Um Abbas

Sometimes feeling out of this world.

En Route

Going to Czech, tomorrow night. Some fishy, I mean – official, business over there for me to take care of; travelling light, with one small luggage, no husband and no daughter. Laptop and pocket money included, as a child of the modern age I ought to have some calming piece of electronics with me, plus some money to feed it, right.
It’s a short trip for not so jolly reasons and I hope it will be over swiftly and more importantly successfully. Well, I can hope in that; with my (our) luck, it will all go everywhere but where we desired it to go. But hey, we’re getting used to it.
Spring came quickly to Kuwait; so quickly that it took just about a week to go from 20ish degrees with fresh breeze to over 30 over the course of the day, and 20ish during the nights. I bet my new shoes that when I come back it will be already summer in full bloom, with it’s typically thick heat which makes you think you will suffocate if you breathe too much. Not mentioning the free showers every few steps.



Dori, although still rather illegal here, finally got to go to school, not the real deal, just a nursery at the time, but better than a wire in the eye. She gets her necessary company of kids of her age, some correction in behaviour from hijab and niqab wrapped teachers and most importantly she gets to know the system and language of Kuwait. About time.
It’s up to my unclear business in Czech now to make it possible for her to go to the real madrasa, with homework, teachers with whips and sticks (oh wait, not anymore) and you know… the real school she’s been dreaming about for ages now, since Ramadan perhaps, when her cousin Fatoom started to attend the big school. Nothing drags you better than a good example.
Wish me luck; I’m very certain I’m gonna need loads of it.
podpis

Whee…

Winter froze my posting, I see. Nothing much new in here, I found out that Kuwait can have somewhat of a winter (around ten degrees of Celsius), which can be more annoying than it was in England as we have got no heaters in here, only ACs. But survivable and yeah, I can finally can keep the windows open (given it’s not a sandstorm) and feel and smell the fresh air; I love it especially when the wind comes from coast and brings that salty, fresh scent of the sea, which during winter turns into powder blue. And even the beaches are possibly clean, unlike during the heats.
I don’t have many news, perhaps the fact I have a third angel in heaven waiting for me, but the hope dies last and we shall try to get me through the whole pregnancy once again; I did it once, failed thrice, maybe now is the time to succeed again…?
It’s very painful experience and makes me rather radical towards these women which go to abortion because they can’t keep their legs closed or the child just isn’t convenient for them, while I try hard and hard and in my rather young age already went through four pregnancies; with Dori being the only kiddo alive…
From felting I went to playing World of Warcraft, which with it’s immense and colourful world lets me forget on many problems of daily life.
Dori’s still an illegal immigrant and we can’t travel out of country, because we won’t be able to get her back in. And, not so surprisingly, Czech neither Kuwait officers are cooperative nor helpful and let us eat the sour end, trying to figure out how to make each other’s country persuaded that things just sometimes don’t go their way. Kuwait demands paper that states I’m the sole guardian of my daughter; Czech sends her birth certificate. Kuwait doesn’t recognise BC without biological fathers, and Czech doesn’t give statements about guardianships when they got their BC which says it clear.
Now, help us God.

(Not so) White Christmas

As the traditional Czech celebration time is rather near (or better yet already here, as the Advent – 4 Sundays before the Christmas Eve – already started), I’ve begun to remember the atmosphere I liked; the baking during evenings when outside is blanketed by heavy layer of snow, the walks during the freezing days tugged in warm clothes, the hot chocolate milk after we arrived with our noses red and about to fall off (or melt), the traditional denying of my family that there’s something like a fish or carp and stubbornly having a chicken feast; and so on.
The smells of the tree at home mixed with the peeled off clementine or orange and a gingerbread. The going crazy after a cat breaks that extremely fragile glass decoration hanging deliciously swinging from the fir branches.
While being in Briatin wasn’t quite the real thing for me, it still had some hints of our Highlands winter, cold air and decorations and the spirit; being in Kuwait is something diametrically different. No snow, no winter, unless I count the recent drop by 30 degrees down compared to summer, but still clear sky, salty sea breeze and around 20 degrees of Celsia in the shadow. The real picnic time of Kuwait, we might say, same thing which was happening in Newcastle during the very rare sunny summer days.
So I’m safe to say this year won’t be white for Christmas. Actually, the last two days it’s mostly yellow; a sandstorm came and for my luck this time our neighbourhood got hit straight and we were not really burried in velvety veil of white-yellow-brown dust for several days, with today fading but still ubiquitous crunchy taste of tiny rocks in your mouth, but very close to that.
Two of our bathrooms have broken fan lids so the fans keep on going day and night, which is fine during the normal days (understand, with bearable amount of sand dust in the air), but a misfortune for me as a housekeeper during such a sand disaster outside.
It really took only few hours of the night to bury the whole flat in a silky layer of golden sand. It was and still is everywhere you can imagine; on the sofas, carpets, floors, shelves, cats, freshly washed clothes, newly washed dishes, washing mashine, stove, your coffee and even your underwear. Hard to get rid of and leaving me with a lot of work in the following days trying to smudge it away with a mop and dust it away with a vacuum cleaner. Swipe, clean, desinfect. And hope it won’t come back for some time.


