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.
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Foreign labor is destroying our country; Part 2

In part 1 of this series I only opened up with a question for all to answer. The question was: Has foreign labor affected our country negatively? I do admit, I got some very positive feedback from everyone. I thank you all very much!

Many of you mentioned that the topic of foreign labor is very large. We cannot talk about every aspect of this topic in detail and hope to reach some positive outcome in the end. I picked the issue of responsibility for today, as I believe it is one of the most important effects of foreign labor in our community.

I thought about why most people do not like to work here. Why do they prefer to take the easy way and have someone else do it for them, or do a very poor job and be OK with that. I came to the conclusion that these people do not understand the importance of their work, and the repercussions it has on society as a whole.

Where does this lack of responsibility and accountability come from? There are a couple of ways a person can end up that way, and I have developed a theory. I could be wrong, I could be right; this is only my personal opinion.

When we start to import foreign labor and depend on foreign workers to do our jobs, we become at ease. We start to enjoy living a casual life, and become dependent on these foreign laborers. How do you think a small child would act and think when he sees that his parents depend so much on a maid or a driver to do their work?

You might say, “…but there are rich people who have servants do everything for them!” These rich people are known to be strict to force their children to learn about responsibility, and accountability while still enjoying a regular life full of servants and drivers who do a lot of their work for them.

This is evident when you go to a government bureau. Who knows what everything is, and how things need to be done? It is usually the tea guy, the farrash (janitor), or the courier. These employees are paid low wages, and they know how everything is done because they are the ones who are doing most of the work*.

The problem revolves around the dependency on foreign labor. We can see this when we compare ourselves to the west. — pause. I said we can compare ourselves to the west, but that would probably turn off a lot of people who think, “Why do you want to be like USA… All the Kuwaitis want to be modern and westernized.” Fine then, let us compare ourselves to how we used to be in the older days.

People lived simple lived, in simple homes. Everyone in the house had a job to do and men were men, women were women. Regardless of the question of equality, everyone had their own responsibilities and they developed that since they were young. They only depended on themselves, and the idea of being responsible and accountable for their actions grew in them.

These people grew up to be responsible people. They grew to be people who had done some hard work earning a living. For those who were at home, they cleaned and cooked on their own. They knew when something had to be done; it had to be done right.

You may wonder if this is going to be it. Am I just going to stop here and finish complaining? That is not all, I have thought of a solution. Again, this is my personal opinion.

How can we learn to be more responsible, and how can we raise a more responsible generation? Is the answer to exile all the foreign workers? No. There are two main influential parts of society that have to take a role in this solution. The families and the government.

The families need to teach their children about responsibility. They themselves might find it hard, but they must learn and must teach their children. You can teach by giving chores, by recognizing hard work and encouraging working together, for a better good (in this case, the betterment of the situation at home for example.)

The families need to limit the roles and responsibilities of the laborers. You can’t have the worker do every single thing for you. You have to be the role model; you have to get up and go get your own things. You’d have to do your own work, especially if you want it done right and done your way.

The government has to enforce accountability and responsibility from the top down through its own hierarchy. They have to teach their employees that every single paper in a file is important. Losing that document is not an option.

They have to preserve the rights of people. When there is a sense of responsibility and accountability there is a natural inclination to deciding what is best for the country as a whole, and not make decisions based on personal affiliations, or personal grudges against others in the community.

Again, I wish to clarify that this is a personal opinion. This is not based on any research, or scientific data, but the science of my mind and what I see and hear. I would hope, and pray that the situation does get better in this country. I am doing what I can, by speaking my mind and putting this out there in hopes that those of you can learn something or see something from a different perspective. Thank you for taking the time to read this very long post! God bless you all!

* I understand this is not true to all agencies, but this is an opinion of a lot of public offices and ministries.

Foreign labor is destroying our country; Part 1

Question: Do you consider yourself a naughty person? You may have your own definition of naughty, so answer based on that! There is not bad or good here either (I’m proving a point to a friend of mine ;P). Please vote on the right hand side! Thank you! :)

I was going to talk about the foreign laborers that has destroyed responsibility in this country. Then I was going to talk about my trip to Dubai. Then I thought about talking about my late absence and the real reason behind it.

