December 29, 2012

My Christmas in Kuwait 2012 ~ Part 2

 
What to do when H has meetings and most of your closest friends have left Kuwait on vacation? Stay at The Kuwait Hilton Beach and Spa Resort with B where they celebrate Christmas in Kuwait big time.
 
 
Last year we had Christmas at the lovely Hotel Missoni but it just didn't feel like Christmas.  The Hilton has decorations and celebrations everywhere complete with Poinsettias and festive music.
 
 
A gigantic Christmas tree at the Songbird Cafe complete with Filipinos singing Christmas carols and Christmas themed food.
 
 
Christmas Cakes <3
 
 
It rained or was cloudy most of the time but Boxing Day brought us rays of gorgeous sunshine.
 
 
It finally became a little cold and the Arabian Gulf and beach were just stunning.
 
 
We had our own rooms with breathtaking views.
 
 
H came to the Hilton first thing Christmas morning for exchanging presents and Christmas brunch before his first meeting.  He was really sleepy because of our late night Christmas Eve dinner at the Hilton the night before.
 
 
Jewelry <3 (most romantic present from my Kuwaiti Santa).  I added some sparkle and a splash of Santa Claus for the photograph.
 
 
H found the English edition of the Sons of Sinbad at the last book fair in Kuwait.  You can find out more on the Australian Sea Captain Alan Velliers if you read our post on Touring Kuwait in Three Days [here].
 
 
Hermes finally called H that the Birkin was in and I opened this beauty on Christmas morning. Bama brought hers along to the Hilton so we were matchy matchy. :p (H isn't very happy that I made him take this bag and a few others to his house and store in his enormous walkin closet.  I only use them when we go to dinner so he has to bring me my bag of choice for every date. I'm training him already on how to be a good husband. ;)

 
Because of the Christmas gifts I knew about already, I made him promise no more expensive gifts, only a few tiny, thoughtful presents and my poem.  If you know H you find out quickly how unpredictable & crazy on birthdays and holidays he gets. (Hence the bags and wrapped boxes he teased me with.) The more you tell him don't, the more he does...That includes friends, family, co-workers and charities.  He spends his life helping others and making people happy yet you will never hear him talk about it.  Here I am blogging about all my experiences in Kuwait and telling the world.  He's a very private person and I guess I will have to be more like him once we get married. (This bag is also going to H's house. His Mother has a collection of bags to die for and they have massive US Style security around their gigantic house.)
    
 
Christmas brunch? Honey please...! We indulged all day long.
 
 
Two days of spa treatments with the aquatic pool and it was a very relaxing and wet Christmas.
  
 
Just push the "magic" button and you can request almost any wish.  (i.e. Hot chocolate with whip cream in the middle of the night.) No hotel in Kuwait treats you better than they do in my opinion. They almost always get your request right.
 
 
Hot Chocolate <3
 
 
What a romantic late night of strawberries dipped in chocolate and a remote control. Kidding! We watched Santa Claus 3. ;p
 
Although I am far from home and missing my family and loved ones in America, this Christmas in Kuwait was spectacular thanks to the Kuwait Hilton, my gf Bama and true love and soul mate, H.
 
For the post on Part 1 click [here].
 
 

RIP Retired US General Norman Schwarzkopf ~ Kuwait Amir Condoles Loss of Liberator of Kuwait

     Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf stands at ease with his tank troops during Operation Desert Storm
in Saudi Arabia. Schwarzkopf died on Dec 27, in Tampa, Fla. He was 78. (AP) (Arab Times)

Amir Condoles Loss of Liberator of Kuwait

WASHINGTON, Dec 28, (Agencies): Retired Gen H. Norman Schwarzkopf, who topped an illustrious military career by commanding the US-led international coalition that drove Saddam Hussein’s forces out of Kuwait in 1991 but kept a low public profile in controversies over the second Gulf War against Iraq, has died. He was 78.

His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah addressed a cable of condolences to US President Barack Obama and the former president, George H.W. Bush, on the demise of General Norman Schwarzkopf.

HH the Amir noted the general’s pivotal role in command of the “Desert Storm” operations for liberation of Kuwait in 1991 and his honorable stances, at the time, that would remain implanted in memories of the Kuwaiti people.

His Highness addressed an identical cable to family of the renowned general.

Identical cables were addressed to Obama by HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah to Obama and Bush, as well as to the family of the deceased.

