Hijab Discrimination at a School in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Yesterday I was tagged on instagram under an image where a British teacher wanting to work in Kuwait was complaining about a school she applied to that wanted her to take her hijab off. The recruiter told the teacher that parents wanted their kids taught by teachers that didn’t wear hijab, and so if she was interested in joining, she would have to remove her hijab. I thought it was pretty bizarre that a school in Kuwait would discriminate against the hijab so I contacted the original poster who forwarded me all the emails and turns out its true. Below are the conversations between the teacher and the recruiter which I copy pasted from the emails. I’ve removed the name of the school and also replaced the names of the teacher and recruiter with fake ones. I’ve also forwarded the emails to Fajer the lawyer to get her opinion on the legality of this situation as well as contacted the school for their statement.

I’m curious if this is a widespread problem in Kuwait or just an isolated incident. How many teachers at this specific school ended up removing their hijab so they could get the job?

———-

Good morning Carla,
I emailed you about keeping me in mind for any other positions that may be available in the future but have not received any reply from you. Please will you destroy my passport documents if you are completely not interested anymore. In all honesty I feel gutted as I feel like I was not given a chance to show you that I would be ideal for the job. Surely I am entitled to an interview and then you can make decisions upon that.

Regardless of the situation, I am still interested and it would be very much appreciated if you could get back to me. Have a wonderful day.

Kind regards,
Faiza.

———-

Good Morning Faiza

Thank you for your emails.

I am so sorry I didn’t reply as I have been out of the office. I am happy to interview you as we may well need teachers for January 2018.

I do need to ask you if it would be possible to remove your hijab whilst teaching in the XXXX XXXXX Nursery school as our Kuwaiti parents like British Teachers but not wearing hijab. I know this is a delicate area and hope you do not feel offended in any way.

Please have a think about it and let me know if you would like to proceed to interview.

I look forward to hearing back.
Kind Regards

Carla
Recruitment
HR Department

———-

Afternoon Carla,
I have read your email and just wanted some clarification. I am extremely interested in this role but just wanted to know if it is necessary for me to remove my hijab in order to be successful for the job. Also Is it imperative for me to remove the hijab in order for me to go head with the interview process? Please could you let me know as soon as possible.

Kind regards
Faiza

———-

Hi Faiza
Thanks for your email.
It wouldn’t be necessary for you to remove your hijab to have a first interview with me but probably for second interview and we would need to have a photo of you without your hijab for Management purposes if you were successful, as your passport photo is of you covered.

Just for your your reference, in the XXXX XXXXX Schools, there are only female staff.
I look forward to hearing back.
Kind Regards.

———-

Hi Carla,
I partly understand what you are saying but still have a few questions. If I was to be successful would I have to teach with no hijab on or even meet parents with no hijab. Am I able to wear my hijab in my own time or is this an issue as well. As you can imagine I am a little bit confused as I felt the hijab would be preferred and encouraged in Kuwait more than anything as it is a predominately Muslim country- one of the main factors that reeled me into the job. I can understand for security and management purposes a non hijab picture may be necessary but I am finding it difficult to understand that Kuwaiti Muslim parents may be against the Muslim head wear. Please clarify when and where I will be able to observe the hijab or not. Thankyou for your time.

Kind regards Faiza

———-

Dear Faiza

The customer (the parents) do not want their children taught by covered teachers. It is an English School. You can wear the hijab whilst not on the school premises but not in the school.
If this isn’t acceptable to you I wish you every success.
This is non negotiable.
Kind Regards


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

A bunch of things are taking place this weekend, check them all out below:

Thursday
The Divan’s Movie Night: The Lunchbox
Ragheb Alama’s Concert

Friday
Community Table: Bahārāt
Pilates for Beginners with Ana Mattos
Urban Culture Week Finale
Good Game: Magic – The Gathering
Rugby: Kuwait Scorpions vs Muscat

Saturday
Community Table: Bahārāt
Guided Tour: Grand Mosque
Q8 Readers Book Club Meeting
The Peace Festival: Hind Hamed

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.

Update: Links fixed!


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (N/A) ♦
Amityville: The Awakening (5.0)
Leatherface (5.3) ♦
Loving Vincent (8.0) ♦
My Pet Dinosaur (4.1)
Renegades (5.7) ♦
The Snowman (7.1) ♦

Other Movies Showing:
Blade Runner 2049 (8.5)
Flatliners (5.7) ♦
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (7.6)
My Little Pony: The Movie (6.3)
Nick Off Duty (4.1)
Open Water 3: Cage Dive (4.2)
The Foreigner (7.5) ♦
The LEGO Ninjago Movie (6.8)
The Son of Bigfoot (6.2)
Victoria and Abdul (6.1)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.


