Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Internet Phones Blocked in Kuwait

Watching the news lately, I became more and more uneasy as Indian telephone service providers – evidently clandestine – were raided with frequency and shut down. All these men want is a few minutes chatting with their families, without paying an arm and a leg.

We’re all in the same boat.

In a tiny little article in the Kuwait Times yesterday, they announced that ALL internet calling services would be blocked. Those that are not already blocked soon will be.

I had heard rumblings from friends, phones not working, etc. We all subscribe to Vonage, or Skype, or one of the myriad internet phone services; it’s part of what makes living and working in Kuwait DO-ABLE.

This last year, with my father dying, the phone was my lifeline. Because it has the same area code as my family, my Mom felt free to call me anytime and give me an update on how Dad was doing. When I know we are going back for a visit, I can get on that phone and make dental appointments, schedule a doctor’s appointment, harangue my bank when they have made a mistake.

I don’t even have a private land line into our dwelling. There is a phone, but it goes through the desk where the guard doesn’t really understand English that well. All my calls come through my cell phone . . . OR the internet phone. The price of the service was well worth it in terms of my peace of mind, and my mother’s, and my sisters. Our son feels free to call us when he chooses – it is a Godsend.

The land lines here are notorious. I am outraged. The international call rates are extortionate, and the call quality is horrorific.

When we lived Qatar and the internet phone services were blocked, the major international companies in town all went to their ambassadors and had them formally protest to the government. The ambassadors made the case. And the ban was reversed.

Please. If you are Kuwaiti, use your wasta. If you are a guest-worker here in this country, protest to your Ambassador, and ask her or him to get involved, to take this to the highest levels. This ban on internet phone services hurts the morale of ALL people here in Kuwait who have family in other parts of the world. It makes Kuwait look greedy and mean-spirited, and we all know that is not the true nature of Kuwaitis.

March 6, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Technical Issue | 16 Comments

Read and Comment from WordPress

This is to my non-blogging readers, those who have never commented, those who think you have to have a blog to comment. . . you don’t! There are ways to sign on with most of the major blog hosts and you never have to use your real name, never have to blog, but you are registered, have an “avatar” and a “home”.

WordPress just initiated a global desktop, just for you.

What’s new? Before, people who didn’t have a blog but just an account didn’t have any sort of dashboard so they couldn’t edit their password, get their API key, upload an avatar, track their comments, or any of the other fun stuff you can do under your dashboard.

Read more about it here and click to start your own global desktop.

You will want to have two or three names, just in case your first choice is already taken, and you will want to have a password in mind. Sign up, and start commenting from your own home base at WordPress.

March 6, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Communication, Customer Service, Friends & Friendship, Technical Issue, Uncategorized | 3 Comments