Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I Survived Haitham Al-Shaye3

Last night, my dear mother and I headed over to Shamiya and attended speeches made by Adel Al Sar3awi, Jassim Al Sa3doun and my favorite of the three in terms of delivery, Mishari Al Osaimi. After the three gentlemen left the podium, the fourth and final one popped up behind it.

The last speaker of the night - or rather, screamer who was in dire need of valium for all our sakes - the barely 30 year old Haitham Al-Shaye3, was introduced as a Denverite graduate who rolled into his family's business before working in the one and only, our beloved NBK. In other words, a spoiled rich daddy's boy who partied it up from Mint to Monaco before settling in his family's green.

At first, I was delighted to see a young, handsome face before me. The only bad thing was that it started to yell and bellow in no time. It was like experiencing the climax of a cheesy Egyptian action movie for twenty minutes straight which would cause any normal functioning human being to spring out of his/her seat and shout "SHUT UUUUUUUUUP!"

One of the first things I learned in my speech making class in university was to at least memorize the introduction and conclusion because eye contact is key especially in the beginning and closing part of one's speech. This little guy who made me reminisce the times I heard boring monotone speeches read the whole goddamned thing. I bet he downed a dozen Diet Cokes beforehand because he was roaring and raging away at us with his fisted hands and squirrel-like voice. I wouldn't have been surprised if he whipped off his "3gal" and lashed out on us. The guy was on fire, and not in a good way. He was going at everything with such force that I could not stop thinking, "Dude, take a friggin' chill pill and settle the hell down. Breathe for crying out loud!"

'Problem is that his speech was, well, stupid and redundant. "Hatha gal sinee oo hatha gal shi3ee. Hatha gal wa6ani oo hatha gal moo wa6ani." Ummm…seriously? Although important, I think everyone is getting super fed up with that bullcrap and over mentioning it doesn't add much; it just deters you away from speaking about the real problem(s). Now, I don't think my written Arabic is that bad (see previous post) but even with my lack of Arabic grammar knowledge and logic, I knew that something was off about his speech's structure. The guy was all over the place, pulling examples from Kuwait's successful handball team and saying how we should adopt the same team spirit that made them rise to the top. " '3azoo il Kuwait…tathkiroon il '3azoo?!?" The guy was like what, twelve years old then? And then the "let's get 'em good schools and hospitals and whatchamacallits…"

I was amused through it all but then that stopped when my ears started to ring and my head started to ache very, very badly.

Mr. Haitham, if you read this, here are some really helpful links that you, well, must use:

How to Make a Good Speech

Public Speaking - The Art of Speech Making

So You Wanna Deliver an Effective Speech?

Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight
Devo - Whip It
Queen - The Show Must Go On
Kajagoogoo - Too Shy
Talking Heads - Road to Nowhere
Whitesnake - Here I Go Again
The Colourfield - Thinking of You
Sheena Easton - 9-5

at 8:30 AM


  1. Anonymous Z posted at 8:56 AM  
    I was mildly regretting not going yesterday.

    Now I'm okay. Shoulda knew this 'lel kuwait shababha' and handball/nabeeha 5 references were just for attention.

    I am now taking a vow not to vote to anyone with a gefel
  2. Blogger don_veto posted at 9:35 AM  
    I propose giving an IQ test to all the people wanting to get elected, or no an IQ test is too difficult, just a basic literacy test. All those in favor say Ay.
  3. Blogger Q80 Saracen posted at 9:41 AM  
    Erzulie, you're not being fair...

    After all, he obviously took a page from the great speakers of the world like Hugo Chavez and Castro...the fist shaking is Musilini of course...all of these figures are ones we in democracies find very appealing, don't you think? all seriousness..."this little guy"? Are you saying that because you're tall, or is he in fact a live representation of a Napoleon complex? I wonder...
  4. Blogger K.thekuwaiti posted at 9:44 AM  
    Your delirious .. screaming and shouting about the same tired old topics is best way to win an election. Look at the posters and advertisements .. if they aren't behind a podium with a clenched fist and open mouth .. they don't have a chance.
  5. Blogger 1001 Nights posted at 9:52 AM  
    You reminded me of a nadwa I attended where Dr Aseel Alawathi spoke and they asked her to speak louder and she said something like she doesn't want to be like those guys that yell in the parliament and I really really liked that.

    I do believe, however, that some people do listen more when there's a more animated speech. The level of anger makes listeners who are angry at the current status of the country feel that this is their voice and that this guy is sincere and passionate and that he expresses what they feel.
  6. Blogger Erzulie posted at 11:12 AM  
    z: well, he just screamed lack of everything.

    don veto: Ayain!

    q80 saracen: well, he did look short when he was standing behind the podium. but no, i used little in reference to his age and how shallow his speech was in comparison to the men who were before him.

    k: well, he has a mighty hell of a chance to win if those are the mandatory prerequisites!