Still and all, I am in no talking mood, not really, not at the moment. I have been feeling down since I came back from Dubai actually. I try to deal with it and not let it affect what I do, so far it has only affected my blogging. I don’t know if it is the weather or not but I will leave all these topics for later.

I want all your input first before I start talking about the foreign laborers. Here is a question to ask yourself: Has foreign labor affected our country negatively? State your ideas and opinions here, and you can comment and debate other people in the comments. Feel free to be defensive and offensive, I want this to be a healthy debate… as long as no sharp weapons are used!

I will post my opinions later. I want it to be understood that I do not hate people in general. I do not hate foreign labor, and I do not hate those who come here to seek a living, you’ll understand better when I post my opinion.

P.S. I also understand that there is no connection between the poll and the topic, but this is just to give those of you who don’t like to discuss politics something to do when you get here :P And thank you to all those who have been participating in all the previous polls! Thank you!

Salmiya Graffiti, and an Indecent Mannequin

DSC00183 DSC00184 DSC00185 DSC00186 DSC00187#1

I was out shopping with a friend and we saw these cool graffiti out in old Salmiya behind Marks and Spencer.

A friend (who shall remain anonymous) pointed this out today when were at Marina Mall.DSC00191#1

Burning Car in Rumethiya

Question: Are you traveling this Eid or New Year, or both? I know there is a long way between both vacations but I’m sure expats who have left for Christmas or are planning to leave soon will be gone until after the New Year (please take me with you). What are your plans?

Burning Car in Rumethiya As I was driving to work this morning, I passed by what was obviously a burning car. I can only assume that the people in the car have fled the scene and were getting some help.

I was very tempted to stop and get the fire extinguisher out of my car and use it, however there was no way to get to the burning car without obscuring the current path I was in.

What shook me was that there wasn’t ANYONE who was standing there using some type of fire extinguisher to put out the fire! Wasn’t it required by law that every car have one? How long has this car been burning already? I’m sure it has been at least burning for five minutes, I could see the flames from the opposite light!

I’m slowly beginning to believe that in a time of crises, people would flee rather than help, which is a very very sad thought.

The Experiment: You are my specimens!

Question: What is your strongest sense? What do you notice the most when you experience things with your senses. Vote on the right please! Thank you.

One or the Other The idea wasn’t to get a lot of people to drop by really. It was centered around the idea of saying something totally obscene and misleading [link removed] and finding out how people would react to it. Turns you all have good sportsmanship. Give yourselves a pat on the back! I have also noticed that also a lot more people participated in the polls. Why, I can’t be sure. Maybe people prefer to participate in the polls more than leave a comment. However thank you to all who contributed. Welcome singles, forever free.

Now, on to more pressing matters. Last week there were a few people (Joud, Mark, and Chikapappi) who posted about their traffic violations and how ridicules some of their fines have become. Mine are a bit over 350 KD.  I have however a strategy that has been working for a while, that might help you as well to avoid the cameras.

flagged After a little conversation my brother and I were having he gave me the idea to literally flag the cameras in my car’s GPS system. Being the loyal citizen that I am, I have gone around and flagged A LOT of cameras, I didn’t count how many, but here is a picture. Keep in mind that this picture is not complete and this is only part of Kuwait. Click on a picture for a better view.

juice I have also been enjoying immensely my carrot and orange cocktail juice.  However, this time I gulped the whole thing down before getting into my work clothes.

P.S. I changed my clothes in the car while driving on the fifth ring road. What a rush!

It was an Earthquake in Iran

earthquake_iran Yesterday I posted about the building wobbling (my new word). It turns out it is the aftereffects of a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that hit Iran. It was later reported that it was felt on the coastline in Kuwait. My colleague and I thought it was related to a construction nearby.

