January 29, 2011

Protect Women and Children

Gang Recruited Russian Women as Sex Slaves to Work Abroad

By Marina Lapenkova, AFP

MOSCOW - Russian investigators have arrested members of an international human trafficking gang that lured hundreds of young women into prostitution in Western Europe and Asia with promises of lucrative work abroad.

Police in the Far East of Russia announced that three people had been charged with human trafficking as part of a gang made up of Russian and Greek citizens, following an investigation by Greek police.

Investigator Yulia Volkova from the far eastern city of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, a defence industry hub on the Amur River, told AFP the stories of some of the women entrapped into sex slavery, giving only their first names.

In December 2009, Darya, a 22-year-old student, and her friend Nina, both single mothers, decided to call an employment agency in the city that offered work abroad after seeing an ad on local television.

"We are looking for young women aged 18 to 30 to work abroad," the ad promised.

A recruiter, a seemingly pleasant woman in her 30s, invited them to her apartment and reassured them that they would not be forced to work in the sex industry, or "intim" as the sphere is slangily termed in Russian.

Working as waitresses in a cafe in Israel or Cyprus, they could earn 1,500 euros ($1,950) per month, ten times the average salary in their economically depressed region, she promised.  Both women decided to accept the offer and to leave their children behind with their parents.

In January 2010, Darya and Nina landed in Athens, travelling on tourist visas arranged by the agency, which said that this would simplify the process.

They discovered almost immediately that their new "job" was prostitution and that they would have to pay the traffickers 10,000 euros each to be released.

After a few months, Nina managed to jump off a first-floor balcony and went straight to the Russian Consulate, which sent her home.

Meanwhile Darya was locked in a cellar and beaten by her Greek and Albanian-speaking minders, who wanted to know where Nina had gone.

Finally she managed to call a friend in Russia, who contacted police. During a Greek police operation, Darya was freed and arrived back in Russia in December.

Tatyana, 20, arrived in Cyprus a few months later after applying to work as a waitress. She found herself forced into prostitution, servicing up to 50 clients a day, until a Turkish-speaking colleague managed to alert police.  Another woman, Lena, was sent to work in a brothel in South Korea. She managed to escape, leaving a soft toy under the blankets of her bed to temporarily confuse her keepers.

The Russian probe came after Greek police announced in early December that they had arrested 177 members of an international human trafficking ring that drew most of its sex workers from Russia and other Eastern European countries.

Russian investigators seized hundreds of photographs of young women while searching the homes of the agency's two recruiters in December, said Volkova of the Komsomolsk-on-Amur investigative committee.

Around 50 victims have agreed to testify. Some of the other women are still abroad, but the majority of the women tracked down have refused to give witness statements, Volkova said.

Two of the recruiters were detained in Khabarovsk, a city close to the Chinese border to the south of Komsomolsk-on-Amur, said a spokesman for the local Investigative Committee of the State Prosecutor's Office, Ilya Gudkov.

In Amursk, 300 kilometres (190 miles) to the north of Khabarovsk, prosecutors have opened an inquiry into another recruitment agency that sent its victims to Greece, Japan and China.

Full Story

Guys, this is something to think about the next time you brag about your weekend getaway of 'fun' at work.  Paying for it supports human trafficking and makes you a criminal. They are someone’s Mother and Daughter working as slaves. Stop supporting Human Trafficking and save a life.   

Dead Giveaway

Philippines Catches Fake Nuns Going to Lebanon


Full Story Yahoo News

MANILA - Six women were detained at Manila airport after being caught trying to sneak into Lebanon dressed as nuns in a bid to get around a travel ban to the country, the immigration bureau said on Saturday. The women were pretending to be on their way to Hong Kong for a religious seminar but their unusual dress and behaviour alerted officials, the bureau.  Under questioning they eventually admitted they were actually on their way to Lebanon to work as domestic helpers.

The Philippines has banned people from going to Lebanon to work as helpers since 2007 due to the security situation and inadequate legal protection for its labourers there.  "Their appearance aroused our suspicion especially after we noticed that one of them had red shoes, a colourful handbag and wore her nun’s costume improperly," airport immigration officer Joel Valencia said in a statement.

Investigators are now trying to locate the man who illegally recruited them for work in Lebanon, the bureau said.  Despite the travel ban on workers, many Filipinos have gone illegally gone to work in Lebanon, circumventing the restrictions by travelling through third countries.

