Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sisters are Doin' it For Themselves..

I always find it interesting to hear the different views from Kuwaiti women about the changes happening in Kuwait. Mostly I hear the fears that they have regarding the loss of culture and religion. This, I think, is understandable.

When I first came to Kuwait I remember thinking how wonderful life is here; the strong family ties, the kindness, the keenness to learn about other cultures.

I remember feeling quite ashamed when asked why our old people are put into nursing homes and why our parents encourage us to leave home at 18+ and support ourselves.

Our old people are put into nursing homes because that is where they will receive the very best care and attention and we can pick up the bill for all the TLC. If we didn’t care then we certainly would be forking out a small fortune to put them in nursing homes. And as for tough love and expecting your child to leave the family nest after they finish their schooling that is to remind them that it really is a tough world out there; and you must stand on your own two feet because still making your bed and picking up your clothes at 40 does not make a well-adjusted adult.

I was chatting the other evening, at the Austrian ambassador’s residence, with an interesting Kuwaiti lady who had studied for her doctorate in the US. I had asked how she found living in the States. She said that she found living in the States so easy but that she had experienced a huge culture shock when she got back to Kuwait. It seems, for her, in the years that she had been away there has been a social revolution in Kuwait. She was amazed at the growing number of cute girls in tight fitting clothing out with their mothers in abayas and hijab. The girls in hijab but wearing figure hugging clothing and excessive make-up. The young girls wearing hijab flirting and holding hands with boys in public places. And what most surprised her was the brazenness of their acts as if they didn’t care if a family member saw them behaving in this manner. Of course we also see the phenomena every day and are equally surprised.

Is it a wonder that the Islamists (most are fathers and brothers) are so worried about losing their youth, culture and religion to Western influences? Is it a wonder that Westerners have started to feel unwelcome here?

Has the change happened too fast? Has the means to travel abroad opened the youth’ minds and caused them to apply drastic changes to their own lifestyles? Has satellite TV and education given them the audacity to want and make their own choices?

It is quite a dilemma for the more conservative part of the population.

Change has also brought about very positive progress for women in all fields. The vote, four female MPs, laws being introduced to empower and protect women, etc.

I’m reminded of the words of an Aretha Franklin and Eurythmics song;

‘Sisters are doing it for themselves,
standing on their own two feet and
ringing on their own bells.’

What do you think?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Charity Fashion Show

Click to enlarge for details, hope you can see them only  if I make it larger it gets blurry. You can also see my previous post about the Trash to Treasure project under the humanitarian label on the right for more details.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Losing Ahmed at GUST Tonight 7.30PM

Happy Halloween from Dean & Deluca Kuwait

The darling little witch is my friend's gorgeous baby girl. Muah! XXX
Thank you Dean & Deluca. We love you. If you could just lower the price of the peaches that I 'almost' bought from KD 11.000 per kilo to KD 1.100 per kilo to avoid any future embarassment when I'm shopping without my glasses on..LOL :OD

Concert of Hope 2010

Click to enlarge for details.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Super Brand Sale 95% discounts

Frightfully Easy Halloween Cupcakes

Nice project to do with the kids :O) Might need a minute or two for video to load but a good easy guide to decorating cupcakes for Halloween.

A few more great ideas but look a tad more difficult to do.. With licorice, marshmallow, candies, food colouring and some icing ...Voila!

Dr Shurooq Amin's 'Society Girlz' Art Exhibition at Tilal Gallery

Shurooq's website [link]

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah Trophy 2010- World's Top Squash Players Plan Latest Kuwait Open Title Bid

With more than half of the top ten seeds in the world competing for the 2010 HH Sheikh Saad Abdullah Al-Sabah Trophy, the $172,500 PSA Super Series squash event due to take place on Green Island from 28 October to 2 November 2010 promises to be one of the most competitive ever seen in the country.
The 2010 Kuwait Open, the eighth Super Series event of the year, provides the climax of the first year of a three-year agreement between Sheikha Fadya Al-Sabah of Kuwait and the Professional Squash Association which guarantees nine PSA World Tour events in the Middle East country over the period.
Check their website for updates [link]

Almost Every Two Days a Migrant Worker Commits Suicide in Kuwait
October 5th, 2010

