Monthly Archives: April 2006

Back From Dubai

You may have noticed a lack of fresh articles and features on Hilaliya.

Guilty as charged. I am on my way back from a business trip to Dubai.


Last time I was in Dubai was in 1992; of course it’s a complete different beast now. Quite simply, it is an amazing desert metropolis built on magnificent infrastructure and thriving due to its embrace of economic liberalization, strong laws, tourism. They are constantly raising the benchmark here: hotels, resorts, malls, entertainment facilities, and so forth, topped off with the quality control, sound planning and excellent customer service.



I love the fact that – unlike Kuwait where people are fixated on politics and officials – people here focus on the economy, making money, building something, while attempting to offer the best products and services to the public that money can buy.

Following the bureaucracy, narrow-mindedness and corruption prevalent in most facets of Kuwaiti society, it is so refreshing to visit an Arab country where the roots of bigotry, extremism and fatalism are ripped from the ground before being allowed to taint society.

‘Business Bay’ Project



The last week has been very hectic, an assortment of meetings and work-related activities. Stay tuned though, much more stuff coming your way including a controversial, hard-hitting article I penned for the Arab Times concerning Iran’s uranium enrichment program and the environmental danger it poses to Kuwait.

U.S.A. National Day Bash


I just returned from the U.S.A. National Day bash at the American Embassy. It was marvelous fun, a great mix of people from all walks of life in Kuwait, with delectable food represented by major companies and the very talented New Orleans All-Star Brass Band. The theme of the night: Celebrating the Spirit of New Orleans.

As I walked into the grounds of the American Embassy I was given a straw hat, some beads and an illuminated shoulder pin in order to get into the Mardi gras spirit!

I saw many business acquaintances and old friends; including a former boss that I worked for a while back (it was great seeing him again, it certainly brought back good memories). I also got a chance to touch base with some Foreign Service officers that I had not seen in a while as well as some American military personnel serving here.

I don’t usually eat at official functions although the food stands and platters looked appetizing and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

U.S. Ambassador, Richard LeBaron and his staff were very patient and friendly doing the social rounds and guests were offered a chance to take a picture with Ambassador LeBaron if they so desired.

All in all, it was an enjoyable and classy night; a fitting tribute to the United States and the State of New Orleans, who were devastated by the hurricane Katrina last year.

Kuwait Intellectual Copyright Laws

If I were Disney/Pixar I’d have sued. Not just for this.

But for ALADDIN, LITTLE MERMAID, THE LION KING and all the other Kuwaiti Disney ripoffs we’ve seen here throughout the years.

Expect the Kuwaiti children’s theatre version of Pixar’s CARS next year, played by rotund, bearded men in skimpy latex outfits with cardboard dashboards on their heads.