A sister of Schwarzkopf, Ruth Barenbaum of Middlebury, Vermont, said Thursday that he died in Tampa, Florida, from complications from pneumonia. “We’re still in a state of shock,” she said by phone. “This was a surprise to us all.”

Today, we mourn the passing of General Normal Schwarzkopf. For 35 years, he served in the United States Army and will be remembered as one of the great military strategies of his generation and an inspiring leader. In Kuwait, he will be remembered for his command of the international coalition that decisively defeated Saddam Hussein’s army in 1991 and restored Kuwait to its rightful government and sovereignty to its people. The memory of General Schwarzkopf will inspire future generations to serve their country, say Matthew H. Tueller, US Ambassador to Kuwait.

Re-posted from the Arab Times [source]. To read the entire article click [here].
 

December 28, 2012

My Christmas in Kuwait 2012 ~ Part 1

 
Christmas on the Louisiana Bayou even in Kuwait

 
Lots of Godiva Hot Chocolate and extra whip cream on top of napkins from my big sister.

 
Family pictures scattered throughout my apartment because they are always in my heart.
 
 
My Christmas Kitchen Angel
 
 
I made my own snow and here are some of the first Christmas goodies to arrive from H.
 
 
 
I didn't decorate the apartment this year because I spent it away at the Kuwait Hilton Beach Resort & Spa. I just added a little Christmas sparkle here and there...

 
The thoughtful cards from friends and family are always appreciated and loved when you are faraway from home.

 
The second arrival of some Christmas goodies from Godiva, New Orleans Pralines and white chocolate dipped pretzel rods.

 
Tons of Christmas movies to keep you in the holiday spirit.
 
 
My first package arrived from my big sister, Ree.  I was jumping up and down with excitement because she asked me not to wait until Christmas but to open it up right away.

 
She is so thoughtful and takes the time to wrap each little present with the most festive and adorable wrapping paper complete with ribbons and confetti. Thank you gorgeous! Love and miss you so much... <3
 
 For the post on Part 2 click [here].
 
 

December 26, 2012

The Luscious Launch of Guilty for Fashion Winter 2013 Collection

 
 
 Readers, you are invited to the launch of the Kuwaiti Fashion House, Luscious, for their Guilty for Fashion winter 2013 collection.  The stunning, Kuwaiti, fashion designer, Hala, has worked very hard on her new collection and would love for you all to attend. 

For more details and sneak peeks of the collection you can follow on:

Instagram- @lusciousdesigns
 
Twitter - @lusciouskuwait
 
Email- lusciouskuwait@gmail.com or call 22968085 or whatsapp 97369083
 
Congratulations Hala! <3
 
 

NUKS Winter Orientation for Kuwaiti High School Seniors and Graduates Seeking Higher Education in the USA

 
NUKS winter orientation to high-school seniors and graduates, and those seeking higher education in the U.S. to join us for our bi-yearly orientation in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education in Kuwait and kind support from the U.S. Embassy, AMIDEAST, and the British Council.
 

يسر الإتحاد الوطني لطلبة الكويت – فرع الولايات المتحدة الأميركية عن إقامة اللقاء التنويري السنوي للفتره الشتوية بالتعاون مع جهات الابتعاث

التاريخ : 25 – 12 – 2012

اليوم : الثلاثاء

الساعة :8:00 مساء

المكان : فندق موفنبيك - قاعة المؤتمرات – المنطقة الحرة

و سيشمل اللقاء على مجموعة كبيرة من الفعاليات و الفقرات التي تفيد جميع الطلبة الراغبين بالدراسة في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية ابتداءً من تواجد الجهات الرسمية المشاركة باللقاء إلى اللسؤال عن أمور الفيزا و جميع الأمور المتعلقة بالبعثات و اختبارات اللغة و طريقة التحضير لها. هذا و سيتواجد الطلبة ممثلي الإتحاد من مختلف المدن و الولايات الأميركية بمختلف التخصصات حتى يتسنى للطلبة سؤالهم حول الحياة في الولايات المتحدة و الدراسة في تخصصاتهم و جامعاتهم ، كما يمكنهم السؤال عما يمكن أن يقدمه الإتحاد للطلبة في الكويت و خلال دراستهم في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية.

للاستفسار

97758617
97758619

 

December 24, 2012

In Memory of Dr. Jaber Youssef ~ The March of White at the Avenues Mall December 26th


 
My deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of Dr. Jaber Youssef.
 
