Kuwait… A place to call home!

November 3, 20150

i-love-kuwait“It’s a ladies place. You will see!” A stranger told me on the plane while arriving in Kuwait from Canada. He was a Kuwaiti man, wearing a distasha and the traditional head dress. He sat next to me on the plane from Amsterdam to Kuwait and answered my thousands of questions. He laughed mostly as I had a very naïve vision of Kuwait. I imagined a deserted place with very little infrastructure, camels and long stretches of desert. I was so very wrong!

This Kuwaiti man laughed as I asked many questions about his country and yet he was very open to hearing my concerns. “You will see” he said “This is Kuwait”.

It is true. I was panicking on the plane about what to wear and how to act. Again I was wrong! I have felt very at home in Kuwait and now believe a peaceful calm has taken over my many worries. Kuwait is not as conservative as other countries in the GCC as well, the people of Kuwait whether expatriate or proper Kuwaiti, adopt innovation as part of the development of Kuwait. It is obvious that change is happening in Kuwait or so many of us would not be working and living in this country. This alone, we could be grateful for as our home countries may not offer the same opportunities.

The man on the plane had a strange smell as well. It was a smell that I had never smelt in the past, Canada or anywhere actually. Even though I am of Lebanese descent, it was a new smell to me and as I come to understand, one that is very common in the Arab Gulf. This man smelt of incense. He had a smell of incenses. It was different. Like sandalwood, musk and rose.

In Kuwait they call it “Oud”. It can be a unisex perfume or burnt as incense in the home. It was different. New… And yet, now in Kuwait I burn the same perfumes; that I buy in the Souk Mubarakiya on Saturdays after shopping at the City Center Salmiya. He was confident that I would enjoy my time in Kuwait.  And, against all odds, this kind and friendly Kuwaiti man with an open mind was only a glimpse into my journey in Kuwait.

Well… I can truly say that I can call Kuwait my home now. It is beautiful. Not only has it been a new experience yet the challenge has been adventurous. Many times I hear people complain about this excellent place yet I ask myself if they have been elsewhere to compare. Not on vacation yet as a living citizen. I hear people say that life here is hard and then I question them about WHAT is hard for them. Of course many of the expatriates come from western countries and YES things function differently however we are in a new place and if we make the mistake of engaging in a battle every time something comes our way we will miss out on the splendors of Kuwait.

Often I like to sit and enjoy all the splendors that Kuwait has to offer. Many people will disagree with this yet I wonder when they decided to choose a negative mindset as opposed to staying open to change. This is where we could remain positive as opposed to finding the negative.

Think about the weather, alone it is amazing to feel the warm breeze on our bodies, or taking a long walk along the beach after a warm swim in the mid-day; on any day. It is especially pleasant in the winter when being invited to a nice coffee at a cool coffee shop in Miral Mall, The Avenues or Kuwait City (The “City”) on a weekend with friends or someone dear.

When people complain I often make a mental list of the good that can outweigh the bad. The other day I was having a coffee at Arabella and I decided to creatively put together a list of the most recent complaints I have heard. And YES, they affect me too. Therefore, I wanted to cancel the negative by adding a positive to it. Proactively I created the list below of complaints and

I created a list of things I BEEN hearing:

  1. It’s too hot…

I get to enjoy the sun shine everyday

  1. It’s too expensive…

I have the chance to work for a better living than my home country can offer; and I enjoy the finer things in Kuwait

  1. People only go out to eat in Kuwait; I am bored..

I get to enjoy delishious cultural cuisines from all and the world and when I feel like some American flavor; I can go to TGIF

  1. People in Kuwait are closed minded…

I am paid to bring my creativity here and educate people in a creative way that will help change the face of the next generation of Kuwaiti’s.

In the end. It’s a real pleasure to be able to call Kuwait my home right now.

This is Kuwait.

By: Natasha E. Feghali

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