Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Banning “Unhealthy” News?

Did you see this in today’s Arab Times? My friends, pay attention! This would erode any claim to freedom of the press as guaranteed by the Kuwait Constitution.

Islamist MPs planning bill to shackle Kuwait media; ‘Set up watchdog’
KUWAIT CITY: Islamist MPs plan to submit a proposal to the National Assembly to form a Higher Media Council to keep a check on the activities of the media and prevent the publication of ‘unhealthy news reports’. According to these men, the Kuwaiti media has run out of control and it has been tackling issues which affect the national unity and threatens peace and harmony in society. MP Ali Saleh Al-Omair told the Arab Times the establishment of a media watchdog will help the mass media to avoid what he called the negativities which are being published from time to time. He indicated several observations have been made and their publication of some reports in newspapers, radio or television has not pleased many Kuwaitis.

Al-Omair added the establishment of this body became necessary after it was evident a section of the media had deviated from its objectives “by publishing misleading information which affected the national unity”. He explained freedom of the press is guaranteed but dangers and red lines exist in every society and they must be accepted particularly since this scenario exists even in civilized countries. He indicated the people of Kuwait get upset when they see what is being published by the mass media, particularly the negative news reports which affect national unity. He indicated the proposed council can include media experts, religious personalities, writers, psychologists to talk to the media from every angle to highlight how certain news reports can harm the society.

By Ben Arfaj Al-Mutairi
Special to the Arab Times

What would examples of unhealthy news be? The rising AIDS rate in Kuwait? The transmission rate from men – men vs men – women? Divorce statistics? Reduction of crime reporting, because it is just too embarrassing?

WHO makes that call? Who are the watchdogs? It give me an Orwellian shiver!

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Language, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Social Issues | 10 Comments

Bayou Texar, Early Morning

A warm breeze blows, barely ruffling the mirror like waters of the Bayou Texar early in the morning. The area is like a large scale fitness track, with singles, couples and groups running, walking, chatting and getting fit. Mid-day is brutal, but early morning and evenings are almost perfect. This is for you, R, a reminder of your school days in Pensacola, and for you, Adventure Man, wishing you were here, too. 🙂


July 17, 2007 Posted by | Diet / Weight Loss, ExPat Life, Florida, Health Issues, Lumix, Photos, Weather | 3 Comments

Zanzibar: The Dark Side

This was in the moderation queue (had to look that one up for proper spelling) this morning, as a comment on Zanzibar for Magical Droplets. Because it presents the other face of Zanzibar, I decided to go ahead and print it as a separate entry, with thanks to Popobawa for sending.


East African Ringitone star Ali-Z was hamstrung and taken hostage by
automatic weapon toting pirates in the early hours of Sunday morning
off of the East African archipelago of Zanzibar. Several of his guests
were injured and robbed of their possessions at a champagne brunch
after-party to the Death Star Unplugged environmental awareness
concerts which had taken place the previous evening up and down the
Swahili speaking East African coast.

Guests were snapping pictures of several frogmen who were posing as
black-pearl divers when suddenly the leeward sides of the boats in the
flotilla were simultaneously boarded by men in Barawa lungis
brandishing spearfishing guns. Ali Z in a typical show of Swahili hospitality
welcomed the men to eggs Benedict, ice cold Moet and showed them several bikini clad
aid workers who were dancing to the sounds of Zenji Flava and Ringitone
on the lido deck of his Scarab cigarette speedboat. The leader of the
group, later identified as Slinger Francisco promptly unsheathed a
Turkana simi concealed in his waistcloth and hamstrung the
unsuspecting Z and catching in mid-air, his large Cohiba cigar and placing
it in his mouth, proceeded to instruct guests to remove all
valuables. Forcing them to walk the plank, Francisco made off with mad
cheddar as a despondent Z lay bleeding in pool of Crys, piss and
bilgewater. Just hours later a video surfaced on a repatriationist
website showing a haggard Ali Z in good spirits in the dark makuti
backdrop of the BPLA hideout. He said, “In the future I will shut the
fuck up when I don’t know,” and said ”I am being treated well and am
learning alot. And they gave me, like a mosquito net and whatnot, so
its all good!”

“Oh my god, that was so whacked! I couldn’t believe how mean they
were.” Remarked Kathy Johannson, commonly known Clove-Nyce, a member
of The Spyce Girls, the Swanglish bubblegum Ringitone trio made up
entirely of ex-pat Anti-Excision activists from Berkeley who was among
those who performed at the Death Star concerts and had been aboard Z’s
boat “Fiesta Mami” when the incident took place.

BPLA, the Black Pearl Liberation Army is a ambiguous group with no clear
aims dominated by the whims of
its leader Slinger Francisco, a shadowy figure who has in the past had
links to Mungiki and Mashiftah criminal elements up and down the East
African Coast. He has also has been identified as a major player the
illegal ” African blood pearl” trade and has been linked to the
alleged mercenary activities of Haines International in a failed coup
attempt in the tiny oil rich islands of San Pedro. Francisco who was
born, Natty Morgan, in the rural Jamaican Parish of Westmoreland rose
to prominence as the charismatic polygamist leader of the millenarian
Church of the Rice Bowl movement in the late 70’s which grew out of
the shantytowns and back alleys of Illtown, East Orange. After being
indicted for tax evasion and e-mail fraud in the famed Borman Six Case
he was jailed at Clinton State Correctional facility for Women where
he made a daring escape and fled to Guyana, reluctantly welcomed by the
Burnham government. Years later he resurfaced as the chakacha crooner
The Stinker with a string of hits including “White Man’s Hell is a
Black Man’s Paradise” and ”Don’t Touch Me Pylons, Holly”.

“Our thoughts go out to you Ali Z. Stay strong and keep it real, son,”
the Zenji Flava artist Case Quarter appeals in a stylish PSA run
hourly on the African video channel MTV BASE. If you want to sign the
petition calling for Ali Z’s speedy safe return, click on the link

July 17, 2007 Posted by | Africa, Blogging, Crime, Cross Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Political Issues, Social Issues, Travel, Zanzibar | 1 Comment