Over the months of August and September, migrant workers in Kuwait continued to commit suicide at an alarming rate. Over this two-months period, 27 migrant workers have attempted to end their life or succeeded in doing so. This is an increase from 23 suicides and suicide attempts in the two months prior (June and July).
Previous reports by have exposed an alarming trend of suicides by migrant workers in Kuwait. In May 2010 alone, we documented 17 cases of suicide and attempted suicide by domestic workers in Kuwait. During April, 12 migrant workers attempted or succeeded in ending their lives in Kuwait. During March and the end of February, there were 13 reported cases of suicide and suicide attempt by migrants in the emirate. And during November of 2008 we’ve covered another 13 cases of suicide and attempted suicides by expatriate workers.
Most of the suicides and suicide attempts are committed by domestic workers, the most vulnerable of migrant workers since they are excluded from the protection of Kuwait’s labor laws, and because their work takes place in private residences. Migrant workers are driven to suicide because of their harsh living and working condition, which sometimes include physical abuse and non-payment of salaries.
The first suicide attempt in the reporting period was recorded on August 1, when a 23-year-old Ethiopian maid attempted to kill herself by overdosing on pills in Hawali. She was found unconscious and rushed to the hospital in time. The next day, an Asian maid attempted suicide using the same method in Ahmadi. She was found unconscious by her sponsor and rushed to the hospital. The next day, August 3, a 30-year-old Indian man attempted to kill himself by slitting his throat in al-Wafra.
On August 6, an Indonesian maid threatened to jump from the second floor after getting into a fight with her sponsor. The authorities that arrived at the scene managed to talk her out of this. On August 8th, an Asian domestic worker was found dead in a pool of blood in his sponsor’s house in Oyoun, al-Jahra governorate after cutting himself with a blade. The same day, an Asian maid attempted suicide in her sponsor’s house in al-Qadisiya. She stabbed herself several times but survived the injuries.
On August 13, a Sri-Lankan maid threatened to kill herself by jumping off the second floor of a
building in the area of Ardiya. The Kuwaiti police managed to talk her out of it. On August 18 it was reported that a 25-year-old Sri-Lankan maid attempted suicide by overdosing on pills in Hawali. She was taken to the Adan hospital in time. On August 22, an Asian maid was hospitalized after attempting suicide by jumping from the balcony of her employer’s apartment in Faheel. On August 25 a Nepalese shepherd ended his life inside a livestock pen in Kabad. On the same day, a 28-year-old Asian man committed suicide by hanging in Salmi. On August 30, a Bangladeshi man hung himself to death from the ceiling in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh.
On September 7, a 49-year-old Filipino maid killed herself by jumping from the fifth floor of a building in Faheel. On the same day, an Asian maid attempted to end her life by slitting her wrists. She was taken to the Intensive Care unit in Faranwiya hospital.
On September 14, a Nepali maid killed herself by hanging in her sponsor’s house in al-Zahr. On September 15, al-Jarida daily reported about two suicide attempts by maids in Kuwait. Interestingly, the report went a little beyond describing the place and method of suicide, and actually bothered to look into the cause of one of the suicide attempts. The paper stated that an Indonesian maid attempted suicide in al-Dahar after being “mistreated and beaten up” by her employers, according to her complaints, and that her last resort to end the abuse was suicide. The second case happened in al-Naeem where a 28-year-old Ethiopian maid attempted to kill herself. On the same day, a 64-year-old Indian migrant hung himself to death in his room in the Salmiya area.
After a heated argument with her sponsor, a Filipino maid attempted to kill herself by swallowing pesticide. She was taken to the Faranwiya hospital on September 17. On the next day, an Asian worker attempted suicide by slitting his wrists in Hawali. On the same day, a Nepalese maid (24) attempted suicide by swallowing detergent in her sponsor’s house in Kaifan. The al-Jarida report again goes beyond the cold details and adds that the cause of the attempt was financial difficulties back home. The maid received a letter from her family asking that she send more money, but her sponsor gave her less than the agreed upon salary, so the maid resorted to suicide after failing to secure the correct amount.
On September 20, two migrants died under suspicious circumstances. A 46-year-old Indian was found dead in a garage in Salmiya, and a 35-year-old Asian “fell” from a building in Abu Halifa.
On the next day, September 21, a Sri-Lankan maid (36) attempted to kill herself by swallowing pesticide. She was taken to the Jahra hospital for treatment. On the same day, an Asian maid attempted suicide in the Andalous area using the same method after a conflict with her employer. She was taken to Faranwiya hospital.
On September 26, an Asian domestic worker attempted to kill herself by swallowing pesticide in her sponsor’s house in the Sabah al-Nasser area. On the next day, a 40-year-old Indian maid attempted to end her life by overdosing on pills in her sponsor’s house in Sulaibiya. She was taken to the Faranwiya hospital and had her stomach washed.
All the reports do not bother reporting the names of the victim and only two report about the causes of suicide. At times the nationality of the victim is reported and age, and sometimes the victims are simply referred to as “Asian maid”. Attempting suicide is a crime in Kuwait, and all the reports mention that the police opened a file against the victim. Yet there has never been a case in Kuwait where a sponsor was tried for driving his worker to suicide.

LWDLIK- This is not the reputation you want Kuwait! Stop being blind, mute and deal with this. Heartbreaking stuff.

This is Migrant Rights mission:
"Through the power of the web we wish to raise awareness about the plight of migrant workers in the Middle East and encourage social action to end the violations of their human rights and dignity. Unfortunately, very little is done to prevent the modern-day slavery many workers endure in the region. Our job is to change that."

They get my vote! If you want to join their FB page [link]

Friday, October 22, 2010

Yummy Al-Dahia Juices are Now Doing Non Fat Frozen Fruit Yoghurt Too :O)

If you haven't tried Al-Dahia Juices yet you are in for a super treat now. They have introduced non fat frozen fruit yoghurts. Along with THE most amazing range of fresh juices including avocado, guava, pomegranate, kiwi and the list goes on...
I've tried the juices and they are so healthy and yummy!
Any time you're in the city do your body a little favour and make a quick detour into Dahia Abdulla Salem area (just opposite the Sheraton Hotel roundabout), Jamal El Afghani street next to the Co-op you'll find the best little juice shop in town.
Place your order by phone 22555466 and pass by to pick it up.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The original 'Wizard Of Oz' showing tonight and 4th November at Cinemagic

Thursday, October 21 · 7:30pm - 9:30pm
Location Cinemagic's Rooftop Venue
Old salmiya Souk
Salmiya, Kuwait
Film: The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland
Running time: 101 minutes
Language: English
Awards: 2 Oscars, 5 other wins and 8 nominations
Rated: PG

In this charming film based on the popular L.Frank Baum stories  Dorothy and her dog Toto are caught in the path of a tornado and somehow end up in the Land of Oz. Here she meets some memorable friends and foes in her journey to meet the Wizard of Oz who everyone says can help her return home and possibly grant her new friends their goals of a brain, heart and courage.

LWDLIK- I have this on DVD it's a fab movie. Starts off in black and white and then goes to colour. Great family fun for KD 1 and they have popcorn. Sing along and enjoy the lion character.
**Seems they had a technical fault and so are showing The Wizard of Oz on 4th November at 7.30PM for FREE! Ya gotta love Cinemagic..

