LOL, the have you been to the web page of all the items that are banned for traveling in and out of Kuwait? It’s all in Arabic, but you can understand the photos.
My last move to Kuwait, I was allowed several hundred pounds to take on the airplane. I packed an entire set of flatware, and all my good kitchen knives, and lots of scissors. . . like, who can live without scissors???
Honest Judge, so sorry, I had NO idea! No one asked me if I was carrying dangerous flatware in my baggage!
Thank you Grammy, for forwarding this article from The Telegraph. Who knew? I thought the current Emir was looking slimmer and healthier than before, but maybe he just wants a quieter, more private life, and the prince is willing to take the reins?
We watched Doha go from a sleepy little seaside capitol to a skyscraper-laced booming natural gas economy. It was an amazing time to be living in Doha. Sounds like more changes may be in store.
By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent7:00PM BST 09 Jun 2013
Senior figures in Qatar have briefed foreign counterparts that the time has come for Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, the 33-year-old crown prince to take over the leadership of the gas-rich Gulf state, the Daily Telegraph has learned.
The succession plan, which is due to be launched by the end of the month, will see Hamad bin Jassim, the prime minister and one of the biggest investors in Britain, give up his post.
Within weeks of that decision the royal court will announce that the emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa, who has struggled with health problems, will cede powers to the Sandhurst-educated crown prince.
A prominent British visitor to the gas-rich Gulf state was told of the plans earlier this year and sources said other key states, including the US and Iran, have also been briefed about the succession.
“The plan is to manage a staged handover of power that allows the crown prince to come to the fore,” said one source with knowledge of the discussions. “The stakes are very high because Qatar is at forefront of events in a very sensitive region.”
Representatives of the Qatar government were not able to comment on the discussions about the emirate’s future leadership but analysts said any changes in Qatar’s leadership would have huge implications for the Middle East and Western foreign policy.
“The legacy of the emir and the prime minister has been to make Qatar a player in the world,” said Michael Stephens, a Gulf researcher at the Royal United Services Institute. “It was an outpost when they took over and now it has grown into a modern city, it is one of the biggest investors in Europe and Britain, has set up a very powerful Arab television station [Al Jazeera] and has a very prominent foreign policy. That is almost all down to the driving force of those two men.”
Sheikh Hamad, the emir, took power in a bloodless coup in 1995, taking advantage of his father’s absence on a trip to Europe. The charismatic monarch has overseen the transformation of the emirate, which lies just 21 miles from the coast of Iran. His glamorous wife Sheikha Mozah, who was last week seen at a charity function with the Prince of Wales at Windsor Castle, has been a symbol of women’s rights in the Arab world.
The resignation of Hamad bin Jassim has huge consequences for Britain even though he is staying as chief executive of the Qatar Investment Authority, an immensely well resourced sovereign wealth fund that recycles the emirate’s gas revenues.
He will continue to be the driving force behind the entity that owns Harrods and invested in prime property projects in London, including The Shard, Europe’s tallest building.
With a relatively tiny population of less than two million, Qatar is an outsized force in Middle East politics.
Although Sheikh Tamim is well known to diplomats and foreign officials, there are questions over the future direction of policies under the new leadership.
As a result of his education in Britain and Qatar’s role as the host of an American airbase, he has close links to Western militaries.
But observers point to his close alliance with the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood as a potential sign that he will not be as liberal as his father and the prime minister.
The country has spent liberally on supporting Islamist movements in the Arab Spring, playing a key role in providing arms and logistics for rebels in Libya, Egypt and Syria.
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:
“WIPE OUT THE WORD WASTA FROM THE TRAFFIC DICTIONARY”
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.
I still have a large contingent of loyal readers from Kuwait, but by early this morning, I could see something was up:
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
It may not be dementia. It may be a reaction to a medication in the elderly that LOOKS like dementia.
My father was 87, and doing pretty well for a man 87. He still walked on his own, using a walker when he had to, and very rarely, a wheelchair if we were going a long ways. He went into the hospital for a minor surgery. The tube inserted in his hand for the anesthetic became infected. Dad was acting weird, he was having hallucinations, and my sister rightly identified that Dad had a reaction to the diuretic drug Lasix; when they switched him to an alternative, the raving and hallucinations stopped.
He was transferred to a rehabilitation unit, where for two days, they put him back on Lasix. Poor communication between hospital and the rehab facility, plus standardization of drug regimens – they switched him without telling him, or us. Once again, he went loony tunes, and at the same time, his right hand began to swell until it looked like a lobster claw. He kept saying it hurt, and it was big and red, and the rehab people kept saying it would get better.
Dad was rushed to another hospital, one the rehab clinic worked with, and the doctors told us he had a ‘cascade of problems’ and which were the primary three we wanted them to work with?
Get him off the Lasix, first thing, we all agreed, and find a way to have it annotated on any record that he is never to have Lasix. (It did no good; the next hospitalization, back at the first hospital, they gave him Lasix again, which made him crazy and masked all the other symptoms.)
