Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Bo9agr’s Kuwait Accident Photos

This is for my non-Kuwaiti friends, who don’t believe me when I tell them about the wrecks along the side of the road, new ones every day, in Kuwait.

This blogger, Bo9agr has taken to documenting the wrecks he sees. You would think it is funny, but it is only funny because it is so so awful. You can view his collection at Kuwait accident photos.

What a waste – especially the young lives taken or damaged in this wreckage.

May 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Social Issues | 1 Comment

Government limits freedom of expression

In the United States, news that people want buried comes out on Saturday night, when people are busy with other things and not paying a lot of attention. Does that happen in Kuwait?

I watched for anyone blogging on this yesterday, but saw nothing. I showed the newspaper to my Kuwaiti friends, who were shocked, and hadn’t heard anything about this. Some of it, I get. I am flummoxed by the forbidding of any mention of veterinary medicine!

From yesterday’s Kuwait Times.

KUWAIT: All newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and printing presses in Kuwait were yesterday issued a list by the government of the types of articles, advertisements and banners that can no longer be printed or published without official approval. Following is the list of the banned topics and the ministry concerned:

Interior Ministry:
1. Publication or display of slogans that glorify some countries against others.
2. Displaying pictures that glorify some political personalities or religious figures of countries where political or religious conflicts exist.
3. Publications or displaying slogans that glorify or support some political or religious parties outside Kuwait.
4. Publication of personal interviews with citizens who support or oppose a certain policy which may place the state at war with other countries.
5. Publication or displaying slogans that glorify or support some religious or political parties in Kuwait.
6. Announcement of seminars that may probe tribal or sectarian conflicts.
7. Sale of books on sorcery and magic.
8. Spiritual healing (without a licence).
9. Sorcery and ability to heal.
10. Massage without a licence (because those activities are subject to Law No. 15/1960 dealing with commercial companies).
11. Sale and trade of weapons by commercial companies, individual establishments and individuals (swords, sabers, daggers, spears, knives, arrows and arrowheads, pointy rods, spiked clubs, knives, brass knuckles, electric sticks), because licenses from the Interior Ministry to import these.
12. Sale of airguns without a licence from the Interior Ministry.
13. Fireworks and explosives.
14. Sale of surveillance cameras and listening devices (bugs) of all types without obtaining a licence from the concerned authority.

Education Ministry:
1. Publication of ads for private tuitions.
2. Publication of supplementary school notes.
3. Ads of private institutes and universities that are not accredited by the Ministry of Education.

Ministry of Health:
1. Conventional and veterinary medicine.
2. Botanic, animal or chemical formulae.
3. Foods that have health-enhancing effect, claimed to be prepared for treatment.
4. Preparations that claim to provide energy or reduce or increase weight.
5. Change of structures of body parts. (It is a must that a license be obtained from the licenses committee on advertisements related to health and nutrition).

Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor:
1. Donation and blood money ads.
2. Charity homes’ advertisements.
3. Ads for lectures, cultural and religious gatherings (unless a permission is obtained from the ministry).

The order was signed by Fahd Sayyah Al-Ajmi, Director of Local Press Affairs at the Ministry of Information.

May 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Books, Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Counter-terrorism, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Middle East, News, Political Issues | 10 Comments

Catbird Seat

Last week, I wrote a post on Cat’s Paw from A Word a Day, and today they sent me this one. The theme this week is words and phrases which refer to birds, and I have always wondered about the catbird seat. You hear it used in political journals more than anywhere else.

If you subscribe to A Word a Day they send you a fresh word every day, with a definition, they show how it is used in a sentence, and you can click on a link to hear it pronounced. I’ve been a member for over ten years now, and they are still surprising me with new words.

catbird seat (KAT-burd seet) noun

A position of power and advantage.

[A catbird (named after its catlike call) is known to build a pile
of rocks to attract a mate and sit on the highest point around. This
expression was often used by Brooklyn Dodgers baseball commentator
Red Barber and further popularized by the author James Thurber in his
story “The Catbird Seat” where a character often utters trite phrases,
including the expression “sitting in the catbird seat”.]

-Anu Garg (words at

“So, Stillking Films seems perched in the catbird seat. ‘Things
are going very well for us at the moment,’ David Minkowski says.”
Steffen Silvis; Stillking is Still King; The Prague Post
(Czech Republic); Apr 5, 2007.

May 11, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Bureaucracy, Communication, Language, Political Issues, Words | Leave a comment