Life is a series of choices. Every step is a choice, an option, a decision. We try our best to make these choices based on what we know. What we pick may not be based on what is right and what is wrong, but what we believe in our minds and hearts. Whatever we do decide, we have to compromise. It is always one or the other.
Why is it that when a guy or a girl does something that we generally perceive as negative we say, “Oh, such a typical Kuwait!” We are so used to this phrase that we don’t even think to consider what is actually a typical Kuwaiti. Some may think, “Oh but we know what a typical Kuwaiti is.. it is a guy or girl who is superficial.. cocky.. got bad English.. blah blah” Really? It is generally that bad?
It recently dawned on me that most of the Kuwaiti population do not fit the profile so well. Could it be that those who hold on to nationalism and brag about it, and somehow believe that it gives them some holy right just because of their nationality are actually those who associate these negative attributes to the population? Possibly.
So who or what are typical Kuwaitis? Most (based on my knowledge) are good people, sincere, generous, and friendly people, they do complain a lot but that is what adds to their understanding of others. Are there qualities that you believe are real and typical of Kuwaitis?
KUWAIT CITY – A Kuwaiti official says authorities abruptly ended a music concert by an Egyptian singer in this conservative Muslim country when a young female fan jumped on stage, hugged the male singer and gave him a kiss.
Qanas al-Adwani, who heads the government department that monitors public entertainment, says the girl’s behavior at Friday’s concert “defied the conservative traditions” of Kuwait.
Al-Adwani also said Sunday that the fan’s behavior broke controls on public entertainment, which were imposed by influential Muslim fundamentalists after they failed in 1997 to ban concerts altogether. Concerts have to be licensed by the government, and monitors from the Information Ministry watch the crowd to make sure nobody stands up to dance.
There you go folks, the latest news in Kuwait around the internet.
It bothers me how this is the type of news that makes it around. I’m sure people will voice their hate and calls for “freedom” and “democracy” in the unjust religious country of Kuwait after seeing something like this. I mean come on, there are ethics of behavior still, and norms. This news article sort of just makes it worse.
In 1986 we used to play around in the garden in front of our house. It was a public garden, not one of those large ones, but just big enough for us and our neighbors to play around in. We used to play soccer in the street as well next to the garden. And how can I forget, actually eating some of the flowers in the garden.
We used to run around in it, exploring, the grass was long, and we liked that because if laid down we would be almost invisible. We’d also love watching the tiny grasshoppers jump out as we ran around the garden. If we’d spot one on a leaf, we’d slowly come up to it and try to catch it. We even developed our own grasshopper-catching strategy — by placing our hands in a certain position and a certain distance, so that even if it jumps we can catch it.
We let them go, and try to catch them again. What we also loved to catch were small butterflies as well — you’d think I’m talking about some fantasy land, no, this is in Kuwait, right in front of our house in Bayan. One of the last insects we’d run after and try to catch was the ladybird. There were tons of them. We weren’t mean to the creatures, we’d let them go, but exploring was such a fascinating thing to do then.
Fast forward a few years later, and we’re into video games, and running around the house more — breaking things — and not going out as much as we used to. A few years later I remember going out in the garden, it was quiet. I didn’t see any grasshoppers, or butterflies, or ladybirds. There were a few caterpillars. We entertained ourselves with them, but soon enough, we stopped going to the garden.
When I look outside the window now at the garden. I see garbage around the edges, and the neglected plants. The flowers were all gone, all that was left was grass, and even it, looked like it was in a terrible state. On one part of the garden there was a huge pile of sand and pebbles for construction.
I went out to look at it, but there was nothing there. I hoped that as I stepped into it, a grasshopper would jump out, or a butterfly would flutter away — there was nothing.
I wondered if these were all gone because of urbanization. Was it all because we were changing the ecology so much? New people had to move in, and the creatures had to move out. Thinking about it that way, I’d suppose the people are more worthy of the place. Somehow.
In Kuwait we are used to this concept: we break the law whenever we feel like it. If we get caught we mostly try to talk our way out of it, or get in contact with certain individuals who help us get out of the trouble we got into. Breaking the law has easily become a matter of convenience.
Most of us have broken the law, at least and most commonly the traffic law. In some roads the speed limit is a joke, and driving at that speed is too ridiculous. At other times we have parked in a no parking zone. Are the parking spots designed that bad that it easily becomes impossible to find a parking spot? Wait, I meant a close parking spot.
The other most common traffic violation (based on my assumption) is breaking the red light. You can see it turning yellow, and you know that if you don’t step on the gas pedal you will be waiting at that traffic light for another 5-10 minutes! You speed ahead, and pass the light just a split second after it has turned red.