A Blues BBQ

Next Thursday there is a rooftop BBQ at Al Manshar Rotana with a live blues band playing. The band is called Mojolators Blues Band and have been playing together now for around 3 years.
Date: Thursday 28th October
Time: 8pm on wards
Where: Al Manshar Rotana – on the roof (very cool set up)
Price: KD12 per person + 15% service charge.
This includes live music and BBQ
You can contact Aziz from the band for booking or more information on 97444318

LWDLIK- Thanks Desert Girl :O)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Invitation to Sahara's First Annual Charity Golf Tournament

Missing Anna Janatkova 9 years old

Heartbreaking stuff. She is missing in Prague. I'm an optimist and you never know who might see this before a trip to Prague on business or one of my Czech friends reading this blog. Let's hope she is found soon.
There was a potentially, nasty incident outside Kuwait English School in Salwa recently where a strange man in a black car was trying to talk a young student into the car. Thankfully the smart child did not get in. Keep your children close and talk to them of the dangers.

Saudi Prince Found Guilty of Murdering Servant in London Hotel

Didn't see this in the local papers this morning?

BBC News
A Saudi prince has been found guilty of murdering his servant at a hotel in central London.
Bandera Abdulaziz, 32, was found beaten and strangled in the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone, on 15 February 2010.
The Old Bailey was told the assault by Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud had a "sexual element" and he had attacked Mr Abdulaziz many times before.
Al Saud, 34, had admitted manslaughter but denied murdering Mr Abdulaziz. He will be sentenced on Wednesday.
The Saudi prince was also found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to an earlier attack in a hotel lift, a charge which he had denied.
The murder of Mr Abdulaziz was the final act in a "deeply abusive" master-servant relationship in which Al Saud carried out frequent attacks on his aide "for his own personal gratification".
The 34-year-old was fuelled by champagne and cocktails when he bit his servant hard on both cheeks during the attack on 15 February, the court heard. The pair had just returned from a Valentine's Day night out when Al Saud launched the ferocious assault.
Jurors heard that Mr Abdulaziz was left so worn down and injured - having suffered a "cauliflower" ear and a swollen eye from previous assaults - that he let Al Saud kill him without a fight.
The pair had just returned from a Valentine's Day night out when Al Saud launched the assault Al Saud then spent hours on the phone to a contact in Saudi Arabia trying to work out how to cover up what he had done.
The prince claimed he had woken in the afternoon to find he could not revive Mr Abdulaziz.
He said his servant's injuries were inflicted when he was attacked and robbed in Edgware Road, central London, a few weeks before.
But when police reviewed CCTV at the hotel, they found footage of Al Saud attacking his aide in a hotel lift.
Two assaults, on 22 January and 5 February, were captured on CCTV.
In the first of them, the Saudi royal could be seen beating Mr Abdulaziz with his fists and elbows as he cowered in the corner.
Detective Chief Inspector John McFarlane: "No-one, regardless of their position, is above the law in this country"
In court the prince's lawyers tried to cover up evidence of Al Saud's homosexuality.
If he ever returns to his home country he faces the possibility of execution - not because of the murder, but because being gay is a capital offence in Saudi Arabia.
The verdict means a long jail term for the prince, who is a member of one of the world's richest and most powerful dynasties.
Al Saud, who lived in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, told police his father was a nephew of the Saudi king and his mother was a daughter of the monarch.
Outside court, Det Ch Insp John McFarlane said: "The defendant used his position of power, money and authority over his victim Bandar to abuse him over an extended period of time."
"This verdict clearly shows no-one, regardless of their position, is above the law," he added.

LWDLIK- I swear I have nothing against royal families. We have some very lovely ones related to my husband's side of the family. But I do have a problem with thinking you are above the law, mistreating and murdering people. The only good thing to come out of this horrible story is that the poor victim will get justice in the UK. It took the jury only 95 minutes to convict for murder; the evidence must have been very graphic.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FA Gallery

From one of my favourite bloggers Confashionsfromkuwait

There seemed little point in me going along to take pics and write a little something on FA Gallery when she has done such a splendid job. I do hope she doesn't mind..

Situated in an historic Arabic House opposite to Amiri Hospital, and owned by Al Otaibi Family, the FA Gallery is a boutique and art gallery that opened on 10/10/10. The ground floor is an art gallery which hosts wonderfully exquisite work by regional and international artists. And the 1st floor has a small collection of fashion and accessories for men and women by South American brands. Tel : +965 22498999

Well worth a visit from the lovely pics I've seen on Confashionsfromkuwait and their FA Gallery's FB page. A great little place to chill at on the weekends. Love their outdoor space as much as the indoor gallery.

A little taster from some 'borrowed' pics :O) But pls chk Confashions for some really good ones.

Spa Party for Little Girls by Casa Spa - What a great Idea!

Pic from Casa Spa FB page

Yesterday evening my precious pumpkin was invited to a little girls' spa party. Sadly my daughter was very late due to a long school day/lunch date.

She and all the little girls were thrilled by the banana face masks, the manicure/pedicure and polish dryer. Daughter loved her little plastic flip flops to wear after pedicure and her jeweled crown which she then wore into Mothercare whilst I looked for some tights. And told EVERYONE in Mothercare she had just been to a spa party.. LOL.

What a fab idea for 5-16 year old girls!

From me to A- Thank you all xxxx  :O)

I love the wash flannel chocolate cake with the strawberry soap on top cute! Can't wait to see the photos, bet Fudge had a blast too :O)

Ok got a little more info from A regarding the party.

It seems Casa Spa [link]  did a great job organising the bambina spa party. The bambinas had princess gowns and crowns to put on, whilst listening to the latest Justin Bieber and Miley songs, 3 staff to give the mani/pedis, massage tables, a small paddling pool with small chairs around for the girls to dip their feet in,  banana and yoghurt facials (that A's adorable 2 year old was eating straight from the tub) and cute little giveaway basket. FAB!