May he rest in peace forever with our Lord, Allah.
 
 

Receiving Christmas Gifts From the Man You Love. Is it Really the Thought That Counts?


For me it's the thought that counts.  There is nothing more hurtful then a man you love not remembering you on Christmas, your Birthday, Valentine's Day or your Anniversary.  Even if they cannot afford to buy you a gift they should at least make you something, pick flowers, cook dinner or buy you a card. 

Since I met H in Kuwait every holiday has been more than special.  He has exceeded my expectations in the thoughtful, romantic and materialistic department.  I never thought someone could be even more generous than my Father but he has even beaten him.  Unlike my Father who doesn't have a clue what to buy and has to rely on a personal shopper for Mom, H is pretty good at shopping for me.  He has even built a relationship with some of the mangers at my favorite stores so he is called when hot items or limited editions arrive.  Ever since my Father bought my Mother gifts from a hardware store one Christmas many years ago, I was always in charge of purchasing his gifts for Mom.   Basically I became a Personal Shopper from a young age with an unlimited budget. I learned really fast to ask Mom what she wanted so that I could have an idea of what to shop for. I even wrapped them for Dad which made his life pretty darn easy.  To this day I must take credit for helping them stay happily married. ;) When we all left for University he's had to hire a real personal shopper to keep his Queen happy.
Since the man I love has never celebrated Christmas until he met me he brings extra holiday joy into my life.  He is a Muslim and I am a Christian so we both embrace each other's holidays and exchange gifts. He has grown and changed a lot for the better since I first wrote the post, His Rules.   He knows that Christmas is about the birth of Christ (which Muslims recognize as a Prophet in Islam) and not just exchanging gifts.  We also do something special every year to make our Christmas memory last forever.

Now, back to the point of this post…
Do you realize that it may be difficult for your loved one to know what to buy so you often hint or tell them what you would like?

Do you buy your gifts yourself with his money?
If the man you love gives you something you do not like and would prefer to exchange do you keep it because it’s the thought that counts? Do you use it to make him happy or does it end up in your closet with the land of the lost?

Do you tell him you love that he was so thoughtful and bought it for you but would prefer to exchange it for something more your style that you can wear more often?
Do you choose not to exchange gifts with each other and just celebrate a non-materialistic holiday?

Do you give to charities instead of each other?
For H and me we try to be very honest and direct with ‘almost’ everything in our lives.  We also tell each other if there is something we would like to help the other out. Since we both think the other has everything already and that it’s difficult to buy for each other. 

One of my gifts this year was something that I told him I liked.  It was on order for a long time and it finally came in for Christmas.  I only say things that I know he can pay cash for which is why I didn’t ask for the Christmas red Ferrari I want and of course do not need.  (Hint hint to my real Santa in the North Pole.)
One of my favorite gifts from my Mother is a Christmas CD filled with many pictures of us when were were growing up.  The very best thing from Dad is that he has saved most of our Christmas lists and pictures to Santa and he loves to read  / show them over Christmas dinner. I can't tell you how hilarious it is to read what you asked Santa for from 5 - 12 years old.  What little spoiled brats we were!  We were certainly naughty more than nice.  Every year we are together we almost fall on the floor laughing at some of the Christmas drawings we made to go with Santa's milk and cookies.
I saw yesterday that H has also bought me some more gifts from a few of my favorite stores. They are wrapped in the stores wrapping paper or bags and he showed me them last night just to tease me.  I have no clue what they are but again, it’s the thought that counts and how sweet of him to buy me more for Christmas when he has already gone overboard.  

H works very hard for his money and doesn't just depend on his 'family's money' like a lot of people I know in the Southern USA and  Kuwait.  He barely has the time to shop so I'm moved that he actually picks out everything himself with a little help from the sales agents.  The good thing about us is that if I do not like something he will not be upset if I exchange nor would I if he does.  I'm not saying it's always easy to say the word "exchange" but it's just better to be honest.

The Christmas gift I look forward to more than anything is my special poem.  He is a poet and for every holiday or special occasion I receive a poem written just for me.  They are so good he is going to publish them in a book for one of my wedding gifts. Now that’s romantic and one of the reasons I’m sure now about spending the rest of my life with him.

