December 29, 2012
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
December 26, 2012
NUKS Winter Orientation for Kuwaiti High School Seniors and Graduates Seeking Higher Education in the USA
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.
December 24, 2012
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.
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.
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.
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! :)
December 21, 2012
Citizen involved as ‘probe’ uncovers likely terrorist plot. Sensitive material found on ‘flying gadget’s’ cameras
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
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
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
All you need to plan your Wedding in Kuwait. Easily find Event
Planners, Venues, Florists and more!
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
December 12, 2012
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
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.
December 10, 2012
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.
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]
- 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
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
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