Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Ministry Cracking Down on Porn Sites

A little over a year ago, May 18th, 2007, I remarked on an article in the Kuwait Times called MOC Bans Porno Film Sites. I had no idea that even over a year later, that blog entry would continue getting countless hits.

In this morning’s Kuwait Times, it’s like they say – deja vu all over again.

KUWAIT: Communications Minister Abdulhahman Al-Ghunaim has ordered the establishment of a committee to improve Internet services by finding ways to stop the spread of pornographic websites, which contradict local cultural and religious values.

The committee will reportedly be headed by Engineeer Ali Al-Zibin, the ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary of Information Technology, and will include representatives from the Interior, Awqaf, and Information Ministries, as well as Kuwait University.

A Communications Ministry official said that the committee will coordinate with and supervise the country’s Internet service providers in order to formulate a strategy to limit this phenomenon, by strengthening their supervisory role in this field.

It will also work continually updating the country’s systems to ensure that they are on a par with the latest technological developments to put an end to the spread of pornographic sites, in addition to establishing a map for joint coordination between all ministries.

You can live in a country a long time and barely scratch the surface. I honestly try to figure out what is going on, and even so, I get surprised often. I feel so encouraged when I see people tackling a problem, but then, so often, it turns out to be just meeting, just talking – no fixing.

As I have said before – I hate pornography. It isn’t part of my country’s values, either. It is certainly counter to my values. And yet, when I think of spending a country’s resources on trying to fight pornography, which we have had with us since probably the earliest times, I just feel tired. I don’t think you can win a fight against pornography. I think, to eliminate pornography, prostitution, alcohol and drug abuse – you have to change the way people think. Haven’t you noticed? You restrict something, it only makes it more attractive. Look at the countries that brutalize people arrested for possession of pornography – Saudi Arabia and Iran – have they been successful in eliminating access to pornography – on the net, or elsewhere? Where there is a demand, there will be suppliers, or that is how it seems to me. How do we eliminate the demand?

Who accesses and downloads porn the most, do you think? My bet would be on the 15 – 35 year old male, the most technologically savvy group in any population. How long do you think it will take them to break through any barriers you can place? And how many nanoseconds before they spread the “fix” all over the internet?

There is another article today, one on the air conditioning breakdown at Ibn Sina hospital, patients keeling over from the heat and humidity and then sewer-dwelling insects swarming into the children’s ward. How disgusting is that?

Attack the problems you can solve. Put people first. Fix the infrastructure – the roads, the hospitals, government services, licensing, visas. Make Kuwait state-of-the-art in communication accessibility. Kuwait is RICH, Kuwait can do anything. I hate pornography, but I don’t think any nation has the capacity to stop it.

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Relationships, Social Issues, Technical Issue, Women's Issues | | 14 Comments

Operation Hope News Flash

Those of you who read regularly know I am a great fan of people who see a need and have the courage to tackle it. One of those people here in Kuwait is Sheryll Mairza, who feeds and clothes the poorest of the poor – mostly laborers who are not paid. With her vision and enthusiasm, she has provided for – literally – thousands in Kuwait. Provided warm clothing in cold winter months, provided meals, provided basic necessities. Her most recent quest is below:

Operation Hope Kuwait would like to promote a used shoe drive to benefit farm-hands working in Abdalli, Kuwait… preferably sports shoes and/or work boots. Last Saturday a small group of dedicated volunteers went to Abdalli to deliver used clothing, which was collected by AGILITY LOGISTICS. While there they noticed that many of the workers had barely any sole left on the shoes they wore.

Currently am hoping a local private school will open its doors to receive donations from August 1 – 10. If you’ll stay in touch with me I can get you the final drop-point details.

Again ~ many thanks for your support! God bless, Sheryll

I don’t know about you, but I tend to buy new athletic shoes often – I like a fresh springy step :-). She probably isn’t looking for your daintiest 4 inch spikes from last season, but shoes with some life and some support left in them. As she gives out further information, I will keep you informed. Meanwhile – gather your old shoes and save them for Operation Hope!

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Fund Raising, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Social Issues | | 4 Comments

Vanity Fair Spoofs Obama Cover

Vanity Fair Spoofs New Yorker Cover

From AOL News

(July 23) – Call it the battle, albeit friendly, of political cartoon satire. A little more than a week after The New Yorker magazine caused a commotion with its controversial magazine cover of Barack Obama and his wife, Vanity Fair decided it wouldn’t be outdone.

This week, the magazine published a spoof cover — published only on the Vanity Fair Web site — of John McCain and his wife in a similar pose and in the same Oval Office setting.
But this image may create some of its own controversy. It shows the 71-year-old McCain, often the butt of age jokes, using a walker, and his wife Cindy — who once had a drug problem — cradling an armful of prescription pill bottles. A portrait of President Bush hangs above a fireplace where the Constitution is burning.

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Lies, Political Issues, Satire | 6 Comments

Seasonal Change Sunrise

More clouds! Beautiful Tiepolo clouds! A Turner sunrise! And look, you can see almost all the way to the horizon. That nasty yellow-black band of (whatever it is) that hangs over the horizon on some days is gone!

It is 91°F / 33°C at 0530 in the morning – and it was still 98°F at 0300 this morning – imagine! No wonder most of the flights take off at night!

July 24, 2008 Posted by | Beauty, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 4 Comments