The third annual Arab-African summit took place in Kuwait this week (19th-20th) and it just so happened that we had a ginormous storm from about the 18th-20th! I’ve noticed that when Kuwait does something, it’s more of a ‘go big or go home’ type deal. As the hosts of the summit, everything was straightened into tip-top shape from the landscaping of palm trees to putting up flags of all the countries participating in the summit (which was really cool!). We have this big roundabout near us and there were flag poles placed around it as well as on the highway and bridges which I thought was a pretty sweet welcome on the part of Kuwait. So because this summit was a big deal and there would be a lot of cars on the road and many dignitaries were staying in surrounding hotels etc. etc., the ministry decided to give everyone the day off on Tuesday! Apparently last year there was way too much congestion and the important people couldn’t get to their events on time so they changed it up this year. The night before the holiday though (Monday night), was the crazy storm which had been brewing throughout the day and decided to hit with full force just as we were on the way home from school, but anyways, we decided to go out for a walk in the storm. The wind was cray cray (I thought I would literally fall over), my hijab was all over the place, and mini salty hail stones kept hitting our faces. And it was awesome! Our apartment is less than a 5minute walk from the gulf (I think you know this by now!) and its quite a long stretch of water and somewhat of a beach, but anyways, the entire pathway was basically flooded with water and the tide had come so close to the beach. Waves were ginormous! Like uber high and you could feel the force with which they crashed against the rocks, but it was oh so refreshing to just go out an experience it.

We drove over to Fahaheel on our day off just to hang about and have a change of scenary which was nice; grey and dreary which reminded me so much so of being in London, but it was nice nonetheless! Because of the storm and the summit still going on, there was a chance we would be off on Wednesday as well which I was praying for lol but after much anticipation it was decided (at 9pm) that students would have another day off but teachers and staff would still have to attend…why? I still don’t know, but I had some time to change up my bulletin board!! So happy at how it turned out J we have a reading/literacy week next week and the theme is based upon the Dr. Seuss quote (the more you read, the more you know), so I figured I would go with a Dr. Seuss theme (oh the places you’ll go à places you’ll go when you read…get it..?!) as we have been talking about rhyming words in class and plus it just works together (in my opinion!) Truffula trees (the trees from the Lorax!), hot air balloons and all, I think it’s cute! I had my girls write a short poem/rhyme about reading or books on a ‘cat in the hat’ template which completed the whole look!

Aand.. we also got a new camera (eep!) lol but that’ll be a post in and of itself! Enjoy! xx

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So we basically had a Halloween celebration at our school; it was just dubbed ‘costume’ day lol the girls came to school dressed up, surprisingly in Halloween attire (witches, pirates, etc.) as did some teachers. I wasn’t expecting there to be a big roo-raa as we have back home for Halloween but it was close to it which was surprising being a Muslim country and all, but oh well! Here are some pictures of our day!

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I was invited to a surprise birthday party for one of my students who was turning 7. In Kuwait you’re allowed to go to these things and the students and their families love you and genuinely want you to attend. Her mum has been planning this since September when it was actually her birthday, but she waited about a month in order to make it a ‘real’ surprise which was cute. In Kuwait if you’re going to have a party or a function you go all-out, so a hall-type movie theater was rented out for this occasion which was like ohmygyashshesonly7! There was a stage for the other kids to dance and play on and clowns to entertain them alongside a Dora life-size impersonatorthing (forget what they’re called!) Bless her little heart when she walked in all dolled up thinking she was going someplace else and everyone yelling surprise! She was overjoyed and changed into a princess outfit and these silver sparkly hightops as a gift from her grandma to complete the look. Dinner was what we’re used to having at a wedding lol buffet style ofcourse, but it was an opportunity to sample traditional Kuwaiti cuisine which is similar to most of the Middle East I presume; tabouli salad and shish tahouk with some hummus, rice and chicken etc etc etc.! The night ended with a fabulous cake on top of the stage (literally; there was a top stage above the normal stage) and everyone singing Happy Birthday/Sana Hilwa! xx

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This isn’t reaaallyy meant to be just a school blog lol so I figured I would include some pictures I’ve taken over the past few days of Kuwait and my surroundings in general! We haven’t been able to travel around Kuwait much yet just because you need a car to do that and there’s only so much money one’s willing to fork out for a taxi lol but inshallah we’re planning on hiring one out soontime! The week after next we’ve got a week off for Eid (yay Muslim country lol) so we want to go explore and do some sightseeing! A lot of people, including teachers are travelling because everything is kinda sorta nearby (Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain etc.) but I personally want to get to know Kuwait first before I go elsewhere. It really is a beautiful country and I want to see more of it!

