Today has been a really long day so I am going to hit the highlights and expand on it tomorrow:
1. Looks Like Sam, BB, Jared and I are all sick. I dont know who got it first, but we are all scratchy throated, runny nose coughing fit sick. Looks like Sam cant keep food down and missed the whole day today.
2. We went to the Ministry of Higher Education today and had a meeting with the head of foreign students there, learned a lot about their schooling. Wish it was so good here. The minister of higher education got called away on an emergency and extended to us the coolest apology invitation on the planet, which I'll tell you about shortly.
3. After the ministry we went to eat lunch at Kuwait Towers. We were kept waiting outside for a while, and when we got in we found out there was a huge meeting and we were about the only other people allowed a table. Said meeting included three prime ministers, most of the Kuwait government, a buttload of diplomats and other rather important people. Which explains why there was a motorcade outside full of men toting automatic weapons.
4. Lunch was really good, we tried a lot of traditional dishes. And, as luck would have it, two very cool people spotted us and had lunch with us - the president and the director of the middle eastern reigon for the international commission on human rights!How sick is that? I got to sit by the director and we spoke at length about women in politics, its her specialty area in law, human rights violations of women, and so the hour I spent chatting with her was amazing. At the end she gave me and BB her card [and no one else!] and told us to call and email her, she even wrote in her private number. She said she wanted to keep in touch, some visit our school and do a symposium, and help the both of us get jobs when we graduate. I almost cried from happiness.
5. after the lunch we went back to the poetry library so Dr. O could grovel for money with the benefactor/owner/founder of teh library. I was a little embarassed because the benefactor came out and received us with coffees and teas and food and started to talk to us [the students] about his collection and his goals with his library and Dr. O interrupted him, drug him to the other end of the room and occupied his attention for the entire hour we had scheduled with him! We weren't happy.
6. We found out the ministry of information, and the Kuwait government likes us so well they are planning on sending us as student leaisons to universities around the us [a lot of tehm the alma maters of the officials] and speak to the schools about out experiences. *Plus* they want us to come bacck each year with more students [they'll bump our group number from 7 to 15] and teach them the culter with them, like student leaders/ambassadors. And they'd pay for all of this. How cool is that?
7. We went after the library to the "conservative" women's group and I'll likely devote an entire blog to everything I learned tonight from those women. I can't tell you how impressed I am, how much I love them, how wrong I was about them.We're actually having a "girls night" tomorrow or Wednesday so we can all bond and discuss women's culture together without the "interruption of the men" as they put it.
8. Because *someone* [the same someone I might add] got on a tangent during our question and answer session with them about something that I felt was nearly unrelated we were late and ended up missing what I had been looking most forward to, our apology date with the minister of higher education. Want to know what it was? *sobs* An invitation to the very first ever Kuwaiti women diahwana. This may not sound important, but for women's politics its a hugely historic moment. Women arent allowed in dihawanas and its the main forum for political discussion and movement. All the important movements in the Kuwaiti history have stemmed from these special meetings. I am really disappointed, and rather angry, we missed it. I'll tell you more about the meetings sometime, if you like.
Thats my day, we've finally gotten home, fed and I've started to pack again, I dont know how I am going to get it all fit inmy bags...
So no one has any questions? Anything they want to know about the culture?
Tomorrow we;re off to sit in on a parliment session and ride camels, which we put off today because Looks Like Sam was so sick.
Love you all - XX
Monday, December 18, 2006
Like the deserts miss the rain
Posted by Alecya G at 12:01 PM