Merry Christmas everyone! Hug your loved ones tight because they are what matters the most.
<3 Expat

P.S. If you have a Western wife or gf and need a little help on what to buy her for Christmas please do not hesitate to email me so I can help you. There is something romantic and thoughtful in every price range.  I would like to add that I have no affiliations with any stores and would never profit from this offer that is just to help you! :)

Update: This was taken from the Arab Times and written by Labeed Abdal [Link]
 
Xmas in Kuwait
 
Christmas is an annual occasion for celebrating the birth of Prophet Jesus which is celebrated on the 25th of December every year. Exchanging gifts and greeting cards, putting up special lights and playing the season`s music themes makes this spiritual time a real special treat which is shared with others.
 
Coming together as a family, and meeting the old, the poor and the handicapped instills in us values of caring for each other, and understanding our responsibility towards the society as we all need to coexist during good times as well as hard times. Many expats are away from home and we wish all of them a merry time. All of us must enjoy the full Christmas regalia, including the costumes and the season, even if it is not snowing here.
 
We in Kuwait are historically open to living amidst multicultural society and understand that our morals are multi-faith and peace with other believers is the most effective way to maintain harmony in the society. In many societies around the world, this season is also a time for cooperation and reconciliation. Very often, Muslim employees fill up for their colleagues at the work place to enable them to take part in the festivities, a gesture duly reciprocated by the other side when Muslims are fasting during Ramadan and celebrating Eid al-fitr.
 
Christmas is truly a sign of tolerance, acceptance and maturity of the society. It is a spirit that needs to prevail every day of every month of every year, away from the atmosphere of hatred, extremism and radicalism.
 
Thank you Mr. Abdal :)
 
 

December 21, 2012

Flying Gadget Caught Spying on Camp Arifjan, Kuwait

Photo Credit: The flying object equipped with sensitive cameras used for spying activities seized by police.

Citizen involved as ‘probe’ uncovers likely terrorist plot.  Sensitive material found on ‘flying gadget’s’ cameras

Arab Times, [Link] December 18, 2012, Kuwait City: Investigations into the sophisticated aerial equipment which recently crashed into the oil tower belonging to the Kuwait Oil Company show that a Kuwaiti man is an accomplice in the alleged underground activities, reports Al-Shahed daily.

The prime suspect who is in police custody is believed to be a member of the Lebanese Hezbollah, say sources close to the investigation.

The same sources say the photos which have been retrieved from the equipment’s imaging device contain footage of vital oil installations in Shuaiba and Ahmadi.

This is in addition to pictures of other edifices, the Kuwait International Airport and military installation in the Arifjan Camp.

The sources say the suspect has admitted to assembling the equipment in Kuwait and installing inside it the modern sophisticated filming device smuggled into the country from abroad.

The sources added the investigations are continuing to find out the motives of the people involved in the illegal activities. The sources added the security authorities have formed a team to monitor aerial devices, particularly since some of them are being flown in the vicinity of restricted areas and vital installations.

In a similar development, an Indian expatriate and three German expatriates were arrested recently for taking photographs of some oil installations in Shuaiba Port.

According to security sources, while Ahmadi securitymen were patrolling Shuaiba Port, they noticed four individuals holding a camera and taking photographs of the oil rigs.

When the suspects noticed the patrol vehicle, they tried in vain to hide. Securitymen arrested them and referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them.


 

December 19, 2012

Instagram in Kuwait: Will You Delete or Keep?


I along with most people on the planet realized that the moment Facebook took over Instagram there would be some major changes and privacy issues.  I can’t stand Facebook and want nothing to do with it.  Unfortunately I adore Instagram as a blog tool but that love is fading fast. 

Link: How to Export Your Instagram Photos Before Facebook Ruins Everything

Yesterday Instagram users were notified of their new, updated privacy policy that will be effective on January 16, 2013.  You can read about it [here].  According to their new policy they will own your photographs and do whatever they want with them. I think that conservative regions like the Middle East will have an enormous problem with that when you consider a girl’s picture could be used for advertisements around the world.  Hollywood celebrities also have an issue with it and many have threatened to delete their accounts. You can read about Kim Kardashian and others who threaten to delete [here].

I’m seriously considering deleting the blog Instagram account before January 16th.  I removed all my personal pictures from Instagram shortly after Facebook took over.  Most of us could see this coming from miles away. 

Readers, what are your thoughts on the new policy and will you delete or keep your Instagram account?

