Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Degrading Gulf Character

In the October 2nd Kuwait Times the lead article on the front page has to do with Bahrain considering a 6 year ceiling on ex-pats living in Gulf Countries. Evidently they want the GCC countries to consider implementing it across the board.

How do you think that might work out? It seems to me there is a huge middle class here made up of mid-level managers who really keep things going. Who manages your stores? Who waits on customers? Who drives the buses and the taxis?

When you put that ceiling on, is it across the board? Does the ceiling apply to Palestinians who have never lived in Palestine, to Lebanese, to Syrians, to Yemenis? Does it apply to Europeans? To Canadians and Americans? Does it apply to Chinese? Indians? Nepalis? Or is it like some of the other laws, yes, it is the law, but you can get an exception?

I ask because it seems to me there are a lot of people who have lived here for 30 – 40 years, contributing to your economy, educating their children, teaching in your schools, designing your buildings, selling your hardware . . .

So how does this work?

Diversity or time?

The complaint, according to the paper, is that the expat population is eroding the national character of the states in the region. Is it the diversity of the population which degrades the local culture, or is this perhaps a function of time? We hear the same complaint in France, we hear it in Britain, we hear it in Germany, we hear it in the United States – things aren’t the same as they used to be. I have a feeling they said the same thing 50 years ago, after World War II. I have the feeling they said it 100 years ago, just after the turn of the last century.

Times change, culture changes. It’s slow, but unless you are walled off from the rest of the world, I believe it is inevitable. I suspect changing times have more to do with any change in Gulf character and customs than the expat population, who lives side by side with the Gulf natives.

October 3, 2007 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Kuwait, News | 9 Comments

“Where’s The Bag, Daddy?”

My friends, please be kind. Adventure Man loves plays on words. So last night I could hear him and the Qatteri Cat playing in the bedroom, the Qatteri Cat’s favorite game, Dad hides him under a laundry sack and the Qatteri Cat thinks no one can see him. Then Adventure Man dangles his belt and the Qatteri Cat slashes at it from under the bag. It doesn’t take much to amuse these two; they love this game and can play it over and over.

I can hear Adventure Man saying “Where’s the Bag, Daddy? Where’s the Bag, Daddy?” and dancing around, and he is totally cracking himself up.

“Wouldn’t that be a great blog entry?” he asked.

I dutifully grabbed my camera and tried to get some shots, which is not easy under low light conditions when the Qatteri Cat is swatting at a swinging belt.

So it’s kind of an action shot – that’s what we call it when some of the sharp edges go a little blurry 😉


This cat adores his Bag, daddy.

October 3, 2007 Posted by | Blogging, Entertainment, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Language, Marriage, Pets | 8 Comments