It really was a big culture shock! I came to the middle east with a lot of preconceived of what it was all about. It wasn’t long before I could see the good and the bad. The good for me came from the sense of empowerment I got for just been a Muslim woman in this country. Men literally jump out of the way so as not to come anywhere near you, its illegal for them to stand in an elevator with you, at the supermarket all I do is pop what I want in the basket. My bags are packed by men, by trolley is pushed by men! And finally there is the taxi ride, no chit chat just place and price.
Now i’ve been told a lot that I look Kuwaite, hence I would often get people treating me like the local women. It would come as a big shock when this smiley Brummy would start talking in what would appear to ‘them’ as an over friendly manner. To them it was alien, to me it was just manners.
Been here for approximately 8 months now and it has impacted by character. I’m still my bubbly self, but my need to have a friendly conversation has diminished rapidly. I found myself slowly sinking comfortably into my role as a pious Muslim Woman who only speaks to men out of necessity, other than that my silence is taken for nothing but pure respect.
Now I’m probably just touching on the surface here with my own personal experience as a Muslim Woman from the West going to the Middle East, but it really has made a difference to my perception of myself in a positive way.
Now not everything that glitters is gold, so the saying goes. In Kuwait lies a dark world of drinking, prostitution and homosexuality. This side of Kuwait really threw me where I have seen the best of characters swept away by this wave of darkness. Only those strong in eemaan survive.
Seeking a social life as a woman here in the Middle East I have to say you are limited to 1 of 3 things, eating, shopping and smoking sheesha. So I found it very frustrating when I couldn’t find that middle ground, as usually in the UK I could find a spot to go with my girlie girls and just have a good time without the seedyness. So for me that side of Kuwait was a little bit like cold turkey, as unfortunately night time in Kuwait is a man’s world, especially if you got money.
Anyway other than that I’m loving the impact on family life, and am slowly starting to learn how to get around and find alternative ways of entertaining myself.
I’ll try to get on my blogging a lot more as it has been requested. Keep those questions coming in and I’ll try my best to answer.