Update: After User Uproar, Instagram Apologizes and Reverts to Old Terms of Service

 

December 14, 2012

Are You Getting Married in Kuwait? Check Out the Kuwait Wedding App


Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite Kuwaiti blogs His&Hers and I saw their post [here] on the new App: Kuwait Wedding.  Talk about perfect timing for me and my Kuwaiti Prince. <3 So if  you or anyone you know is getting married in Kuwait be sure to check it out.
 
New! "Kuwait Wedding" iPhone/iPad Application

All you need to plan your Wedding in Kuwait. Easily find Event
Planners, Venues, Florists and more!


After I commented on His&Hers post we were emailed and sent pictures by the young Kuwaiti entrepreneur who just launched the App in Kuwait.  What a great App and we wish you the very best! 


 
 

Gangsta Kuwaitis in Paris? ~ "Arabs in Paris" Video (Ni**as in Paris Remix) by "Sons Of Yusuf"



OMG! LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL!!!

I saw this on 248AM and had to re-post. [YouTube]

The Blogs Lounge: Top Kuwait Blogs Listed by Rank

Click to enlarge

I was reading 965malls this week and saw their post on The Blogs Lounge. It's a blog that lists Kuwait's top blogs by rank according to Alexa.  If you are interested in adding your blog to the website you can do so [here].  However, it will only post your blog if you are ranked in Kuwait.  Sometimes Expat and the City is ranked high in Kuwait and sometimes it's not. The ranking changes daily and if you can post everyday (which we cannot) then you will have a higher rank.

Most of us Western bloggers in Kuwait do so for the pure love of blogging and helping others.  Everything else like invites to new restaurants, events, openings and gifts are just a bonus.  Still, it's nice to see that your blog is popular and doing well in Kuwait. 

I checked all the Western blogs I know of in Kuwait and here they are listed by their ranking: (If your blog isn't mentioned then you were not ranked in Kuwait or ranked with Alexa in the world above 3 million.  You can check the Alexa website yourself under ranking by country: Kuwait.) If you are ranked or not ranked it doesn't make you better or worse, it's just a tool.

Top Western Blogs in Kuwait According to their Alexa Ranking

#1 is Um Khaloodie at 3,647 in Kuwait and 454,441 within the world.

#2 is Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait with 3,788 in Kuwait and 724,280 in the world.

#3 is Expat and the City with 5,888 in Kuwait and 1,128,611 in the world.

#4 is American Girl's World currently not ranked in Kuwait but 2,049,205 in the world.

#5 is Rinse Repeat currently not ranked in Kuwait but 2,539,318 in the world.

#6 is Desert Girl Kuwait not ranked in Kuwait but 2,745,773 in the world.

* Although there are many other great blogs there weren't any other Western blogs in Kuwait ranked within 4 million on Alexa.

 

December 13, 2012

Something New and Delicioso From Gelato Italiano in Kuwait!

 
The fabulous Dalal Al Falah from Gelato Italiano sent us over one of her delectable gelato cake creations.  Apparently we can have our gelato and eat our cake too! I had to post about it so I could brag on how lucky we are...! :p The chocolate cake was beautifully decorated while freezing cold and fresh.  The size is quite large and bursting with Italian gelato flavor. 
 
 
The gelato Queen UM 3AZOZ has a lovely selection of gelato cakes that include red velvet, to die for chocolate and everything fruity you can imagine.  When I brought out the cake it lasted a matter of minutes before we had given every slice away to a crowd of gelato lovin' Kuwaitis and Americans. 
 
 
I want to thank Dalal at Gelato Italiano for being such a sweetheart and sending us this lovely Italian specialty cake. <3

Gelato Italiano
Tel: 2243-4424
Twitter: @gelatoitaliano_
Instagram: @gelatoitaliano
 
You can visit Gelato Italiano at their main branch in Sharq,
Ahmad Al-Jaber St., Bur Al-Jaz tower, Kuwait City
 
 

Christmas Goodies at the Hotel Missoni in Kuwait


December 12, 2012

Expat Blog Awards 2012 - Expat and the City Blog is the Silver Medal Winner For Kuwait!

Click on image to enlarge

I am completely stunned yet excited that Expat and the City was even nominated and that enough readers voted for us to make it to second place in representing Kuwait. There are so many amazing expat blogs in Kuwait so I feel very honored and humble.

You can read below what they wrote:

Expat and the City (silver)
Adventurous, American girl living and working in Kuwait while supporting our US Troops overseas in the Middle East. You can follow my daily expat life experiences in Kuwait, travels around the world and whatever interest

We say: A surprising variety of topics ranging from the quirky to the serious.

