Saturday, September 30, 2006

Earliest date of domestication

Southwest Asia is the place in the world that domesticaed plants and animals first. From the evideance I have read wheat, pea and olive plants as well as sheep and goats where domesticated by 8,500BC.

Iraqi Cabinet Imposes Curfew on Baghdad

Iraqi cabinet imposes curfew on Baghdad Friday through Sunday
POL-IRAQ-CURFEW Iraqi cabinet imposes curfew on Baghdad Friday through Sunday
BAGHDAD, Sept 29 (KUNA) -- The Iraqi cabinet decided on Friday to impose an unexpected full curfew on vehicles and civilians in the capital.The cabinet did not specify the reason behind the curfew which would begin today and end on Sunday Morning.Meanwhile, the leader of the Iraqi Accord Front MP Adnan Al-Dulaimi said that his house was searched by US troops who charged that Al-Dulaimi was hiding weapons.On the other hand, Iraqi military spokesman Qasim Al-Mosawi told KUNA that Iraqi and US forces received information concerning Al-Dulaimi's illegal operations.


When you go shopping in a grocery store and you are looking for milk heed this warning! I was shopping at the Sultan Center last week and in the diary section saw the familar milk container from the states. On the label it read "Laban" and "Low Fat" had a picture of a cow and the rest was in Arabic. So I picked up a jug of "low fat milk" The next morning I poured a big glass, actually a plastic cup, and took a sip. Hug! as Charlie Brown would say. Seems that LABAN, MADZOUN, RAEB, are fermented milk in different countries. Fermented milk! Tastes as bad as it sounds. Who would drink fermented milk? Not me, I just poured it down the kitchen sink. So beware shoppes when you are in Kuwait or other Arab countries don't purchase the Laban.

Ramadan bomb kills 34 in Iraq (Reuters)

By Peter Graff and Alastair Macdonald
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A bomb killed 34 people in Baghdad's Sadr City Shi'ite slum on Saturday as Iraq's minority Sunnis began the fasting month of Ramadan, which U.S. commanders said might see a rise in sectarian bloodshed.
The bomb -- most likely a car bomb, according to police -- struck near a tanker distributing kerosene for stoves in Sadr City, whose poor residents are the power base of cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and his Mehdi Army militia.
In addition to the 34 people killed, 35 were injured, many badly burned.
Sunni militants claimed responsibility, declaring the attack revenge for killings by Shi'ite militia.
"This operation comes in reaction to the crimes of the Mehdi Army against our Sunni kin in Baghdad," the Jamaat Jund al-Sahaba -- Soldiers of the Prophet's Companions -- said in a claim posted on the Internet. "Our swords can reach the depth of your areas, so stop killing unarmed Sunnis."
U.S. commanders had warned for weeks that they expected a surge of violence to accompany the holy month, having observed similar patterns in previous years.
Shi'ites and Sunnis have separate systems for declaring Ramadan's start; Sunnis began observing it on Saturday and Shi'ites are expected to begin on Sunday or Monday.

The Fast of Ramadan

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Month of Ramadan is also when it is believed the Holy Quran "was sent down from heaven, a guidance unto men, a declaration of direction, and a means of Salvation"
It is during this month that Muslims fast. It is called the Fast of Ramadan and lasts the entire month. Ramadan is a time when Muslims concentrate on their faith and spend less time on the concerns of their everyday lives. It is a time of worship and contemplation
During the Fast of Ramadan strict restraints are placed on the daily lives of Muslims. They are not allowed to eat or drink during the daylight hours. Smoking and sexual relations are also forbidden during fasting. At the end of the day the fast is broken with prayer and a meal called the iftar. In the evening following the iftar it is customary for Muslims to go out visiting family and friends. The fast is resumed the next morning
According to the Holy Quran: One may eat and drink at any time during the night "until you can plainly distinguish a white thread from a black thread by the daylight: then keep the fast until night"
The good that is acquired through the fast can be destroyed by five things - the telling of a lie,
slander, denouncing someone behind his back, a false oath, greed or covetousness
These are considered offensive at all times, but are most offensive during the Fast of Ramadan
During Ramadan, it is common for Muslims to go to the Masjid (Mosque) and spend several hours praying and studying the Quran. In addition to the five daily prayers, during Ramadan Muslims recite a special prayer called the Taraweeh prayer (Night Prayer). The length of this prayer is usually 2-3 times as long as the daily prayers. Some Muslims spend the entire night in prayer.
On the evening of the 27th day of the month, Muslims celebrate the Laylat-al-Qadr (the Night of Power). It is believed that on this night Muhammad first received the revelation of the Holy Quran. And according to the Quran, this is when God determines the course of the world for the following year.
When the fast ends (the first day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged. Friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Ramadan Notice

See what the official notice about Ramadan says about driving in Kuwait? "Driving will be more challenging since people often stay awake socializing until dawn. Limit off-post travel to essential missions only." Here is hoping I survive the Kuwait highways this Ramadan which runs from 23 September to 23 October.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Crashed Cars of Kuwait 2006

Follow this URL to a flickr site called "Crashed Cars of Kuwait 2006" Their is also a link to Crashed Cars of 2005. Just to provide proof of my earlier post about the C R A Z Y drivers in Kuwait. And again I'll say that the local driver have no regard what so ever for other human beings.

