know him despite constantly playing with my emotions for the past 20years. I feel like I'm missing a whole half of who I am and my culture. I think every child should be entitled to meet their own father. I have even said that I understand if his position is difficult, I do not mind meeting in another country if this makes it easier for him. I live in England but long to visit Kuwait also.
    I am tempted to contact my brother, but would prefer to exhaust all avenues before I do this.
    My father must have a business address as the rest of my family are very easy to trace and hold quite good positions within Kuwait. Unfortunately I have no one that is willing to put their neck on the line to help me. All the family that do know about me, say my dad is a very difficult man to communicate with and they think he is wrong treating me this way and they cannot invite me until my dad acknowledges me, but suspect his wife and most certainly my half brother and sisters do not know about me. This is why they think my dad behaves the way he does.

    If you have any advice you wish share with me it would be very much appreciated.

    Sometimes I wonder if my dad is just waiting for me to show up rather than meet me voluntarily.

    I can't take much more, I only want to meet my Dad. Life is too short

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    1. I really feel for you and can't imagine being in your situation. I would be so pissed off at him and hurt. However, I do understand why your Kuwaiti Father has behaved like he has and why.

      First thing first: It's not your fault or your Mother's fault. I'm sure they were in love when they made you. I'm sure your Father loves you and feels a tremendous amount of guilt. At least I would hope so. 40 years ago is a long time and the world was a different place. Kuwait is still very conservative and out of wedlock pregnancies is punishable by jail.

      I am no expert so all I can give you is my opinion. I think your Father has been afraid to meet you. He's scared to bring shame to his family that he had a child out of wedlock. (Which is a big no-no in Islam and in Kuwait society.) Not to mention that your Mother was not Kuwaiti and probably not a Muslim.

      He may have been talked out of meeting you at the last minute by the few family members that know about you. For fear of what it could do to the "family name" or to his wife and children.

      I would not just show up to meet him because it could cause a negative reaction and push him further away. I would just put it out there that you would like to meet him before it's too late. How you understand why he has been afraid to meet you but that you just want to see your Father. Give him your telephone numbers and email address. Then I would talk to a professional about how this has effected you and your life. It's good to just tell someone that will give you much better advice than I can give. You can also try to meet online others in your situation who can offer support.

      I really hope you will be able to meet you Father one day and if not that you will feel peace in your heart that it wasn't you but him. It's not that he doesn't love you it is just the strict / closed society he was brought up in.

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  43. My experience as a Kuwaiti-American in Kuwait and what might be the experience of others like me


    Hi all I'm a half Kuwaiti & half American. I was born and raised in Kuwait and my father insisted on putting me & my sister through government school due to fear that we would not be well taught about the practices of Islam. Usually what you would think is that I would be good at speaking in Kuwaiti. The fact is that I speak Kuwaiti with my father & my mom can't speak Arabic only English (she knows some Arabic words but can't make it into a sentence) so basically in our house when everyone is sitting together we speak English so that my mom can understand. I only speak Kuwaiti with my father which has made my Kuwaiti accent bad however the fact that I'm in government school has allowed me to have a good accent in traditional Arabic. Next is the fact that being a mix I couldn't get along with the other students with me in government school I basically had only 2-3 friends and that was when I was in grade 10. Later on when I was in grade 11 I sort of stated to improve (very little) when I had friends ( still 2-3) I started to talk and improve my accent, but it will never be like that of someone who has spoken it continuously on a daily basis from a young age. The next thing to mention is that anyone who knows boys in Kuwait (especially in government schools) should realize that considering my circumstances I was constantly made fun off because of my poor Kuwaiti dialect. This has in my case unfortunately led to a feeling of insecurity and personal identity; here I am Kuwaiti but not Kuwaiti and being mocked by others which is itself a big topic. Needless to say is that I don’t think my parents realize that I didn’t have any friends until grade 10 which is not normal. Next off was going to university which was a bit easier since you get to see a bigger group of people. It was there in university which I made more friends, well actually only 4 and the ones from high school just disappeared and I tried to keep in contact, but it was time for us to go our separate ways. The next thing I would like to mention is that the society in Kuwait is very judgmental which is a big problem. Furthermore to those of you reading you’re probably wondering at this point what about his cousins why didn't he hangout with them like in most Kuwaiti families. Well unfortunately they were also judgmental and my father is blind to that and denies it. The next stage of my life is working and getting married. Well the work part is already done I'm already working in Kuwait (Yes still in Kuwait even after all I just wrote). The next thing is marriage I’ve been told by my mother to marry a mix like me, or an open minded Kuwaiti girl (What I mean is a Kuwaiti girl who studied in a English or American school from an open family) although I’ve been told that a mix is better for me. There is another matter in relation to marriage which is that all those that are mixes that serve as candidates for me to marry are from my mother’s network of friends. Meanwhile if I wanted to get married to an open minded Kuwaiti girl I would have to search on my own. Also something else that I should have mentioned above which is that my father is not supportive and wants everything to go his way unlike mom, but to be fair my father was mostly concerned with academics not the other things. Finally (well almost) it might seem to those of you who read this that I’m complaining about my life but I’ve already been told several times that those who go through hardships in life are more understanding of life and of what’s important. Finally, I'm also thinking of starting my own blog for Kuwaiti-Americans.


    Thanks
    From a TCK (Third culture kid)
    Abdullah

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    1. Abdullah, you sound like such a great guy and screw anyone who doesn't see that. I thought it was "cool" to be half-American. They're just hatin'! :p

      Why don't you email me at expatandthecity@gmail.com so I can give you some information about a Facebook group for half Kuwaitis. You might meet some people to chat / hangout with.

      My advice: You have to decide what you want in life. It's not up to your parents, friends, schoolmates, teachers, siblings, etc. You can do anything that you put your mind to as long as you work hard. You just can't let other people’s opinion of you define you. When people are threatened by you they often try to bully you down. Please don't let them! It's all about staying positive and finding a few real friends versus many casual ones.

      If you want the half-Kuwait girl’s info then please email me and I will hook you up.

      *Hugs* and best of luck to you.

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  44. Thanks for the creation of a Blog in Kuwait. I do not know if my comment showed up, but I commend your publication of this Blog. In addition, it is my desire to come to Kuwait, and also to find one young girl (at that time), whose father was Egyptian, and her mother Asian, working in Kuwait. Her father died in a hotel he worked at in Dahab, South Sinai, Egypt, after he returned from Kuwait, but her mom stayed in Kuwait. She and her 2 brothers returned to Kuwait. I lost her contact info though she wrote me from Kuwait. Her name is Aiesha, but I do not know her family name. What a lovely young woman. She was 15 or 16 in 2007.

    ReplyDelete

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