January 28, 2011

Woo Hoo ~ Over 100,000 Unique Hits in 10 Months

Today I realized that ExpatandtheCity has over 100,000 unique visitor hits since this blog was started on March 7, 2010. That may not sound like a lot to the Big Whigs of the Blogger World but it's much more than I ever expected. 171 different countries have visited E&TC. The top 5 countries that view this blog are: 39.6 % from the United States, 20.1 % Kuwait, 8.7 % United Kingdom, 4.8 % Canada and 3.2 % United Arab Emirates.

The best part of having this blog is making new friends outside of work in Kuwait and around the world.  Some Americans I know complain that they are unable to mix with Kuwaitis while working on US Camps in Kuwait. They feel that they are incapable of experiencing the ‘real Kuwait’ and are trapped in 'little America' in Kuwait. Thanks to my current job and this blog, I've had the privilege to meet some of Kuwait's finest citizens and bloggers. Sometimes this is face to face or through emails and comments. Through other Kuwaiti blogs I find out what’s new in Kuwait and where to relax, eat shop and visit during my time off.

Once in a while I receive emails asking for my assistance. Readers may have questions about what it is like to live and work in Kuwait and I am always honored to assist them. I love helping people and I will never forget what it was like the first time I arrived in Kuwait as a naive, culture shocked newbie.

I want to thank my friends who have contributed to ExpatandtheCity. This is your blog too and I appreciate all of the pictures and how you shared your experiences with me. Thank you to all of the bloggers that have really supported me. It's such an honor to get to know you and follow your blogs as well. To my readers who have a special place in my heart. Your comments always brighten my day and I usually read them and respond to them while at work. I take the time to respond to every comment.  I have an intense job in Kuwait and reading your comments and responding to them keeps a smile on my face.  THANK YOU!

xoxo E&TC

What NOT To Do When You Like A Guy In Kuwait

Three Girls fight over a boy at a café in Salmiya

Arab Times, KUWAIT CITY, Jan 22, 2011:: A fight broke out among three women at a café in Salmiya and all three of them filed separate police complaints, accusing the other two, reports Al-Rai daily.

One of them even submitted a medical report stating that her nose broke during the fight. An eyewitness said the fight took place over a smart young man.

Read Full Story in Arab Times

I would never fight over a man.  However if anyone dared to touch my box of Godiva's at work I would kick their ass!

Not Allowed

Arab Times, KUWAIT CITY, Jan 25, 2011: Deputy Minister of Interior Lieutenant General Ghazi Al-Omar has ordered the female supporting police force of all ranks to strictly stick to the proper police attire while they are on duty, reports Al-Watan daily.

In a circular, he banned the women police from wearing excessive hair accessories under hijab (headscarf), or wearing their hair long or dyeing the hair using eye-catching colors. They are also not allowed to use colored lenses or wear excessive make-up or wear more than one earring on each ear. They shouldn’t wear long nails or henna (a darkish orange natural dye) on their hands or tight-fitting clothing or abaya (traditional Kuwaiti dress).

According to Al-Watan, this circular has been issued, after some female officers reportedly became non-compliant with the ministry’s rules on proper police uniform.

Paula Deen Buffet Photos From One of my Kuwaiti Readers in the USA

The Paula Deen Buffet at the Horseshoe Casino in Southern Indiana (across the river from Louisville, KY)

I'm not into buffets but this is one that I would go to and pig out (oink oink). Khalid emailed me that it was the best buffet in the world.  Thank you for the photographs and information Khalid :) 

زين - أغنية الوحدة و التلاحم

January 26, 2011

Girls Are Like This Only ~ From 'Loner' ~ 1

Islamophobia ~ From 'Loner' ~ 2

Kuwaiti's Get Cash $ and Free Food

Amir grants $4 bn, free food to Kuwaiti Citizens for 14 months

Arab Times, KUWAIT CITY, Jan 17, 2011 (AFP) -His Highness Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah on Monday ordered the distribution of $4 billion and free food for 14 months to citizens as the oil-rich emirate prepares to mark national occasions.
Each of the 1.12 million native citizens will get 1,000 dinars ($3,572) in cash as well as free essential food items until March 31, 2012, the KUNA news agency cited state minister for cabinet affairs Rudhan al-Rudhan as saying.
The Gulf state, whose financial assets top $300 billion, will next month mark the 50th anniversary of independence, 20th anniversary of liberation from Iraqi occupation and the fifth anniversary of the emir's ascendance to power.
The announcement was made following an overnight meeting of the cabinet. The 2.4 million foreign residents of Kuwait are excluded from the grant and the free food.
Inflation in Kuwait soared to 5.9 percent in November, the highest in 20 months on the back of high food prices which rose by 12.3 percent.
The fifth largest OPEC producer has posted budget surpluses in each of the past 11 fiscal years, totalling more than $140 billion, and is also headed for another healthy surplus this year thanks to rising oil price.
The government has made similar but smaller grants in the past.
The Gulf Arab state provides a cradle-to-grave welfare system to its citizens who receive most public services and petrol at heavily subsidised prices and pay no income tax.
Some 80 percent of Kuwait's 360,000-strong national workforce are employed in government jobs, where the average monthly wage is more than $3,500.
Full Story

This is old news but I had this post in my drafts for a while.  I wanted to post this for my international readers who might not have heard about the February celebrations.  Congrats to my Kuwaiti readers and friends.

