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Expat wanderer

MidEast Turmoil Creates New Kind of Scams

From AOL Wallet Pop

Scammers Take Advantage of Middle East Crisis with Email Cons

Rita R. Robison
Feb 25th 2011

Unrest in the Middle East is spawning a flood of emails from scammers seeking to fool consumers into sending them money.

Two scams are coming from Egypt, both variations on time-tested themes. In the first, a Mohammed Hammad, claiming to be a “consultant” to the Egyptian Past-President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak, asks recipients for help in moving money and investments out of Egypt following recent changes in the country’s government.

The email could load viruses or tracking software onto the recipient’s computer.

Many, but not all, scam letters and emails include misspellings and grammatical errors that should immediately make consumers suspicious. This Egyptian email contains several misspellings in the former Egyptian president’s name.

Consumers in Connecticut are among those on the receiving end.

“This example demonstrates how quickly and easily a scammer can craft and deliver a message designed to appeal to the interests and passions of a particular audience,” Connecticut Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said in a statement.

“Unwary victims could be convinced to send money or account numbers in hopes of participating in this endeavor, only to be defrauded. Just by opening the link in the email, they might unknowingly make their computers available for looting by data thieves.”

The second scam plays on the stranded-friend-or-relative routine, this time asking for money to help get out of an Egypt in crisis.

Consumers who receive these emails should forward them to the Federal Trade Commission’s spam database at SPAM@UCE.GOV.

Avoid opening any links inside the email, and once you’ve forwarded it to the FTC, delete the bogus email from your inbox and your deleted items area.

For more information on spam and phony emails, visit

February 26, 2011 Posted by | Lies, Middle East, Scams | 2 Comments

Kuwait Independence / Liberation Fireworks 2011

Wow. Magnificent. Amazing. I’ve never seen anything like it, so creative, so wonderful:

Come back and watch this when you have twelve minutes, and click the expansion box so that it fills your screen. Oh WOW.

Thank you, N, for sending that link. WOW.

Update – Part 2

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Beauty, Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Holiday, Kuwait, Living Conditions | | 4 Comments

“Love Your Enemies and Pray for those who Persecute You”

Today’s reading in The Lectionary is the heart of the Christian faith. Jesus told us many things that turned the world upside down. If we as Christians, truly practiced the teachings of the Christ, what a different world this would be:

Matthew 5:38-48

38 ‘You have heard that it was said, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

39 But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also;

40 and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well;

41 and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile.

42 Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you.

43 ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.”

44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same?

47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters,* what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

If YOU were to pray for your enemies, who would you pray for?

I tried it one time, almost as a challenge to God, I didn’t believe it would change anything but I would do it because it was required – and it turned out well – for God. When you pray for your enemy, you open a door for change to happen, unexpected change, miraculous change, transformational change.

As a young woman, I studied power and it’s application, reading books from many cultures on strategies of winning. This gospel summarizes a totally unexpected and wildly successful use of the spiritual power in each one of us, the God-given power to turn evil to good, to bring friendship out of enmity.

So today I challenge you. Is there someone in your life whose very presence makes you miserable? Pray for that person. As often as that person comes to mind, send up a prayer. I challenge you to see what happens in your life.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | Charity, Civility, Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Spiritual, Values | 2 Comments

Al Seif Palace Lights Up

A fabulous video posted on youTube; camera jiggles a little but not so much that you can’t get the full effect of the kaleidoscope effect – MAGNIFICENT!

BRAVO! BRAVO! Magnificent, Kuwait!

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Events, ExPat Life, Holiday, Kuwait | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday / Liberation Day, Kuwait!

Wishing you only good in the coming years!

Here is what Ken found at

How cool is that??

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Cultural, Events, ExPat Life, Holiday, Kuwait | 4 Comments

Embassy Posts Liberation Day Warning

Kuwait City, Kuwait
February 23, 2011

To: All American Wardens

From: Consular Section

Subject: Warden Notice 2011 – 4

Please circulate the following message without additions or omissions
immediately to all U.S. citizens within your area of responsibility.

In connection with the Liberation Day and National Day celebrations in Kuwait
February 25-27, the Embassy wishes to share with U.S. citizens the following
information we have received on planned road closures:

Friday, February 25: From 07:00 to noon the 6th Ring Road from the intersection
with highway 60, heading north to the Parade site will be closed in both

Friday, February 25: Road #206 and the 6th Ring Road will be closed from the
Palace to the Airport due to a reception at Bayan Palace.

Saturday, February 26: Due to a Parade, the Sixth Ring Road will be closed from
early morning until the Parade concludes.

Friday, February 25 – Sunday February 27: The Gulf Road will be closed on
Friday and Saturday from the 2nd Ring Road to the Flag Square. You may wish to
avoid Gulf Road as much as possible during the weekend due to heavy traffic.

Spontaneous and/or planned demonstrations take place in Kuwait from time to time
in response to world events or local developments. We remind U.S. citizens that
even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and
possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens are therefore urged to avoid the
areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the
vicinity of any demonstrations. U.S. citizens should stay current with media
coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.

For the latest security information, U.S. citizens living and traveling abroad
should regularly monitor the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs
Internet website, where the current Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel
Alerts, as well as the Country Specific Information for Kuwait can be found.
Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling
1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside
the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These
numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through
Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

If you are a U.S. citizen in need of emergency assistance in Kuwait, you may
reach the U.S. Embassy by calling +965-2259-1001 and requesting the duty

U.S. citizens living or traveling in Kuwait are encouraged to enroll in the
Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) so that they can obtain
updated information on travel and security. U.S. citizens without Internet
access may enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. By
enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the Embassy or Consulate to contact
them in case of emergency. For additional information, please refer to “A Safe
Trip Abroad”.

