Friday, December 16, 2005

This is not about "patriotism"...

I got an E-mail from an old friend yesterday who recently moved back to Kuwait after about 8 years. It was obvious that she is doubting her decision to move back, and is giving herself a 1 ½ year trial period. She mentioned how boring Kuwait is, and how she will definitely be leaving after this trial period is over. Her E-mail got me thinking. I’m so glad I don’t feel like that anymore. When I was younger I was positive that I would never settle in Kuwait. I thought that once I got out I’d never go back. After I finished undergrad I was planning on moving back for a short period, but life circumstances brought me back for sure. Before I knew it, one year quickly turned into four. And boy am I glad I did those four years. One thing that I am sure of now is that I will definitely be moving back to Kuwait after I’m done with my PhD. I love Kuwait, pure and simple. I am so happy I am not the kind of person that loves to just sit around for hours bitching and moaning about how much they hate it there and how “miserable” or “bored” they are. Now don’t get me wrong – I am not judging anyone here, and I know that many people do sincerely hate living in Kuwait (I’m not really gonna get into non-Kuwaitis here, I’m talking about Kuwaitis) – all I’m saying is that I’m glad I’ve gotten over that. And of course this is not at all to say that I don’t get frustrated in and by Kuwait. In fact, I think it’s quite the contrary – because I really do love Kuwait, and I love living there, I see the problems we have even more vividly and acutely than I think most other people do – politically and socially – and they anger and frustrate and even torment me more than they seem to do most other Kuwaitis. I am VERY critical of Kuwait, of its mistakes and problems and lack of direction. But I think I am so critical precisely because I really do love the mixed up little place. I remember having conversations about Kuwait with a good friend years ago, when I first moved back. He loved Kuwait in a way that I couldn’t understand, because at the same time we would talk very critically about it, about all the things we saw wrong with it. But now I understand his sentiment. Now, on the flip side, I am in no way going to deny that there is A LOT missing in Kuwait that you find outside, and in the most general terms if I were to choose to live my life outside of Kuwait, I could do so very easily, and very successfully. Life would certainly be a totally different, and wonderful, experience. But I just don’t feel it in me. Maybe it’s because of what I do, and what I hope to do in the future, but something inside me knows that I have to go back. What’s the point of complaining about it if you don’t do something, big or small, to fix/change it? Being away is hard for the obvious reasons – missing people. Everyone I love most in the world is there – my dad, sisters and family, P, and my closest friends. But I don’t know – it kind of bothers me when I hear people who haven’t given Kuwait the slightest bit of a chance just complain all the time. Not just the people who haven’t lived there (or rather re-lived there) for any significant period of time who sit and complain non-stop – there are also people who have been living there but who are so dead set on hating it that they have not actually let themselves LIVE in Kuwait. Maybe I’m just lucky. I found a world for myself in Kuwait that I feel happy and comfortable in. I have people in my life there who make everything worthwhile. I had a job (and will hopefully have another job!) that I loved, as much as it drove me insane with stress. And I now have the opportunity to do something I am passionate about, strangely enough something “different” in Kuwait, and will have the chance to go back and hopefully really make a difference, and make my mark. Plus, I just have fun there – life is pretty good. Maybe for all those reasons, I have a different outlook on Kuwait. I’m just really glad that I’m over the phase of hating it, because loving it makes life a whole lot better!


  • I totally agree. In my opinion, people are so quick to point fingers and blame Kuwait when they are bored and have nothing to do. I think thats wrong. You make what your life is in Kuwait...if they are bored, because they made it that way them selves. AT first I was like that when i first came back from college in 2002. I realized alot of people already think the worse of Kuwait before they head back, therefore their life back in Kuwait becomes miserable because they never gave Kuwait a chance. Having an open mind makes a difference. Finding your social circle that makes you comfortable, know what resources you have, secure a good job...all these can make life in Kuwait KICK ASS!!

    By the way, are you registered in Kuwait Blogs? I would love to hear what other bloggers have to say who went through the same.

    By Blogger Jazz Central, at 12/17/2005 9:12 am  

  • I'm not registered in Kuwait Blogs because I prefer to keep this blog more or less personal - just for close friends and family. Not that I'm hiding anything - it's just that I don't think I'll be writing anything that people other than you guys would find interesting! If other people do read it that's fine, but I'd rather not throw myself out there. I don't have any profound objectives with this blog. ;)

    Yeah, Kuwait does kick ass! I'm so glad I've grown up and learned to see it that way. Of course there are a million things wrong with it, but that is exacly why I'm out here doing what I'm doing - so that I can come back and instead of just sitting around bitching about it I can actually DO something about it. People who complain but do nothing to actually make a difference in the country have no right to complain, in my opinion. That's just too easy, and the easy way out is not gonna change anything. People talk and talk and talk about how there needs to be a change and nobody does anything about it. I'd rather take the more difficult route - and yes it can be extremely frustrating and exhausting along the way, as you try to break down walls that people have never tried to break down before (or have never been bothered to put in the effort to break down before) - but it will mean so much more in the end. Thanks for your comments JC. I CAN'T WAIT to see you in a couple of days! :)

    By Blogger Kleio, at 12/17/2005 6:08 pm  

  • Too much reading! Mali 5ilg! :oP

    By Blogger The Stallion, at 12/18/2005 8:17 am  

  • Hi! Your sister told me about your blog so I thought I'd take a peek :)
    I had to comment on this blog of yours as I completely understand what you're saying. I never thought I'd come back to live here -- and now I'm going on year 6! There are definitely lots of things that drive me crazy about this country, but still -- there's so much more that many people don't see, and mainly because they don't even give Kuwait a chance. If they'd just take a moment and open their eyes ... ...

    By Blogger PlumPetals, at 1/03/2006 9:52 am  

  • Plumpetals: Welcome to my blog! :)

    It's funny, I know so many people who went abroad for university and vowed never to return, and yet one by one, everyone has come back! And then the next thing you know, two, four, six years have gone by. You're absolutely right - people don't give the place a chance. I keep bumping into people while I'm here on vacation who tell me I'm nuts to be wasting my vacation time coming to Kuwait. Meanwhile, here I am totally depressed that I have to leave and go back to London in a week! I guess we're the lucky ones, not because we live any sort of charmed existence in Kuwait, but because WE have opened our eyes and minds and found something.

    By Blogger Kleio, at 1/04/2006 1:43 am  

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