Postcards from Kuwait | Atop

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The cityscape of Kuwait on a clear ( dust-free) day .

Before we left Kuwait last year, we were fortunate enough to visit the Kuwait towers.This is a must-thing to do  for us since we don’t know if we would ever set our foot back in this place ever again.It’s several times already for me, a first time for my husband and my daughter. Luckily, it’s just in time for its re-opening after long years of being closed for renovation.This time, I’m more excited for my daughter to be on top of the towers and enjoy the cityscape of Kuwait.

Did I ever feel the heat up in the Kuwait Towers? No, not really. The temperature was good from this altitude and there’s Air Conditioning of course!

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On top of the 2nd spherical dome of Kuwait.

Now a 2-year old have no idea of what’s up there on top.If she love the views, I don’t know but obviously,she’s more interested in walking through the revolving deck and licking the railings.At this point, she doesn’t have any remembrance of this experience yet,but once she grow up, she can see her photos of herself being on top of the most important landmark in Kuwait, her birthplace.A place that she spent her first year of life. This place would always be special for all of us,  and to her.

The view of the Arabian Gulf from above is stunning, the promising skyline of the skyscrapers in Kuwait namely the Al Hamra Tower, the Kipco, Al Tijaria,Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) and others provides a fascinating vista on a clear, haze-free day. The typical  beige urban areas, the nature-less landscape, the tempting Aqua park beneath the towers, and the hustle and bustle of the Gulf road. These things make this area very prominent and touristic attraction.

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Up above, there’s a reflective wall where you can see yourself in a twisted panoramic view. We had fun playing with photos. It looks surreal, like a myriad of reflective glass. This is one of my favorite photos taken here. For me, It’s so different to see this place because my focus is on my daughter. I felt like it had a different meaning for me , regardless of the same scenic views I’m seeing. Like a tower, we’ve managed to overcome our struggles here, sandstorms, the heat and all. We’ve been through ups and downs in our life spent here but in the end, we surpassed it all.Now, these views are all nostalgic memories, a beautiful postcard.

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It’s not hot up in here, Mama !

As for my little Goblin, she’s only 2 but she have collected so many postcards from the top countless times already.She love all the fast elevators and steep views from all her journeys.From hanging out in the highest Rock museum in theMunich Olympic Tower, climbing the Austrian Alps, even napping through the cable cars above and marveled the beauty of the Zugspitze-Arena in Austria, enjoyed the fairy tale journey into the steep magical Burg Eltz castle, making a mess inside the Windmills, learned to step in the steep, claustrophobic Cubic houses and exploring the old ruins of castles along the river Moselle.

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Looking up to the three dominant features of this Tower.

She’s not even three and she have these views already! She have been to places before she even learned how to talk…

As for us, we continue to collect postcards, be it from the top or seen from the grounds.

 

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Post inspired by DP Photo Challenge | Atop

The law of reversed effort

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The Law of Reversed Effort 

A personal post about what I’m experiencing for the past days.There were days where my mind is like a muddy puddle, unclear and chaotic, and desperately in need of clarity.

The truth is, a struggle  creates struggle and  my life as an expat  is not all  bed of roses.Let’s face it, everyday, more often, it’s bleak and grey ,you are  faced with the hard realities, instead of the fairy-tale fantasies of living in a world of different culture and language. I don’t know, maybe I need to blame the weather, the cold, the situations or my attitude and the way that I reacted to events.

I needed clarity but it is so elusive, the harder I tried to figure it out, the less output I get,  it only gives me all the blurry ones.I’ve felt like I’m in a rat hole that I couldn’t get out.I can’t say what I wanted to say in exact words that I wanted to say. I feel helpless.

I wanted to do things but it doesn’t work the way I wanted it to be.It felt awkward.I felt like my effort were all wasted.I even tried to paint my emotions but I ended up making a mess.

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C’mon Spring, do your thing!

I heard you, I know you might say; isn’t it should be “Try and try until you succeed? ”

So I decided to take a walk in the park one day and just sit there and wait for clarity. At best, I am hoping to just stop fighting myself. As usual, the sun is elusive, hiding behind the clouds.I gazed upon the buds in the branches and the sprouting leaves in the bushes. The grounds start to get greener once again. I saw signs of new beginnings, new chances. A rebirth.Spring is definitely on the way.

