Wednesday, February 28, 2007

My View- # 34

This is the view from my balcony....

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Happy Kuwait Independence Day!!!- # 33

First off, I want to appologize for not getting this post up yesterday, my internet was down. That being said, now its time to get to the good stuff....

Yesterday, 26 Feb, marked 16 years since Kuwait was liberated from Iraq by the Coalition Forces in 1991.

A little history for ya:
Modern Kuwait was formed during the course of the 16th century (AD). After being recognized by some Eurpean navigators in the 18th century (AD), it was un-officially established. Kuwait was formed when several clans from Middle Eastern Tribes setteled near what is now Kuwait Bay. These tribes mainly came from Central Arabia (today mainly Saudi Arabia); Northern Arabia (today mainly Syria & Iraq); and Persia (now known as the Islamic Republic of Iran).

By the 18th Century, most local people sold pearls for a living. In the 1930s, pearl diving developed in Japan, deminshing the Kuwaiti market. After WWI, Britain declared Kuwait to be an "independent sheikhdom under British protectorate." In 1953, Kuwait became the largest exporter of oil in the Persian Gulf. The massive growth attracted many immigrant labourers/ foreign workers, thus being the first of the Persian Gulf Arab States to declare independence June 19, 1961. This was challenged by Iraq, but the threat was deterred by the British as they flew troops in. Kuwait was allied with Iraq during the Iraq-Iran War (which ended in 1988). On August 2, 1990, Kuwait was invaded and annexed by Iraq, lead by Saddam Hussein. An American-led coalition of 34 nations fought the Persian Gulf War to remove Saddam's control from Kuwait, which was authorized by the UN Security Council. The fighting lasted 6 weeks. The coalition forced Iraq to withdraw its troops on February 26, 1991. (reference:

(top pic)- Kuwait teenagers celebrate with foam spray!
(above)- A young girl stand out of her fathers sunroof holding a Kuwaiti Flag as her (assumed) brother looks out the window.

(above)- The aftermath..... I looked similer to this guy after getting all my pics!
(below)- Two guys hold up peace signs and silly string cans for the camera. They have their faces covered to avoid a face full of foam/ silly string!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ladies Evening Out- # 32

Last night, my friend and I took her little girl to get her first manicure and pedicure! She was soo excited! When the lady asked her what color she wanted, she simply stated "Red." As she wanted red on her hands, she went more suttle with pink on her feet. She also picked red for us. LOL

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Sidewalk Salesman- # 31

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This is Yosuf. He was selling flags and spray foam to the passer-by's to spray at each other. There was a small language barrier, but luckily he spoke a little English. We ended up hanging out with him, watchin all the celebration action!

Friday, February 23, 2007

I'm Lovin' It!- # 30

While wandering around Salmiya, enjoying the pre-celebrations for the Kuwaiti Independence day coming up (26 Feb), I came across this group of guys. They were so excited to have their pic taken! They (Kuwaitis) celebrate much different than where I'm from, but it was fun nonetheless. The main road (Gulf Road) was jam packed with cars filled with men, women, and children. Everyone was playing music, and shooting each other with silly string and foam! From the young to the old: People would stop in the middle of the road to dance; on top of cars, hangin out of windows! If you weren't careful and had your window down, you could expect to get a face full of silly string!

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Dhow - # 29

A little Vocabular for ya:
Dhow: any of various types of sailing vessels used by Arabs on the east African, Arabian, and Indian coasts, generally lateen-rigged on two or three masts.

Here, many Dhows are docked ready for use for the next day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bakala - # 28

This is a Bakala, or corner store. They are everywhere!!!!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Quiet Sunset- # 27

Title says it all....

Buttons -# 26

These buttons were at the checkout counter at the grocery store, ready to be bought for the Kuwaiti Independence Day Celebrations coming up.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bedouin- # 25

These bedouins are the camel herders we came across a few days back. The camel pictured is the one we got to ride; you can see his mouth open as he "yells". I don't think he was as thrilled as we were to see him! You can also see that his front legs are tied together. There is enough slack so he could walk, but not run (which I appreciated!) I'm not sure if the people are brothers, or father and son. Either way, they were very kind, and happy to pose! There was a huge language barrier between them and us.... its amazing how people can communicate with out words!

