Kuwait: country without history?

I am in Kuwait, a small oil state situated between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Two years ago I did my internship here, and in six months time this country managed to win my heart. I spent my first real salary on a ticket back: I am spending my holidays in the Gulf this year. My fascination…

Five common misconceptions about Kuwait

Kuwait is a country that people don’t know much about. If they’ve even heard of it or are able to point it on a map at all, their knowledge of the place is often limited and full of misconceptions. Here I have listed the most common. Kuwait is unsafe Despite bordering Iraq, home to one…

Kuwait’s jet ski generation

A substantial part of my holidays was spent at the beach. With all friends at work, I was there often alone. Or well, not really alone. Every day the guy from A Kuwaiti Declaration of Love stopped by. Then there was the elderly Egyptian gentleman, who had offered himself as my protector, to chase away all…

The Kuwaiti fascination for all things Western

In the Middle East people sometimes seem to have a love-hate relationship with the West, and particularly the United States. On the one hand they love the West: they travel there, they study there, and many wish that they could permanently move there. Not only does the West often provide them with better economic opportunities, it…

An old-fashioned Orientalist in Kuwait

Visiting friends abroad does have some advantages. As you are there only for a short time, everyone wants to make you happy and you get to pick the places you want to go to. Being an old-fashioned Orientalist with a fascination for everything Middle Eastern (sorry, Edward Said) I usually ask for Arabic places. After…