How odd but sometimes I felt like I am a plant who wants to grow in the middle of cold winter. I realized that my negative thoughts are apt to be more effective than the positive because the negative usually has more feeling with it.

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A budding signaling a rebirth

“Muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone”. – Alan Watts

Like a muddy puddle, it’s best to leave it alone to clear.I let my mind rest and my body to just do nothing. Literally nothing. Like my daughter in tantrums, I let her sort her own emotions by staying calm, just watching how things naturally sort themselves out without my constant “interventions “.

Today,the clarity that I needed came.Along the way,and out of my stubbornness, I discovered something beautiful about the law of reversed effort.This came like a wake up call. Many times, things in life only sort themselves out only when we don’t do anything, taking the concept of the Law of Reversed Effort a bit further, it sometimes refers instead to a state of mind, a state of  mind of ‘not doing’, perhaps this is akin to a flow state of automatic action, a mindset of effortless concentration that only resides when we are present and ‘in the now’, because if we try to mentally push things too far in this mindset we just get the opposite result.

Isn’t this also the truth when writing a blog post? Or finishing a project? Our deep need for a clear slate to write down our thoughts? A state of mental relaxation is the only way for clarity to be achieved. Easier said than done but yes, it’s the only way to get things done, naturally, without causing stress in my mind.

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The Law of reversed effort

Like these buds which reminds me that nature has its own course to follow. It’s an autopilot that only nature comprehends.Nobody can intervene. I can’t hurry up the seasons or mold the people around me the way I wanted them to be.Nature has its own way, and it’s definitely not My way.

Here is the original quote from Huxley about the Law of Reversed effort.

“The harder we try with the conscious will to do something, the less we shall succeed. Proficiency and the results of proficiency come only to those who have learned the paradoxical art of doing and not doing, or combining relaxation with activity, of letting go as a person in order that the immanent and transcendent unknown quantity may take hold. We cannot make ourselves understand; the most we can do is to foster a state of mind, in which understanding may come to us”. Aldous Huxley (The Law of Reversed Effort).

Any thoughts ?

Have you ever felt like this? How did you overcome it?

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The Liebster Award and my 11 answers to Pay it forward!

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Last week, one of my favorite Blogger, Timo of CrazychineseFamily  mentioned my Blog for another Liebster Award.For those of you who have been here for quite some time,you might think that awards like this are only nuisance and better to simply  ignore,just like  virtual chain letters. I won’t deny that after a year of blogging here, I consider myself still a newbie, It still brought a smile in me whenever someone mentions my Blog or even highlight my page. I feel grateful and I always appreciate the thought of the Blogger  behind it. I remember receiving my  first Liebster Award last January 2016 and since then, I had great respect for the awesome community that I have here in WP who took their time to pass on this  kind gesture of appreciation. Without them, my Blog will just be lost in the net. I know time is precious for all of us, and there is no “newbie” or even an “oldie” once you decide to “Pay it forward”something like the Liebster- a virtual love. It’s all your choice.

Anyway, what I like about Timo is his down-to-earth posts about what  his life after  he married into a crazy chinese family. If you are also an Expat, his story of  Raising a Kung-Fu baby and being an Expat Papa in Germany might inspire you how to raise a bilingual child as well. If you want to read real, and personal stories about his crazy MIL (Mother in Law), WhiteMale/AsianFemale relationship ( or interracial couple)  and multiculturalism, check out Crazychinesefamily Blog and you will know why it won last year’s Nepaliaustralian Blog awards!

Now what is The Liebster Award?

Liebster is a German word meaning beloved or dearest. It is an online appreciation in form of virtual award which started in 2011 passed on by bloggers to fellow bloggers for enjoying and valuing their work. The idea is to recognize their efforts and give credit.

Here’s my response to Timo’s questions :

Why did you start blogging? 

I’ve always wanted to have a Blog but because of work, I can’t find the time and I don’t know how to start.But last year, I finally did it as my inspirational hobby.

How does blogging and connecting to other bloggers change/ help you?