This message may be accessed on the Embassy website,

Please note that the Consular Section is closed for U.S. and most local
holidays. The current holiday schedule for 2011 is posted on

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Events, ExPat Life, Holiday, Kuwait | Leave a comment

I Feel So Special . . . (LOL)

I just don’t get it. Just what do we have in common, Rob?

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Scams | 3 Comments

Oral Sex Linked to Rise in Throat Cancers

You can read this report on NPR News/Health

Virus Passed During Oral Sex Tops Tobacco As Throat Cancer Cause

If you’re keeping score, here’s even more evidence that HPV causes oral, head and neck cancers and that vaccines may be able to prevent it.

Researchers studying the human papillomavirus say that in the United States HPV causes 64 percent of oropharynxl cancers. In the rest of the world, tobacco remains the leading cause of oral cancer, Dr. Maura Gillison of Ohio State University told a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science this past weekend.

And the more oral sex someone has had — and the more partners they’ve had — the greater their risk of getting these cancers, which grow in the middle part of the throat. “An individual who has six or more lifetime partners — on whom they’ve performed oral sex – has an eightfold increase in risk compared to someone who has never performed oral sex,” she said.

The recent rise in oropharnx cancer is predominantly among young, white men, she noted, though she says no one has figured out why yet. About 37,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with oral cancer in 2010, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

People with HPV-related throat cancer are more likely to survive their cancer than those who were heavy smokers or drinkers, the other big risk factors.

The message may be more critical for teens according to Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. She has studied 600 adolescents over 10 years and found that oral sex is much more common than vaginal sex and that “teens don’t consider oral sex to be sex,” that they think “it’s not that big a deal.” She adds: “Parents and health educators are not talking to teens about oral sex. Period.”

Worldwide, HPV-related cancers seem to be increasing. Gillison said that Swedish researchers looking back over 30 years found that 23 percent of oral cancer tumors in 1970 were positive for HPV, but in 2005, that number had risen to 93 percent.

The British newspaper The Guardian noted that Gillison said that “every birth cohort appears to be at greater risk from HPV and oral cancers than the group born before them.”

Over the past five years, health officials have been urging parents to make sure their daughters are vaccinated against HPV to help prevent cervical cancer. But these new results suggest that young men could also benefit from vaccination, though the costs would be substantial.

While none of the researchers could say definitively that the vaccines against HPV, Gardasil and Cervarix, would prevent throat cancer, they thought it could was reasonable to think the vaccine could reduce risks as well.

Note: Some of Gillison’s research is funded by Merck, the pharmaceutical company that makes Gardasil.

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Family Issues, Health Issues, Interconnected, Mating Behavior, Relationships | 2 Comments

King Abdulla Returns to Saudi Arabia, Announces Benefits

Sometimes, there is little to say, the news says it all. Ghadaffi calling his own Libyans “rats” “cockroaches” “cowards” “traitors”, aging, long term leaders announcing increased benefits for citizens . . . These are interesting times. The winds of change are blowing, and no one can tell where those changes will take us . . .

From todays BBC World News:

Saudi King offers benefits as he returns from treatment

The king was greeted by hundreds of well-wishers on his arrival at Riyadh airport
Continue reading the main story

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has announced increased benefits for his citizens, as he returned after months abroad getting medical treatment.

There will be extra funds for housing, studying abroad and social security, according to state television.

King Abdullah has been away from the country for three months, during which time mass protests have changed the political landscape of the Middle East.

There have been few demonstrations in Saudi Arabia.

You can read more at BBC World News/Middle East

February 23, 2011 Posted by | Adventure, Bureaucracy, Financial Issues, Free Speech, Leadership, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Political Issues, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues | 2 Comments

“We All Have Red Blood in Our Veins”

I joke with my bible study group that God kept sending me back to the Middle East until I ‘got’ what he was trying to tell me. The dilemma now is how do I share this? When my Christian friends see Islam as the great enemy, how do I tell them that some of the best Christians I know are Muslims?

Sunday, at Christ Church in Pensacola, Father C. Neal Goldsborough gave a sermon on loving one another, a “who is my neighbor?” sermon. He is only the second priest I have ever met who mentioned Osama bin Laden, that we have to forgive him and to love him. The first time, it was in a military church, and the gasp was audible. What a courageous priest! Imagine, going among the warriors and telling us we have to love our enemy! Imagine!

Living in the Middle East, living in Tunisia, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait, I was greatly blessed. My friends were of all nationalities, and I learned one great lesson – we all have red blood in our veins, and we all share more similarities than we do differences. I try to texplain to my friends here by telling small stories of my experiences. I blog a little about them. We are all God’s children, and we create needless barriers when we draw lines that say the equivalent of ‘our way is the right way and you way is not.’

This is from today’s Forward Day by Day meditation for today:
Today’s Meditation

Tuesday, february 22

Ruth 1:15-22. Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

During political upheaval and mounting racial tensions, we were having a Bible study at home. A Fijian woman came in great distress. She was from a rural area that grew sugar cane. She had grown up alongside people of another ethnic group. They were her friends. She could not understand why people were being victimized because they were of another ethnic group. She was so disturbed she had to be taken aside. She kept clutching her arm. “We have red blood in our veins. We all have red blood in our veins!” she repeated, weeping.

In the scripture we have the moving words of the widow Ruth to the widow Naomi, whose son Ruth had married. Ruth and Naomi had in common that they were bereaved, but Ruth was a Moabite, whereas Naomi was from Bethlehem. Naomi shows kindness to Ruth, and Ruth proves loyal to Naomi—a loyalty that goes beyond narrow family blood ties.

We are all God’s children. Today I give thanks for strong bonds of friendship. I give thanks for loyal friends who are not of my ethnic group.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | Blogging, Character, Charity, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Spiritual, Values | 2 Comments