They have mummy spa days too for very reasonable prices. They'll turn your bedroom into your private spa and you'll get a relaxing massage and treatment. See the link above for prices and details.

Mob storms Kuwaiti TV station critical of ruling family

Scope TV's owner said the crowd gained entry by putting a gun to a security guard's head. A mob stormed the offices of a private television station in Kuwait on Sunday after it broadcast a programme critical of the country's ruling family.
Mohammed Talal Al-Said, executive manager of Scope TV, said some of the attackers were armed with pistols and knives, and injured several employees. The station said $1m (£600,000) of damage was done to its studios.
On Monday, Interior Minister Sheikh Jabir al-Khalid al-Sabah said some of the assailants had been arrested.
"Even if they didn't agree with something we had aired, there is no reason to use force to make their point”
Said Fajir Al-Said the owner of Scope TV.
"We will not accept an attack against anybody," he told the Arab Times newspaper. "This is an offensive act and it is not in line with our customs. We are on top of the situation to forestall further degeneration."
Scope TV, a small station with about 70 staff, has come under fire for airing programmes critical of religious leaders and the Al-Sabah family.
Its owner, Fajir Al-Said, was questioned by prosecutors on Thursday over a complaint by the information ministry about the comedy show, Sawtak Wasal (Your Voice Has Been Heard). She and the station were accused of attempting to overthrow the Kuwaiti government, her lawyer said.
On Saturday, the host of Scope's talk-show, Zayn wa Shayn (Good and Bad), appeared to accuse an Al-Sabah family member who is a senior information ministry official of being behind the accusations, Ms Said told the Associated Press.
The next day, a crowd of more than 100 people descended on the station and gained entry by putting a gun to a security guard's head, she said.
"Even if they didn't agree with something we had aired, there is no reason to use force to make their point," Ms Said added.

**An update from the Arab Times this morning reads that the Public Prosecution has issued an arrest and detention warrant against Kuwaiti Ambassador to Jordan Sheikh Faisal Al-Humoud and his brother.

LWDLIK- An interesting crossroads for democratic progress in Kuwait. You will find variations on the spelling of the surname Said/ Saeed.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Free Reiki Sessions at Al-Zuhair Holistic Medicine Center

They are giving free reiki sessions on Saturday 23rd Oct from 10AM to 1PM at Al-Zuhair Holistic Medicine Center, Area 3, Street 6, Aknan Clinic Tower, 1st Floor, Salmiya. To book your free session call  2227 4800/1/2/3. Visit their website for more details

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Trash to Treasure Project Update Includes an Eco-Friendly, Re-Cycled Materials Fashion Show for Charity

LWDLIK- 'Trash to Treasure' (A worthy project for the runaway, abused, distressed workers seeking refuge at the Phillipine embassy. To keep them sane, busy and instill self worth)

The update from Cheryl and Nerissa..

The Trash to Treasure team of volunteers would like to pause and recognize the creativity and hard work of the Philippine ladies we have been privileged to work with over the past year. These strong spirited ladies have shown incredible team work and resilience in spite of the difficult circumstances they contend with. We are very proud of the association we share and wanted to let the very dedicated and caring labor office staff know what your women have accomplished with your support.Since March, 2010, the sale of their rugs and other hand made items has totaled over 1,100 KD! These earnings have purchased for their use the following items:
 Over the counter medications
 250 pair of socks
 200 undergarments
 8 standing fans
 50 metal plates
 Toiletries & personal hygiene supplies
 Laundry detergent
 3 folding project tables
 Craft supplies: scissors, glue guns, beads, etc.
 Sewing machine repairs
 Eyeglasses for ward
 Notebooks for Seven Habits participants
 Travel totes

Fashion Show.
Iszonica Modelling School has challenged the ladies to a design competition using shopping bags and recycled materials to create a dress for an upcoming fashion show to benefit women in shelters. The “mock ups” were beautifully modelled at POLO (Phillipine Overseas Labour Office) last week, giving us a taste of what is yet to come! The display of creativity was dazzling. The charity fashion show will take place at The Holiday Inn Hotel, Salmiya on November 10. Ticket sales will benefit displaced domestic workers in shelters in Kuwait; the cost is 10KD per ticket. Guest designers will be allowed to participate and dresses from sponsoring shops will also be modeled. Rugs and other hand made items will be available for purchase at the event. All completed projects must have the name of the designer (in duplicate) attached. If the style and quality result in the sale of an item while the designer is still at POLO, they will receive 50% of the selling price!

Soon to Start: Seven Habits Class.
English speaking ladies at POLO are invited to consider if they would like to sign up for another Seven Habits of Highly Effective Living course. We will offer a series of 4 seminars and class size will be limited. A commitment to participate and complete the course (unless repatriated) is expected of all who sign up. Tentative start date: Wednesday, 3rd November.

Trash To Treasure Vision:
Trash To Treasure seeks to inspire disenfranchised domestic workers in Kuwait towards independence and creativity by:
1. Resourcing women to recycle common materials into marketable, functional art.
2. Teaching women personal growth and business skills using principles of Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective Living.
3. Empowering women to be leaders by teaching what they have learned, and serving their peers with the income from product sales

Trash to Treasure is linking up with Crown Relocations Int. in Kuwait. This company is committed to both social and environmental responsibility and seeks to support projects that reflect these values. It was proposed that Crown would welcome each new family it relocates to Kuwait with a “house warming” gift of a Trash to Treasure rug. They agreed to the proposal and have already purchased the first two gifts! Crown representatives also sold 94KD in rugs at the British Business Forum held this week at the Hilton. Over half of Crown’s employees in Kuwait are Filipino; we welcome their warm support.