Having a great circle of friends and fellow Bloggers who shares the same interest as you is very important. You write for the purpose that your work will be read by someone else, that is why I always admire responsible blogging.When somebody comments on my posts either negatively or sharing inputs, it encourage and inspires me to write better. Feed backs are great tools for improvement and reading other’s work is a way for me to learn and know people. Before, I am not very active in social media, not until I start Blogging where in I have learned to use the internet to  connect with quality people. As an Expat, I have met wonderful friends here that are totally more appealing than the friends that I had in my real life.

What are your favorite topics to write about?

I love to write about my Expat life, my experiences living in a foreign country and being a new mother. I love sharing my  photography stories as well. Lately, I am incorporating my  personal art in my Blog.

In which country do you see yourself living in ten years?

Hmm, I don’t know really. Right now, my daughter is  only 2  and is on crucial stage of development, soon she’ll start Kindergarten and I really wanted her to develop her German language and moving again means another change for her. We’ve just been here in Germany for only 7 months,  and still too early to say, but then, we love it here and looking forward for more. It is my goal to learn Deutsch as well.So options are limitless.

Couch or Sports?

Definitely sports. My metabolism is quick so I wanted to be active always.

A good Book or TV?

A good book.

What would you do with 1 Million Euros (or Dollars, whatever you prefer…)

A million Kuwaiti Dinar so the value is higher ! I’ve always wanted to travel with my mother or maybe invest in my personal business.

How long do you prepare for a blog post?

It depends. Sometimes I only do photo challenges which are quick to do.I can only sit behind my laptop on my free times, maybe 2 hours in a day or if I’m not so tired at night I make some drafts, also depends on my mood.

Your worst experience with blogging.

None so far. I never experience yet anything I could call as worst.

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One of my artwork- Faces in the Crowd

What is your hobby with which you find some peace?

Nature-tripping, my wandertags and painting. I also find peace while baking.

Last but not least: Would you ever dare to try Surströmming?

Nie! No, thanks but I’m not a fan of fermented fish. I also don’t like  the Dutch Herring.

Here’s are the list of Bloggers and their Blog that I nominated for Liebster award and I personally recommend to check out their page because they wrote amazing contents!

Debra of Cultivating Time, my inspiration for wellness.

ExpatPanda who is currently based in Kuwait and sharing adventures in & out of the classroom.

Sheryl of Thoughts of Sheryl- a fellow Pinay in an interracial marriage in Korea

Estelea of Frenchtouchincebu– The Yogi beauty practicing Namaste in Philippines with her adorable Atillas.

The Berlinbook – A fellow Pinay integrating into German culture and writing about her Expat life.

Ann of Grubbsncritters– A trailblazing Expat Mama in the Netherlands who can make the best Bitterballen and other grubbs!

Michelle of Rabbitpatchdiary.com – The warm soul behind my dream homestead-Rabbitpatch.

My  11 Questions for you :

  1. What is your definition of responsible blogging?
  2. If given a chance, would you meet a fellow blogger or attend  Blogger meet- ups?
  3. What is your favorite post? and why. Please provide a link.
  4. What do you want to accomplish in your Blog for this year?
  5. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done in your life?
  6. If you would write a story about one famous person, who would it be & why?
  7. What is your dream job?
  8. Do you think your mother /father would be proud to read your Blog?
  9. What is your most prized personal possession?
  10. How many languages you speak?
  11. What is your guilty pleasure?

 

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it, here are the simple rules;

  1. Display the award on your blog and write a post about the award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog.  Tell the reader a little about your nominator.
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award.
  5. Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Notify the nominees of the Liebster Award and ask if they would be happy to accept? If so, send them a link to your post.

I have received other Blog awards such as the Versatile Blogger Awards from Pooja of Lostinprettyeurope and Lucas of ldpfotoblog, some I have forgotten already, so many things to do. I wanted to thank you all for thinking of my Blog worthy of these awards. These kind gestures are never wasted. Thank you so much guys!

P.S.I don’t declare my Blog as Free-Blog awards but I will do my best to respond once I got the time.

