An Egyptian born and raised in Kuwait, Ayman exemplifies the definition of an expat in Kuwait. Having spent the majority of his life right here, both as a child and an adult, he has a working knowledge of life in Kuwait and how to bridge the gap between professional and social life.
A self-proclaimed writer/blogger, he is a full-time working professional and an occasional sports enthusiast with a sometime manic tendency to try new things. He explains, “When I came back to Kuwait to start working, life was hard. I found that the social life school had provided no longer existed outside its hallowed corridors, and we had to make our own path in terms of meeting people.”
Ayman adds, “The first 2 years were difficult, re-establishing connections was next to impossible as the majority of the friends you had during school were transients; everyone left to some corner of the globe. At first, I relied heavily on networking at the office; then it became clear that you needed a social life separate from your work life. So as most people do, I turned to the Internet for assistance.”
The result of Internet dabbling provides us with his insightful blog, one that he created to pass the time and nurture an ability he believes he has: coming up with witty articles for people to read. He adds, “I found myself hosting my own blog and calling myself a writer as opposed to blogger, as it catered more to good reading rather than a recollection of my day-to-day activities. It was when a friend convinced me to try sending a few pieces to bazaar (which they later accepted) that I felt I had accomplished something and was worthy of the moniker.”
In an attempt to give back to the expat community, Ayman actively participates on a forum that groups current and potential expats together, giving sound advice that has caused the makers of the forum to give him the title ‘Kuwait Animator’. Whether it’s new expats wondering about life in Kuwait or current expats wondering what to do for fun, he is there to answer their queries with dedicated advice.
How would your mother describe you in one word?
Reckless! Seriously, I asked!
How would you describe your mother in one word?
S’et El Habayeb – lady loved by all in Arabic. It’s also an Egyptian folk song that describes her to a T.
What is the most insane question you’ve ever been asked?
During university I used to have really long hair and very little facial hair (not that I shaved, it just wouldn’t grow), which opted some folks (strangers, mind you) to ask me “are you a guy or a girl?” I didn’t know whether to be flattered or insulted (now that I think of it, the latter was probably truer).
What is the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done?
Dyed my hair blonde as a social experiment!
What word in the English or Arabic language do you wish you had invented?
Eh? Both English and phonetic Arabic!
Where would you like to live? / What is your dream retirement location?
A mountain side cottage with lush green surroundings, a nearby river or stream would also be quaint. I’m basically interested in any break from technology where one can just unwind surrounded by beautiful scenery. The hustle & bustle of the city life has become too hectic to maintain for the golden years!
What is the first famous quote that comes to your mind?
Failure is unimportant; it takes courage to make a fool of yourself – Charlie Chaplin.
What animal best describes the kind of partner you’d be interested in?
Seahorse – they mate for life, and that is what I was looking for, a mate for life. Seahorse rhymes with Shrouk, Shrouk is my seahorse.
What do you miss about your childhood?
Blissful ignorance and simplicity. Nowadays children have gadgets galore, whereas before you made friends with nothing more than a football (or a Barbie doll) and a friendly manner.
If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
Adam. Since it’s too late to change my name, I had sought to name my future child Adam; unfortunately I told my brother this and he beat me to it (I’m kidding, I love my Nephew!). So now I’m looking for other names that work well in both Arabic and English and start with an A.
How would you describe your handshake in one word?
What is the toughest part of your character?
I put others’ needs ahead of my own even when arguing, which makes it difficult for them to accept that I am acting in their best interest.
Who is your favorite historical figure?
The great emancipator: Abraham Lincoln. He ushered an age of equality that was missing in history.
What in the world do you least desire?
Ease, as in lack of challenges. The harder you work to achieve something, the greater the sense of accomplishment at the end.
What do you think is lacking in the world, which would make the world a better place?
Laughter; it truly is the best medicine to cure all ails. Laugh Out Loud, literally, not the useless typed one.
Why do you think most girls/guys like you?
My witty sense of humour; I don’t mind being the butt of the joke to incite a chuckle in those around me.
Finish this sentence: “Happiness is a thing called…”