 I want to thank all of our readers, our Kuwaiti blogger friends, the Expat Blog website and congratulate the other winners in Kuwait from America and Canada. 

I would like to close out by linking a few of my favorite posts:

You Might Be a Girl From the USA Living in Kuwait if...

Tour Kuwait in Three Days

Our Beloved Housekeeper

Thank you everyone for your support from day one.  A special thanks to the girls for the adorable, congratulatory picture! <3
 

December 11, 2012

Favorite Christmas Movie: Love Actually



I actually LOVE this movie. It's brilliant!!!
 

Favorite Christmas Movie: The Holiday



I'm crazy about this movie and I've watched it too many times to count. It's a transatlantic, Christmas, romantic comedy that I enjoy watching every Christmas since it came out.
 

Favorite Christmas Movie: Bridget Jones's Diary



This is more of a romantic comedy which has a Christmas scene or two but I love it and can't wait for #3 to come out.
 

December 10, 2012

The Monstar Art Show in Kuwait December 13th

 

THE MONSTAR SHOW

 
Blo-Dry Bar will host a unique retrospective featuring the works of Monstariam on December 13, 2012 from 6 PM to 10  PM. The Monstar Show will feature some of Monstariam’s best work including print designs and adapted media.

In this exhibition, Monstariam showcases a multitude of artworks that emulate the very essence of the brand. From intricately designed canvas posters that could be the focal point of your living room to equally intriguing framed A4 prints and original sketches to exclusive bespoke vehicles.
 
Three guys, the carver, the polisher and the presenter united by their shared passion for creating art, a larger-than-life business idea and insane creative capabilities fused to build the seamless design trademark that is Monstariam.
 
For further information please contact: www.monstariam.com or info@monstariam.com

 

Let's Talk About Rape in Kuwait


Wait a minute...! Surely that doesn't go on in Kuwait, right? I mean you don't hear about it that much. When it does happen often its expats only and usually only the poorest of them.  It hardly ever happens to Kuwaitis so let's just never ever discuss such an ugly word as rape. 

Welcome to de Nile (denial) and we aren't even in Egypt.  When this topic is brought up with some of my most educated Kuwaiti friends the discussion quickly turns ugly.  Because that sort of stuff doesn't happen in Kuwait and it's an insult to even suggest it does. I mean, America is the land of rape and honey so why would an American girl discuss rape in her beloved host country? I have never been raped so what do I know about it?

Yes, rape happens in America just like the rest of the world and even Kuwait. Most Americans are taught from the time we are little children what rape is and how to protect ourselves and report it if it does happen. There are countless studies, assistance programs, resources and our law enforcement is well trained on what to do in these situations.  The gist of it is that if you are raped in America you are more likely to report it with less shame or family dishonor.  Rapists are prosecuted in a court of law that has very little wasta when compared to some Middle Eastern countries.  Our system is far from perfect but compared to the rest of the world it's pretty darn good and getting better with improved knowledge, communication and legislation.

Kuwaitis Arrested for Raping a Kuwaiti Woman Inside Diwaniya

Arab Times, December 2012 [link]

Two Kuwaiti citizens were arrested recently for raping a Kuwaiti woman inside a diwaniya in Ardiya.

According to a security source, the victim had lodged a complaint against her boyfriend and his friend and informed securitymen that she was with her boyfriend in Jabriya when he drove to Ardiya without any explanation and stopped in front of a building.

He then forced her to step out of the vehicle and enter a diwaniya, where he along with his friend who was at the diwaniya raped her.

The victim later pretended she wanted to use the bathroom from where she escaped and fled from the location. She immediately rushed to Abdullah Al-Mubarak police station where she lodged a complaint against them.

Using the information given by the victim, securitymen arrested the two suspects and referred them to the Public Prosecution.

During interrogations, the suspects revealed that when they realized she had escaped, they did not follow her because they did not attract the attention of the neighbors.
___________________________________

Even though men are raped at alarming rates here and around the world I will focus on women in this post.

What is rape? [Source and more info]

  • without consent, or
  • with use of physical force, coercion, deception, threat, and/or
  • when the victim is:

    • mentally incapacitated or impaired,
    • physically impaired (due to voluntary or involuntary alcohol or drug consumption)
    • asleep or unconscious.

    One of the most critical issues regarding rape is consent. Sexual activity should not take place unless both parties have freely given consent, and consent is understood by both parties.