Driving this morning I saw cars pass a red light simply because they saw that no one was coming from the other side. It was inconvenient to them to wait for a few minutes (2..3…5.. or even 10 on some of those traffic lights) and seeing that there clearly wasn’t a camera in place or a police car they simply drove off, casually, crossing the red light. If you’d ask them why, they would probably say, “Why not? I’m busy, and there was no one on the road.” Sure, they could say that now, and probably get away with it.
Why has the law become so much a matter of convenience, and breaking it has become such a casual activity, that everyone does it and feels inferior if they see someone else do it, and they themselves don’t!
Do the people in charge believe the installation of more speed/light cameras and higher ticket fines would make it more convenient for people to respect the law? Of course not. People will actually start feeling bitter. Since they are inconvenienced by the current situation, adding more strict laws would only make it all the more less convenient for some. To others, it would make them feel trapped, with stress of laws they have to follow and fear of being caught and/or breaking the laws they are not so quite aware of.
What would be the solution? Why do we need a solution? The law is there to protect people from themselves. The law is a government decree and should be respected. They are the higher authority and they have a right to place the laws they see fit. This does not mean that we cannot challenge these laws in an administrative manner. Isn’t this why there is a National Assembly? In the U.S. and probably other areas there is a City Council where regular citizens can take the podium and voice their concerns. I don’t believe there is such an entity in Kuwait. If there is however, I have not heard of such a thing.
How is it possible then for citizens to speak their minds, and contribute to this country? We do love Kuwait. There are also people who are not Kuwaiti but have lived here for many years and also love this country. All we can really do is try to talk to the people in charge, however inefficient that may be, or simply complain. Complain. And complain some more.
There is a lot of hate, anger, and resentment that we see in the news, in the streets, and even at work sometimes. I believe it is truly about time these issues get addressed and something serious be done about them.
P.S. To the people with a lot of hate I say: Don’t insult this country. Don’t insult the government. Certainly don’t insult the people. You will not gain respect by doing so, neither will you gain any results.
So what’s the problem? You go into an institute or something along those lines to get a service or buy something. Usually you’re already part of this institute because you have an account with them, or, they are part of the government. Naturally they would ask for (a) document(s), and you would kindly and happily provide them.
Here comes the problem. They don’t only check your I.D. but they make copies as well. Every. Single. Time. Not only do they make copies of your Civil ID card but your bank card (ATM, VISA, MasterCard..), other I.D., copies of other photocopies.
Tell me, is there a goofy green drooling monster these people have in their basement that feeds off copies of people’s I.D. and private documents?
I haven’t been to the carnival neither have I seen how pretty it was. The only thing I saw was later that evening when we went to see Jumper at Al Fanar. We were shocked to see these scenes. The next day however, everything was very clean and tidy, but none the less. It was very dirty that night.
I only have one question. Did it really have to be that way?
An introvert is a person who is energized by being alone, and drained by being with other people. Sometimes Introverts are thought of as being shy, although that may be true, that is not necessarily always the case. Being an introvert only means that you appreciate your alone time and chose to be alone to regain your energy and stabilize yourself before going to a group of people. Extroverts are the opposite: they are energized when they are with groups of people and their energy is drained when alone.
Poll Question: Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Please participate and vote on the right. Thank you!
Our culture in Kuwait is an extremely social culture due to the small size of the country and population. There is always someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows probably everyone. Families are also large, and some families are also very well connected because of family and marriage ties.
When we consider these facts, we realize that mostly no week goes by without some family occasion. These occasions are sometimes weekly, or appear suddenly; a cousin getting married, a baby being born, a nephew graduating, someone passes away, someone is sick, someone leaves the country, someone comes back from a trip, a celebration, an anniversary, and the list goes on.
I have noticed that introverts are mostly misunderstood. They prefer to be alone so the extroverts (and misinformed introverts) see them as anti-social. They criticize their behavior as wrong and that people should always interact with others when given the choice and should never turn down an invitation. To an extrovert, this may sound like heaven, but to an introvert, especially one who values his or her rejuvenation time would see this itself as energy-draining. Just the thought of meeting and talking to all those people for hours on end.. has got me out of energy to complete this post! *tehee*.
A person is usually born an introvert or an extrovert, it is not a choice. This has to be considered by parents who find their children behaving in that way. When a child chooses to not want to participate with other groups it does not mean the kid is being stubborn, generally at least. It is perfectly normal and being social is not about being around people, it is mostly about being connected to those people in some way or other.