Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Moved

I've moved to wordpress. Cross over and meet me there.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Silver of the White Heart :)

Adil is married 15 years, has two daughters, and a wife who epitomizes all that is perfect in a Kuwaiti wife: looks, motherly affection, devotion to husband’s family, and an amount of love that is not weathered by circumstances. The Adil meets Sahar. And Adil falls in love with Sahar. Sahar, pregnant and abandoned by a man who married her but never authenticated the papers (thus leaving her with a possible bastard child), and lacking in motherly affection (her mother is more attentive and caring for the mentally challenged daughter of her old employer than to her own daughter), finds herself, in the midst of this roller coaster, naturally clinging to a stranger’s affection, and loves Adil back.
So far not a bad plot line, in spite of the absurdly annoying acting of almost all characters, and in spite of the lack of insight into the human nature that results in this exchange of love, and in spite of the perfect goodness of Dalal (Adils’ wife) and the perfect evil of Faika (Huda Hussain, another story, another family).
But today the plot thickens. Now Adil’s brother Adnan (a pilot who has two daughters from two separate ex-wives, one of which international) discovers his brother’s infidelity. And Adnan, who up to this moment was portrayed as the drunk playboy who was almost willing to give up his daughters, is now attempting to steer Adil back to the path of righteousness by … can you guess? Trying to win Sahar’s heart in a challenge he put for his brother: If I don’t win Sahar within a week, I will personally facilitate your marriage to her. His certainty is bewildering. What is it saying about Sahar? That her love is fake and she can easily be won by any man? Or is it showing us viewers that Sahar is indeed a woman in distress, and as such, has been vultured upon by Adil who, finding himself in need of love, grabs at the easiest prey?

Pardon me, dear readers. I find myself drawn, in Ramadan, to the essential duty of viewing at lease one badly-written, worse-acted Kuwaiti show.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More KU Grumble

As the school year approaches, KU deserves a dedication:

This one is found around Shuwaikh Campus, mainly by the entrance gates:
New Comers Club announcing "We are in your service"
In? As in they are indebted to the new comers? And then again, what kind of name is that? New Comers? Is it just me or is the title rather awkward?

And this next one is found in a book quickly becoming a favorite of mine:
This is just not right. Such desecration! Why claim to teach art when we can't teach art? Why implement a new course "Literature and Arts" when the textbook ends up being mutilated like this? Poor Venus. The Goddess of Love deserves much better treatment.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Always and Forever

Such beautiful concepts, as uplifting to the spirit as listening to ABBA songs. So romantically bewildering even when rationally impossible. Or maybe because they're rationally impossible, they can be so romantically enchanting.

In preparing for my Literature and Art class, I am reading on Greek and Roman civilizations. Whereas the Greeks excelled because of their insistence on upholding the principle of reason (Plato's ideal Republic that is built on reason alone has long been a central argument in my theory classes where most of the students are 'romanticly' inclined to love literature, a world of emotions and passion), the Romans excelled because they were like a sponge, ready to absorb other cultures and ideas, ready to be open for others to assimilated with. When you're in love you allow the other person's ideas to be part of you, to absorb you.

When you're in love you throw reason out of the window, you throw Greek order out of the window (ironically Greece was the setting for that ABBA movie that tells us to throw away reason and succumb to passion.) And it is only when you're willing to do that that love works. Rationalizing a concept as romantic (pun intended) as love would naturally lead to its destruction.

The Romans also excelled because they saw themselves as rulers of the entire world, an impossibility as history has continuously proven. And when you're in love you believe in the impossible, also much like the Romans. You believe in Always and Forever, and you're happy to believe in them, you want to believe in them, and you can't help but believe in them.

I know I'm in love because I believe in the Always and Forever. And I'm not even a romantic person.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

the hills are 'still' alive

It used to be our family's all time favorite musical. Used to be? I think it still is. 3 years ago when my mom and dad treated us 3 sisters to an unforgettable road trip covering Germany, Austria and Italy, we, always infatuated by this musical, and encouraged by our dad's relentless (romantic?) appreciation of music, took the Sound of Music tour and relived our childhood singing their songs in the tour bus (memorized by our family and by all the 'oldest' members on that tour).

If you're an avid fan, you'd wonder, like us, what happened to those kids.
Liesl's deep blue eyes are gone.
Friedrich is not so German looking anymore.
Louisa? Oh well. I never liked her, in spite of my sister's undying devotion for blonds.
Kurt still has that crunched up face :)
Brigitta is still the same.
Marta used to be so cute. She's just a woman now :)
Gretl is not as ugly now as she was then. Used to be the ugliest kid. Again, in spite of being a blondy.

Enjoy

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Women in Art



Teaching a course in Literature and Arts next term and this is as much research as I've done so far for that (or rather, one that Sou did for me:) Thanks)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Horton Hears a 'What?"