    • silence does not mean consent.
    • if consent is given under duress (physical or emotional threats), then it is not given freely or willingly and sex with a person consenting under duress is rape
    • if someone is impaired due to alcohol or drugs, that person is deemed incapable of consenting and sex with that person is rape (even if the impaired person says "yes")
    ________________________________________

    In a country where a women must be pure to marry what happens if she reports being raped? Will she  be believed or shunned? Will she face death by an honor crime? Will she ever be able to marry? If she is already married will her husband divorce her? Most often then not it is never reported and the crime is covered up by the victim, her family, and she is even given a simple surgery abroad or illegally here to restore her pureness.  The cover up will unfortunately never help the victim heal from her emotional and torturous pain.

    Now, what brought me to this topic you might ask? Well, a reader recently left two comments on an old post [here]. 

    Teacher on December 7th wrote:

    1. "The head of a primary school in Mangaf was raped at knife point in broad daylight on the beach at Fahaheel in November 2012. She had just had a coffee at Starbucks and took a short walk when this man pounced on her."

    2. "A teacher friend of mine went to Avenues Mall in the Eid holiday, October 2012. She is a western expat. Her taxi was blocked by two other taxis when she tried to get home. They offered her driver money to give her to them. Fortunately, he kept the doors locked and the police arrived on the scene."

    Then I read in the Arab Times and Kuwait Times yesterday about a Canadian lady in Kuwait that was recently raped. (I am just so heartbroken for her and pray she is okay. I hope they have caught the monster that did this and that he will rot in jail.)

    Kuwait Times [link] Molestation

    A Canadian woman told Fahaheel police that an unknown person fondled her while in the elevator of the building she lives in, adding that she was decently dressed.

    The Arab Times [link] Police hunt man for ‘raping’ Canadian teacher in her flat

    Kuwait City, Dec 7,2012: An unknown individual raped a Canadian woman recently in Fahaheel, reports Al-Rai daily.

    Following the incident, the victim rushed to Fahaheel police station and lodged a complaint against the suspect.

    She informed security men that she works as a teacher in a school and while she was on her way to her house, she noticed the suspect following her.

    She changed her route to confuse the suspect and when she reached her house and parked her vehicle, she did not find him in the area.

    However, when she entered the elevator, the suspect rushed in behind her and molested her. He pushed her to her apartment where he raped her. However, he became nervous when she started screaming and escaped.

    A case was registered and investigations are ongoing to arrest the suspect using the information given by the victim.
    _______________________________________

    Wait a minute. Full stop! "Adding she was decently dressed." ??? Yep, welcome to Kuwait.  If you are a Western expat woman there are a few things you should know.  If you get raped here it is most likely viewed as being your fault. Where did that bit of information come from? Did I just make that up? No, it's from my friends that deal with these cases. That's all I can write or they will get P.O. at me.  I've actually given advice to them since they didn't have a clue of what rape is...

    In the West you can be with a man that is not your husband and get physical until the last second before doing it and then change your mind. If he then forces you to continue against your will then it is rape. 

    You can drink yourself to oblivion, dance at a party and flirt all night and then become unconscious and still any sexual penetration act against you without your consent is considered rape. 

    You can dress as slutty as you like and walk around half naked and if someone sexually assaults you then it is rape.

    Now, back to living here in Kuwait.  This is a Muslim country and there are strict rules.  You cannot drink, be with men when you are not married, go to parties with alcohol (minus embassies), and although you can dress anyway you please nowadays as many do more and more, if you are not decently dressed then honey it's your fault.  Many Western expat women go to parties and do many things that we are not supposed to do here and nothing ever happens.  It's really normal and we sometimes think we are above the law just because we are Western.  Just know that if you are attacked or raped then good luck with getting the guy or guys responsible into any trouble. You will most likely be in trouble and it won't be pretty.

    Also, did you know that most people see rape as a sexual crime here and not one of violence? They think it only happens to younger more attractive girls so if you are an older woman then good luck with getting any sort of justice. 

    In the Western world we know that many senior citizens are subjected to the violent crime of rape because the perpetrator looks for an easy target.  Someone who won't or can't fight back.  A victim they can steal from and commit such a violent crime without any resistance.  [Read about the notorious Delroy Grant "Night Stalker" from the UK here]

    My Father taught me self-defense and how to use weapons from an early age. I remember when I first went off to University he sat me down and told me to remember what I was taught and to always be aware of my surroundings day and night.  One thing that has always stuck in my mind is what he said about how critical your first reaction is when you are first attacked.  To never let the attacker take you from point A to point B.  That your survival rate plummets if the attacker can relocate you to another place.  My Father looked me in the eyes and said you must fight till death and scream "fire" until you have nothing left.  Usually an attacker will flee at any attempt of a strong resistance.