January 22, 2011

Hannity and FOX News Suck!

This morning while drinking my coffee and munching down on a Krispy Kreme doughnut I began to catch up on my favorite blogs.  My friend, Taz @ Bananaq8, posted about FOX News in Arabic with a video in English.  I started watching the video of FOX News and couldn't believe my ears.  What a bunch of offensive morons! They are spreading false information and putting American troops and civilians who live in Kuwait in danger.  Kuwaitis please know that most Americans do not feel this way at all. I love living in Kuwait and it's my second home.

Huffington Post

January 22, 2011

On his Friday show, Sean Hannity wondered why Iraq and Kuwait hadn't "[paid] for their own liberation" by the United States, and said that America has the right to "go in there...and take all their oil."

Hannity was speaking to his nightly "Great American Panel." The panel was discussing high oil prices. Hannity was incredulous and angry at the prospect of oil prices climbing:

" I say why isn't Iraq paying us back with oil, and paying every American family and their soldiers that lost loved ones or have injured soldiers -- and why didn't they pay for their own liberation? For the Kuwait oil minister -- how short his memory is. You know, we have every right to go in there and frankly take all their oil and make them pay for the liberation."

Thanks Taz :*

January 21, 2011

M·A·C Cosmetics Cham Pale Free Giveaway Contest Winner Q8Stig

3. Super Cars Dawn Run in Kuwait


Taking someone to something new in Kuwait is not easy, so I decided to take Expat to a new experiment in Kuwait rather than a place.

It will be a tour in more than one super car (she can move from one car to another) and get the feel of how to enjoy something new in life with all the safety aids.


Congratulations to Stiggy for winning the M·A·C Cosmetics Cham Pale Free Giveaway Contest.

A special Thank You to Q8Stig, Desert Blvd, Rawan and The Side Talk Blog for entering the contest.  All of you had winning photographs to me.  Thank you also to the voters.  There were 769 people who voted and you can view the results at the bottom of this post.

Pick One Winner
1. The Terrace of Our House in Kuwait
2. The National Assembly of Kuwait
3. Super Cars Dawn Run in Kuwait
4. Sunset at Soug Sharq in Kuwait

pollcode.com free polls

1. 29% ~ 222 Votes
2. 1% ~ 10 Votes
3. 36% ~ 275 Votes
4. 34% ~ 262 Votes

January 18, 2011

His Return

Tomorrow is the day that he flies back to me.  His return is what I've been waiting for all week.  He promised to call me everyday and he did.  I didn't know it was possible to miss someone as much as I've missed him. 

January 16, 2011

It's Time to Vote for One Winner ~ M·A·C Cham Pale Cosmetics Free Giveaway Contest

M·A·C Cham Pale Cosmetics Free Giveaway Contest is now closed.  Please vote for your favorite photograph below.  Voting ends on January 20, 2011 at midnight.

The Giveaway: One lucky winner will receive a M·A·C 'Cham Pale' collection valued around $100. I believe this collection is currently not available in Kuwait.

Contest Rules: Each contestant was asked to email us an original photograph that they took showing where they would take ExpatandtheCity to show us a piece of Kuwait (landmark, desert camp, chalet, restaurant, mall, event, etc.) They had to write a brief description for their photograph explaining why they would take Expat there. Humor was encouraged but not a requirement. ExpatandtheCity's website or logo must appear in the photograph. They should show creativity and originality.

For more information please read the entire contest rulesClick on each photograph to view the full size.  Vote for your favorite photograph at the poll on the top, right side of this blog.  Only one vote is allowed per person (via IP address).

We want to thank our readers for all of your support and encouragement.  Thank you His & Hers Q8 and Q8Stig for your lovely posts about our giveaway contest.  Stay tuned for our 1st year anniversary giveaway contest coming up very soon. 

We want to give a special thank you to the Bloggers that entered our contest.  We realize that this has been a very busy time with studying for final exams.  We wish everyone the best of luck!

