Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Jet Escort

Less than a minute ago, outside my window, a plane departed Kuwait with a THREE jet escort. Who could that be?

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Counter-terrorism, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Middle East, News, Random Musings | 4 Comments

Women in Pakistan

Last but not least from today’s Kuwait Times are two articles from recent news in Pakistan, both involving women and the men who (seem to) own them:

Police Seek Pakistanis Pressing Woman to Hand Over Her Daughter

Karachi: Police are seeking ten men, including several tribal elders, accused of pressuring a Pakistani woman to hand over her teenage daughter as payment for a 16 year old poker debt, officials said yesterday.

In the latest case highlighting how conservative customs threaten women’s rights in Pakistan, Nooran Umrani alleges that despite paying off her late husband’s debt of 10,000 Pakistani rupees, she was threatened with harm if she failed to hand over her daughter, Rasheeda. The 17 year old was to be surrendered as a bride for the son of Lal Haider, the man who won the card game years before, Umrani told reporters . . . Police said yesterday that the mother and daughter were in their protection and that an investigation was opened against Haider, his son, and eight others. . .

Nooran said her husband was a gambler who ran up the debt at a poker game when Rasheeda was 1 year old. He promised Haider that he would get Rasheeda in lieu of payment when she grew up, Nooran said. . . .

President General Pervez Musharraf has vowed to give women more rights in line with his policy to project Pakistan as a moderate, progressive Islamic nation. In December, Musharraf signed into law a bill that makes it easier to prosecute rape cases in the courts, and the country’s ruling party recently introduced a bill to outlaw forced marriages, including under tribal custom in which woman are married off in order to settle disputes.

My comment: The debt was paid. And what was the father thinking?? giving away his daughter to cover his debts? I can’t wrap my mind around it.

Pakistani Sells Wife’s Kidney to Buy Tractor

Karachi: Pakistani police have arrested two men after a village woman complained that her husband and relatives had sold one of her kidneys in order to buy a tractor, police said yesterday. Although her kidney had been removed 18 months earlier, the woman named Safia only learnt it was missing after seeking treatment for a urinary tract problem in January. “She had said she was three months pregnant when her husband, Shakeel Ahmed beat her and then took her to the hospital for treatment,” said Mohammad Akram, duty officer at Noushera Jadeed police station in Punjab province. “But at the hospital, her husband, in connivance with three other people, sold her kidney to buy the tractor,” he said. Unlike many other parts of the world, including neighboring India, there is no law in Pakistan banning the trade in organs. Poverty-ridden Pakistanis living in rural areas sell their kidneys to pay off debts or raise money for their families. Sick but wealthy Pakistanis, and foreigners from the Gulf, Britain and Canada flock to private hospitals in Pakistan for kidney transplants, made possible by these donors.

My comment: Seems his wife is just another revenue-raising resource to Shakeel Ahmed. If asked, she might have even agreed, but it would be nice to be asked, not to discover it 18 months later. The news article says he was arrested. I wonder if he committed a crime under Pakistani law?

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Crime, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Generational, Health Issues, Hygiene, Living Conditions, News, Pakistan, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues | Leave a comment

On a Lighter Note: Exhibitionist Held

God bless the reporters of crime news in the Kuwait Times, in the midst of all that horror, they occasionally find an article that is almost purely hilarious:

Exhibitionist Held
Farwaniya police arrested an Arab expatriate after he put on an artificial male organ on his own to seduce female passers-by. The organ, which was too huge to be true, drew shocked gasps, not only from females but also from all around. The expat however shrank when he saw the police and was subdued after a hot chase.

My comment: *Dying laughing.* From beginning to end. The title. *Gasping for breath* he “shrank” *howling* and was subdued after a “hot” chase. Kill me now! This reporter is too funny!

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Crime, ExPat Life, Humor, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Social Issues | 7 Comments

Isn’t Sodomy Considered Perversion?

Two articles from the Kuwait Times crime pages, but a daily occurrence:

February 27, 2007
Kuwaiti boy Sodomized
A Kuwaiti living in the Jaber Al-Ali area recently filed a complaint that a man offered his younger brother a lift while he was walking in the Mubarak Al-Kabeer area. He said the man then drove into the desert where he sodomized the boy after threatening him with a knife and also shot nude pictures of him.

February 28, 2007
Bedoons, Kuwaitis scuffle over attempted ‘sodomy’
Kuwait: Two bedoons travelling in a car in Riqqa spotten an eleven-year-old Kuwaiti boy standing in front of his house, and decided to kidnap and sodomize him. One of them alighted and tried to force the boy to get inside the car, but the boy started screaming; alerting other boys in the neighborhood who wrestled with the bedoons and managed to pin them down until the police arrived. However, the boy’s father when informed on the situation along with his relatives rushed to the police station where they encountered the bedoons’ relatives. Both groups were then involved in a scuffle. The boy’s father then stabbed one of the bedoons several times. The victim had to be admitted to the intensive care unit at Adan hospital. Police arrested the boy’s father and referred him to the relevant authorities.

