By Zaynab Baalbaki – I have a few weeks of living and working in Kuwait under my belt, and so far it has been going quite well. Let me give you another update on the weather- not much has changed. It is still extremely hot. It is also time for second round of updates from Kuwait.
- The EURO 2012 has come to an end. I watched all the games which was time consuming, thus I am happy it is over because now I can sleep at a reasonable time. I was able to watch the final in the British Embassy. That was quite an experience. To start, there was a lot of security just to get in. The event is by invite only. I had to present my passport in order to enter. Interesting fact – the British Embassy is one of the few places in Kuwait where alcohol and pork is available (these items are not allowed in Kuwait, there is no alcohol or pork in the country). Of course, these items are not allowed to leave the embassy.
- I went to a museum and saw plenty of gems, jewelry, swords and daggers at the Dar a-Athar al-Islamiyyah at Amricani Cultural Centre for their Treasure of the World: Jeweled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals exhibit. One interesting piece in the exhibit is the “Ruby dagger” which has 1,685 rubies, 271 diamonds, 62 emeralds, 9 pieces of ivory, for a total of 2,027 stones on a single dagger! There was a gem that was 436 carats!! Check out picture below (sorry it’s blurry).
- I attended a wedding in Kuwait, an Indian wedding. It was a Muslim wedding with music and dancing. The wedding took place in a stationary wooden boat that was really pretty. A highlight of the wedding was the food. It was SO delicious. It was so good I decided to take a picture of the food (yes, I’m addicted to food). Not bad for a wedding crasher…international wedding crasher, that’s going on the resume.
- Speaking of food, I think it’s only fitting that I talk about my favorite place to eat while in Kuwait. I think about this place every day (literally). My first trip there was heavenly; I immediately fell in love….with Chocolate Bar! No, this is not a bar where alcoholic drinks are made, but liquid chocolate. YUM! They also have an assortment of delicious delectable desserts to pick from. I order the chewy gooey chocolate cake topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and shaved white chocolate. I rate that dish YUM to the infinite power!!
- Kuwait will not be the only place I will be visiting while I am here. I have booked a ticket to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE). I have some friends from college (Go Badgers!) that I will be visiting there. I have never been there, so I am super excited to see a different country. Indoor skiing, underwater hotel and mad-made islands are all on my list of things to see when I am there.
- Professionally, I’m still keeping busy.
- In the Academic Advising Center (AAC) I am working on improving and developing a way to evaluate the early warning program, Academic Success Advising Program (ASAP). I am also helping out with the new student orientation, Student Orientation and Registration (SOAR) and advising students.
- At the Career Services and Wellness Center (CSW) I am working on developing a mission statement for the center which will be useful for assessment and accountability purposes. After the mission statement is finalized, I will assist in writing learning outcomes for the three main events that the CSW host and then create an evaluation for the events. Lastly, I will be working on developing the disability services on campus.
As a last final tidbit, I wanted to share some music I’ve been listening to while in Kuwait. The crazy thing is its not Arabic music…its Portuguese music – as all of my friends here can attest to, because it’s all I talk about. I heard this song back in the states (shout out to my little bro), but they play this song on the radio here. Kuwait plays awesome music on the radio- Arabic, English, Portuguese, Spanish and Hindi.
Enjoy! Let me know what you think.