Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Visitors, Not Residents?

From yesterday’s Arab Times:

The General Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior is studying a proposal to replace the term ‘resident’ — the status given to expatriates working in Kuwait, reports Al-Watan daily. The daily added this has been done to ‘fight’ attempts by international organizations asking Kuwait to grant citizenship to expatriates who have been working in the country for a long time. Meanwhile, a reliable source said ‘visitor’ will replace the term ‘resident’. The source also said the General Immigration Department has stopped receiving applications for self sponsorship after noticing an increasing number in applications over the past few months. According to knowledgeable sources the Assistant Undersecretary for Citizenship Affairs Major-General Sheikh Ahmad Al-Nawaf has issued instructions to take into account the demographic structure of the country while issuing work permits because Kuwaitis account for only 33 percent of the population compared to 67 percent expatriates.

Calling all us guest-workers “visitors” is just a dumb idea. Call us guest-workers, call us workers, but if you call us “visitors” then you run into problems with folks who are just coming in for a VISIT, i.e. visitors.

I have always preferred being a resident. When I come into Qatar or Kuwait and all the lines are long except the GCC lines, I can always take a chance that the guards will think I am married to one of you when I step into the GCC line. If the person at the desk says I am in the wrong line, I can always look confused and say “I am a resident!” It has worked – well, most of the time. 😉

This issue is hand-in-hand with the school issue. Times are changing, old traditions are not being observed, and the blame is falling on foreign influences. It’s kind of like that train has left the station – if you want to go back to old ways, you’ll have to get rid of automobiles, computers, mobiles, supermarkets, and most of all, that demon of all forces of modernization – television.

The Taliban managed to reinstate old traditions, and in doing so, to take Afghanistan right back to the stone age. It was not just the women who suffered – men who didn’t want to wear beards, men whose hair was too long, men who wanted to listen to music, men who wanted to discuss politics – all were punished, some were killed.

The real challenge here is how Kuwait, as a modern nations state with a lot of money, is going to move with the modern world, not against it.

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October 19, 2007 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Language, Leadership, Living Conditions, News, Political Issues, Social Issues, Statistics | 10 Comments

Older Brother Stunts Your Growth

Scientists just think differently. Who woulda thunk to study how having older siblings affects height? This is from BBC Health.

Having an older sibling, particularly a brother, can stunt growth, work suggests.
Experts said the condition of the womb after the first pregnancy may be a factor.

The study of 14,000 families was presented at the BA Festival of Science.

The research, by David Lawson, of University College London, also showed children in larger families were likely to be shorter than average.

Researchers found that children with three siblings were 2.5cm or one inch shorter than the average height for their age.

If you are one of the younger ones, then you can expect to be shorter than your older siblings
Dr Lawson

It was suggested siblings may dilute resources – time, money or love – that parents are able to invest in children.

The researchers followed children born in the 1990s and who were enrolled on the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, one of the largest public health studies to be set up in Britain.

Each year, the children’s height was recorded, along with other details of their development.

While having older siblings of either sex affected a younger child’s development, the effect of older sisters was more mild.

You can read the rest of the article HERE.

October 19, 2007 Posted by | Family Issues, Health Issues, Living Conditions, Statistics | 18 Comments