Thank you for stopping by…

Is it 10 months already? How time flies…

I started this Blog from middle of January this year and  noticed that I have  now 200+ followers. Imagine! 200+ beautiful souls who stopped by , stayed for a while, and followed my tiny space in internet. I remembered so well how giddy I am writing my  first post about Raising a Book-lover in your child, and how excited I was when I got my first ever Liebster  Blog award from Frank,of Dutch goes the Photo, one of the first one who stopped by & take a look at my page.

I  wanted to thank each one of you. Yes, you, amazing followers who stopped by & read what I’ve written.I have met so many  awesome people in this community and have learned so much about many things–Expat life, parenting, nature,travel, passion, and most of all– the value of time for stopping by to read & getting to know other Bloggers through their posts.

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To all of my Blog followers – Thank you for stopping by…

I realized that Blogging is like Benches.

Benches are chairs designed for people to sit on, mainly outdoors. To have a brief moment of solitude. To rest. To meet & greet. A connection point.

Somebody–a stranger, a friend, young or old, even a little child must take a fraction of their time to sit on it, rest their tired feet, and stop by. From the time they click on your links and posts, it is an open line, they can know you, they can read about your life, your wanderlust, your personal rants about a bad day, that happy moment you’ve put into writing,a milestone of your baby, or anything goes just like your Wordless Wednesday posts.

The same way I stopped by & read some interesting posts, your Blog for example.

While I was having a walk the other day I spotted these benches. Here in Germany they have ‘nice benches’. They are nice in a way that they looked sturdy, clean, and positioned in places where you can really consider stopping by and sit for a while. It’s always in a way where there is traffic.There are plenty of benches in the parks, along the river banks, outside the busy streets in the city centre, even within the forest.

But the other day was special for me since I have actually stop and take a closer look at these benches. I took some photos from my phone & my mind wanders. Not that they are newly painted or old, but it’s the first time I saw them in a different perspective. I passed by through some of them most of the time, but I paid little attention.I have some interesting impressions which I will relate in the following photos.

I saw  one cyclist having a break and sit in this bench.He is staring blankly at the vast landscape in front of him. I can feel his heavy breathing from the way he inhaled deeply. Cycling must have been exhausting. He needed a break for sure.

I also felt like this when I cycled. A minute or two sitting in a bench always a good idea of recharging.

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German benches – A pit stop for cyclists and weary
One particular old lady,dressed in a burgundy jacket with a thick scarf around her neck was sitting here. She sits in this bench with bunch of bags beside her.She had a quick stop at the nearby grocery shop to get some food, because I saw the pack of bread, and some tomatoes or are those apples? I’m really not sure. She looked tired but she smiled at me with a quick “Morgen!” As I walked away, I thought, She needed a pause, a time to compose herself. I wonder if she live nearby since I have been seeing a lot of old people in this neighborhood. Maybe this is her habitual stop over, a quick pit-stop before heading home. I knew that German old ladies are quite active,lithe and full of stamina.

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The silence of the benches in Germany,only the wise can hear.
This street in above photo is a busy road. This is in front of a school and as you can see, cars are lined up in the parking area just beside the rows of benches. On the other side is the Danube river and a bit further along is a Döner stand. I saw a young lady rummaging through her purse and looking for something. I don’t know, maybe some loose change or her car keys, but she looked anxious. She is in a hurry. She needed to stop by, to sit and have a good look on her bag.

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Blue bench in front of the Danube river
A man was sitting here. He has a dog with him. It was a cold, foggy morning as you can see from the background. Although he was dressed warmly, I can see that he is waiting for someone, or for something. He grab his phone and talk for about 30 sec and hang up. He just sits there, looking around, and gasping in the cold Autumn air. He stood up and walk his dog for a while and sits back again.He was trying to make a choice to stay or to go further, or maybe just wanting to go home and have a warm cup of tea.

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Autumn leaves adorn the empty bench

The thing is, we as passers-by can have a feel of others. If we observe enough we can have a hindsight of their thoughts, based on their facial expressions.  Just by looking, we can have a connection. But these benches don’t.  They are just there, serving its purpose. A tangible wood or steel bench. Imagine if these benches can talk and share to you what they can see from people who stopped by & sits on them. What kind of stories would they say?