    My advice to Western ladies in Kuwait: Remember where you are and that this is not the West. (Where you are more familiar with local laws and customs.)  Only take a taxi from a driver you know. Your life is worth an extra wait at the mall for the driver that will take you safely home. Always know where you are and carry a working cell phone. Do not wear your iPod where you are distracted and do not know what's around you.  Dress appropriately for a Muslim country no matter how many other women you see not doing so.  This is a country that every woman and man gets constant attention from the opposite sex whether they are a two to a ten.  Just try to dress on the safe side because what you were wearing when attacked does matter here.  Never meet guys over the Internet unless it's a public place and you have a friend with you while other people know where you both went. Never Tweet, Blog or Instragram your current location.  Never go on a boat or to the desert with guys you do not know and trust. Remember that unfortunately expat girls are often looked at as "easy" and "open" to anything so we may get approached more.  Lock your apartment and never get in the elevator with strangers.  I've even had an American man grab me in an elevator so you just never know.  When driving alone always lock your door and do not look at men following  you. If you are being followed in your car and approaching your apartment or house do not go there.  Drive to a public place and call a friend or the police or both.

    I could go on and on with advice but most of us know what to do. We just seem to get complacent in Kuwait because we feel safer here than the rest of the world minus the near death experiences while driving.  Just remember that most rapes here go unreported and if reported there is most likely not a conviction.  There are even payments of "blood money" from the criminal's family to the victims. 

    My question is: What do you do if you are raped in Kuwait? Of course you go to the hospital and report it to the police but are there any recovery or support programs? Are the criminals even convicted in most cases? According to the English newspapers in Kuwait it seems like they always get away with it....WASTA!

    Disclaimer: I am not an expert on rape.  For more information about this crime you can search the Internet or contact a local rape support group. 

    Silence on Rape Is the Biggest Obstacle to Prevention

    Update on December 24, 2012:

    Kuwaiti Freed in Rape Charge

    Arab Times, December 24, 2012, Kuwait City [Link]: The Criminal Court acquitted a citizen of abducting a 9-year old boy with the intention of assaulting him sexually.

    Earlier, the First Instance Court sentenced the citizen to one year in prison for the same allegation. According to the case file, the accused forced the boy to accompany him after asking the boy the direction to a neighbor’s house. After that, the accused took the boy to a dirty yard and tried to sexually assault him, but he was able to run away.

    Attorney of the defendant Attorney Bashar Al-Nassar implored the court to acquit his client based on lack of evidences.

    *** This is very common here where the rapist is freed due to lack of evidence or some say Wasta.  So apparently another child rapist has been let go.  One of many I've read about in the English Kuwait newspapers. 

     Fake Cop arrested for abducting & attempted rape on Asian woman [Link]

    Update 9 MAR 2013 ~  I think the Kuwait Times reads my blog posts...;p Here is a similar article from them...

    Rape: Why it is much more than a four letter word




     

    December 8, 2012

    Viewing Kuwait's Greatest Fireworks Show On Earth From The Hotel Missoni

     
    My friends' Hermes Birkin that is just like the one I hope to wake up to on Christmas morning.  Hey Kuwaiti Santa: How you doin'? :p
     
     
    Click on each picture to enlarge.  This is the Jr. suite bedroom.
     
     
    The main room adjacent to the bedroom and second bath.

     
    Master Bedroom
     
     
    I've never seen green toilet paper before.  It's usually pink or white at the Hotel Missoni.

     
    Like a cloud <3

     
     
    The stunning picturesque view of the Arabian Gulf before the Fireworks show.

     
    If you plan on doing anything you don't want these men to see while staying at the hotel please remember to shut the shades.  They caught B in her pj's. Hehe!

     

     

     
    I figured out pretty fast that my fireworks pictures were crap (see above) so I just shut off the iPhone camera and enjoyed watching the show with everyone else.  Viewing the largest fireworks extravaganza in the world was one of those memorable moments in Kuwait that I will never forget.  The five star Hotel Missoni is strategically located in the perfect spot to enjoy the most amazing view without having to deal with any of the traffic.