This is what I see every day along Kuwait roads

US State Depatment warns of traffic safety

TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Kuwait is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Driving in Kuwait is hazardous. Although Kuwait has an extensive and modern system of well-lit roads, excessive speeding on both primary and secondary roads, coupled with lax enforcement of traffic regulations and a high density of vehicles (one vehicle for every 2.8 residents), leads to frequent and often fatal accidents. In 2004, reported vehicular accidents rose by 20.9 percent over the previous year to 54,878. In 2004, there were 398 traffic-accident-related deaths—also an increase over the previous year. The average age of death was between 21 and 30 years. There are now over one million motor vehicles registered in Kuwait. Incidents of road rage, inattention and distraction on the part of drivers, poor driving skills, and highway brinkmanship are common in Kuwait, and can be unsettling to Western drivers in Kuwait who are accustomed to more rigid adherence to traffic law.

Kuwati's can NOT drive!!!!

The drivers on Kuwait streets are the worst drivers in the entire world. They are rude, inconsiderate and very unsafe drivers. They drive at night on the freeway with their lights off, they drive on your bumber and they flash their lights at you to get the hell out of the way. I have been driving in this country for far too long and know it is only a matter of time before some crazy Kuwaiti driver hits my car. I have seen more wrecked cars and dead bodies in the road here in Kuwait than I have experienced in my who life. They weave in and out of traffic, don't look the the left or right when making lane changes. That is when they make a lane change, most of the time they just drive where ever they want with no regard for the marked lanes. They have thier cell phones stuck in their ears and just plain do not know how to drive. They sure do not have any reguard for human life. They are rude and unsafe to say the least. I only hope I can survive a while longer. I have been working on my defensive driving since they sure do not care about anyone but themselves.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Islam For Today

This is a link to the "Islam For Today" website: It is for Westerners seeking a knowledge and understanding of Islam.

Southwest Asia

Southwest Asia or Southwestern Asia (often confused with the Middle East) is the southwestern portion of Asia. The term Western Asia is commonly used in writings about the archaeology and late prehistory of the region, and in the U.S. subregion geoschem.. Unlike the Middle East, which is a vaguely-defined region generally meant to include the African country of Egypt, Western Asia is a purely geographical term that includes the southwestern extreme of Asia.
Southwest Asia is partly coterminous with the traditional European names the Middle East and the Near East, both of which describe the regions' geographical position in relation to Europe rather than their location within Asia. The term Western Asia has become the preferred term of use for the Middle East by international organizations (most notably the United Nations) and also in African and Asian countries, such as India, because of the perceived Eurocentrism of the historical term Middle East. In terms of cultural and political geography, the Middle East sometimes includes North African countries, particularly Egypt. For similar reasons, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and western-Pakistan are also variously affiliated with the region.
Source: Wikipedia
SWA is how the US Military describes this area.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Kuwaiti Skyline

One thing I have noticed here in Kuwait City is the fantastic skyline of the city. The skyscrapers are not your typical retangular boxes but rather they have interesting curves and colors. Ornate fasades and futuristic shapes and colors march across the skyline. Above are a few photos of the local skyline. I'll have to go out one weekend and take some more photos and get some close ups.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Internet Access!!!

I am so excited. I've been back in Kuwait for some time now but not able to do much posting to my blog since I only had Internet access from the office. Well today I now have Internet access from my apartment in Kuwait City. I'm so excited I can't stand it. Finally I can post my photos, write personal emails, publish to my blog and surf the web for fun. Seems like I am connected to my friends and family now. I'll have to try a chat service and maybe a VoIP serivce to talk with friends back in the US.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Sick in Kuwait

I've been sick for the last few days with a flu. Have not felt like doing much, in fact it is all I can do to get through a day a work and drive back to the apartment. Hoping I'll feel better this weekend. Need to go to the Sultan Center and pick up some food as I am very low and living on microwave stuff. I know not good for my health. It has been very humid the last few days and today it finally dried up some and is running about 110 or so. Well that's all for now. Hope you are all doing well.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Random thoughts

So I have been back in Kuwait for a couple of weeks now. Have settled into my apartment which is just off the Gulf Road and has a very good view of the ocean (Arabian/Persian Gulf). The weather is not as hot as it was when we left but the drivers are just a crazy. I am amazed at the number of accidents on the freeways here. So we have a 3 day weekend and its Saturday as I write this. I drove into the office so I could get on the internet and send some emial and update my blog. Still no access to the Internet from the apartment. Tomorrow I am going to the Sultan Center to pick up some fresh fruits and vegtables and do my weekly wash. I have a washer/drying in the aparmtment which makes it nice. They are built into the same frame so you put your wash in the wash tub, front loading, and it washes and drys your clothes in the same unit. No taking out your wash and putting it into the dryer, they are one and the same. Monday, the third day of the 3 day weekend I think I will read and just rest. Oh maybe go down to the gym and walk the trendmill for a while.
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