Saturday, October 15, 2005

Hip Ramadan

I've been away for a few days for work, and in my spare time yesterday I stopped by a famous department store frequented by many Kuwaitis. In the men's casual wear department down in the basement, a young girl was working her shift. It was the first time I had ever seen a girl wearing a hijab working at this bastion of supposed hip and cool.

While I was strolling through the racks of funky clothes, or شماطيط as my mother calls them, (who wears this stuff?!) I overheard her colleagues, the other sales staff, asking her how she was coping with fasting, and they teased her in a good-natured way and she snapped back at them with a joke as well. They then asked her to bring some special Ramadan delicacies for them to taste, and one of them even suggested they all get together for "Iftar" on their day off but they would have to rearrange their shifts, which meant they were serious. They just thought it was all so cool!

I smiled wistfully at this innocent scene, and then remembered how the joy of sharing rituals with people of other religions has been banned by the lunatic fundamentalists currently holding a death grip on Kuwaiti society... where even an innocent greeting on non-Islamic religious occasions will send you to hell and eternal damnation, according to them.

How did we reach this sad state of affairs? Wait! Don't answer that!

21 comments:

  1. Zaydoun
    Just keep the positive scene with out comparing it to the specie we are having here . No need for the reminder ... Believe me no need ... We can feel eldimmal 24/7

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  2. Zaydoun thakartni ib Ramadan in the UK as a student, we were 2 muslim's in the house but the whole house (an Arab Israeli, a Jewish Israeli, a girl from Swaziland, & 2 carribean girls) and there friends would eat with us almost everyday! Loved it. I would make balalee6 & kenafa!

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  3. It's good to know that things in other parts of the world are not as twisted as they are in Kuwait. Perhaps there's hope for us yet.

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  4. thats a long time to be listening to people.

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  5. ok i wont answer but Zaydoun basha mashalla you listened to all this conversation??
    why didnt you invite them for iftar instead?! or said something good about kuwait, etrage3 lena il jaw :)

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  6. The conversation lasted no more than 3 minutes, and I had a flight to catch last night to come back here this morning

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  7. Zaydoun the question should be who empowered the extremists to radicalize our society this way. aljawab ma3roof

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  8. You had an evening flight and you still went shopping at Harvey Nichols? Sijj Kuwaiti! LOL

    P.S. Religious tolerance in Kuwait is fading even among Muslims. When was the last time you heard someone say "don't eat 3aysh 7saynya because the Shee3ee imams spit in it"? Khalf Allah 3alayna ya Zaydoun.

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  9. I stoped at shima6eeeeee6! hahahha

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  10. Zaydoun
    aljawab ba3d el7assim

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  11. I think its only fair to put both ends of the spectrum in the spotlight. On one end you have religious extremists, that if given the license to kill would go on a shooting rampage. On the other hand what do you have? Gays, drugs, transexuals, alcoholism, free sex, prostitution starting from highschool upwards.The fact of the matter is, the more parents leave their kids to be brought up by servants the more likeley they will swing in one way or another. Kuwait is more and more of an anarchy by the day.

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  12. strange that it was ur first time to see hijab in london,, i see them all the time in NEXT ; HEATHROW ,silfreges ...theyre every where!

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  13. ma6goog.. I see hijabs all over London, but it the first time at Harvey Nichols.

    Mushi... Flight was at 10 pm, I was at HN around noon.

    Equalizer.. we're looking for a happy medium

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  14. Z, this is a very sweet post. I liked it a lot. Very much in the spirit of peace and harmony that Ramadan is supposed to be about!

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  15. Don't know Harvey Nichols. I need a visit to London :)

    Religious tolerance, or any other kind of tolerance seems like a far-fetched dream. We're becoming more and more prejudiced by the day thanks to our precious educational system and our even more retarded media.

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  16. oooolllaa 3 min. conversation!!!

    i should learn that :)

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  17. I was passing by the Ramadam Marquee in Marble Arch, its a Ramadan tent in front of Marble Arch station and in the first day lots of inportant figures in the British society (if I'm not mistaken prince Turki al-Faisal the Saudi Arabian ambassador alongside with the police commissioner Sir Ian Blair were there) to open it and celebrate with Muslims the beginning of the Holy month of Ramadan, while I still remember in school how the Islamic Studies teacher used to humiliate one of the students because he just thinked of giving his Christian friend a Chrismas card and how he will spend a long time burning in hell :(, ma r7t Harrods Harvey Nichols is too crowded in the mens section :)

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  18. متفرغ

    عندنا وعندكم خير

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  19. Zee:

    The hijab is not exotic anymore in Europe. Many stores, John Lewis included, have a policy at least on paper of promoting work place diversity.
    I am not in the least bit surprised high end stores in Knightsbridge recruitng hijbweilding Arab Britons to service the needs of the Doha and the Abu-Dhabi set. That said, the majority of hijab wearing women in London are Asian Britons.
    Frankly, there is a certain je ne sais quoi (under-stated ) elegance to the hijab, I think. Lately, we are finding non-Muslim women too, taking to wearing the hijab - some do it as a fashion statement, others do it as safety-net against the inclement English weather.

    Equalizer; We are sorry but we take exception to your refrain on gays; juxta- posing them with drug junkies and prostitutes and the suchlike. Responsible gay behaviour is to be welcomed and there is no place for homophobia in blogosphere period. I do take your point on responsible parenting,or rather the lack of it in Kuwait. It would not be remiss to point to a slip-shod state education system together with near total absence of substantive dialogue between the sexes in Kuwait society which is leading to an ever increasing cycle of frustration, loneliness and aberrant behaviour.
    Before we make convenient scape-goats of illiterate domestic maids let us introspect and face the reality that quite a few of today's parents have themselves had dysfunctional childhoods, and are therefore ill at ease in the discharge of their parental duties.

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  20. Hi there , , I accidently bumbed into your blog while searching 4 something thru GOOGLE . . it was a pleasure reading it :)

    I agree on every word you wrote but personally I think things are not too bad in Kuwait as in other countries. yet I condemn the fact that many extremists (i count jam3eyat il i9la7 as one with all due respect ) are practicing brain washing techniques on teenagers. I think officials should keep an eye on extra activities occuring in mosques.

    Meezan il tafathol il taqwa ya jema3a . . Personally Im mit7ajba yet i never saw sofoor ladies agal miny or any other ethnic group.

    I am blessed to be a muslim but i do respect all other religions . . No one asked me what to be before i was born nor were they.

    Keep up the good work Zaydoon :X

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  21. I am sorry but I am starting to think out loud ( oops, last I noticed thinking was still allowed in Kuwait) what this place needs most of all is no boost in oil refining capacity rather, an outsourcing of parenting and a sea change in work attitude.

    Contempt for manual labour, en-masse is become a very serious problem calling for painful root canals in later years.

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Keep it clean, people!