Outspoken Nothingness

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Greatness Is Not Where You Stand, But By Which Direction You Are Moving

Okay, so far tonight I've read two posts comparing students who study in Kuwait and students who study abroad. Both were leaning towards those studied abroad. Besides those two posts, I have friends who left and now seem to think they're better than me because they left. Just because you changed your destination does not make you better or superior to me, in fact, in this case, it made you shallower for thinking so.

I swear it's not jealousy, or attacking, or saying one's better than the other. This post might seem biased, but it's only because I'm defending my position. :P

I don't complain about those who study abroad but when someone starts talking negatively about those who stayed here, it gets to me. Not everyone who left is or turned out to be a good person. And not everyone who stayed is a bad person. And people who left and give me the "I'd rather be a loser among the 'winners' than a winner among the 'losers'" - you're simply pathetic, you know who you are. And yes people, that was an actual quote! It pisses me even more when people who don't go clubbing or drink or dance or do anything no permissble here and bitch about how "ilKuwait maaalllaaaqaaa! Mako shay asaweee!" - Well, what did you do there? I am perfectly sure all I heard you say was study, yam3at, movies and eating.

One blogger bought up the issue of how people complain about those studying abroad complaining and comparing Kuwait to other places, and how it's only expected of them. Most Kuwaitis have seen and been other places; we're a "worldly" nation. We do know a lot about the world and what's going on, and in this area, we're less ignorant that a LOT of other countries, I'll give us that. Criticizing and comparing is one thing, and always bitching and acting like you're above this country is something else. Everyone complains, even people here. Even people who have never left here. Let's face it, it's in our blood :P We're always complaining about one thing or another, and we always find something wrong about something or another. Don't point your guns at me just yet, I'm not attacking, I'm just stating the facts very bluntly, so bear with me.

The only time I complain about those who came back and complain is only when they complain using the reason "I'm open-minded" without them respecting the culture or being open-minded themselves (hypocrisy).

One of my friends who studies abroad came back last Christmas to complain about every single aspect of the Kuwaiti culture, including personal decisions by its people. One of my friends recently wore the hijab, she's the youngest of 5 sisters, and the rest are all non-covered. It was her personal decision. Even her family asked her to wait and think about it some more. But she was determined. Now the friend who was back kept bitching about how "mitkhalfeen" people like her are, and how close minded they are, etc. etc. Another incident is when one of our classmates got engaged to an older guy, whom she already knew, and wanted. It was her decision, and she was the happiest I've ever seen her. He was her choice, the timing was her choice, and the girl was almost flying min happiness. My friend's reaction? Bitching and complaining about young marriages, and about how she's not done with her studies yet, and how he's an older guy, and that it's close-minded, and takhalof, etc, etc.

See my point!? Both of those girls did something they WANTED to do because they were content with it, but she kept complaining and comparing and kept on saying, they're close-minded and mitkhalfeen. And there's over a 50% chance that if she had the right guy and the guts she would have done the same. Now someone bitching and complaining about everything, including personal decisions such as those, is NOT OPEN-MINDED! In fact, it's the exact opposite. A third incident was: her argument about wanting to wear a mini skirt and revealing top on a weekend in Marina Mall. She didn't want to do it, but she was arguing that if she wanted to she'd be stared at and commented on. I understand freedom of expression, and I'm the kind of person who doesn't mind revealing clothes, walk naked for all care, but it's not because I can't or will be bothered, it's just that I'm RESPECTING the surrounding and the people I'm around. I'm sure I'll live if I wore a longer skirt. That way I'm doing what I want to do without disrespecting those people who'd rather not see my upper thighs. Basically, just like you'd like to be respected, respect those around you. It's not mandatory; it's being civilized and acting on reciprocal respect.

What I'm trying to say, not everyone who studied abroad changed. And change and change to the better are two different things. Not everyone here is good, but not all of them are bad either. Most of my friends are studying abroad, and I stayed here thinking I'm going to be surrounded by pathetic losers. Funny thing is, when I see the brilliance of the people I met, and compare them with my old friends when they're here, I'm sad to say, I'm MUCH PROUDER that I know people like the people I initially labeled as losers before even knowing them. And I'm sad about the way my old friends are.