Do you remember the time you read a meaningful comment from your readers? Remember the warmth in your heart knowing that someone, another human can relate and had a grasp of your thoughts.

Our responses were the same, we hit the like button.

As always, a silent way of saying ; Thank you for stopping by… and maybe, if time permits,see you again next time.

My Sentiments from the Clouds

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Moody Swings : A Dark, Cloudy Vision

“I have learned to detach from my thoughts, said a young woman.I observe them like clouds moving across the sky. Sometimes I reached out and grab at them & remember that they ‘re just passing by and so I let them go. I felt much better for letting my thoughts go because they really drive me mad.”

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How did you wake up today? Was your mind clear and so as your vision?

Or was it cloudy?  Are you familiar with Brain fog?

Whenever we identify with an unpleasant thought or mood, we are not our true selves. These thoughts & moods are not who we are. We need to treat our thoughts like the clouds in the sky…distant… passing…insubstantial.

In Zen , we are endowed with Buddha nature, empty, vast and sky-like, which is always present even when hidden by clouds. This disagrees or doesn’t disagree with early Buddhist teachings about impermanence, depending on who you ask.

Do you also find yourself in the midst of Worries? or even entangled with them?

How sound was your mind lately?

Worries, yeah, I am familiar with them. When I became a mother, I worry even more. Simple things like :  Is my daughter growing well? Am I doing this right? or maybe I am doing the wrong way?  Or what can I make for dinner, or what more can I do for others to read what I write?

These questions made me worrisome. Sometimes I am not mindful that I am in this state. Living in Kuwait, I even worry constantly about the weather, Really!

Can you relate on these? What are your daily thoughts of worries?

Worries and anxieties are like clouds. They are just thoughts that pass through the mind. They are not facts. They are not the truth. They have no reality. They are like a mental game of asking, “What if…”, and nothing more.

TEMPORARY THOUGHTS

Have you look at the clouds that pass through the sky today? Was the sky clear? cloudless? Clouds  are made of vapor, and they change form as they move through the sky. They hide part of the sky or all the sky, and sometimes they hide the sun. However, this is only temporary. Sooner or later they move on, allowing the sun to send its rays down again.I remember that in grade school, we were taught about different types of clouds namely Cirrus, Cumulus, Cirrustratos, Cirrocumulus, Altocumulus, Nimbustratos,Cumulunimbus and so on and so forth. I have keenly observed that formation of clouds is different from location. Here is Kuwait I seldom see Nimbus clouds since it is very rare for rainfall here, literally approx. 2x a year only.

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How to Kill a Thought in a Good Way?

There could be different “cloudy aspects “in our thoughts depending on our mood and thinking. Worries become problems, imaginary problems. When you try to hold on to them, focus on them, and lose sight of the sky and the sun within you, which become temporarily hidden. Then your sight becomes gray, sullen, and stale.

“The sky and sun in this case are your spirit, the real you, your inner strength, and your ability to control your thoughts.”

Worries, which are actually thoughts, are like the clouds. They pass through the mind, hide reason, common sense and our aims and goals, and if you don’t hold to them, they go away, making place for other worries.

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Fluffy, cottonballs of thoughts that turn into cumulus of worries in our minds.

If you keep watering your worries, and don’t let them leave you, sooner or later you might start acting and behaving in such a way, as to make them come true. Why should you?

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Instead of cultivating the unpleasant thoughts, why not let them evaporates so you can see the blue sky and sunshine.
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Hiding from the clouds ; Hope & Mindfulness

Thoughts don’t have to be believed. You can just acknowledge the ridiculous or negative thoughts that pop into your head, chuckle at them, and then release them. This is the essence of mindfulness.

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Radiance of the Sun, melting the clouds

While I was reflecting on this, I decided to lift up my cloudy thoughts,and what a way to share this to others through writing. Expressing my thoughts in words. It felt good. I felt relieved.

My mind was diverted to my background music “Love & Hapiness ” by Al Green

(Wait a minute, let me tell you)
The power of love
The power…
Make you do right
Love’ll make you do wrong

(Love and happiness)

Now that’s a better thought.

