When meeting Kuwaitis in their natural setting, which of course is Kuwait, the most immediately remarkable thing about them is that the males of the species all seem to dress alike. Every Kuwaiti man, with very few exceptions, wears a long plain robe called a dishdasha, a head cloth called a ghutra, a headband called an ogal, and a pair of sandals or naal on his feet. So why do all Kuwaiti men seem to dress the same? The answer is simple. The dress of the Kuwaiti male is a fine example of personal adaptation to the rigours of the local climate. And, a most elegant one at that! …..
….. a pentrait by Omar the Outsider Continue reading “The World’s Most Elegant Dressers”
The secret of survival in the harsh desert landscape of Arabia is to find some means of protection from the heat. Hundreds of years ago the people of Kuwait, long the avant garde of the region, invented air-conditioning …..
….. a pentrait by Omar the Outsider Continue reading “Kuwaitis Invent Air-conditioning”
It is said, by those who do not really know much about the matter, that life for the Ordinary Kuwaiti is just one long idyllic existence. An Ordinary Kuwaiti enjoys his share of the oil dividend with a cradle to grave welfare system and an easy job in the civil service. Some say this makes for a life of indolence and self-indulgence. But a closer examination reveals that such an assertion is utterly preposterous and in fact the typical day experienced by the ordinary male citizen of Kuwait is little more than a series of onerous duties to be discharged without complaint …..
….. a pentrait by Omar the Outsider Continue reading “A Day in the Life of an Ordinary Kuwaiti”
At the time of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait I was living in a multi-roomed apartment on the 9th floor of a residential complex in downtown Kuwait City. There I felt relatively safe from the confusion I could see down in the streets. My wife, who was Thai, was out of the country on vacation. Tuk, her best friend, was subletting our spare bedroom …..
….. a narration by Paul D Kennedy Continue reading “The Visitors”
The other day myself and AA, my best Kuwaiti friend and ex-war buddy, were trucking along Arabian Gulf Street. Behind us the limp sheen of dawn was quickly succumbing to the brash glare of day …..
….. a vignette by Paul D Kennedy Continue reading “Lessons from a unique experience”
We seldom went into the big field across the road from our house at the top of the hill until the donkey appeared. We never found out who owned the donkey or who had put it out to grass in the wide-open field that covered a whole side of the hill and we had been warned firmly to leave it alone …..
….. a vignette by Paul D Kennedy Continue reading “Rodeo Donkey”
The orange-painted Chevy, wide and low slung, its shell chipped and dented by nearly two decades of strenuous service, bowled sturdily along the dusty desert road …..
….. a vignette by Paul D Kennedy Continue reading “Good Christian Servants”
A wide fast-moving stream branched off from the main river at Corbally. It ran swiftly around a low island before swinging back and rejoining the main course again. Next to the stream there was a large quiet pool. We called it the hole …..
….. a vignette by Paul D Kennedy Continue reading “The Hole”
An old man sat in an upright chair in front of the entrance to one of the buildings across the street. His clothes were old, clean and neat. Beside him there was a small table with a backgammon board on it and a second chair. The second chair was empty …..
….. a vignette by Paul D Kennedy
Continue reading “Backgammon in the Evenings”
John walked out, through the last gate to where Brenda was waiting with the taxi. He gave her a hug, pulling her up onto her toes, his large frame almost smothering her. He stood with his back to the high dark-grey walls for a moment before following her into the cab without turning around. Two years. He’d had enough …..
….. a short-story by Paul D Kennedy Continue reading “Stand by Your Man”