Saturday, March 29, 2008

Weeks 8/26, 9/26 & 10/26

Week 8/26

It was the last week of the term, a hectic one. ¿Do I need to say more? That's why this week's picture is of my room's board.

Two important developments on that week were:

- Cooking M7ammar the right way

- Buying the Nikon D80


Week 9/26


My colleagues and I, accompanied by our programme's director and administrator, embarked on a 12 days study tour to [continental] Europe.

Most of our time was spent visiting organisations and attending briefings and receptions.

In Brussels we visited the European Commission & the NATO. Then we left to Strasbourg, via Luxembourg, to visit the Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights.

The last day in Strasbourg we had some free time before heading to Geneva at noon, so I took advantage of it and visited the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Strasbourg. Unfortunately, the photography exhibition I intended to visit at the Museum had ended days before my visit, so I ended up in the museum's bookshop and then exploring the streets of this beautiful city.

One funny incident in Strasbourg was when we were looking for a cinema that shows movies in English (most of the cinemas show movies dubbed in French). Among all the people in Strasbourg I asked a gentleman, in broken French "il y a du cinéma anglais...." and before ending my question he said "Sorry, I don't speak French" in an unmistakably american accent. At that moment I forgot all the English I know and couldn't switch my brain/tongue to ask him the same question in English.

Our journey to Geneva was beautiful, the scenery was so 'inviting' and mind-relieving. The highways to Geneva were packed, because there was a renowned Car Show in Geneva that I luckily attended, hence my week picture.


Week 10/26


We started this week with a visit to the Palais des Nations (the UN office at Geneva aka UNOG), where we had briefings on the UNCTAD, UNECE, OHCHR and the WTO. We had a short tour around the UNOG, which is bigger than the main one in New York. We also visited the UNHCR, the ICRC and the Museum of the Red Cross and the Red Crescent.

The picture of this week is of the State of Kuwait's gift to the UN office at Geneva, which is, obviously, a Kuwaiti dhow.

I think we are very lucky when it comes to the locations of our gifts to the UN.

Each member-country presents a gift to the UN that represents its history, heritage, art and/or culture, those gifts are arranged around the corridors of each UN office in an alphabetical order.

In Geneva our gift is situated in front of one of the main plenary rooms.

In New York, Kuwait's gift, a dhow as well, is placed next to the escalators that lead to the General Assembly, the delegates lounge and the committees meeting rooms. It is, as well, in a very visible and -relatively- spacious place, which had hosted, and will always host, the signing of milestone UN treaties, declarations and other international agreements.

The last destination of our visit was Paris, where we visited the OECD.

On our way there, it rained, hailed and snowed. There was a strange analogy between this disarrayed weather and the political situation in Kuwait... why? because I heard of the dissolving of our parliament during that journey.

My luck with art in Paris wasn't different from Strasbourg. When I went to visit Centre Pompidou, there was a sign on the door that says "The centre is closed today due to a demonstration", it didn't say anything about the demonstration, and I didn't see one around, but some of my colleagues had seen a demonstration in a different neighbourhood of Paris.

So I decided, after having my Panini Chevre lunch, to visit the Museum of European Photography. When I arrived safe and sound to the museum I found a long queue waiting with their tickets, I headed to the counter only to know that this group of 40 is waiting for another group of 80 wandering all over the museum, and I have to wait for 1 hour to get in. I opted to go back to the hotel and get ready for our last reception.

On our way back from the reception, we took the metro from Bir Hakeim station (such a strange name, check the link, its not the Jeleeb Shyookh of Paris),where there was a lady in her early forties singing Killing me softly in the metro, and changing cars (wagons) in each station to continue her hobby without further disturbing the french, who were asleep, reading or, typically, kissing each other.

As for the political situation in Kuwait, I'll keep it to another post to further develop a better understanding for the upcoming elections.... that I'm not voting in, since I can't vote in absentia.

Good Luck :)

====================

Recommendations

Book: A year in the MERDE, by Stephen Clarke

Movie: La vie en rose

Blog: Face Hunter

8 comments:

kila ma6goog said...

:)

Blue Waves said...

Amazing fruitful tour "mashallah" :)

iDip said...

Kila Ma6goog,
3asa dom hal ebtesama

Blue Waves,
Thanks
el-shams mnein 6al3a?

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عبثي said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ولاّدة said...

مرحبا

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White Wings said...

boy
are you still in one piece?
:)