And while I'm at this, let me explain Kuwait University. When I knew I was staying here I thought that I was going to ace all my classes without even trying much seeing that I graduated from a respectable private school. And I heard how bad Kuwait University was, etc, etc. Before uni, I was an AP classes, straight A student. In Kuwait University I'm was a C student in the beginning (general classes) and an A/B student now (major classes). Not because I wasn't studying or trying, not because it was unfair, but because it isn't as easy as everyone claims it to be. As much as I don't like Kuwait University I had to give them that. The subjects are well taught, the professors are really good, they are fair, you don't get more than you deserve and you certainly don't get less. Yes you here about those incidents here and there, but come it's found everywhere. And seeing that we're a culture that always complains, you ALWAYS here complain. The only complains I have is about KU's administration – soo2 takh6ee6 and closed sections. That's it. Min na7yat ildirasa, trust me people, it's almost the equivalent of that elsewhere, slight differences here and there. A point to make, most, if not all of my teachers graduated from very respectable universities in the States. So if you claim our education is not good, then you're saying the education you received wasn't good as well. I'm not saying KU is the next Harvard, or that it's amazing, but let's acknowledge its education standards. About its extra-curricular activities such as sports, clubs, etc, well, we have none! And that’s something to bitch about :P

First year I stayed here I was sad about all the opportunities I was going to miss if I was elsewhere, 4 years later (now) all I can say is I'm glad I didn't go. I'm still in the same place I was, but I took every opportunity that came my way, I did a lot of things, met a lot of people, experienced and joined a lot of things that made me grow as a person. When some of my friends come back and I hear about how all they did last semester was eat in this and that restaurant and watch movies, all I can think is, how sad for someone to be living miles away from home where every turn there's an opportunity and yet be doing the exact same things we've been doing since we were 13? Well okay, so they went places in breaks, but that's about it.

People who want to learn and grow as a person will do that anywhere with the bare minimum! People who don't simply won't no matter where they are and no matter how many options, and opportunities and facilities he has. Einstein, Bill Gates, the Write Brothers, they all shined because they were passionate about what they were doing, none of them finished school.

All I'm saying is, changing the skies above our heads will not change the people we are. It's OUR willingness to change to the better and making use of what we have that will. It's not about studying abroad or studying here, and for the love of God, let's stop comparing the two! One's not better than the other, they're just different. Life's what YOU MAKE IT! It's not the location, it's the destination, the outcome of it.


  • nice and amazing post :)...after living abroad for 4 years ...i noticed people change...even me..everyone chages abroad..but then i noticed ppl who stayed here also changed....meaning it doesnt matter where u studied..you will change sumhow...

    I for one had my own life in scotland...but that doesnt mean i have to do what i did there in kuwait..bel3aks..i gotta respect the ppl here..and i luv this country...never gonna diss it...cozi need some pleasures or some kind of freedom...

    nice post :)..keep it up :)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19/10/06 3:41 AM  

  • Amazing post! well written and interesting. What you wrote is 100% right but its gonna take a while till people actually will accept those facts. Some people i guess have very strict parents and them thinking studying abroad will make them free. On the contrary they wont be free at all. One thing i can tell you, sit back relax and watch more funny episodes of "students abroad"! I think it would make a funny show ;p! One more thing, its kinda random but .. im not a blogger but i read blogs a lot, ur one of the top on my list ;)! keep up the good work and good luck!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19/10/06 5:43 AM  

  • I transferred to KU this semester. It isn't as easy as most people would think it is. It isn't perfect, but it isn't so bad either! At the end of the day I'll be a university graduate just like anyone else who studied abroad!

    I don't understand why people think they're so much better than us if they're studying barra. :/

    By Anonymous Sou, at 19/10/06 5:10 PM  

  • Thats very interesting indeed and so true, however if somone tells me hes better than me just becuase he did this and that and I didnt would get a slap on the face.
    Education is still education no matter where you are, its what you get out of it is what matters most.
    If you complain about kuwait so much your free to get out. you can do everything here as well just need to know where to look.
    I'm just gonna be happy when I graduate cuase that means I'm done lol
    As for walking around in revealing cloths or naked go ahead I'm not a guy that should be respected :P Hell I'll walk around naked with you as well but your right some people wont accept that and should be respected.

    P.S. was joking about the gettin naked part give respect to recieve it.