New Mattresses Arrive.
The former Catholic church that met at the US Embassy has gifted Trash To Treasure with a 500KD donation. With guidance from the welfare workers at POLO it was decided that this money would go to purchase new mattresses. To keep these sleeping surfaces clean, fabric was purchased to make washable covers. Volunteers, including Ethiopian women also living in a transitional shelter sewed the lovely pink covers to protect the 150 new mattresses.

LWDLIK- Much kudos to Cheryl Spessert and Nerissa Alford for their time and love. If only the world had more people like this. Please look out for them at the bazaars this year as this project and Operation Hope need all the help they can get. To the ladies at the refuge please stay strong, believe life can be better and may you return home to your families very soon.
If any kind soul can offer to supply refreshments and snacks at their fashion show on 10th November please email them or me and I will forward email to the ladies. It's a great cause. Can you imagine how these unfortunate, abused and distressed domestic workers feel when they know that people actually care. Thank you.

White House became 'Pink House' for a night

The White House became the 'Pink House' Thursday night for breast cancer awareness.
President Barack Obama announced via Twitter earlier in the day that the building will be bathed in pink light Thursday, just for one night on 14th October.
Obama signed a proclamation at the beginning of the month designating October as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Last October, the Obamas hung a large pink ribbon on the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the White House.
The American Cancer Society says there are roughly 40,000 breast cancer deaths each year in the U.S.

My Shining Star

This is a good time to share with you a true story about my shining star. She is very, very dear to me and the many who love her. She’s over 80 and a great-grandmother. She found a lump in her breast and had her daughter take her to the doctor. The doctor sent her for a mammogram and ultrasound which she did. On those findings she was sent for a biopsy. Which she did. Not easy for an  80+ year old who has great difficulty getting about. The biopsy results showed a cancerous tumour. Everyone was devastated by the news and worried about a mastectomy or even surviving an operation at this age.

Her daughters thought it best not to tell her it was cancer, fearing she would worry even more. She spent a week prior to the main op in hospital on all sorts of meds to prepare her for the surgery. Always cheerful, never a complaint or a moan.

The day of the op came and she was in surgery much longer than expected. When she finally came out first thing she asked was if they had taken off her breasts…It seems she had known all along it was a possibility. Fortunately, she had an excellent surgeon who understood how much it meant to her. He spent many hours removing as much cancerous tissue as possible in her breasts and lymph nodes.

She was an excellent patient in hospital and at home. Everyone who knows of her illness is in awe of her dignity and strength. She spent a long time recovering in hospital and at home but wanted no one to know her ordeal except close family. I respect her wishes and so her name is not mentioned.

I really don’t know if I would have the strength to go through all that at her age. I hope so. I truly think her intention was to be an example. Her concentration is on living and spending as much time as possible with her family and friends. She is an awesome, kind, gracious and wise lady and I am honoured to know her and have her in my life.

I did my annual mammogram not long after and I know her daughters are doing the same.

Mobile Mammography Unit Arrives in Kuwait

KUWAIT: The first mobile digital mammography unit has arrived to Kuwait. Soon it will be put into operation and be transferred to areas throughout the six governorates in an attempt to aid the early discovery and prevention of breast cancer. The arrival of the new unit was celebrated on Wednesday at the Kuwait Society for Preventing Smoking and Cancer (KSPSC). The event was held under the auspices of the Minister of Health, Dr Hilal Al-Sayer and attended by the Chairperson of the Cancer Aware Nation (CAN) Campaign, Dr Fayza Al-Kharafi.
Dr Hilal Al-Sayer appreciated the initiative. "This is a great step towards improving the public's awareness of cancer. Such projects support the Ministry's efforts to cure this disease," he said. He stressed the importance diagnosing cancer early, especially in cases of breast cancer, as it is one of the most common types of cancer in Kuwait and around the world.
The mobile digital mammography unit will save time and effort for those who would like to have a checkup," added Al-Sayer. "Early discovery is an easy and effective way to increase the likelihood of curing cancer in its first phases. This will also increase a patient's possibility of getting well and decreasing the load on medical centers as patients will not have to go through long and expensive medical treatment procedures.
The Kuwait Institution for the Advancement of Science (KIAC) also supports this project. "I would like to thank KIAC for their support and I hope that other institutes and societies will do the same," said Dr Fayza Al-Kharafi. KIAC is well known for their support of development projects that serve society."
"Launching this preventative checkup campaign is an excellent addition to the CAN Campaign's achievements in the past few years," she added. This unit will operate in cooperation with the Ministry of Health. "Special programs for the unit will be scheduled to meet the needs of individuals in areas throughout Kuwait," noted Dr Abdulrahman Al-Awadhi, Chairman of KSPSC. "This project is just the beginning and we are looking for more products to serve the whole society."

LWDLIK- Woohoo!

Cirque Du Soleil in Kuwait!

Have just heard that Cirque Du Soleil and Moscow Circus are coming to Kuwait 25/26 November 2010. So far limited details available will keep you posted. I'm so excited saw Quidam in Dubai it was awesome, my daughter was speechless for the whole show (a first for her :O). There are many different shows not sure which one is coming. All include fabulous music, acrobatics, costumes, magic and enchantment.
And here's Alegria the song from one of the shows sung in several languages and touching the soul..

Enjoy :O)

UPDATE: Have checked with X-cite Alghanim, who first advertised this, and it seems they are offering two free tickets with purchases over KD 200. The shows will be at Entertainment City in Doha. See below for more details.