I find something naturally  interesting that can draw out my curiosity. So, in the end, it’s not so much about killing our thoughts as it is about investigating them until they lose their power, and they often stop coming on their own. This is the real practice.

Here’s hoping that you feel the warmth of the sun, and feel the greens of the grass..and a not-so cloudy vision.

Do you like this post? Or how does these thoughts made you feel?

Liberation Tower of Kuwait

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Kuwait Liberation Tower

Have you’ve been to the Liberation Tower in Kuwait?

I have reached the viewing deck of the Liberation Tower in Kuwait in one minute, 150 sweet floors!  in swift seconds.That elevator ride was fast and surprisingly cool. Since I love Architecture and modern buildings, I made sure that climbing this tower was one of my bucket list while I live in Kuwait and today it came true.Admiring beautiful building is my favorite past time whenever I’m into a new place or rather part of exploring the local culture.Through visiting key places like the Liberation Tower then  have come discover new details and concepts behind it.

I searched for ways to go here but I’ve learned that it is not open for public and could only be viewed through arranged appointment with the Ministry of Communications (MOC) management. Luckily, the always amazing Aware Center have arranged a tour to this iconic landmark and fortunately I was able to go.Finally!!

For those of you who lives in Kuwait, this tower can be seen if you go Sharq area and Kuwait city. It dominates the skyline standing at 372 meters from ground level. The Kuwait Liberation Tower is one of the elements of the “Liberation Communications Tower Complex ” situated in the heart of Kuwait City.

This is the tallest structure in the Middle East and is considered the Fifth (5th) highest freestanding telecommunication tower in the world (status as of yr 2000).Compared to other famous constructions in the world, it is 72 meters taller than the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and nine meters shorter than Empire State  Building in New York. The view I’ve had when we visited the Olympic Tower in Munich was totally different from here, mainly in Kuwait it’s full of high rise buildings and less green.

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Kuwait skyline viewed from the viewing deck of Liberation Tower

The construction was completed in 2 distinctive phases separated by an interruption of more than 3 years, followed the treacherous occupation of Saddam Hussein in Kuwait.It was meant to be called “The Kuwait Telecommunications Tower “.  After Saddam Hussein’s forces were expelled from Kuwait last February 27,1991,the Tower was completed in 1993, and renamed “Kuwait Liberation Tower “depicting  special significance of the country’s freedom from Iraq.

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Rotating Viewdeck

Here are some useful facts I have learned from visiting this Tower. I find  everything interesting and contributed to the uniqueness of this structure.

1.The total cost of this project amounts to 50 million Kuwaiti Dinars (Approx. $ 165 US Million Dollars )

2.Construction Time (Total ) – Sixty seven months.

4. The Revolving Restaurant was done by  Glantre,UK.

5. The Instrumentation were done by Interfels,Germany.

6. Secalt from Belgium did the External Cleaning Systems.

7. Gleitbau from Austria were responsible for the Slip-forms.

8. The Structural steel work & steel mast erection were done by Centrozap from Poland.

 

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Liberation Tower

The structure is made using ceramic tiles on the façade from base to first mezzanine level. Three natural light shades render a geometric design from the base. The tower, including the telecommunications complex, is divided into three working areas – a public communications center; revolving observatory level, and a restaurant at 150 meters; and the adjacent plant and equipment structure.

There are a total of 18 elevators, and are amongst the fastest in the world. As for the revolving mezzanine, there are six office floors spanning 12000 sq/m above the revolving observatory level, that rise up and out within a section covered in Anodised aluminium, so as to withstand the extreme temperatures.

The tower includes a revolving restaurant and an observation platform, apart from radio and telecommunications offices.

Given the historical and monumental significance of this tower, visitors usually do not miss the opportunity to visit this destination during their travel to Kuwait.Visiting this Tower is a wonderful experience. The host welcomed us warmly with brief introduction and tour of the whole building. I had great views of the skyline of Kuwait when I’m on top of the tower.It is nice to view Kuwait from above, so different from the ground.

If you’re interested to tour the Liberation Tower, check out Aware Center’s scheduled events to find out more details. They have lots of amazing cultural events about Arabic culture that you might find interesting. You can also check out their website Here.

