Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Why I Love A-Word-A-Day

This is today’s entry from Anu Garg’s A Word A Day.

Wordsmith.org The Magic of Words

This week’s theme
Words from Obama

This week’s words

cohere

with Anu Garg

Tomorrow Barack Obama will become president of the US, and not a moment too soon. This week we’ll feature words from Obama, words from his books, speeches, and interviews.

Unlike most politicians, who hire ghostwriters, Obama writes his own books. He’s a gifted writer. Reading his words you can see his thought process. He’s not one who sees the globe in black and white. He has lived outside the US and has been exposed to other cultures. He realizes that just because someone has a different set of beliefs, just because someone looks different, doesn’t mean he’s wrong — sometimes there can be two ways to do something and both can be right.

Obama is to be commended for his accomplishments. We’ve come a long way in this country. But we still have far to go before we can call ourselves truly unbiased. Real progress will be when any capable person can have a fair chance at winning the highest office, even someone who happens to be, say, a black gay vegan atheist woman.

Anything is possible… but don’t hold your breath.

cohere

PRONUNCIATION:
(ko-HEER)
MEANING:
verb intr.: To be united; to work or hold together.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin cohaerere, from co- (together) + haerere (to stick).

USAGE:
“I learned to slip back and forth between my black and white worlds, understanding that each possessed its own language and customs and structures of meaning, convinced that with a bit of translation on my part the two worlds would eventually cohere.”
Barack Obama; Dreams From My Father; Times Books; 1995.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. -Martin Luther King, Jr., civil-rights leader (1929-1968)

Here is what Anu Garg isn’t saying, and my guess is he hasn’t thought twice about it. He is an American. He was not born in America, he immigrated to America – as most of us did, meaning our forefathers and mothers came from Europe, from Africa, from Asia and from India and the Middle East and – and – and. As an immigrant, as an American, he is free to say what he wants. Free to be happy Obama is president, and at the same time free to say that the system is not yet free enough.

I also totally love it that his quote for today is from Martin Luther King, who we are celebrating in America, on this national holiday.

We don’t have to agree. I love it that he is passionate about his beliefs, and that he provides A-Word-A-Day as a public service, entirely free, every day sending a new word, defined and used in context, to subscribers in every nation in the world. I admire people like him, like the Rajab family here in Kuwait, like Andrew Carnegie who started most of the small town libraries in the United States, people who use what they have been given to give back to the world-at-large.

You can see A Word A Day leads my blogroll. You can subscribe by clicking on the blue type above. 🙂

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Blogging, Blogroll, Character, Charity, Communication, Community, Customer Service, Education, Generational, Interconnected, Language, Leadership, Political Issues, Words | 9 Comments

Mubarakiyya Food Court

Several people have asked where the Fatayer Man is in Mubarakiyya.

00fatayrmanworking

Here is what the area looks like:
00fatayerarea1

Here is a GoogleMap of the area (isn’t this amazing? Isn’t GoogleEarth amazing? I can’t believe such great technology is give to us for free. I wish I were smarter, I wish I could put arrows on the map, and stars, but I can’t figure out how to do that . . . yet!

mubarakiyyagooglemap

You will see three lines of white running parallel – those are covers over the walkways in the main part of the souks. There are others, but this is the heart, where they sell vegetables, meat and fish. You walk straight down one of them until you get to the open court – you will see a mosque. In the GoogleEarth photo, you will see a round gold circle – that is the dome.

Just below the mosque, in the photo, you will see restaurant seating areas. The one closest to the entrance to the “food court” is the Malik al Saj, or King of (a particular type of) Bread; it is written on a great big blue Pepsi sign, and there are lots of waiters there eager to seat you. The food is fresh, and very good.

00kingofsaj

Now look at the map again. You will see more seating lower in the photo, over to the left. It is just around the corner from the other restaurant areas. This second area is where the fatayer man is. Just go down around that corner, peek into the restaurant areas until you see him hard at work, and then sit in the area just in front of where he is working. If you order tea, in this cold weather, they will bring you a pot with a charcoal heater, to savor while your fatayer is baking.

00teaheaters

You can find these tea-heaters in the souks, too, but don’t use them inside, because they need charcoal, and using charcoal inside is a really bad (as in fatal) idea.

Words you need to know if you are not an Arabic speaker:

Chai – tea
fatayer – a breakfast bread filled with “jibn” (cheese), Halloumi (salty cheese) zatar (thyme-sumak spice mix) or jibn/halloumi wa zatar (cheese/salty cheese with thyme-sumak mix)
shish taouk – marinated, grilled chicken on a skewer
semak – fish (some of the fish served is amazing)
mixed grill – mixed grill 🙂

Happy eating! Go while the weather is cool and wonderful!

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Eating Out, ExPat Life, Food, Hot drinks, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Shopping, Weather | , , | 7 Comments

Rain Almost Over Kuwait

00rainovergulf

We had beautiful rain this morning – but about a kilometer off the coastline. Can you see those lines coming out of the low-lying clouds? Look at how thick and grey those clouds are at sunrise – doesn’t it look like rain? And yet, just an hour later, the clouds have thinned and – yep – it looks like another glorious day in Kuwait.

Warmer, too, did you notice? We threw off one layer of blankets last night.

Have a great day, Kuwait!

January 19, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Living Conditions, sunrise series, Weather | 3 Comments