31 July 2007

It's Tuesday already.
Time flies when you think about dousing your hair with government-subsidized gasoline and lighting it on fire.

Speaking of fire, there's a free two-day "first aid" class offered by the Patient's Helping Fund (صندوق إعانة المرضى) --they need a new name, really-- in August. I wonder if its worth the time or more of the stop, drop, and roll stuff.

Moving on. I've been deeply disturbed by a sight a saw a couple of days ago at a mall.

I walk into a toilet, with my pregnant friend who seems to be more interested in the mall's toilets than the stores, and I notice three girls standing around the sink areas. Two of the girls, not older than 14, looked like hookers. I'm sorry they really did! (The third girl was a young kid ,probably no more than 7 years old, hadn't lost the baby fat yet, and had a strand of peroxide-blond hair --one streak--on one side of her head! These girls looked like they were working!! how disgusting!)

Back to the 'older' ones; one of them was wearing a tight knee-length black dress that was rouched around her curves (well, where her curves would be if she was old enough to have any). With her hair all done up and the berry colored lip gloss she had on, her look was very fitting for a cocktail party. If only she was going to one. Mind you it was around 7 p.m. at a shopping mall.
The other girl was wearing tight yellow capri pants, a tight t-shirt with a slit down the back which she was wearing a tank top underneath it.

They both had teased updo's on their heads embellished with fancy shmancy hair accessories. They looked like they were going clubbing, or to a wedding, only we were at a mall...AND THEY'RE 14!!!!

So of course, they're primping at the mirror putting more lip-crap on...(bright colored lip crap) and I'm just standing there... staring at them, disgusted, amused and in shock. They gave me quite a few dirty looks, which I probably deserved seeing as to how I was staring at them since I walked in.

Another lady, who was there since I walked in, was looking at me and smirking and looking back at them...sort of saying "look at them..."

A few minutes later, as I continue to stare at the child prostitute wannabe's, a lady steps out of a stall, approaches the sink to wash her hands (thankfully) and asks the cocktail-dress girl a question. The lady, wearing a pink hijab and cakey makeup, gives me a look, as of course I'm still staring at the girls. The girl answers.

"La Yuma..." Her mother! My whole body stiffened up...Her freggin' mother! An electric charge jolted up and down my spine...Her @#$%^^& mother!!!!

Now, I understand that everyone's free to wear whatever, and trust me it wouldn't have bothered me one bit if these were older women making a conscious decision about the way they would like to represent themselves visually...it's their body, it's their choice...but these 14 year olds can't tell their backside from their frontside...and they're dressed like prostitutes! That's not a matter of choice and expressing themselves through what they wear.

And I try to not be too quick to judge the parent because I understand that teenagers can be difficult...but my God you're a parent!!! As a parent you must draw a line somewhere... and that line isn't forcing hijab or anything crazy like that, heck it's not even about religion, but decency and protecting children from themselves.

You have to know that something is wrong when when your baby looks like a hooker. (I'm not even talking about the peroxide blond strand the 7 year old was sporting.) It's sickening.

I know there 's probably much more to these people than what I got to see in the the few minutes I spent around these girls...and I'm wrong to judge a parent by looking at a few seconds of her life...but the image I saw was sickening.

I wonder in a few years' time, like when they're 16 or 21, what they're gonna look like. My heart goes out to children and the mother as enraged as I am at her.

Of course, I didn't say anything to the mother and we waited a few minutes after they left the bathroom to leave. I've seen enough as it was.

I've thought of them many many times since.


Anonymous said...

I see you are kuwaiti....

what do you think of


GE&B said...


I did watch the clip but wasn't exactly sure what to make of your question.

But here are my feeling about it:

-- Nairah's lie was something that I believe should never have happened. Kuwait had a just cause, but more importantly, the U.S. had enough vested interests in the region to step in anyway.
A second note on that is...perhaps its true...an apple never falls far from the tree...her father is a big liar (strongly dislike him!). I don't know the girl/lady though; so i don't want to pass judgements on her for something she was told to do 17 years ago.

-- On the whole Palestinian issue I'm quite conflicted. Palestinians were not treated well after Saddam's occupation. Although that's a fact that is unjustified by anything, post-invasion Kuwait was a difficult time for everyone. Before the occupation, Kuwait had the largest Palestinian population and they were --in general-- living a decent life. (Atleast a lot of anecdotal evidence I've come across personally suggests that.) During the occupation, the Palestinian leadership sided with Saddam and to add insult to injury some Palestinians did reach out to the Iraqi army and help them. All Palestinians were treated like "traitors" and most were effectively "kicked out" of Kuwait.

Personally, although I don't agree with the way the Palestinians were treated in the 90's, I think it was a mistake on Kuwait's part to take in such a large number of Palestinians before then. Kuwait doesn't naturalize residents like the U.S. and Canada do and that policy wasn't and isn't likely going to change. So effectively what Kuwait had was a country within a country; a population that was almost larger than the Kuwaiti population itself. What made it worse was the fact that this population had nowhere to go.

With that said, I'm grateful for all that the Palestinians have and continue to do for Kuwait. (Pretty much any decent Arabic teacher I had was Palestinian.) Although nothing compared to the numbers pre-1991, Kuwait still has quite a few Palestinians.

Overall, I think the political documentary has an anti-Kuwaiti agenda. The segment you kindly linked to showed Kuwait as harsh, dictatorial, and violent.

Yes, mistakes were made (will continue to be made) but that's not the Kuwait I know. And as a country, we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

Thanks for stopping by.

Jon said...

I'm not sure why you're so deeply disturbed by these girls that you thought about them for days. Also I noticed that you called some dressed up women geishas in a previous post. Are you very conservative or are your views common in Kuwait?

Just curious :)

GE&B said...

I think I was disturbed mostly that these girls were parading around a high-end mall, not the place where teenage boys hangout, dressed extremely inappropriately for their age under their mother's watch. Had they been 30 year-old-women dressed that same way it wouldn't have fazed me one bit. I probably wouldn't even have thought them to be "ladies of the night." But when I see children, with undeveloped bodies, wearing whorish red lipstick and spiked heels, with the 'blessing' of a parent it's more than disgusting.

The Geisha comment was made about the girls' obstrusive-cakey-gooped up makeup; it had nothing to do with the kind of people these women are. They're a common local sighting (well their almost mask-like faces are)and honestly they remind me of geisha's theatrical makeup. The two comments have little to do with each other.

I don't think that I'm very conservative at all and I don't know if my views are representative of Kuwaitis. I've been trying to gauge where I am on the country's continuum for over two years now.

(I don't want to go into how conservative and liberal are subjective and completely different than in the American context. Might post about that soon.)

I hope I explained myself a little better.