"Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May" is a poem by Robert Herrick. This poem portrays our existence on earth, and that people age as life goes on, and everything becomes boundless. Herrick here urges people to take advantage of youth and energy while they may! The poem is in the genre of carpe diem, to seize the day.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kuwait

Dr. Alrabaa taught me English Literature and Anthropology in college. He is awesome, I loved his way of teaching and challenging students. I got A and A- respectively in his classes... but I don't agree with so many points given out in this article! As a matter of fact I think it's a bit of everything; anger, experience, sterotype, and truth!!!

I do go out alone sometimes to a quite place to read a book!

I love our maid, cook, and driver.. they are awesome people and are here to earn a living!! I sometimes go and fix my own meal and tidy up my bed in the morning!

I do work full time, 7:30am-3:30pm without slacking!

I hate to see people throw litter out of their car, and to your surprise many of them are NOT Kuwaitis!!

I do LOVE Kuwait and I am a proud Kuwaiti too :-)

But this is freedom of speech I guess!

-Ansam



Daily Column
Thinking like a Kuwaiti
Published Date: February 21, 2007
By Dr Sami Alrabaa

Mohammed Al-Saleh writes in his column in Al-Qabas, Feb 19 the following, implying/referring to Kuwaitis in general:

Work is something sacred. Do not touch it.
Postpone your work until the day after tomorrow if you can't postpone it until tomorrow.
Do as little as you can and make the others do the job for you.
If you feel like working, take some rest until that wish evaporates.
Work is healthy. Therefore leave it to the ill.
I would add, also implying/referring to Kuwaitis in general:

If you have Wasta, (if you are well connected), why bother with the law.
If you have Wasta, why bother to learn and exert yourself. You will get the job you want and the others (expats) will eventually do the job for you.
As a Kuwaiti skip work. Because you are a Kuwaiti you will never be fired.
Wear an Islamist mask and behind it do whatever you want. As an Islamist you must be pious.
Pretend you are a devout Muslim. Go to perform noon prayers. From there go home. If people ask where you are, we will say you are praying.
Make a list of excuses from "work". One day, your wife is ill, the other, it is your son Mohammed, the other Ali, etc.
If you are a high profile official, do what Islamists tell you. They would love you and leave you to do what you want.
Make debts, borrow a lot of money and buy whatever you want. One day, these debts will be wiped out.
Carry on asking what Kuwait can do for you, but never what you can do for Kuwait. Do not forget to sing: I love Kuwait.
Throw your litter out of your car. Litter all over. Public places are no-man's land. Why do we have Bangladeshis? They would be jobless without your litter.
Leave all your bulbs and A/C on all the time, waste as much water as you can. Only the dumb pay their electricity and water bills.
Do not read. Do not inform yourself. The more you know, the more depressed you get. The more you learn about other societies, the more you are convinced, you live in a mad house.
Wrong are always the others. Although you are as corrupt as the others, as lazy as the others, blame it on the others. You are perfect, but not the others.
Committees made out of Kuwaitis spawn only other committees. They are not built to propose solutions.
In public, condemn Western "decadence", but in private enjoy its products. Praise local traditions, no matter what anachronistic they are.
If you employ an expat, exploit him/her as much as you can. They should be thankful to you that they earn a couple of dinars. Back home they would die of hunger.
When international human rights organisations blast Kuwaitis for ill-treating expats, refer them to the humane labour laws in Kuwait.
Do not learn from expat colleagues. Punctuality and hard work do not pay off in Kuwait. Expats are there to do the job and not to learn from.
Never teach your kids "Do it yourself". Otherwise, they run the risk of learning independence, discipline, and creativity. It is cheaper to get all these things for KD 30. It is not worth it.
Have you ever seen a Kuwaiti reading a book in a public place like, parks, cafes, or libraries? What kind of books do Kuwaitis buy? Books about deciphering dreams and cooking.
If Kuwaiti women were free, really free and not shackled to the rules of tradition, not to say suppressed by men, they would expose men and prove that they are simply paper tigers. Men know this. Therefore they subordinate women to their will, arbitrarily.
Do you know why Kuwaiti men, for that matter most Arab men, walk at least two to three steps ahead of their wives? They want to shield them from the lusty eyes of male strangers.
Men-women relationships are abnormal in Kuwaiti society. This abnormality is justified by anachronistic norms and pseudo-Islamic rules. Roman women envied their Muslim counterparts for being allowed to fight and conduct business transactions. Nowadays, most Kuwaiti and Arab women need the blessing of their men for every movement they do. Now, expats are addressed:

If you are an expat, just do what makes your Kuwaiti employer happy. Never disagree with your boss or Kuwaiti colleagues, even if they do not have the slightest clue. On the contrary, keep flattering them. Honesty does not pay off in Kuwait. Keep your advice and frustration in yourself. Lock them up.
If you are an expat teacher, do not be demanding. The more students complain about you, the shorter your employment chances will be in Kuwait.
Students must have enough time to play video games and watch TV.
At roundabouts and queues give way to Kuwaitis, regardless of traffic rules.
Do not rush Kuwaitis at government departments. They hate speeding at work. In some areas, the speed limit is zero. Besides, the poor Kuwaiti employees, they stay up late at night fulfilling their social duties.
Do not expect a "thank you" from a Kuwaiti. You are doing your duties.
Kuwaitis are not racist. Assigning demeaning jobs to Bangladeshis and Indians is simply a kind of division of labour.
Generally, a Kuwaiti man does not bring his wife to your mixed social gatherings not because he is misogynist. It is because she does not want to. She prefers to stay at home and wait for her husband.
Some Kuwaitis believe that their maids are robots. Indeed, some maids show no feelings, never complain, and speak like robots: Yes, no, ok, etc. That is why some Kuwaitis make their maids work for 24 hours.

2 comments:

Shurooq said...

I think this article is brilliant because it is a completely sarcastic take on Kuwaiti society. The professor is making fun of things that people do and take for granted, and they're really all around us. I suppose if you take the article as a whole, it represents the ultimate stereotype of a Kuwaiti, which is an exaggeration. But if you take two or three characteristics at a time, then yes, we all know many people who behave in this abominable manner. It's sad, but true. If only people realized that the true future of our country depends not on cheating in an exam just to pass a test and ultimately get a university degree to get a job, the future of our country depends on the concept of proper education at an early age, followed by education of a consistently high standard throughout school and college. Teachers should be chosen with strict criteria in mind, only the very best, and given salaries worth their high standards, then sent out to the schools (especially the notoriously poor government schools) and then you can watch the domino effect in action. At that point, well-educated students can educate their parents!

Mama Ony said...

i enjoyed this piece very much.
very very much.

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