Friday, October 15, 2010

KuwaitStock IV

To the British ambassador, embassy staff, volunteers and artistes thank you...YOU ROCK!
And that is all I'm going to say  ;O)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Your In-House 5 * Chef Adlah Al-Sharhan

A sample of the tailored dining menu "The Private Supper Club"

Menu 1:
Amuse bouche of seared salmon with hurisami sauce
Kuwaiti cray fish on a bed of cauliflower puree topped with fois gras
Quail Dolmates (New age Greek cuisine)
Braised shoulder of lamb on a bed of root vegetables and thyme lamb jus
Chocolate Fondant with almond essence milkshake

Menu 2:
Veal tartar with organic quail egg with condiments
Grilled miso salmon with masirated soba noodles and anis broth
Habiscus and green tea smoked duck breast with duck liver ravioli and buerre noisette.
Chocolate Gluttony with spun sugar

Menu 3:
New style seared salmon sashimi with yuzo ginger foam
Rissoto of wild Mushroom with salted mushroom powder
Wagyu sirlion, baby vegetables and truffled roasted potatoes
White chocolate cannelloni and strawberry mousse

Adlah Al Sharhan is an accomplished chef and has her own culinary school here in Kuwait You can message her personally thro her FB page [link] call her or her partner on 99156344 that's Adlah and 99372987 that's her partner Sheikha Al-Nafisi.

LWDLIK- Ok so I'm not sure what a few items are but they sound very impressive. The lamb and the wagyu have me drooling. And let's face it 'chocolate anything' is great for dessert. I'm thinking if you have a big open plan kitchen/dining area what a great idea for a special dinner party-come-cooking lesson. Maybe I should take her along next time to our dining club instead of me cooking, I'm sure they'll be no complaints :O)
Ok had to google this one: An 'amuse bouche' is a trendy, creative hors d'oeuvre/appetiser.

Talent Show at 360 Mall this weekend

Zawaya Ashaghaf’s celebratory event to be held at 360 Exhibition hall on the 14th, 15th and 16th of October. A whole day event with an exhilarating show starting at 6 pm.

LWDLIK- Sounds worthy of delaying and changing weekly grocery shop to Geant for this.

Q8 Books- Kuwait's Used Bookstore

Are you fond of reading but find the cost of new books rather expensive? Have you wished for more affordable books? If so, then you have just stumbled upon one of the only two used bookstores in Kuwait.
Their aim is to bring you the best selection of new and used books in Kuwait. Besides their love for books, they are also striving to make them very affordable to those of you who enjoy reading.
Please read opening times carefully

And Desert Girl found another used bookstore [link]
Better Books located in Salmiya, Block 10, behind Al-Rashid Hospital.

Kuwait's 35th book fair starts amid controversy

The annual exhibition is taking place at the Mishref Fairgrounds from October 13-23. Seems only 30+ books banned this year compared to 230 books in 2007. That's progress isn't it? 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Shortcut

Finally we have a directory of  ''what's hot and happening in Kuwait' that is freely (as in no charge) available at Caribou Coffee, Coffee Republic, GUST and AUK. Along with other free mags Student Talk and Bazaar it provides the English speaking population of Kuwait with brightly coloured ads, latest restaurants and hip fun stuff. Great to flip thro whilst having a cappucino. Woohoo.. the more the merrier I say.
They are also online

Thanks Kathy :O)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Babes In The Wood – Pantomime 2010

Babes In The Wood – Kuwait Little Theatre Pantomime 2010. Tickets on sale now.
December 2nd 2010 - December 10th 2010 @ 2.30pm and 7.30pm. A brand new pantomime comes to The KLT this December promising all the usual musical moments, madness, slapstick and audience participation. It is the perfect start to the holiday season, fun for all the family and SURE to be another KLT sell out success.

This year’s show, directed by Meryl Bunce (most recently Donna in “Mamma Mia!”), takes the classic tale of Robin Hood and the Babes in the Wood and runs it through the pantomime mangle to add all the necessary elements. Two new faces take the roles of principle boy and girl (Liz Young as Robin Hood and Sara Al-Kandery as Maid Marion). Comedy comes from last year’s Uglies with Harven Danelian taking on another Dame role as Nanny Pepper, and Tim Waddell as Tom Tom the comic. Other fabulous characters to enjoy in the show include Gobsprite (Kristen Falcioni), Ursula Sourdough (Sharon Williams) , The Sheriff of Nottingham (Alastair Hannay), and Matt Aston & Kirsty McDonagh as comedy duo Gurge & Tate as well as an all singing, all dancing ensemble.

The show, produced by Paul Tunbridge with Musical Direction by Mike Hassan, opens at the theatre onThursday December 2nd at 7.30pm with performances on the 3rd and 4th, 8th, 9th and 10th. (Matinee performances will be held at 2.30pm on the 3rd, 4th and 10th December and there is no evening performance on the 4th)

To make a booking CLICK HERE!

Les Miserables

Les Miserables will be performed by the talented, multi-national students of The British Academy of International Arts ( BAIA ) at the BSK campus on 21, 22, 23, 29 and 30 October.
This production is directed by Alison Shan Price, Hassan Rawas and visiting London Director Lisa Thorner. Ms Thorner has performed in Les Miserables as Madame Thenadier at the Queen's Theatre London and has given workshops to the cast in London and Kuwait.
This spectacular production is suitable for students from 7 years of age.
Full details regarding ticketing and sponsorship is available on 60052087 or

Planning the trip to India...Top tip - Do it yourself!

"I honor the place in you in which the entire universe dwells, I honor the place in you which is of love, of integrity, of wisdom and of peace. When you are in that place in you, and I am in that place in me, we are one."

I'm trying :O}..Ohm..Ohm...breathe...