    By Anonymous TAT THE DON, at 19/10/06 7:11 PM  

  • Actually I feel quite sorry for people who studied bara and now graduated and are back in Kuwait. All i get is "Akh I feel I dont fit in here anymore, I cant do anything, a7es el mujtama3 mo metqabelni anymore, I dont know who my friends are, WHAT HAPPENED"
    I do envy them for the breaks they have in which they go to miami and wanasa oo las vegas, bs we go to our own little destinations every now and then too ;p. We dont have the freedom they have, BUT we build ourselves while we are here, this is our country, mo the states, mo barra, w are KUWAITI, and we went o high school hre, so why should college be any different? MAdri it makes no sense.
    And another thing, this quote was said ever since anyone can remember "When in Rome, Do as the Romans" this is directed to the person who wants to wear a mini skirt to Marina mall. Wherever you are, in whichever country you are, you are always expected to do as the rest of the civilians. SO WHY SHOULD ANYTHING BE DIFFERENT WHEN UR IN UR OWN COUNTRY? A7na we act like civilians mo like outsiders! & we do that because its how society is. Tegdar talbes mini skirt in Kuwait o tegdar talbesa bara in France, but the reactions would be 180 degrees different due to the different socieies. Ham tegdar talbes neqab o 3abaya ib marina mall o talbes the same ib France, and the reaction and treatment would be 180 degrees different because of how the culture is in each country.
    Hff 7arney ur post e7tarait :P bs excellent topic menziman emnarefzni hal mawtho3 :P

    By Blogger Wowel, at 19/10/06 7:22 PM  

  • wwI:

    i had to comment on ur comment... umm i studied abroad and graduated a year ago..and am back in kuwait...trust me it is a big differnce..not coz of the freedom but depending on urself...i had no one too cook and clean after me..i had to pay for myself in everything including electricty and phone and tax ( thank you kuwait )....

    i feel differnt coz now i got maids to clen stuff and the food is ready and they wake me up in morning ...depending on urself is the biggest advantage studin abroad..

    one more think..on the sotry about the mini skirt..so u read the post too :P....i wrote a whole about her...check it out :P

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19/10/06 8:03 PM  

  • spikey: thanks :)

    anonymous: thanks. And it's not an issue about being free. If you have the chance to study abroad, and you want to by all means good luck and enjoy every second of it. But don't look down at everyone and everything you left.

    sou: It's defintely not great! I'm agreeing to that. But like you said, it's not as everyone thinks it is and at the end we're all educated graduates

    tatthedon: LOOL! And thanks ;P

    wwl: I don't feel sorry for them. Actually, to be completely honest, most of the time I envy them. They have a world of opportunities and no boundaries! Ya3ni they can try and experience new things, they can meet different people, live a different lifestyle. They have a chance of actually LIVING; of taking everything life has to offer, and take every chance it throw their way. I respect those kind of people beyond words can describe. And trust me, it's not that you stayed bara for a while that you feel like a misfit now. I never left and I've always felt like a misfit, an outsider, different. We're starting to have a cultural and social hybrid of many things. Kuwait's changing, quiet fast too. Some people are accepting it, some people aren't and it's only natural to feel lost and confused. And it's true, I HATE it when people respect every other country's laws and or rules, but when they come back here they don't apply those morals and ethics saying "oh we're in kuwait 3aadi!", ya3ni you're above this country or its laws? Walla il3atheem ignorance beyond belief!
    Another thing that pissed me off, is how they treat domestic helpers, drivers, gaurds, etc, here. Give those people the respect they require! Don't talk to them like you own them. At-sharah 3ala people who left more than those who stayed here because they expeirienced being a foreigner, and they've been to more places, been around more and different people.

    spikey: I'm so happy that someone actually did their own laudry and cleaning. Most of the people I know pay someone or hire someone to do those for them. Hence, they're no different/didn't change more than people here did. I'm not comparing it to living on your own, but some people here do their beds, make sure they fold/hang their clothes, make sure their room is tidy, etc. Ya3ni take up some of the responsibilities. Others, even once they're gone and back, take out everything out of the closet to find a certian top and then just holler for the domestic helper to come and refold/hang everything. Ya3ni you could have found it without just tossing everything over your shoulder. Or if you're in the living room, which is right next to the kitchen, and want a coke, instead of actualy calling or shouting for someone to get it for you, take those 10 steps and get it yourself. The small things says a lot about a person, at least in my opinion :)

