Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

“I Will Wipe out the word WASTA from the Traffic Dictionary”

Wooo HOOOO on You, Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali!


Sometimes, when you are reading a newspaper looking for content, the most significant articles can be little small ones:

Major Al-Ali vows to redraw traffic map

KUWAIT: “I have orders from higher authorities to organize the traffic and the law will be implemented strictly, Assistant Interior Ministry Under Secretary for Traffic Affairs Major General Abdelfattah Al-Ali said. “I will change the traffic map within six months and wipe out the word wasta from the traffic dictionary ,” he added. “I have strict orders from higher authorities to organize traffic and the law will be implemented very strictly,” Major Ali said.

The Kuwait Times got his title wrong; it is Major GENERAL, not Major, LOL, that’s a big difference. It appears he has the clout – and the backing – to make a brave and steadfast stand:


I can hardly believe my eyes. This is going to be very painful for young Kuwait men, who have learned – from prior experience – that the rules do not apply to them. IF Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali can maintain his strong position, there may be more young Kuwait men who live to be grown-up men, there may be fewer heart-wrenching funerals, far fewer trips to the emergency room (did you know that some of the best head-trauma physicians in the world are in the ER’s in Qatar, Kuwait, and the UAE? There’s a reason for that.) The days of seeing babies on their daddy’s laps in traffic may be over. People may actually start wearing seatbelts!

Wooo HOOO on You, Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali. You are a brave and courageous man, with a vision for a safer future for Kuwait.

June 9, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Cultural, Family Issues, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Safety | | 2 Comments

11,800 Deported: Kuwait Deportations Continue “Without an End Date”

I still have a large contingent of loyal readers from Kuwait, but by early this morning, I could see something was up:

Screen shot 2013-06-09 at 12.10.12 PM

It’s not often that I have 132 Kuwait hits before noon.

So I checked the Kuwait Times:

Expat deportations will continue: Traffic chief – 11,800 deported in two-and-a-half months

KUWAIT: Major General Abdulfattah Al-Ali’s name has become synonymous with extensive traffic campaigns, aimed at enforcing the law at all costs, including implementation of mass deportations. The senior Interior Ministry official, who takes pride in deporting 11,800 people and impounding 3,000 vehicles during his tenure as head of the Ahmadi Security Department over the past two and a half years, told a local daily that deporting expatriates for serious violations will continue without an end date. “Administrative deportation of violating expatriates is not going to stop, especially of those carrying passengers illegally, in which case a person would be in violation of traffic and labor regulations,” Maj Gen Al-Ali, the Interior Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs, told Al-Rai on Friday.

He added that any ticket can be disputed “by a request to refer the case for traffic department investigations”. In the series of crackdowns that started late April, at least 2,000 traffic violations were registered, including 1,000 tickets issued directly on the street, while thousands of people were reportedly deported. Moreover, Maj Gen Al-Ali revealed that the ministry collected KD4 million, out of the KD24 million owed in traffic fines, during the same period. In that regard, the senior official pointed out that only KD8 million worth of fines are registered against individuals, while the rest are against companies and state departments. Out of the KD8 million, KD6 million is registered against expatriates, Maj Gen Al-Ali said. “Cases are soon to be filed with the traffic court in order to issue travel ban orders against people with more than KD80 in fines owed to the ministry,” he added.

Al-Rai published Maj Gen Al-Ali’s statement yesterday, along with a transcript of an interview with Al- Watan TV during which he defended the ongoing campaigns. “Our procedures are necessary to save lives, with average statistics indicating that 450 people are killed and 3,000 are injured annually due to traffic accidents,” he explained. During the interview, Maj Gen Al-Ali insisted that all drivers are equal when it comes to implementation of the law. “There have been doctors among the people deported, including a surgeon caught driving without a license for three years,” he said, before confirming news reports that he had taken a decision to impound a vehicle owned by Minister of Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah on grounds of repeated violations committed by his personal driver. Meanwhile, the senior official urged any person who had obtained a license through illegal means to dispose of it “because once caught, they are going to be charged with forgery”. —Al-Rai, Al-Watan

June 9, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Circle of Life and Death, Civility, Community, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Law and Order, Leadership, Statistics | | Leave a comment

A Question of Time

I’ve always loved this section of Revelations, the beautiful woman crowned with the diadem of stars and the terrifying dragon, waiting for her to give birth so he can eat her child, but the child is snatched away and the dragon – Satan – and his angels are thrown to earth. “He knows his time is short” Revelations tells us, but no matter what HE thinks, to us, here on earth, when evil walks, each second seems an infinity.

If you read biblical commentary, the woman is convincingly described as many different things – some say Mary, some say clearly she is the church, there are as many ideas as their are commenters. I prefer to think of it as Hagia Sophia, Logos, the Word, the second person in the Holy Trinity, who gives birth to the son, who is of one substance with the Father. I love the imagery. It’s all metaphor, trying to explain something grand and inexplicable to us, the simple minded.


Revelation 12:1-12

12A great portent appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. 2She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pangs, in the agony of giving birth. 3Then another portent appeared in heaven: a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads. 4His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. Then the dragon stood before the woman who was about to bear a child, so that he might devour her child as soon as it was born. 5And she gave birth to a son, a male child, who is to rule* all the nations with a rod of iron. But her child was snatched away and taken to God and to his throne; 6and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, so that there she can be nourished for one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
7 And war broke out in heaven; Michael and his angels fought against the dragon. The dragon and his angels fought back, 8but they were defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. 9The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, proclaiming,
‘Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God
and the authority of his Messiah,*
for the accuser of our comrades* has been thrown down,
who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 But they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
for they did not cling to life even in the face of death.
12 Rejoice then, you heavens
and those who dwell in them!
But woe to the earth and the sea,
for the devil has come down to you
with great wrath,
because he knows that his time is short!’

June 9, 2013 Posted by | Beauty, Cultural, Faith, Lectionary Readings | 2 Comments