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Tap Payments Makes Forbes Top 100 Startup List

Post by Mark

Forbes released their annual “Top 100 Startups In The Arab World” list and Tap Payments was the only startup from Kuwait that made the list coming in at #66. The majority of the startups on the list are based out of UAE, Lebanon and Egypt.

It’s pretty impressive that Tap made the list, but pretty disappointing overall for Kuwait that we don’t have more successful startups (also why isn’t Carriage on that list?). For the full top 100 list, click [Here]


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Travel Essential: Amazon Fire Stick

Post by Mark

One the most essential items I now pack when traveling is my little Amazon Fire Stick. The Fire Stick is a tiny streaming media device thats a bit larger than a USB memory stick and has NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon Video, HBO GO and more all installed on it. Unlike my Apple TV, the Fire Stick is a lot more portable and easier to connect since you just plug the stick directly into an empty HDMI and USB port behind the TV. Whenever I check into a hotel or airbnb, one of the first things I do after unpacking is just plugging my Stick into the TV and connecting it to the wifi so I can have access to all my TV shows.

The only reason I don’t use my Fire Stick instead of the Apple TV at home is because it’s a bit sluggish compared to the Apple TV and I tend to AirPlay a lot of things from my phone or MacBook onto the Apple TV which I can’t do with the Fire Stick. Well actually that’s not accurate, I did get an app that enables AirPlay on the Fire Stick but its pretty buggy and doesn’t work the way it should every time. But anyway, one of the best things about the Fire Stick is the price, it costs just KD12 on Amazon so it’s not that big of an investment. Also if you have Amazon Prime then you already have access to Amazon Video (and music) so you don’t really need Netflix or Hulu if you don’t want them.

If you’re interested in picking one up, here is the link for it on [Amazon]


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Jazeera Airways Reveals New Interior

Post by Mark

Jazeera Airways recently rebranded their identity, and as part of the rebranding process, Jazeera revealed they will also be giving their plane interiors a new look.

One of the biggest complaints about their current interiors is how aged they look so the facelift is a much needed one. They’re still sticking with leather seats but instead of the light grey color they’re currently using, they’ll instead be going with a blue tone.

The new interior is currently being rolled out and the whole process should be completed before the end of the year.


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PantryBee Taco Tuesday – Tonight at Barba!

Post by Hind

One of our favorite recurring cuisines on the PantryBee site is Mexican. We love your typical Mexican fare, burritos, tacos, etc. and we love to put our own special twist on things. That’s why we’ve joined up with our new fave Shuwaikh hotspot Barba to bring one of our favorite things to a greater number of people; Taco Tuesday! We’ve had fun working with the Barba boys to create two specialty pizzas for the event, including an elote inspired pizza and a chicken enchilada pizza with our secret PantryBee roasted tomato sauce. We’re also bringing back some of our greatest hits including our best selling jerk chicken tacos and Korean kimchi steak tacos. We’re going to be running 6pm to sell out so come by say hi and grab a bite!

Date: Tuesday October 10, 2017
Time: 6PM
Location: Barba [Google Maps]

Post by Hind
CoFounder of PantryBee where home cooking is made easy.


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Kane Mochi – Premium Mochi Ice Cream

Post by Mark

Kane Mochi as you can guess from the name is a mochi ice cream place. They’ve been open for awhile now but since they’re located in what basically is an empty mall, I only found out about it yesterday. Kane is located on the top floor of Dalal Complex in Salmiya, the same mall that has Sky Cinemas. The place is cute and they’ve got 21 flavors of mochi ice cream. I had a chocolate and banana and it was pretty good. Don’t know if I’d go back specifically for it, but if I was a mochi fan I probably would. It costs 750fils per mochi and if you want to find out more, check out their instagram @kanemochi.kw


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Stardew Valley on the Nintendo Switch

Post by Mark

If you have a Nintendo Switch you should really get Stardew Valley. It’s an extremely addictive and entertaining game that reminds me a lot of Minecraft. You start off by inheriting a farm and some seeds and you then need to generate money, grow your farm, mine for minerals and make friends around town. Time really flies playing its and its super chill and relaxing.

The game costs only $15 and if you’re interested, you can buy it now from the Nintendo website [Here]


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Reconnecting After 60Years

Post by Mark

rolling

Last week I started getting comments under an old post of mine on life in Kuwait back in the 1950s. When I went through the comments I found something incredibly cool, kids who grew up in Kuwait together in the 1950s were reconnecting together in the comments under the posts. Not only that but other people who grew up during the era were also leaving their stories under those posts. How amazing is that?

If you haven’t read those posts before I’d recommend you do, and once you’re done reading them just go through the comments to read the conversations and other stories from that era. Here are the links:

Life in Kuwait back in the 1950s – Part 1
Life in Kuwait back in the 1950s – Part 2


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