My comment and question: In our holy book, Jesus says that the very worst punishment in the afterlife is for anyone who harms one of the little ones, one of the “innocents,” who damages that innocence in any way. I am betting the Qu’ran says something similar. (I welcome your feedback on this, because I would like to know the sura’a.)

And aren’t Bedoon’s MORE religiously conservative than other Kuwaitis? How does this track?

In western culture, men who ‘bugger’ other men are considered less than manly. Is this not also true in Islam?

Is sodomy not considered a perversion in Islam?

What is the penalty for sodomy in Kuwait, and how is the penalty enforced?

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, Social Issues, Spiritual | 10 Comments

Indian Maid “Falls” from House Roof

This is from yesterday’s Kuwait Times (27 February 2007) and by the way, the Kuwait Times has a new, more attractive and easier to use web-page.

Hanan Al Saadoun, the reporter for this column, does a great job with crime reporting. Even when forced to be oblique, he gets the gist across.

Kuwait: Sabah Hospital investigators recently referred to the police the medical report of a woman who was admitted to the hospital with several injuries on her chin, jaw, lower lip, broken teeth and pelvic bone fractures. The lady was in a coma and was admitted to the intensive care unit of the hospital. They said after a while, the brother of her sponsor (who had reportedly been out of the country) brought in her passport, and informed the hospital that she was an Indian maid and had fallen from the roof of her sponsor’s house. Further investigations have been stalled until after her recovery from the coma.

My comment: Injuries on her chin, jaw, lower lip, broken teeth . . . . and a “fall” from the roof? Too outrageous for words.

February 28, 2007 Posted by | Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Lies, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Women's Issues | 2 Comments

Facets of Oman 4

The pit loom weaver spins his threads:

The Batinah potter; one of the last who handmakes clay water pots:


Muscat Souk on a rainy night:


Indian Mosque near Muscat Souk:


February 28, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, Living Conditions, Lumix, Middle East, Oman, Photos, Travel | 3 Comments

Facets of Oman 3

Nizwa mosque shot from Nizwa fortress – even more gorgeous in person. This isn’t the best photo, but I like the bird in it:


The desert weaver had cuffs she had embroidered herself. Cuffs everywhere were a work of art:


The women welcomed photos – this desert woman was the mother-in-law of the weaver. She was delightful.


February 27, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, Lumix, Oman, Photos, Shopping, Travel, Women's Issues | 5 Comments

Kuwait, al Qaeda Hit List, and Hala February?

Kuwait Times, Monday, February 26, top right front page:

Kuwait on top of Al-Qaeda hit-list

Arab security officials disclosed that a closed door session was held in Iraq between intelligence personnel of a neighboring state and officials of Al-Qaeda in order to execute a threat that was announced by Al-Qaeda recently of attacking Gulf States. The officials warned that Kuwait was on top of their hit-list of states to be attacked, adding that the attack would be executed by Arabs who visit Kuwait with the cooperation of extremist groups existing and operating in Kuwait.

The attackers, they said, would target pivotal and sensitive installations as well as international institutions in Kuwait. Al-Rai daily questioned a senior official on the alleged threat, who confirmed that they had received it, adding that Kuwaiti authorities always take any intelligence reports seriously. He said that the authorities had already executed all security actions to be taken during the last few days in coordination with allied states in addition to scrutinising all visitors arriving in Kuwait.

My comments: Top front page and atrocious reporting.

1. What Arab security officials? Just give us a clue – like from what country?
2. Intelligence personnel of a state neighboring Iraq. . . hmmmm. . . Syria? Iran? Jordan? Kuwait?
3. Which Kuwaiti senior official? From a relevant ministry?

This is supposed to be NEWS. That means there should be verifiable facts. As it stands, it could be just another attack on the bargain hunters at Hala February.

February 26, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Counter-terrorism, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, Humor, Kuwait, Language, Living Conditions, Middle East, Political Issues, Rants | 6 Comments

Facets of Oman 2

The Mountain Weaver’s Brother, Jebel Shams:00mountainweaversbrother.JPG

The Indigo Grower:


The Nizwa Fort at night:


February 26, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, ExPat Life, Holiday, Lumix, Oman, Photos, Travel | Leave a comment

Facets of Oman

At a mountain pottery making village:

The Omani weaver in Jebel Shams:

The Jebal Shams weaver’s grandchildren:


February 25, 2007 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Geography / Maps, Living Conditions, Lumix, Middle East, Oman, Tools, Travel, Uncategorized | 4 Comments