You are a blessing in my life.
You think you are just blogging, but for me, you allow me to get a little bit beneath the surface of what your lives are like here in Kuwait.
I have to assume that most of you, like me, protect a lot of realities in your life, and that I am just getting the surface, just getting what you feel comfortable sharing with me.
And yet . . .no matter how superficial the “peek,” it is better than nothing.
Over time, we build a body of work. No matter how discreet we are ( Little Diamond I almost wrote “discrete,” and thinking of your pet peeve, checked it, thank God!) we reveal how we think, and what is important to us.
I love having some Kuwaiti friends. You teach me things I could never learn in a million years, just looking from the outside.
True story: I am having breakfast with my Kuwait friend at the Al-Kout Mall and she shivers. This friend is very special to me; it’s as if a flame burns inside her, keeping her pure and true from the inside out.
“I feel so out of place here!” she says.
I am truly bewildered.
“You are Kuwaiti! This is a Kuwaiti Mall!” I cry. “What is it that makes you so uncomfortable?”
“It’s like another world,” she says. “I’m not dressed conservatively enough.”
She is dressed in jeans – not tight. A t-shirt – not tight. And has a long sleeved shirt to go over it tied around her shoulders. She is entirely modest.
“I don’t see it,” I say. “Please, let me see through your eyes. What are you seeing, how is it different, why are you uncomfortable?”
“You’ve been to Marina Mall,” she responded. “You can see the difference?”
Of course. But Marina Mall . . . it is kind of a la la land to me, sort of bizarre. It almost looks Western, but there are things that are just not quite right . . .
“Yes,” she said. “You’ve got it.”
I still don’t know what I’ve got. So she starts explaining . . .”Look, you can see how the thobes are cut differently down here, tighter around the chest.”
(Uh . . . no, I can’t see!)
“. . . and the cuffs, the way they button. And the shoes are different, less . . . . “
all of a sudden, I am thinking of my friend who taught Arabic, and the hours she labored, trying to get me to hear the difference between the light “t” and the hard “t”, I am trying and trying, but I don’t get it and then one day – I do!
I thank God for you, my friends, letting me see through your eyes, helping me understand, giving me new ways of seeing the world.