Unfortunately the day we wanted to travel there are no seats available, not one. So spoke to a travel agent who drove me a little nuts to say the least. I would call him and ask him to send me prices and flights for other days and he would email me asking for our names to make a booking on the day that he told me had no seats available?
So got on the Emirates website and after a few, very frustrating hours of almost getting the transaction completed I emailed the 'so-called' travel agent telling him I had found an excellent deal on Emirates for two seats to Delhi KWD 186 could he do me the same deal without me having to face another second on the Emirates website. To which he replied that he would offer us the same flight for KWD 186 each! I swear to you I have the emails to prove it!
Chatted with Emirates who said they would charge another KWD 10 each processing fees if they were to book it for me. A last ditch final effort and I got the 2 seats for KWD 186 with Emirates online. The motto of the story being people lie, believe that you can do MUCH better, persist and take no BS.

Now for the hotel in Delhi, as before we join the 3 day wedding party we'll stay in Delhi for one night. Really wanted to stay at the Imperial Hotel, Janpath which is gorgeous but they wanted a hefty KWD 130 per night for a standard room. So looked around and found the loveliest little boutique hotel The Manor featured in The Guardian. Double room with a la carte breakfast, airport transfer, 15 min head or foot massage, 3- course dinner in award winning restaurant for KWD 75. I'm delighted, though have to admit googling for holidays is one of my favorite things to do.

The rest of the arrangements I leave in the gracious hosts' capable hands.

The Kuwait Science Fair Competition

The Kuwait Science Fair is a competition in which students can use their scientific and math skills to come up with an innovative experiment or invention. They get the chance to win great prizes and experience new things, hopefully inspiring them to enter into a career in the math and science field.
The competition was established in 2008, as a joint partnership between ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Kuwait Limited and Kuwait Energy Company, in hopes to create further interest by Kuwait’s youth in the math and science field.
The Kuwait Science Fair competition, “The Best 100”, aims to encourage students to take an active interest in math and science education, in addition to motivating them to learn and perform well in these classes.
The official launch was 10th October and will run until the final day of the competition which is 19th March 2011. The last day to register is 6th December, and "The Best 100" will be announced on the 13th December. For more information, please visit

I Happen to Love Halloween

Strangely, here in Kuwait it's not popular among the locals. When my daughter was in nursery school I asked if the kids were dressing up for Halloween and the teacher told me "no, we had complaints from other parents who thought it was something like devil worship." I'm certainly not a devil worshipper and I love any fun stuff that makes kids happy.

So, every year our dear Jamila organises a Halloween extravaganza for the kids who scream and squeal with delight. Her husband dresses up as a scary, glowing green monster and waits for them in the Haunted House. We have lots of party games and scary cupcakes. Everyone has a fab time. Just trying to think up an outfit for this year, last year I was Snow White with the cutest red apple handbag. I'm thinking this year mother and daughter Lady Gaga. What da ya think? They have some crazy shoes, wig stores and outfits near the old souk in Salmiya for fancy dress.

I've seen some lovely Halloween props and accessories in Pottery Barn Kids and TSC usually has a nice collection. For costumes Partyland in Shuwaikh. Or a good imagination. A couple of rolls of toilet paper makes a great mummy and not much chance of rain here to spoil the look.

If you need help with organising a party there's Sparkle Events. This is an event planning business that was established two years ago. They do major events including fashion shows, corporate events and private birthday parties. You can have a look at some of what they've done on their face book group 'Let's Sparkle' their website will soon be up and running or feel free to email them on or call 94082225/6

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Great weekend and now getting ready for a 3 day wedding party in India

Super weekend! A birthday bash to remember and a day out at Khubar with lovely friends and family.

Now planning for a trip to India for a 3 day wedding ceremony. It's actually a renewal of wedding vows for a couple that have been married for 25 years. Ahhh! So romantic.
Can't wait. Hubby and I visited Taj Mahal and Agra Fort last time we were in India, which were awesome experiences.

I'm needing some glitzy Indian outfits to wear for the henna party and the sumptuous evenings. Where is the best place to go here in Kuwait? Be grateful for some tips..Thanks.

I'm imagining I'll look something like Liz Hurley and hopefully my husband will look like hers :OD

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Human Rights Watch Organisation- Abused Domestic Workers in Kuwait, Nowhere to Turn

Scant Protection Against Mistreatment and Abuse. [link]

