When I was 15, my Dad went to work in Saudi Arabia for two years, in order to help with the communications of its airport system and to earn some extra money. I won’t say how long ago that was, but I begged him to let me go with him. I wanted to see the incredibly exotic Mideast: Laurence of Arabia, markets, the Road to Wherever with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. He told me that the last thing Saudi Arabia wants is an American teenager, a girl in fact, running around in the city. I would have to stay home in the compound most days. Bitterly disappointed, I only slightly got over it when he brought me back some beautiful brass sculptures.
I am now so not a teenager. Umpteen years later, I went to Kuwait this past December. I was co-teaching a workshop for scientists within Kuwait to help them understand the competitive writing process, and why it is important to justify various aspects of a research proposal. My boss and I worked with the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science – an incredible group of dedicated people. And we taught excited early career environmental scientists, social scientists, geneticists, and chemical engineers. It was a wonderful experience.
Although I didn’t have time for markets, nor a chance to get out of Kuwait City, here are some photos of my mini-adventure. Beginning with the incredible view from my hotel room (as seen above). The real adventure actually was in meeting these great folks, who were so interested in collaboration and learning.