The Building Just Shook

Was it just our building, or did anyone else feel it? Our building is in Sharq. I thought I was getting dizzy or sick because the world was swaying gently. A colleague mentioned that out loud and it turns out the building had actually shook very gently for about 10 seconds.

Update: We’re on the topmost floor, the 7th floor and people on the 3rd floor haven’t felt it. It might be from the construction close to our building, so thank God it isn’t an earthquake.

Update 2: It was actually an earthquake in Iran.

A Glance from Across The Room

Talking to a Woman When he glanced to his right, he was struck by her charming beauty. He led his eyes to her lovely long flowing golden brown hair. Her eyes were enchanting and sparkling. Her nose was small yet long and pretty. Her lips were lush and beautifully drawn. She was wearing a brown and black dress, elegant and very appealing. She sensed him looking at her but did nothing, she kept listening to her friends chat as they sat together at the table drinking their mochas.

He was the type who enjoyed admiring everything beautiful. He could stare at a beautiful scene, painting, or a building for a long time detailing every curve or surface with his eyes. When it came to women, he could not stare for so long, his modesty would never take him that far. At that moment, he felt the need to look at her. She had captivated him, not only by her looks, but she had this bewitching aura and he could not help but steal peeks at her, wanting to spend a few minutes exploring the experience of speaking with this beautiful woman.

He pictured himself getting out of his seat, walking swiftly over to her table standing by her side and saying — nothing. He would freeze in place, enchanted by her yet again. Noticing, that half the people in the Cafe would be looking at him, he would shake the feeling from his head and say, “Hi there, I couldn’t help but notice how beautiful you are and I had to come over and ask if you have a few minutes to talk? I’m ________ by the way.” She would faintly smile back and say, “I’m ________ nice to meet you, ________. Give me a minute please.” He would walk back, turn and throw her a smile, and continue back to his seat to wait for her.

The sounds got louder, and he slowly started to notice the people around him, the smell of his warm latte between his hands. The beautiful woman who was sitting to his right was fidgeting in her purse, probably looking for her wallet. It seemed they were getting ready to leave. This was his chance, it was either now or never. “Too bad,” he thought, “This isn’t a fantasy world we live in. This is Kuwait and things like this don’t work this way.”

“Oh well.” He signaled to the waiter, “Check please!”

No Limit, There Are No Boundaries

Smashing Boundries In July, I posted about being who you want to be, and that the limits imposed by the mind should not affect who or what you want to be. Today, I come to you with a different approach to being something you always wanted to be.

Imagine yourself in a small room with gray walls, without a door or a window. The thought is depressing I know, but in this example that is your world. You do not have access to anything outside this room. Neither do you know if there exists anything beyond this room. All you know exists, is you, and the room.

Now imagine you have a television in your room [Note: For you smart alecks, ignore the logical need for electricity, a power plant, a camera.. etc. For this argument let us assume that they are not needed.]. It is on. You can see someone else in a similar room but with a different color wall. You may start to wonder what it would be like to be in that other room surrounded by those different colored walls.

Your need to experience the other room may increase, and so you try to search for an exit. There must be a way out shouldn’t there? You investigate every square inch of the room looking for something different that might be a clue to an exit. You find something that looks like a seam. You dig at it with your nails and you follow through the edge and trace a door in the wall.

The door may lead you someplace, it may lead you to the room and it may not, but you decide you need to get out of there anyway because you are ready for something different. You embrace the idea that you can try to be in a different place.

This is what life is at the moment. Your friends, your home, your job and regular hangouts are your little gray room. The television is all the media you have access to from radios to television shows to magazines to the Internet.

The world is much bigger and larger than you imagine. There are possibilities out there, that have not even been documented on television or on paper. There are places that have not been mentioned in mainstream media (or have not come close to being publicized).

The television shows and programming we receive on all our media devices dictate what we know about the world. If a news article is published about an important event, we are bound to believe it because of trust. However, we do not quite experience the actual event. Sometimes we do not wish to experience them because they are terrible events, and other times they are joyous and wonderful.