So the kangaroo goes to an eagle called Vlad - one who has an accent that stresses his Vampire status - and Vlad promises to 'deflower' the spec .... a kid's movie? Really? Is it just my mind that associates a vampire who deflowers a spec with sexual connotations?*

Wii Fit: my new addiction. It started with Wii Sport but now moved to Wii Fit. They have to come up with a new game soon before this one wears me out.

*Horton Hears a Who

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Peace


The Kuwaiti Peace Group (MsK)
is honored to invite you to
"The Peace Operetta"
Sunday, June 29th 2008, 7pm at Shamiya Theatre

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Home is where the heart is?


The prospect of leaving is becoming more attractive each day. It's not that the grass is greener on the other side or anything. I know for sure that the grass won't be greener. I know for sure that there might not even be grass on the other side. But the other side is not home. Deficiencies in a strange land can be tolerated. But when it's your own home that's faulty, when it's your own house that's not so grassy, you just can't handle it. The mess in someone else's house is not your mess. It is annoying. It might even prevent you from finding your way around the place. But it's not your mess. It's not in your own house. So no matter how it bothers you, you are in no way responsible for it. But when it's your home that's messy you can't just ignore it. You can't just try to find your way around it. It hits you in the face around every corner. You see it in every nook. And you can't turn a blind eye. You can't say this isn't my shit to deal with (pardon my French). It is my shit and I can't deal with it anymore so I'd just have to go where I don't constantly see it. Where I'm not constantly reminded of it.

* And of course, I would love to be in a place where the grass, even if not greener, minds its own business and lets me live my life the way I want to live it.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Voting ... again



Not even 2 years have passed since the first time I voted. I didn't think I'll be doing it again so soon.

June 29th, 2006: 10 a.m. I went with my cousin to vote. Waited 2 hours before I was able to go in. The line was long. The heat was terrible. At night, I, sisters, cousin and brother went to a tent pitched in Sa7at Il-Irada to keep an eye on the votes being counted in the company of a few people I've grown to admire during the Nabeha 5 days. We stayed there till around 2 am.

May 17th, 2008: 10:30 a.m. I went alone. Took half an hour to go in and tick. It wasn't too hot. I know I won't be spending the night at any tent, with other people whose aspirations are similar to mine. This election day is empty of those feelings of patriotism I had last time. More hope before? More stress this time?

Now back to my book. Conference paper won't write itself, unfortunately.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

English Day

The English Department feels a duty to display all the budding talents of its students. The works of our poets, playwrights, artists and researchers all culminate in the annual English Day, and everyone is invited to share our success!

Join us ...
April 30th @ 12:30 pm
Otaibi Building, Kaifan

May 1st @ 4:00 pm
Othman Abdulmalek Theatre, Shuwaikh



Friday, March 21, 2008

Angry


What do you do when you're too angry to do anything?


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day...Night...Poison

Do you ever wake up in the morning on a totally different note than the one that left you at night? My minds wanders into gloomy and doubtful areas at night time and as soon as morning comes, I'm all chirpy and optimistic again. I'm quite a skeptic at night and extremely gullible (not to demean optimism in anyway) by day. Would it help if I reverse my sleeping patterns?

The following piece is the last to be published here for Disturbed Stranger who decided to grow her own wings (or blog)

Poisoned Mind

The air was damp. A misty cool breeze blew… causing diminutive waves to crash on jagged but softened rocks at the bottom of the cliff. The sun’s vicious beams refracted off the rock’s tarnished yet gleaming glaze. Seagulls sang as they glided over the sea… fluttering against the waves. She leaned back against one of the rocks, focusing her weight on the center of her back. Her blouse felt moist and cold. She gripped hard at the papers in her hands… twisting them firmly in her clutch. Her rheum eyes started to burn as she stared across the infinite blue… and with a single blink tears ran down her face. why? she thought. A strike of pain shot in her chest and flashbacked several diminished slides in the screening of her mind “WHY?” she yelled. Her voice echoed in the empty space not quite as empty as her heart. But there was no answer… for there never is an answer to pain. Whimpering… she gradually loosened her grip… and the papers hovered into the sea. The writing started to fade as the ink merged with the water causing a dark blotch near her feet. She was free. Free from her pain. The papers were completely drenched now, unlike her body however, they did not drown…



Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Charlie bit me, and it hurt.

