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Expat wanderer

Pecha Kucha Night at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah

Thank you, Little Diamond for sharing news of an upcoming event in Kuwait that sounds like a pretty cool evening, full of creatives sharing a small part of their vision. It sound like an evening full of energy, to me. Thought you might want to go, too! 🙂

Dear All,

I would like to invite you to Kuwait’s first Pecha Kucha Night at the
Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah

Date: Wednesday, 11 March 2009
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Al-Maidan Cultural Centre ‘Abdullah al-Salem School, Maidan Hawalli, Near al Sha’ab Leisure Park.

Pecha Kucha Night, devised by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein
Dytham architecture), was conceived in 2003 as a place for young
designers to meet, network, and show their work in public. Pecha Kucha
Night is a not-for profit event, conceived, inspired, and performed
solely to strengthen creativity whether it be famous or famous-to-be
talents.

But as we all know, give a mike to a designer (especially an
architect) and you’ll be trapped for hours. The key to Pecha Kucha
Night is its patented system for avoiding this fate. Each presenter is
allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes
40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up. This keeps
presentations concise, the interest level up, and gives more people the chance to show.

Pecha Kucha (which is Japanese for the sound of conversation) has
tapped into a demand for a forum in which creative work can be easily
and informally shown, without having to rent a gallery or chat up a
magazine editor. This is a demand that seems to be global – as Pecha
Kucha Night, without any pushing, has spread virally to over 160 cities across the world.

It comes to Kuwait for the first time on 11th of March.

Speakers for PKN #1 will include:

Lubna Saif Abbas: LB o J?zzaz
Ghadah Alkandari: Artist
Adlah Al-Sharhan: Chef
Maha Al-Asaker: Photographer
Mai al-Nakib: Kuwait University
Thomas Modeen: smArchitecture
Abdulaziz al-Humaidhi: Najeeb Al-Humaidhi Consultants
Khalid al-Hamad: American University of Kuwait
Waleed Shaalan: BrainStorm
Amera al-Awadhi: Amar International Real Estate Co.
Fatma al-Hamad: Amar International Real Estate Co.

Warmest regards,

Asseel al-Ragam

Asseel al-Ragam PhD
Assistant Professor
Department of Architecture
Kuwait University
Office: +965 24987595
Cell: +965 99761150
alragam@gmail.com

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March 4, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Blogging, Building, Character, Events, ExPat Life, Interconnected, Kuwait | 1 Comment

Confessions of a Sudanese deserter

“Khalid”, a member of the Janjaweed tells about the Sudanese scorched earth policy in today’s BBC News:

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The International Criminal Court is set to announce whether or not it is to issue a warrant for the arrest of the President of Sudan President al-Bashir, for alleged war crimes in Darfur.

The Sudanese government has always said the accusations are political but now one of the country’s former soldiers, who served in Darfur, has been telling his story to the BBC’s Mike Thomson.

Khalid (not his real name), a polite and softly spoken man from Darfur, seems reluctant to talk about his past. It is soon clear why.

“The orders given to us were to burn the villages completely,” he says.

“We even had to poison the water wells. We were also given orders to kill all the woman and rape girls under 13 and 14.”

Khalid, who is of black African origin, says he was forcibly recruited into President Omar al-Bashir’s Sudanese army in late 2002.

He and several other men where he lived were taken to the headquarters of his regiment which was based near the north-western Darfur town of Fasher.

He admits to having taken part in seven different attacks on Darfur villages with the help of Janjaweed militia.

The first one was in the Korma area in December 2002 several months before the conflict in Darfur officially began.

He claims to have been extremely reluctant to carry out the savage orders he was given.

“When they asked me to rape the girl, I went and stood in front of her,” he said.
“Tears came into my eyes. They said: ‘You have to rape her. If you don’t we will beat you.’ I hesitated and they hit me with the butt of a rifle.

“But when I went to the girl I couldn’t do it. I took her into a corner and lay myself on top of her as if I was raping her for about 10 to 15 minutes.

“Then, I jumped up and came out. They said: ‘Did you rape her?’ I said: ‘Yes, I did’.”
Khalid says that soon after this he and the other soldiers went back to base.
When they got there he was told to join another patrol immediately.

When he refused they beat and tortured him, inflicting severe burns on his legs and back.

He spent five weeks in a military hospital recovering from his injuries.
Before long, he said, he was ordered to join other brutal raids on Darfur villages.
I asked him what he was told to do with unarmed civilians who did not resist in any way.

“They told us, don’t leave anybody, just kill everybody,” he said.

“Even the children, if left behind in the huts, we had to kill them,” he said. “People would cry and run from their huts.

“Many couldn’t take their all their children. If they had more than two they had to leave them behind. If you saw them you had to shoot and kill.”

Khalid insists that he always fired over the heads of civilians and didn’t kill anyone himself despite the orders he was given.

He says he could do this without his fellow soldiers noticing but he admits that there was no way he could avoid carrying out orders to torch peoples homes.

The six-year conflict has spawned more than two million refugees

“I did take part,” he admitted. “They forced me. We had no choice. If you didn’t they would kill you.”

Did anyone refuse?

“Two of my colleagues refused and they were shot dead.”

You can read the entire article by clicking BBC NEWS: Dharfur

March 4, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Bureaucracy, Dharfur, Political Issues, Sudan | , | 11 Comments

Next Five Days

No sunshine photo this morning; I slept a little late. While yesterday and today are gorgeous, AdventureMan and I are stuffed up and sneezy – go figure. We got throught the dust, and when the sky is crystal clear, we get allergies?

We have some hot hot hot temperatures coming – isn’t this a little early for temperatures this warm?

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March 4, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Weather | Leave a comment