Workers continue to spend long periods waiting at embassy shelters, including the Philippines safe house, shown here. Since 1992, the Kuwaiti government has relied on deportation as the primary method for dealing with domestic workers who face employment-related problems. Workers reported spending weeks or months in official custody, moving from embassy shelters to police stations, and from there to criminal investigation facilities, before they were sent to deportation detention.
If abused or exploited workers try to escape or complain, the law makes it easy for employers to charge them with ‘absconding’ and get them deported. The government has left workers to depend on employers’ good will – or to suffer when good will is absent.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director .(Kuwait City) - Domestic workers in Kuwait who try to escape abusive employers face criminal charges for "absconding" and are unable to change jobs without their employer's permission, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Migrant domestic workers have minimal protection against employers who withhold salaries, force employees to work long hours with no days off, deprive them of adequate food, or abuse them physically or sexually.
The 97-page report, "Walls at Every Turn: Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers Through Kuwait's Sponsorship System," describes how workers become trapped in exploitative or abusive employment then face criminal penalties for leaving a job without the employer's permission. Government authorities arrest workers reported as "absconding" and in most cases deport them from Kuwait - even if they have been abused and seek redress.
"Employers hold all the cards in Kuwait," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "If abused or exploited workers try to escape or complain, the law makes it easy for employers to charge them with ‘absconding' and get them deported. The government has left workers to depend on employers' good will - or to suffer when good will is absent."
Kuwait, which has the highest ratio of domestic workers to citizens in the Middle East, announced on September 26, 2010, that it would abolish the sponsorship system (kafala) in February 2011, and replace the employer-based system with a government-administered recruitment authority. While this would be an important reform, the government gave no details on what legal protections would be added for migrant workers in the country, or whether the reforms would cover domestic workers.
The country's more than 660,000 migrant domestic workers constitute nearly a third of the work force in this small Gulf country of only 1.3 million citizens. But domestic workers are excluded from the labor laws that protect other workers. Kuwaiti lawmakers reinforced this exclusion as recently as February 2010, when they passed a new labor law for the private sector that failed to cover domestic work.
"It shouldn't be against the law to run away from an abusive employer," said one activist who regularly counsels domestic workers in Kuwait, and who asked to remain anonymous. "Sometimes these girls, they say, ‘Do you know what happened to me in that house? They hit me, spat on can there be a case against me?'"
Data compiled by Human Rights Watch shows that in 2009, domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Ethiopia filed over 10,000 complaints about their treatment with their embassies in Kuwait.
The Kuwaiti government's reform of the current sponsorship system, Human Rights Watch said, should include immediate steps to remove "absconding" as a legal violation, and to permit workers to change jobs without an employer's consent. The government should also cease arresting and deporting workers for leaving jobs where employers violated their rights, and should instead provide domestic workers with emergency shelter and expedited complaint mechanisms.
Tilkumari Pun, a 23-year-old domestic worker from Nepal, told Human Rights Watch that she worked for 13 months without getting paid. She repeatedly asked her employers for her wages so that she could return to Nepal, where her father needed a heart operation. After waiting 10 months for her employers to make these arrangements, she said, she went to the police for assistance, but they detained her. From the police station, she said, "I had to go to the CID [Criminal Investigations Department]. Baba and Mama [my employers, had] filed a police case against me."
"Walls at Every Turn" is based on interviews with 49 domestic workers, representatives from sending country embassies in Kuwait, and Kuwaiti government officials, including representatives from the Labor and Social Affairs Ministry and the Interior Ministry. Human Rights Watch also interviewed employers, local human rights and civil society advocates, lawyers, and academics.
The domestic workers interviewed cited a variety of abuses by their employers, including nonpayment of wages, refusal to grant days off, and physical or sexual assault. But they said they had found it virtually impossible to pursue their complaints.
They found that they could only pursue a legal claim if they were willing to wait weeks or months in a crowded embassy shelter while negotiations with their sponsor, or a protracted legal case, proceeded. An "absconding" report by the employer immediately invalidates a migrant worker's legal residency status, leaving her with no legal way to work and send money home while awaiting resolution of her claim.
"Domestic workers often depend on the salaries they earn to support families back home," Whitson said. "These workers should not have to wait for months in crowded shelters with no chance to work or even move freely, when many of them have already experienced rights violations."
Domestic workers, excluded from labor laws, face particularly difficult legal battles to claim wages owed. Proving exploitation or abuse can be difficult due to the limited evidence available from inside private homes. Kuwait provides no expedited labor courts despite the country's huge population of migrant workers and the fact that wage complaints top the list of workers' grievances. Long waits, poor information about their rights and options, and slim chances of achieving justice mean that many workers give up on redress.
Even when domestic workers opt not to pursue claims, they still face lengthy delays before they can leave the country. Very few workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch who had left their jobs had successfully retrieved their passports from their former employers after leaving. Employers confiscate passports to delay workers' departures from the country, and to use this as a bargaining tool in negotiations. Workers whose employers register them as "absconding" often have to spend additional time waiting for government authorities to clear them of the charge before they can return home, even in cases where the worker had escaped from abusive employers or had completed her contractual obligations.
Nur W., an Indonesian worker interviewed at a government deportation detention center, said that her employer denied her permission to return home at the end of her two-year contract and also refused to return her passport when she ran away. "I went to my embassy," she said. "They called Mama [my employer] from there. Mama still said no [to returning my passport.] I had to go to deportation."
"Workers who have been forced to work without pay, deprived of food, or treated inhumanely should not have to go to detention centers or jails, or to return home through deportation proceedings," Whitson said. "The government should provide workers who report claims of employer abuse with shelter, and remove these burdensome legal hurdles that employers can impose even on women who have already suffered mistreatment."
While the Kuwaiti government currently maintains a 50-bed shelter for domestic workers, only embassies can refer workers there, and only after the police have cleared them of all charges, meaning that women typically wait long periods in their embassy shelters before reaching the government facility. When Human Rights Watch visited the facility, it was operating under capacity, despite the pressing need for shelter hundreds of domestic workers face, and overcrowding at embassy shelters.
"When unscrupulous employers exploit domestic workers, the government should not punish them further," Whitson said. "Government officials have been discussing kafala reform for years, but the time has come to implement measures that will protect workers' rights in practice - not just on paper."

LWDLIK- Can I get an AMEN!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah Schedule of Events 2010/11 - 16th Cultural Season

Schedule 2010/11 click here

Give it a minute to fully download and then enlarge. You will be able to print it out if you wish.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Art exhibitions at Sultan Gallery

The Sultan Gallery is back after the summer break.
Below are the details of the October exhibitions:

Photographer Aseel Al Yaqoub exhibition 'Teddy On The Go' starts 5th — 7th Oct, 2010
Opening on 5th October, 2010 at 7-9 pm; 7th Oct, 2010 at 10 pm to 2pm.

Teddy at the end of his year long journey.

Artist – Jowhara Al Saud's 'Your Friends and Neighbors' from Oct 19th —Nov 4th, 2010
Opening in the presence of the artist on 19th October, 2010 at 7 to 9 pm; 20th Oct 2010, 10 am to 4 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm. 21st Oct -Nov 4th 2010 10 am to 4 pm.

Sultan Gallery, South Sabhan, Block 8, Street 105, Building No 168, Kuwait, Tel. 965 24714325 ext 110, fax 965 24714301,

Jowhara's interesting work

Map to Sultan Gallery, Sabhan.