You do not have to be an engineer if you do not want to. You do not have to be a doctor if you do not want to. You can be anything you want to be. What is stopping you? If it is your family, then that is an issue you will have to tackle on your own. They would want to wish the best for you and would want you to have a better future. Would a parent really deny their daughter or son a chance at living the life they want to live in accordance with certain values? Would you deny your children that chance?

Change is almost always difficult. The world is much bigger than we can imagine, and the opportunities are out there. There are enough people who need help, there is enough money in the world to go around, and there are plenty of people who would be happy to have crossed paths with you.

Do not place any physical boundaries. There are countries out there who would accept you the way you are, and would allow you to do what you love to do.

Do not place any mental boundaries. They say you can do anything if you set your mind to it. The idea here is that you can do anything you can imagine, however silly or strange or odd or unconventional it may seem.

Do not place any emotional boundaries. This may be the hardest to overcome if you decide to make a huge change. We only live once, only once. You may never have a chance to live the way you REALLY want to just by fantasizing about it.

What you see and hear may give you an idea of what you may expect, but the only truth that really matters is experiencing something first hand and being there when and while it happens.

P.S. Every once in a while I may post a long post. For those who love shorter posts (I know who you are.. I know where you live..) you may take the time to read this in stages. Do not feel discouraged. Give it a shot. If you really do not want to read the whole thing, you may skip to the last 4 short paragraphs.

P.S.S. This is the post I was talking about (limiting oneself) a couple of days ago when I had Nothing To Say.

You’ve Changed

Two FriendsHow many times have you heard that? We all change, it is a part of growing up. We are not who we were 5 years ago, or at least we hope we’re not — we’d want to be better wouldn’t we? Are you who you were 5 years ago? 4 years ago? 3, 2, 1 year ago? If you sit right now and think about the stages you’ve been through in your life, and how much you’ve changed.. what do make of it?

At 2 years old…
…You were a baby, if you can remember that far.. then you’ve got one great memory (masha2′alla).
At 6 years old…
…You went to school for the first time. You remember that because there’s something you can never forget about that school. Maybe it was a teacher, a classroom, an event, some friends, or even the lunch you had!
At 9 years old…
…You are loving your birthday parties. You got tons of toys and birthday presents. You watch cartoons most of the time. If you’ve done your homework you even get treated to something good.
At 12 years old…
…You’re half way through middle school, you loved to play, or read, or do something special. You had a passion, something that you loved a lot.
At 15 years old…
…You’re no longer a child but a teenager. You’ve hit puberty and started to notice the other sex more. You have your first, second, or third crush. You did boyish things if you were a boy, and did girly things if you were a girl. Very teenage-like.
At 18 years old…
…You’ve graduated high school, or about to. You are even more interested in the other gender. You are also into another type of passion. For guys, it is mostly either sports or geeky stuff. For girls, it is mostly … [some help here girls?] alright, anyway you get the point ;P
At 21 years old…
…You’re definitely no longer a child, you’re probably in college or working someplace. You’re more involved in society, maybe even more interested in men’s stuff now. Girls are interested in women’s stuff. However both are more into their friends now. They’d rather spend a whole day with them, than with family or at any work/school.
At 24 years old…
…You’ve graduated and ready to face the world. You imagine life to be a huge endless field. All this time you’ve been running through a passageway — the entrance to the real world. Soon you’ll be working or studying some more but you know you’ve become mature now, and people can tell — especially relatives.

Along the way, some have kept their friends since they were in their early stages. There are others who have moved on, or moved away, and met different people, and made new friends. For some of us, the people whom we just met are our friends, and will probably stay that way for a long time to come.

You change, your friends change, everyone changes (to the better I hope). How do you cope when a close person to you starts changing? You gradually noticed the signs, but you ignored them, then soon enough, you know you were right, and the truth is that this person has decided to move on to better and bigger things in their life. This new life cannot quite accommodate you as it did before, you start losing touch and soon enough you’re barely together.

Reserved, going to add something here later.