    By Blogger dishevelled, at 20/10/06 1:12 AM  

  • Brilliant post! But sooooo long!!! Ya3ni u disappear for like a month and u think "I know, I'll drop a super long and highly controversial posts on them and they'll forget to comment on my disappearing act" Well u know what, ur wrong Missy!!! Where have u been!? Haaaa!? It was so not cool of u to go AWOL!!
    Okay, back to comments on the post... I agree with everything u said with regards to the education part, but I also agree with Spikey that a big part, actually the biggest part of the 'studying abroad' experience is learning to depend on one's self in living and getting by... Now I understand that there are exceptions to that, but hypothetically speaking, and by looking at the overall picture, this actually should be and usually is a difference between the two situations... Hypothetically speaking, students that study abroad should be on somewhat tight budgets in order to live the student life. Having 3 cars (Ferrari, BMW and a Hummer) as well as 2 motorbikes, living in a penthouse, and still having $5000 of pocket money every month is not what I'm talking about! How on Earth are u actually being prepared to face the real world with such a life!? If there's one time ppl should struggle financially, it's during college! Some of my most vivid memories were the days I actually had to put all the coins in a bag and go convert them into bills at the supermarket at the end of the month, or when my friend had to sell his dog cuz he went broke :P
    Students should also be depending on themselves, learning to wash dishes the same night before the grease sticks and hardnes, learning to vacuum before the dust starts building up in layers, learning to pay bills before the collection agencies are right on ur ass every morning at 8 am asking "Can I speak to Mr. Al-Tamimi... Excuse me sir, do u know that ur Sprint Mobile bill is 4 months overdue??", also learning to buy detergents and to do laundry without fucking up all the colors! How about buying brushes, bathroom anti-scum spray, Clorox and spending a couple of hours on ur knees cleaning the bathroom! Oh, what about getting out at 8 am when it's -30 degrees and scraping the frozen ice off ur car's windshield... Now I'm not saying that everyone who studied abroad used to do so, and I'm not saying everyone who studied in Kuwait (in Saudi in my case) did NOT do that... U'll always have exceptions!! But then again, sometimes I see some of my friends struggling with the simplest things and I can't help thinking "If only u can learn to depend on urself"... Of course other friends who studied locally are very self dependant, to an impressive level I must say... Again, just like with how much u can achieve educationally, this also depends mainly on the person and whether they want to take strides forward or just stay stuck at where they were 4 years ago... ehhh, sorry for the long comment, but that's what u get for ur longgggg post :P

    By Blogger -OT-, at 20/10/06 6:30 AM  

  • OT: LOOL! What can I say, I usually run out of things to say, and when I do find something, I restraint myself to a post this long, otherwise I'd have to publish it in a book :P Ramadan and university are not working with me either :P Bas inshalla I'll try being here more often ;P
    Like I told spike, I actually respect the people who depended on themselves when they were away beyond what I can describe in words, cause a lot of the people I know don't do anything, they hire people. And like you said $5000 a month is not quiet living the hard life if ya know what I mean. What I'm saying is, I hate it when people with the 3 cars, penthouse, unlimited budget, think they're better than everyone and everything merely on the fact that they left. I don't usually care much for what people say, but I lost my best friend because of this. I'm much more independent than she is, I went into the field I wanted to even though its harder, she just went into something it was easy, all she did was go shopping, I actually took a few classes outside uni, took a few opportunities of teaching, etc. When she's here she turns her room into a pig sty and just calls the maid to put everything back. No please no thank you. And the attitude she gives me is unbelievable. It's like she's better me in everything. She makes it seem as though tif-ham akthar mini, like she's above me, and the one I hate the most, like she pity's. I'm gona shut up now causze ma ra7 akahli9 :P

    And finally me no mind long comments ;P

    By Blogger dishevelled, at 20/10/06 4:44 PM  

  • Great looong post lol i loved it..
    I totally truthfully backup u up 100%...i don't know why people y9eron shyafen ro7hom all of a sudden even if they r failing classes outside bs ilmoehm for them enhom barra!!! Doin god knows what with their time..
    I absolutly am behind u in this..i agree..It'd what u want to make out of ur life whether ur here..barra..or even not in any univ.
    Ok kuwait can sometimes depress u..or be unfair and stuff with th epople wl wa96at and everything..bs it still is great! WAAY better than other countries..

    YEA KU isnt as easy as they said!! i was surprised coming from a private school myself..and its not so bad either!!!
    keep this up..im a fan ;)

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