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Expat wanderer

Saudi Dies in Court

As an ironic tie-in to an earlier blog article today about Kuwaiti women seeking legislations on Women’s Rights, here is a related article from today’s Kuwait Times 23 April 2007:

JEDDAH: An elderly Saudi man dropped dead in court after it banned him from stopping his three daughters from getting married, newspapers reported yesterday. The man apparently had a heart attack once the cassation court judge in Makkah told the three women, aged 36, 39 and 40, that they could marry over their father’s objections, Okaz reported.

The women, whose father had on several occasions turned down their requests to marry, can now marry “honest men” who follow their religious duties, the Islamic court ruled, according to Al-Madina newspapers.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Marriage, Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Social Issues, Spiritual, Uncategorized, Women's Issues | 8 Comments

“You’re Fired!”

Today on AOL Jobs Section is an article on how difficult employers find firing an employee, even employees they know are lazy, have addiction problems, or are persistently late or absent. The Fonz discusses this, and other work related issues while blogging from one of his two or three different jobs.

“You’re fired” isn’t a phrase that rolls off Ed Cook’s tongue. The owner of a Stone Mountain, Ga., State Farm agency, Cook recently became concerned about an employee who spent far too much time chatting on her cell phone at the office. The last straw was an hour-long personal call she made while he was out on business. When he confronted her and she shrugged it off, Cook decided — then and there — to let her go. In his 30 years at the agency, that was only the sixth time he had ever fired anyone.

“It kills me to have to fire an employee,” Cook says. “I lose sleep over it. But when I’m paying someone to work, I expect them to work.”

While television bosses — from Trump, to Montgomery Burns on The Simpsons, to Michael Scott on The Office — gleefully terminate employees with abandon, real-world employers are far more hesitant.

In a recent national survey, 61 percent of small-business owners said they find it hard to fire employees — even bad ones, according to SurePayroll, a Chicago-based small-business payroll firm.

“The survey confirms our belief that small-business owners struggle with many HR issues and would prefer to focus instead on growing their businesses,” says SurePayroll president Michael Alter. “Firing employees is particularly difficult.”

That’s why as many as 78 percent of business owners said they prefer to put it off as long as possible, the survey found.

Francisco Dao, the founder of, a San Francisco-based executive coaching and consulting firm, remembers working at a financial firm alongside a full-blown alcoholic.

Read the Rest of the article on AOL by clicking here.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Financial Issues, Living Conditions, Social Issues | Leave a comment

Senior Citizens in Kuwait Taking Hospital Beds?

Tacked on to another article in yesterday’s Kuwait Times was this tiny bit of news, with much larger social implications:

“In other news, sources revealed that senior citizens have changed the rooms of public hospitals into old aged homes due to the low fees that are imposed on reserving a room at the hospital.

The rooms at public hospitals are worth KD 1 per day, and if the patient stays for two months, then he will pay only 500 fils per day.

Effective measures must be adopted by the Ministry of Health such as giving a determined time for each patient in order to enable hospitals to receive other patients.”

In a related article several months ago, a article in the same newspaper said that the hospitals were overrun with old people because people couldn’t take care of them at home, and it was much less shameful to say “my Mother is in the hospital” than to say “my mother is in a home for old people.”

It sounds to me like the solution is for the Kuwait government to open a state of the art “hospital” specializing in Gerontology, which in reality would be a retirement center for people unable to take care of their own physical needs, and whose families cannot meet their needs (believe me, after my father’s lengthy and debilitating illness, I know there is only so much a family can do), and they can still say that their parent(s) are in a hospital.

It would meet the need of “hospitalization,” would provide the older people with the intensive and personal services that they need, and would free the beds in traditional hospitals for the seriously ill and damaged citizens.

It’s only words.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Experiment, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Generational, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues, Words | 9 Comments

Kuwait conference calls for document on women rights

In yesterday’s Kuwait Times, there was a tiny paragraph in the reporting about Personal Law in Kuwait pertaining to women that stated

“Among the loopholes of that must be corrected is the provision empowering a woman’s father to marry her to whoever he likes or divorce her without consulting or even informing her . . . “

Is this possible? Does this still happen? I thought in Islam, a woman had to agree to accept a man as husband, and had a right to have clauses put into her marriage contract? And a father can have his daughter divorced from her husband without her even knowing about it, much less agreeing to it?

Here is today’s reporting from the Kuwait Times on the recommendations for legal changes:

KUWAIT: Participants in the Conference on the “Kuwaiti Women in National Legislations” have recommended the preparation of a comprehensive national document to facilitate women participation in the country’s development aspects under the sponsorship of the legislative and executive authorities as well as the civic society institutions.

At the conclusion of the one-day conference, organised by the National Assembly’s women affairs committee, the participants demanded improvement of legislative performance, promotion of the existing legislations and completion of the legal system in an introduction for the rise of women’s rights in the society.

To read the rest of the article, with the recommendations made by the committee, click on Kuwait Times, here.

April 23, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Middle East, News, Political Issues, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues | 8 Comments