I just hoped that Kuwait would invest more on maintaining this type of monumental buildings. The time I visited, I noticed that there were some renovations going on. I think this tower is worth the pride of Kuwaitis since it really stands for a symbol. Kuwait has no nature to boast but If they continue to build buildings with adept planning, then this place will go further.

Do you think you would want to climb a tower like this?

How was your experience visiting some famous architecture in your country?

Are you on Twitter? Follow my Expat Life stories and adventures in my Twitter page Here .

 

Why Old Photos are so Alluring ?

The other day, I stumbled upon a wonderful photo from a rather sensible Blog of yvonnekoechig’s post About Franny . One remarkable feature that attracts me is a piece of an old photograph. My attention was immediately drawn to the old photo even if I have no idea who she was. Then when I started to read the content, my heart was touched by both the story  behind the photo & the woman in the photo. The old photograph itself evokes so much allure & ignited my curiosity. It triggered my emotion. This is one of the reasons why I find old photos  much more moving than modern ones. This is all about personal preferences but  this type of reaction can never be the same as doing the “like” “button in Instagram if you like a photo. I have learned that the number of likes on your photos does not define your worth as a person.

I observe this phenomenon  many many times happening in different occasions.

Have you ever seen an old photograph of your Husband, of your wife , or of someone you knew closely? specifically an old black and white photograph of them while they are still very young? Can you relate to me on  the feeling of bewilderment & fondness that I  felt whenever I am  looking closely to an old photograph in my hands? Call me sentimental I don’t care, but running my fingers through an old photo album and feeling the texture of each photo gives me such a feeling of sheer fascination compared to the feeling I have whenever I swipe on my phone’s camera roll or from photo gallery in my computer. It’s totally different.

Now, how would you describe your feeling of seeing a recent grinning & duck-faced selfies of people you knew  in your camera roll, or in their social media walls & feeds? How did you feel yourself while viewing their photos?

You see, people nowadays took photos driven  by the motivation of social media. That is why every photo is so fleeting. You always find yourself taking more & more photos until you see the most “beautiful you “in those photos.

A duck-faced selfie is the opposite of a serious portrait. In the modern selfies, It’s just a momentary performance of happiness. It has zero profundity and therefore zero artistic value. As a human document it is disturbingly throwaway. (In fact, not even solid enough to throw away – just press delete). Have you checked your “Recently deleted photos” lately? How many photos where in that folder?

“A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.”-Mark Twain

How beautiful and haunting old photographs are in comparison with our silly selfies. In the old photographs, you can see so much of  unsmiling faces, and yet I knew that they probably had as much fun as we do now while we took gazillions of selfies , if not more. But they felt no hysterical need to prove it with pictures. Instead, when they posed for a photograph, they thought about time, death and memory. Every photograph have a significant value in their life.The presence of those grave realities in old photographs makes them worth far more than our inanely happy Instagram snaps.Now we have 200+ photos in one event happened in one hour. In the old times, people had their photos taken most probably once when they are young, in a school uniform, once they graduated from college or once they got married. Every photograph has a deep remembrance, a timeless memory. This is how photos should be.

When I had my daughter, it becomes an addictive habit to took photos of her whenever I felt like doing so. I look at my camera roll and gazed in shock. Call me crazy Mama but I realized that I had 2000+ photos of my daughter taken since she was born up to the present! These number of photos are insane! She had more photos than I ever had in my lifetime now considering she’s only 18 months!  I sat in amazement and at same time reflect on reasons why am I doing this.  Of course our technology nowadays makes it conducive to have everything in an instant. Just look how easy it is to capture every single moment now in photos with a single click. You take 10 photos for  1 pose! Smartphones have become an instant event recorder of our life . It simplify our life as well as devalued it. First you took photos of your pregnancy kit with positive results, then You took photos of your bump on a monthly basis while you are pregnant, then when you are undergoing the Anomaly scan, while you are on labor, while you gave birth,up until the time you have your skin-to-skin moment with your baby. You have so many photos that none of them was developed & printed. All of them remained in our iPhones, iPads, laptops and maybe just stored in your external hard disk. You know that It won’t take long that your memory  will be all used up because of the amount of photos you have captured.