The sunrise in the morning when I’m up getting ready is amazing! I don’t have the best view from my apartment, but if I step onto the balcony I get a good enough glimpse of the gulf and a few palm trees and it does the job in satisfying my ickle heart lol

In my pursuit of finding a hijab style that I could bear wearing in the Kuwaiti heat, I’ve kinda sorta adopted the infamous ‘turban-style’ which is commonly seen out here than in Canada which works for me! I haven’t been on instagram for too long, but one of the first people I ‘followed’ was a Kuwaiti fashionista/turbanista/whateveryouwanttocallher [@asciaakf] and shes just really cool! She’s a fashion designer and a model (I believe so!), but she’s been one of those people you follow and think to yourself ‘it would be so neat to meet her!’ alongside ‘I want to know how she ties her turban!’ lol a couple weeks ago she had posted some pictures of turban designs that would be making a debut at the Avenues (a mall here in Kuwait) and I was so on it! I had planned for Shaheer to go out and get one for me because I was at school and to take lots of pictures etc etc. but it was soon understood that only 6pieces had been designed in collab with Halston Heritage and would be auctioned off for charity during the evening. There went my chances of actually owning one, simply because my in-debt-student-self cannot (and probably will never be able to) compete with a Kuwaiti salary lol but I figured I might be able to get a glimpse of Ascia herself! (eep!!) So off we went, all giddy and excited like never before lol (it was quite sad actually) and we had a chance to see the turbans upcloseandpersonal with people speaking to us in Arabic about how to bid on one etc. thinking we were wealthy Arabs (yes we can pull that off haha) but Ascia was running late so we left and came back; as we left a professional looking paparazzi camera man stopped us to ask if he could take our picture which was uber cool so we said yes lol but I have no idea where the picture is or who he was…anyways, upon returning to Halston after a walk around and a bite to eat, there she was lol (this sounds ridiculous I know) she and her husband were mid conversation with some other woman and I tried to take a sneaky pic and basically got caught and ended their chat, but that’s okay because then Ascia started speaking to me! (yay!!) she shook my hand and asked me what my name was and I was kind of at a loss for words, but we took a couple pictures, shared a moment and a couple laughs, hugged, and that was it. (and I couldn’t stop smiling for the rest of the night :D)

In other news…! People sometimes underestimate the power of wealth here in the Middle East I think. In Kuwait at least; sometimes I feel like its one of those things where people have so much money they don’t know what to do with it (besides buying fancy cars, houses, chalets, shoes, bags, jewelery, sunglasses etc.) Obviously that’s not everyone, but you get my jist! We’ve heard stories of people owning tigers and cheetahs and monkey just as pets and keeping them in their garden, but they’re just stories and seeing is believing right?! One night Shaheer and I were crossing the street after leaving H&M (I only bought one thing mom) and a car stopped to let us pass. I’m a looker and love looking at my surroundings etc etc. so I just happened to glance at and into the car as we crossed. As my eyes darted from the driver to the passenger, I kid you not, there was a cheetah.on a leash.sitting in the passenger seat. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like a real animal cheetah. A freaking well-behaved with a red leash around its neck and its head held high posing for National Geographic casually chilling with its owner kind of cheetah. I’m accustomed to dogs behaving and being treated like that, but I was gobsmacked! So much so I forgot to take a picture, alongside the fact I was trying to cross the street without getting run over, but nonetheless it was pretty awesome-ish! I will no longer doubt any Kuwaiti-pet stories I hear!!

 

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Thursday was dubbed ‘Princess Day’, and literally looked like it sounds. Instead of students, we had princesses. Cute little girls dressed up as their favourite Disney princess, with dresses that lit up, tiaras to match, and a hint of rouge on their lips. It was a half day due to teacher accreditation meetings so the school decided to do something fun which worked out well! Before school started, a couple teachers and I peered through the window from up above looking out to the playground and it was princess mania! There were princesses of all heights and colors and wigs and crowns and bags; basically like an all-girls Disneyland a la Kuwait. Instead of the usual morning routine, there was a princess assembly in the playground consisting of a grade-by-grade princess catwalk, Ariel and Snow White oversized bobble heads (?!?) dancing and lots of photos.

We had to get through some ‘work’; essentially just a spelling test lol but I found a cute princess wand DIY which was a cute craft we all made together with loads of glitter and markers (my girls favorite!). We spoke about princess ‘etiquette’ and qualities of a princess (they help others, they are nice, they tell the truth, they don’t hurt people etc.) and then we waltzed! So cute! I put them in pairs, one partner with the hand on the hip, the other with the hand on the shoulder and dancing as if we were at a royal ball which equated to adorableness all around! Our classroom song at the moment is the ‘kingdom dance’ from Tangled (Disney movie) which was a perfect song to waltz to. Some of the girls had brought in food (fattayah and za’attar; fattayah is any sort of bread/pastry stuffed with something [cheese, olives, etc] or like mini pizza’s, and za’attar is kind of like an unspreadable spread; mixed herbs with sumac and sesame seeds sprinkled on bread and baked) and doughnuts and I had promised them a movie with another class so we watched Tangled, and ate, and felt sleepy, and went home (my girls anyways!). All in all it was a cute day, a first for me lol but one I don’t think I’ll ever forget!

[One of the girls in another class brought in princess cake pops for the teachers which were so cute and delish so I’ve added a picture below!]

(Hope that’s detailed enough for you Hash! haha x)

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