One lovely morning.

One of many sinks… I clean everyday, this came overnight.

Food? Oh no, just more sand.

Note to self: Do not leave dishes from the night till the morning. They’ll need a wash again.

Mirror, mirror, who brought all the sand? Mother-in-law says Lebanon.

Bored, all the windows are closed and all the birds are hidden.

Because yes, white Christmas are romantic, although limb-breaking; but you can stay at home with your warm mug of cocoa and laugh. Yellow Christmas suck, because they reside in your home and transform you fir tree and presents in a bunch of dunes.
PS.: The exquisite white signs of our cat Daniel changed to match the rest of his orange coat. He looks, however, very displeased.

Failaka: The Remnants of War

Since the weather is nice recently and we got a new car, we’re traveling a bit more, or better yet not really traveling but going on short trips around here.


I’ve decided I want to see the long praised island of Failaka (جزيرة فيلكا), suppossedly a paradise compared to mainland of Kuwait; well… might’ve been.
Prior to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, it was a small (we managed to go around the whole island through the desert roads within an hour) and rather populated island with it’s own infrastructure, schools, shops and people, referred to as Failakawans. Also an interest of several archeological expeditions, due to it’s history of settlements dating back to Alexander the Great and even earlier (up to around 3000 BC), Failaka seemed to be blooming and quiet place to live or visit.

Now, in 2010, it’s a sad and mainly empty place, some herds of camels, sheeps and goats roaming in the heat, with few settlers around the small harbour where a ferry Ikarus lands daily bringing in and out people, be it the few tourists (not expecting what they will meet), tradesmen or a truck loaded with sand to place in a dug archeological site (ok, wait a minute… it’s a desert island. It’s got lotsa sand. Everywhere. So why did they have to bring a truck of sand from the mainland, again?); and very few residents living randomly in the very empty and depression invoking streets, be it out of a silent stubborness or lack of money to buy a better housing somewhere else; because the look upon the streets is, believe me, very sad. Strike out the usual shabbiness caused by desert weather and sand getting everywhere making everything yellowish and looking old – but the ruins of housing, mosques, bullet holes in most of the walls, empty window frames and doors, sand piling inside of the past living room, kid’s room, school rooms, broken kid’s slides and playgrounds and literally noone anywhere, a real ghost town with it’s own spirits looking around for justice… simply because it’s an island 20 kilometres away from the mainland, when the Iraqi military came, the poor people didn’t have where to go except their homes, which got bombarded and shot at. Rather nasty trap created from a paradise.









It’s a sad place; don’t tell me that it’s not. It has a lot of potential though; it would be a great touristic aim, if. If the state of Kuwait actually wanted any tourism in the country, if the few scattered Failakawans wanted their silent although depressing place to be disturbed and if, if, if. It’s a poor place and needs a lot of money to be invested in before it can get any back, and honestly, when I see Kuwaitis and Arabs in general as tourists, maybe it’s better that it stays like that, because they will trash the place in no time. Now the beaches there are empty, but rather clean. There’s one small hotel near the ferry landing and it’s hard to say how profitable it can be; with a small restaurant and a coffee and a sandwich shop (which all were either closed or undergoing very dusty maintanance so we didn’t get to try and taste).
At the very moment it’s a place mainly used by Kuwaitis for roaming around in ships, boats and yachts, obviously by someone for herding, and few wooden fishing boats trying their luck.

Failaka can be nice, one day. At present, it’s a 1990 war museum with few archeological sites, camels, goats, and lots of deserted buildings, a place of decay rather than blooming. But still interesting to see.

November, November

Apologies to anyone who was worried about us (or me), I just don’t really feel like blogging; the life’s going on with it’s own tempo, most of the things slow paced at the time, with a bit of court running and immigration status uncertainities.
But, more or less, everything’s all right and as it should be.
Hubby took us today out for a bit, as the weather in Kuwait’s finally getting to the human levels (compared to the summer months) in the 30 degrees of Celsius during the day and around 20 in the nights, with a bit of fresh breeze, so the picnic time approached.









A lot of nomadic tents are out in the desert right now, even from the people who normally don’t get out camping on the sand in the land of nowhere (or better in the land appointed for the camping by the law right between the prince’s natural reserve and the ranged shooting area of ministry of interior and/or defense).
We reached a high peak of Kuwait today, getting close to Iraq, and there literally was a dead man’s land, with very few people around, one mosque build at a road junction with few pick-up trucks of food and toy “stands” surrounding it, waiting for the nomads to come by and buy – as explained to me on my question why the heck are these men standing in the sun getting a tan darker than the asphalt of the road, when they could just move over the bay to the City and get some better money.