    1001: animation is one thing, and using one's hand and body is a plus in terms of speech making i.e. it'll be boring to observe a stiff speech, so to speak. i think sincere passion is one thing, but the guy trespassed the borders of emotional rationality. it was wayyy too much, i know that.
  7. Blogger Q80 Saracen posted at 11:49 AM  
    You know what's funny, is only moments after reading your post, people at work started talking about him.

    There seems to be a general consensus on what you said. One guy actually said that he came into his Diwaniya, smiled and introduced himself calmly...and then once he sat down, it was like someone turned on the ignition. There is a difference between assertive and aggressive...but K is right, people are winning elections this way. Its our Arab love for dramatization, rhetoric combined with our ridiculously low attention spans.

    What were we talkin about again?
  8. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 1:21 PM  
    I would have paid money to watch him whip his 3egal off and swing it around to your Devo's "Whip It".

    Heck, I might even vote for him then because the message of his speech would have been
    a. effective
    b. concise
    c. followed socially and politically relevant talking points
    d. made far more political sense in terms of Kuwait's current general intellectual and electoral sensibilities.

    Examine for yourself:

    crack that whip
    give the past the slip
    step on a crack
    break your momma's back
    when a problem comes along
    you must whip it
    before the cream sits out too long
    you must whip it
    when something's going wrong
    you must whip it
    now whip it
    into shape
    shape it up
    get straight
    go forward
    move ahead
    try to detect it
    it's not too late
    to whip it
    whip it good

    .... See? Appropriately profound! ;P

    (your songs are making my day and bringing out my inner fool BTW hehehe )
  9. Blogger Jewaira posted at 1:26 PM  
    Well he certainly was successful in drawing attention to himself with the TV and paper ads and a web site.

    With regards to his speech and your impression of it, I do sincerely hope he reads this post and takes it as constructive criticism.

    He sounds like he is full of gusto.

    Just what we need in the new parliament:

    Younger educated members and preferably female.
  10. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 2:34 PM  
    7aggich Erzuliya :*

    ankeree huna
  11. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 4:08 PM  
    yeah, we need more whatchamacallits.
  12. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 11:53 PM  
    Ana men lama shefta ebfacebook gelt ma fee 5air =P
  13. Blogger Erzulie posted at 9:22 AM  
    q80 saracen: il 39aimi was dramatic, but it was rooted in something real. watching this guy was like witnessing an exorcism.

    ms. baker: inner fools are happy fools :)

    jewaira: well, he's not a chick but he seems educated yet his light bulb is flickering...

    ms.baker: i love how zany 80's music videos are! it's like "what the hell were they thinking?"!

    3baid: :)

    greyshorts: i don't want to say ina il walad ma fee '7air bes still, he's still a "walad"! too young, and something about his character doesn't fit right...lack of experience doesn't help either and his working experience isn't right for the job...
  14. Blogger Traveleer posted at 12:07 PM  
    ill slip him a joint on his next speech. a good gunja weeda would make him more likeable and attract the gang camping next to your house to him.
  15. Anonymous Anonymous posted at 11:50 PM  
    im watching the speech on ilqrain tv now..waaay waay la2 i thought ga3da itbalgheen but u so didnt!!
  16. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:19 AM  
    traveleer: lol!

    anon: ee could've been all right if he took one breath during his cursed speech.
  17. Blogger f7ee7eely posted at 2:17 AM  
    after reading your review -- I think I need not to know more of the guy ...

    I think candidates ought to learn from great speakers like MLK and what have you and work a little more on their persuasion skills!!

    bravo gr8t review funny n insightful by all means -- I sure as hell dont want you in the crowd if i was running for the elections:P
  18. Blogger eshda3wa posted at 12:57 PM  
    i almost feel sorry for him .. almost!

    dude at least pay someone to write a proper speech for u!

    you think someone close to him would point out how bad he is?
  19. Blogger Jandeef posted at 11:57 PM  
    I read your post at work when you posted and it cracked me up.

    I'm watching the speech now, and cracking up even more, having your post in my head.

    Hehe it's hillarious.
  20. Blogger Erzulie posted at 12:28 PM  
    f7ee7eely: lol! :P~

    eshda3wa: well, i would assume that he was working with some sort of mentor. but i mean, at least practice your speech in front of a mirror OR video tape yourself! that way, you can see if you look like a dufus or not. and i don't know if someone close to him would point out such a thing; on the contrary, they might - unfortunately and i hope that that's not the case - pat him on the back and say he did a superb job. telling someone that their speech stunk like ass isn't a thing anyone would jump into...

    jandeef: hell, i feel sorry for the guy. i mean, i know he's better than a lot of the lowlife shitbags who have had experience in the political field and are still running their sorry asses. but damn, if you're going to charge the political field, come in strong in all ways possible!

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