Photograph Entries:

1.  The Terrace of Our Home in Kuwait

I'd invite Expatandthecity to the terrace of our home :D whether it's day light where you can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and the amazing view of 'the somehow still bluish' gulf..or if it's at night where you can see the lights of the buildings on Salem Al-Mubarak Street, yet not be disturbed with all the noisy traffic, cz your so up above :) it's such a relaxing spot to take your mind off everything, enjoy a bbq, shisha n' snacks, or just playing board games with your gang of friends :D


2.  The National Assembly of Kuwait

The place we want to take "Expat" to. You may ask:

"Why in Gods name do you want to take her there?!

Well, it's a place we used to feel proud of, and

where we bragged about our democracy to

other GCC countries. Well......

Not anymore!

You see "Expat" you don't have to fly to New York City,

to catch the "Broadway Shows" you can have it right here in

Kuwait City! Whether you're into theatre or the “circus” we have it!

"The Phantom of The Opera"

Featured by: The Members of The Parliament.

"Les Misérables" and "Mamma Mia!"

Featured by: Our Nation

Ticket Status: Sold Out!


3.  Super Cars Dawn Run in Kuwait

Taking someone to something new in Kuwait is not easy, so I decided to take Expat to a new experiment in Kuwait rather than a place.

It will be a tour in more than one super car (she can move from one car to another) and get the feel of how to enjoy something new in life with all the safety aids.


4. Sunset at Soug Sharq in Kuwait 

I would take Expat to Soug Sharq because after you're done having your coffee at starbucks you can go to the beach which looks really pretty at sunset. Best time to avoid the crowd and weird people would be on a Saturday during the morning :P But if you want the sunset then you'll have to deal with the crowd.


~ The End ~ 

Please vote "once" for your favorite photograph at the poll on the top, right side of this blog.  The poll closes January 20, 2011 at midnight.

Thank you!

January 15, 2011

Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah

‎June 29, 1926 – January 15, 2006

The people of Kuwait loved Sheikh Jaber to the extent that they referred to him as 'Baba Jaber', meaning Father Jaber.

Sheikh Jaber's reign is notable for his success in granting women political enfranchisement. He first proposed an amendment to Kuwait's Election Law in 1999, allowing women to elect and be elected. But the bill was rejected by the conservative National Assembly and it was not until 2005 that Kuwaiti women were finally granted political rights.

Sheik Jaber was a close friend of the United States even before the first Gulf war, and his rule saw a further strengthening of ties with the US and the UK. He also cracked down on Islamists opposed to the US military presence in Kuwait, and sentenced Al Qaeda-linked militants to death.

Despite his wealth, Sheik Jaber was considered a quiet listener who avoided ostentation. His palace in Kuwait City's Dasman neighbourhood near the sea was described as a spacious but ordinary house, and bread and yogurt often satisfied him at mealtimes.

The UAE president, Sheikh Khalifa, described him as 'a prominent leader who had dedicated his lifetime for the service and well-being of his country and Arab and Muslim nations.'

Winter Carnival in Kuwait on January 28, 2011

The Indian Educational School, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan will be holding its annual Winter Carnival on 28th January 2011 from 11am - 8pm at the school premises itself.

It will be a fun-filled day with Games, Bouncy, Beauty Corner, Magic show, Cultural program, Food, Raffle Draw and lots of other fun activities!

Apart from all this, they will be having various competitions for children:

  • Infants and Toddlers Show
  • Fashion Show
  • Dhoom Machale Dhoom - Solo & Group Dance Competition
Please find below the Carnival's flier for further information.

January 14, 2011

M·A·C Cham Pale Cosmetics Free Giveaway Contest Ends Saturday at Midnight ~ January 15, 2011

Winner Receives:

1628781 M·A·C 'Cham Pale' Lipgelée ~ Bubble Lounge

338510 M·A·C 'Cham Pale' Chromagraphic Pencil ~ Nw25/Nc30

287311 M·A·C Studio Fix Lash ~ Black Fix

2563935 M·A·C 'Cham Pale' Lipstick ~ Quiet, Please (L)

2924773 M·A·C 'Cham Pale' Eyeshadow Quad ~ Caviar Dreams

American Goddess Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson Visits the US Troops on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait in 2008

Google Images
Facts about Scarlett:

She was born in New York City, NY on November 22, 1984

She has a twin brother named Hunter

Her Mother is Jewish and her Father is Catholic

She is an American actress and singer

She was married to actor Ryan Reynolds and she dated Sean Penn

She is extremely talented and drop dead gorgeous (duh!)

Stars and Stripes photo ~ Camp Arifjan, Kuwait 2008

September 16, 2011 update:

FBI hunt hackers over Scarlett Johansson leaked nude photographs.