An Extraordinary Dinner in Kuwait

In 2005, I worked for the US. Govt as a DoD contractor. Stationed in Kuwait, my mission was to ensure the readiness of all generators in Iraq and Afghanistan for several telecommunications projects. I flew up to 5 missions a week. I would say if they had frequent flier miles, I would be a gold member. Kuwait Free Trade Zone became my home base for these operations. During my downtime I would work as a human resource assistant. I drove fellow members of my company to and from the airports, acquired visas and helped out with medical cards. I knew Kuwait like the back of my hand. From Camp Arifjan in the far west to Ali Asaleem Air Base. I knew the layout of all the ring roads. Designed by the British, it made navigation easy. I went to the Kuwait, Iraq border several times and knew my way around all the ring roads. Kuwait city and the surrounding districts I drove constantly, including the Free Trade Zone.  But I had no idea what to do when my car got a metal boot put on it. For illegal parking.In the Fahaheel district in the western part of Kuwait, several small outdoor malls existed. I took the chance of parking in a place, near the Al Kout mall, just to get a telephone card to recharge my minutes. I stopped, leaving my black Chevy Trailblazer outside. When I got back, a yellow, metal boot sat on my vehicle. It unnerved me a bit.I started making phone calls, to see what I could do. I called up our sponsor to see if they could help out. As soon as I started making the call a young Kuwaiti man came up. Dressed in a police uniform, he said “My name is Mohammed.” And that was all I could get out of him. He did show me his badge. A first lieutenant in the Kuwait Police. That bothered me more. Jail time?Instead, I slowly figured out he wanted to help me. His brother, Nasser came by, driving a Chevy Impala. Speaking fluent English he told me. “Just wait. We will help you out In Shalla.” He drove off and parked around the corner.Alright, I thought. So I waited outside near the company vehicle.Within 30 minutes a tow truck driver removed the boot. I sighed in relief.Nasser came over to me dressed in military clothes while the boot came off. From what I could tell he held some type of NCO rank. “We would love to have you over for dinner.”I debated this internally if I should or not. It took me a split second to make up my mind.“Sure, why not?” I said.“Come to Kuwait Magic Mall at 5pm. We will get some coffee and shisha first.” So I went back for the afternoon. Showered and put some good clothes on. Time fast forward and I met Nasser at the mall. He wore traditional robes this time.The back portion of the mall had several places where you could smoke shisha. I decided to get a coffee and smoke a bit with him. With pipe in hand we talked.“When you come over tonight for dinner, remember we have rules and customs. Just follow my lead and everything will be fine.”“Ok, no funny business right?”“No!” he laughed, hearty and happy. “We have many customs including the fact that men only eat with men. Ladies only eat in their company.”“Seriously?”“Yes, and expect the unexpected. We have a feast prepared for you. My wife cooked up something special. You will see.” Nasser pulled on his hose from the hooka and smiled.I rode with Nasser to his house. Situated in a small neighborhood, it had walls around it and a metal gate

Source: An Extraordinary Dinner in Kuwait


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