A little Vocabulary for ya:
Bedouin: Derived from the Arabic a generic name for a desert-dweller. This term is generally applied to Arab nomadic pastoralist groups, who are found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via the Western Desert, Sinai, and Negev to the Arabian Desert.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Sand Storm- # 24

Yesterday we had a sand storm. If you have never experienced a sand storm, consider yourself lucky! The background of this pic looks "cloudy" almost, but the air is truely filled with sand. During a storm, the wind is strong, and at times it hurts a little when the sand hits you. Unfortunatly this pic didn't give the sun justice, it looked really cool live. The storms are much worse out in the desert... glad I was in the city for this one! The buildings help break it up a little making it a little less extreme.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Black Sheep- # 23

While exploring the desert, this lonely herd of sheep was grazing. Among them was this black sheep... (s)he was very cooperitive and "posed" for this pic!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Curious Camel- # 22

Today we explored the desert, and came across a herd of camels. This one in particular was extremely curious! They were very friendly, and even let us pet them! More to come....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Horse & Carriage- # 21

This pic was taken at one of the many, many mini amusement parks that are found throughout Kuwait. I haven't seen too many horses here, and was really excited to see this one. I didn't have my camera on me, so I took this photo with my camera phone..l. gotta love technology!!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Mmmm...Pineapple Hooka- # 20

This is the BEST way to smoke shesha! They turn all types of fruit into hookas, pineapple (pictured), watermellon, and honeydew to name a few. This particular day, I had strawberry shesha with it. Very, very yummy!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Harsh Reality- # 19

In this photo, a pile of trash is the main focus, while two women walk past with a little boy. Sadly, this is not an uncommon sight. People litter here all the time, or just pile up trash as seen here. This would be a much more beautiful place if it was just cleaned up.
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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Bate - # 18

This man was fishing with his children on the pier. They didn't have fishing pools, so they were just using bate at the end of a line and throwing it in the water. I'm not sure how many fish they finally caught... hopefully their method was effective. He was very kind, I asked him if I could take his photo; he simply nodded, then posed. I fell in love with how it turned out.
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Saturday, February 10, 2007

Make a Wish... - # 17

While driving around and exploring Kuwait, I came across this old "wishing" well. After investigating, it looked like it was still functional, now whether it is still used or not is another question.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Ship Wreck- # 16

The title says it all...
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Thursday, February 8, 2007

Hooka Store - #15

One of my favorite pass times in Kuwait it smoking shesha (flavored tobacco) out of a hooka. I was told that this tradition came to Kuwait from Turkey. There are shesha bars everywhere, and it is common to see it in most restaurants. There are many different flavors (mostly fruit flavors), but one of my favorites is mint with lemon. Mmm!! These hookas are displayed in the window at one of the many, many, many shesha stores. To the left, is a fur covered hose (used to suck the smoke out of the hooka). I'm not sure I'd customize mine with fur.... to each their own!

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Arabic Door- # 14

I saw this door a few months back, and loved it. So I went back for a pic. Beautifully carved wooden doors like this one are seen all over Kuwait. I didn't see the man inside staring back until I uploaded the image and viewed it on my computer. I found this very entertaining, which made this photo a little more special!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sultan Center Sushi!!!! - # 13

The Sultan Center is a grocery chain here in Kuwait. One of the stores has a sushi bar in it, which is a favorite among me and my friends. Particularly, my old roommate's...Happy Birthday Laurie!!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Friends- # 12

These two gentlmen are just sitting at the pier, watching children play, and talking.
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Sunday, February 4, 2007

Serenity- # 11

The title says it all. This pic was taken at sunset on, actually, a cloudy day. It just looks like such a peaceful moment. I especially liked the reflection in the water.
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Saturday, February 3, 2007

Scaredy Cat- # 10

As I was walking the other day, I noticed this little sight, and couldn't resist a picture. Cats are like sand in Kuwait... they are everywhere!!
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Friday, February 2, 2007

Hard at Work - #9

My friend had taken this pic yesterday while we were on an outing. I believe the 'bundle' the man is dragging, is full of fish he caught that day. He's taking them to the market to be sold.
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Thursday, February 1, 2007