Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Parking Problem

From the Arab Times:

Kuwaiti brothers critically hurt in gang attack over parking row

KUWAIT CITY : Eight persons broke into a Kuwaiti family’s house in Salmiya and attacked three brothers with knives, machetes, sticks and similar weapons just because the brothers did not allow a female student of a nearby institute to park her car opposite their house.

The brothers were critically wounded and had to be admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital.

Securitymen, who rushed to the scene after receiving a call from their mother, managed to arrest one of the attackers but the rest of them bolted from the scene.

A case was registered.

By Mizyed Al-Saeedi
Special to the Arab Times

People here can get pretty riled up over parking. One time, my husband and I were attending a social event, and we parked on – well, it looked like a public street to us, and public streets, unless they have numbered, private parking, you are allowed to park on public streets because you are the public. That’s what we thought anyway.

When we came out, we had cars literally blocking us, forward and rear, from getting out. My husband approached the owner of the house in front of whom we were parked, who was around the corner in his diwaniyya (on the public sidewalk) and when my husband said he was sorry, the man said he could put his “assif” (sorry) in his pocket!

Not one to give up easily, AdventureMan schmoozed for a while. The man said he would have his driver take me home, and AM asked him if he would put HIS wife in a car with a strange driver. That got an appreciative grin. Long story short, finally he allowed us to leave. He had some legitimate gripes – the facility where we had attended the performance has people who block his parking access to his house all the time.

My husband visited him again the next day with a parcel of dates to express his appreciation for the guy having let us go, and visited the facility and helped arrange to insure that people would not park in front of this guy’s house again. He and the man became – well, not friends, but cordial acquaintances.

I’ve always been glad AM handled it in a gentlemanly fashion. Imagine, breaking in and stabbing people over a parking spot!

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Relationships, Social Issues | 17 Comments

Schism vs Fitna

On the front of the Friday Kuwait Times (kind of the weekly tabloid edition) there is a headline article about Saudi Blogger Raed Al Saeed, who made a 6 minute video picking out verses from Samuel, Numbers, Deuteronomy, etc. to illustrate horrorific illustrations from the Bible, to parallel Geert Wilder’s movie, Fitness, which picks out verses from the Qura’an to illustrate the violence of Islam.

He says” It is easy to take parts of any Holy book that are out of context and make it sound like the most inhuman book ever written. This is what Geert Wilders did to gather more supporters to his hateful ideology.”

He’s right. It’s easy to point fingers, and to create fear and hate. It’s a whole lot harder to try to build bridges of understanding and compassion, to find similarities, to find ways to respect one another, to work together, to try to build a better world, and to agree to disagree when our books take different directions.

April 11, 2008 Posted by | Blogging, Character, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Locard Exchange Principal, News, Poetry/Literature, Social Issues, Spiritual | 6 Comments