Long story short, there were a cascade of hospital mistakes – not one hospital, two hospitals and the rehab clinic – where miscommunications, inattentions and shortage of trained personnel resulted in a cascade of issues that led to my father’s death later that year. The other lesson learned is that if you go into a hospital, make sure you have a good support system, someone with you who will bravely ask questions, and remind someone if an inappropriate medication is prescribed. You need a family member with you for protection against inattention, mistakes, miscommunications and personnel shortages.
It’s not like there’s anyone to bring a lawsuit against; they were all doing the best they could, but Dad was old. My bet is that he might have lived another couple years, at the very least, had he not gone in for that first non-essential minor surgery. To me, the moral of the story is if you want to live a long life, stay away from hospitals.
Anesthesia Linked to Increased Dementia Risk in Seniors
Exposure to anesthesia has been linked to a 35 percent increase of dementia in patients over age 65, according to a new study.
By Jeffrey Kopman, Everyday Health Staff Writer
FRIDAY, May 31, 2013 — Caregivers and seniors struggling with the dilemmas of elder care have another risk to weigh against potential rewards — senior patients exposed to general anesthesia face an increased risk of dementia, according to research presented at Euroanaesthesia, the annual congress of the European Society of Anaesthesiology (ESA).
Researchers reviewed the medical information of 9,294 French patients over the age of 65. The patients were interviewed several times over a ten year period to determine their cognitive status.
After two years, 33 percent of participants had been exposed to anesthesia. Most of the exposed patients (19 percent overall) were exposed to general anesthesia — a medically induced coma. The rest were exposed to local/locoregional — any technique to relieve pain in the body — anesthesia.
In total, 632 participants developed dementia eight years after the study began. A majority of these patients, 512, were diagnosed with probable or possible Alzheimer’s disease. The remainder had non-Alzheimer’s dementia.
The gap between dementia related to general anesthesia (22 percent) and non-dementia patients (19 percent) was associated with a 35 percent increased risk of developing dementia. This risk was linked to at least one general anesthesia.
“Elderly patients are at an increased risk for complications following anesthesia and surgery,” said Jeffrey H. Silverstein, MD, MS, and vice chair for research at the Department of Anesthesiology at Mount Sinai in New York City. “[They] are particularly prone to postoperative delirium, which is a loss of orientation and attention. Anesthesiologists have been evaluating higher cognitive functions (for example, memory and executive processing) and found that a substantial number have decreases in one or more of these areas after a surgical procedure.”
Researchers hope this study will lead to more awareness for surgeons.
“Recognition of postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) is essential in the perioperative management of elderly patients,” said study author Dr. Francois Sztark, INSERM and University of Bordeaux, France, in a press release. “A long-term follow-up of these patients should be planned.”
Elderly Care: Risk vs. Reward
Senior citizens and their caregivers might be willing to accept an increased risk of dementia if it means getting necessary anesthesia for an important medical procedure. Dementia is a relatively common occurrence in old age: One in three seniors has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia by the time of their death.
But surgery at old age can also carry more severe, and less common, health risks. In fact, simply surviving surgery can be difficult for elderly patients, especially those over the age of 80.
While the numbers vary depending on procedure, researchers have found that mortality risk tied to elective major surgeries increases with age. The risk more than doubles for patients over 80 compared to patients ages 65 to 69.
But other surgery complications are even more common in seniors.
“The major risk for elderly patients following surgery is pneumonia,” said Dr. Silverstein. “Cardiac complications are next most common.”
However, Dr. Silverstein still feels that if surgery is deemed necessary, patients should not fear the risks.
“In theory, only necessary surgery is done,” he said. “Knowing how [patients] reacted to anesthesia and surgery in the past may give them some idea of their postoperative course.”
Last Updated: 05/31/2013
From Gulf Times (Qatar); a new proposal to lower speeds on some roads to try to meet the goal of reducing accidents and fatalities rates. It notes they are also putting in more cameras and radars. All that is good. The question will be: How equitably will the law be enforced? When you look at percentages of accidents and fatalities as a proportion of population, are Qataris over represented? How do you encourage the nationals to drive respectfully?
Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is seeking to lower the speed limits set for several roads in Qatar in a new initiative to bring down the number of accidents. This is a sensible move. Aggressive driving and speeding are common on Doha’s roads now. Strict regulations are needed to counter this trend. Qatar already has one of the highest rates of road accidents in the world.
During a presentation at the Qatar Transport Conference in Doha this week, Ashghal official, Yousef Abdulrahman al-Emadi, blamed speeding for most fatalities in road accidents. Speaking on “Road safety in Qatar: improving safety for all road users”, al-Emadi said Ashghal had recommended reduction in the current speed limits to the government.
Ashghal is also calling for the installation of additional radars and cameras at key locations in Doha as part of its initiative.
But rules and regulations alone are not enough to bring about a safety culture on our roads. Programmes to raise safety awareness among motorists should be a regular feature of all initiatives. That is why the “One Second” campaign , launched by the Traffic Department in association with Maersk this week, is important.
A Qatar National Road Safety Strategy (2013-2022), released in January 2013, aims to save 800 lives and prevent 2,000 serious injuries over the next 10 years. This is an achievable target if the government acts on the Ashghal suggestion and organises regular campaigns like “One Second”.