Been hooked on Charlie for a while now. Aren't they cute?
video

If Charlie bites you, and in your peaceful (or lazy) nature, you decide not to take action, do you want your significant, or not so significant:) other, to defend you? In other words, do you value this interference into your life meant to stand up for you or do you see it as an act that sees you incapable of caring for yourself. Do you want your beau to be your knight in shining armor (hmmm. or your lady in a Joan of Arc armor?)?

update: I just heard that Dr. Ahmed Al-Rubie passed away. My condolences to his family and loved ones. My condolences actually go to everyone in Kuwait. His optimism and love of life have always been much admired. Rare to find, and maybe even idealistic, but certainly something to be missed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

A Stone in My Chest

Disturbed Stranger honored me with another one of those poignant pieces of writing. I leave you to enjoy (or be pained by) this piece:

A Stone in My Chest

There is a cold stone in my chest. I can feel it. Buried deep… ripping and tearing through my warm soft flesh. There is pain. No bodily pain…just mental pain… mental annoyance; my cognizant awareness of its existence inside me. Deep inside me. It cannot be removed, no surgery will rid me of it, no surgeon will agree to it. A curse. A burden. A burden I must carry with me to my grave… where a stone naturally belongs… where I belong. The pain it afflicts is on those closest to me, those who suffer the most. I cannot seem to help it. I cannot seem to want to help it. I do not seem to care… all symptoms of my disease. My sole disease… soul disease. There is no cure. I must coldly shudder off every shred of emotion as I slip into a circle of darkness…almost as dark as that stone.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Holidays

Happy Liberation/Independence Days
Is it just me, or does patriotism diminish with age? My 13 year old came back from school in this:
demanding that flags should be on display this month. I personally think it's a bit tacky and in bad taste. But my mother obliged (as she always does with her grandkids) and we now have a huge flag hanging from the 2nd floor balcony all the way down to the 7osh, blocking the sun from my plants on the 1st floor. Patriotic acts destroying nature again.

There's a small stand selling KU cups, pens, shirts, and office sets in Shuwaikh's Students Bookshop. Not a bad idea and about time. Unfortunately they're not good quality. Here's my key chain and pens:

Thinking of switching from Aramex to DHL. Any input on that?

Saturday, February 02, 2008

O Jerusalem

Evacuations. Concentration camps. Racial and ethnic segregation. That was my TV for today. Watching O Jerusalem and Snow Falling on Cedars in one day isn't good for the soul. Two movies about friends forced by politics to be enemies. Good movies but ones that gave me some sort of gloom. I leave you with the beautified version of Ben Gurion and Golda Meir from O Jerusalem.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Atonement


If lies are prettier than truths, would you still want the truth?

Plato banished the poets from his Utopia because they tell lies. Sidney brings them back because these lies paint a more beautiful truth. The funny thing is (not the DeGeneres' version) that Plato's banishment of liars was really more beautiful that Sidney's defense of them. The truth is more beautiful after all. Or is it?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Mona Lisa


School:

There comes a time, every term, when I have this sense of waiting anxiously for the final papers to arrive while simultaneously dreading the many P’s I have to assign for plagiarized papers, the many redundancies I read, and the pure loss of focus that is common in most papers. However, almost every term, there are a few papers that make the time spent on the other 30-40 papers worth my while. This year was no exception. Some students still surprise me by their ability to interrogate theoretical articles and work them within the folds of their literary analyses. So gratitude goes here to those few students who have made the long task of correcting papers quite enjoyable. The highlights this year were those papers on J.K. Rowling, Paulo Coelho, and Tsitsi Dangarembga.

Mysteries:

All doubts about the identity of the Mona Lisa have been eliminated by a discovery by Dr. Armin Schlechter.” And once its mystery has been solved, its greatness is no wonder lessened. Why is it that we always need to find answers to problems only to discover that answering them takes all the magic out of life? Mysteries should remain mysteries. Otherwise, life would just be too dull.

And more mysteries:

Newspapers announced that Saturday exams are postponed till Tuesday. Since faculty members haven’t received any official word, I called to inquire, only to be informed that the director is in a meeting with the deans now (11 am today) to decide on it. We must be really technologically advanced when the newspaper, printed the night before, can predict the outcome of a meeting that was still ongoing during the day :)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Tribute to Nouriya Al-Sabeeh


When she spoke, Nouriyah did wonders. She countered all Dr. Saad's false allegations with solid proof. Her presence of mind was something to be admired. Her ability to argue was something that Kuwaiti officials should emulate, especially since most of them lack the simplest ability to debate logically.
يعطيهم العافية شيخة وعنود على مساعدتهم للأخت نورية (يمكن أكون غلطانة بالأسماء) كانوا مستعدين بالأوراق المطلوبة بأسرع ما يمكن

Certain MP's, if it was left to them, would've burned that 12 year old girl on the stakes. We can have our own Salem here in Kuwait. The girl scribbled some nonsense on a school textbook, be it a religious studies textbook, and suddenly she's the talk of politicians.
من طرائف الجلسة سالفة القلب المكسور
والسكرتيرة المسكينة اللي غلطت بالنموذج سموها مزورة
وأحد النواب ابتدى كلامه ب"وقرن في بيوتكن" يعني أشكره انتقاده لنورية أسبابه واضحة وما لها شغل بكفاءتها أو حسن إدارتها للوزارة

It was an enjoyable session most of the time, in spite of the hunger and headache that began to seep on us towards the afternoon.

*Kuwait Times referred to her today as the Iron Lady. I don't know if that's gonna take its intended positive sense within Kuwaiti society.