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One of my favorite old photograph.

For those of you who have read this post, please tell me honestly if this old photo is not alluring enough.

When was the last time you’ve been enticed by an old photograph? Do you also make photo albums as part of your family tradition ?

Please feel free to comment how did this post made you feel.

 

Three Days Quote Challenge (Pt.2)

 

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N a t u r e    i s    n o t    a   p l a c e     t o   v i s i t  ,  I t   i  s    H  o  m e –Gary Snyder

Q  U  O  T  E    F  O R   T O D A Y 

“N a t u r e ’s  f i r s t    g r e e n   i s   g o l d, H e r   h a r d e s t   h u e  t o  h o l d.
H e r  e a r l y   l e a f ’s  a   f l o w e r;
B u t   o n l y   s o  a n   h o u r.
T h e n   l e a f   s u b s i d e s   t o  l e a f.
S o   E d e n    s a n k  t o  g r i e f,
S  o    d a w n    g o e s   d o w n   t o  d a y.
N o t h i n g   g o l d    c a n    s t a y.”

[―Robert Frost, “Nothing Gold Can Stay”}

The Challenge

Something beautiful happened ! Recently, I was challenged by Frank ( Jansenphoto ) to take on the ‘Three Day Quote Challenge’. Just in case you don’t know, Dutch goes the Photo is a wonderful Blog. If you want a daily dose of kick-ass photos ,then head on to his page. Get to know Him. Just click Here.

Anyway, This challenge is one of the things that I would love to take on since I love the idea of a Photo + Quote combo posting marathon for 3 days.

The rules of this challenge are quite simple:

  1. Post in three (3) consecutive days.
  2. You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  3. Challenge three different bloggers per day.

I would love to nominate & pass on this challenge to my beautiful friends here namely ;  ( Drumroll please! )

  1. Wordsmith
  2.  Seagirll  and
  3. Super Jan

Guys, I hope you have  time to accept this challenge. But even if my challenge won’t be accepted, I still want you to know that you  are all awesome and I am grateful to have found your wonderful Blogs and got to know you through your posts.

Have fun & Keep on writing.  Once again, Thank you Frank for the Nomination!

Three Days Quote Challenge (Pt.1)

 

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The grass dreamt of Kissing the Skies

Q  U  O  T  E    F  O R   T O D A Y 

“O u t   b e y o n d    i d e a s    o f    w r o n  g  d o  i  n g
a n d     r i g h t d o i n g     t h e r e    i s     a  f i e l d.
I’  l l  m e e t   y o u   t h e r e.

W  h e  n    t h e    s o u l    l  i e   s   d  o  w n    i n    t h a t   g r a s s
t h e     w o r l d    i s    t o o   f u l l   t o    t a l k  a b o u t.”
 ― Rumi

The Challenge

Something beautiful happened ! Recently, I was challenged by Frank ( Jansenphoto ) to take on the ‘Three Day Quote Challenge’. Just in case you don’t know, Dutch goes the Photo is a wonderful Blog. If you want a daily dose of kick-ass photos ,then head on to his page. Get to know Him. Just click Here.

Anyway, This challenge is one of the things that I would love to take on since I love the idea of a Photo + Quote combo posting marathon for 3 days.

The rules of this challenge are quite simple:

  1. Post in three (3) consecutive days.
  2. You can pick one or three quotes per day.
  3. Challenge three different bloggers per day.

I would love to nominate & pass on this challenge to my beautiful friends here namely ;  ( Drumroll please! )

  1.  Susan Rushton
  2.  Laura Laura 
  3. Me Entirely

 

Guys, I hope you have  time to accept this challenge. But even if my challenge won’t be accepted, I still want you to know that you  are all awesome and I am grateful to have found your wonderful Blogs and got to know you through your posts.

Have fun & Keep on writing.  Once again, Thank you Frank for the Nomination!

B u l l e t S h o t s

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Covered with bullet shots,run down,But still standing.

“W a r s  a r e  p o o r  c h i s e l s  f o r  C a r v i n g  o u t p e a c e f u l

T o m o r r o w  s “

{Martin Luther King Jr.}