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Expat wanderer

Kuwaiti Women, Minors from Cradle to Grave

In an article in today’s Kuwait Times sure to raise discussions throughout Kuwait, staff writer Ahmad Al-Khaled brings up the laws requiring Kuwaiti women to have a husband /father/ guardian present to apply for a passport and other legal papers:

Published Date: January 15, 2008
By Ahmad Al-Khaled, Staff writer

KUWAIT: The issue of gender equality under the law has come under fire of late after an exasperated Kuwaiti woman wrote to a local Arabic newspaper telling the tale of her frustrated quest to renew her passport and was told the law required her to be accompanied by her male guardian. “It is frustrating that we are not considered equipped to act as our own guardians in 2008,” said a middle-aged Kuwaiti wife and mother of five, Um Talal, who read the woman’s letter describing how she was denied the right to renew her passport unless her husband accompanied her to the ministry.

While Kuwait is a Muslim nation, Kuwaiti law is not solely Sharia based, although it uses Sharia as a primary source of legislation according to the Constitution. Adult-aged Kuwaiti women are required under the law to be accompanied by their husband or father to renew their passports. If their father and husband are deceased or should they be divorced from their husband, they may be required to provide authorities with proof of their male guardian’s death or proof of their marital status.

“Why should we be required to offer such proof. It is insulting to be treated as if we Kuwaiti women are in need of guardianship. Shame on the government for continuing to allow such a law to remain in the books,” said a 30 something Fala Jassem. “It is not Islamic to treat women poorly, we are not children! Shame on anyone that calls this law Islamic,” said 65-year-old Bedour Bader.

While Kuwaiti women speaking to Kuwait Times were staunchly against the law, Kuwaiti men were divided with some going so far as to call the law a necessary requirement to keep their women protected. “It is a husband’s duty to act as a guardian for his wife. We must lead our families and this includes the wife,” said 53-year-old father of four Abdullah Nasser.

You can read the rest of the article HERE.

January 15, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Generational, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, News, Relationships, Social Issues, Travel, Women's Issues | | 18 Comments

Lapsang Souchong

When I was in college, my aunt sent me a box of Lapsang Souchong tea. Winters were long and cold, rainy and windy, and lapsang souchong has a very smokey taste. Often as I was studying, I would have a cup next to me to warm me from the inside, but also because I was so totally addicted to the smell, which is like that of a wood-burning fire.

I checked lapsang souchong on Wikipedia, and this is what they say:

Lapsang souchong is a black tea originally from the Mount Wuyi area in the Fujian province of China[1], sometimes referred to as Smoke Tea. The tea leaves have been withered over pine or cedar fires, pan-fired, rolled and oxidized before being fully dried in bamboo baskets over burning pine.[2] The result is a smoky, robust tea with an overriding scent and flavour of wood smoke, which dominates the flavour of the black tea itself.

The name in Fukienese means “smokey sub-variety”, and is a variation of the older WuyiBohea tea.[3] In popular legend the tea was created during the Qing dynasty when soldiers camping in a tea processing company delayed the drying of the tea leaves. After the soldiers had left, the workers sped up the drying process by hanging the tea leaves over burning pine wood. [4]

Lapsang souchong from the original source is expensive, as Wuyi is a small area and there is increasing interest in the tea. [5]

the Wikipedia article on lapsang souchong (which you can read for yourself by clicking on the blue type) also says lapsang souchong is “an acquired taste.”

They are right. It is strong, not at all refined. I haven’t seen Lapsang Souchong on the menus anywhere in Kuwait. It is beginning to appear on a menu or two back in Seattle, where tea shops are plentiful and tea is widely appreciated.


I fixed some for a friend who dropped by the other afternoon, and revelled in the smokey scent that lingers, even this morning, in my clothing from having brewed it up.

I wish I had a fireplace!

(It is 2°C this morning in Kuwait (36°F) at 0800, and tonight is expected to be even colder than last night.)

January 15, 2008 Posted by | ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Hot drinks, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Weather | , | 8 Comments