Consul General Series - 科威特駐港澳總領事 Salah Alsaif


Hello to all the listeners of RTHK. My name is Salah Alsaif and I’m the Consul General of the State of Kuwait in HK and Macau.

香港電台的聽眾們,你好!我是科威特駐港澳總領事Salah Alsaif。

1) Any special events or festivals in your country?


Kuwait is situated in the Arabian Gulf, closest to Saudi Arabia & Iraq borders and not far from Iran. We've been a monarchy since 1756, a constitutional monarchy since 1963. The royal family has remained the same since the mid 18th century. As the location is between all the aforementioned three countries, that enhanced the arts and culture. We have a very unique festival in February which coincides with the National Day and Liberation Day as well. It’s called “Hala February”, basically translated to “Hello February”, so we have festivities, like shows and so many artistic activities going on. February is the main festive season in Kuwait.

科威特位於阿拉伯灣,最靠近沙特阿拉伯和伊拉克邊界,距伊朗不遠。 自1756年以來我們一直是君主制國家,自1963年以來就是君主立憲制。自18世紀中葉以來,王室一直保持不變。 由於地處上述三個國家之間,因此提高了我們的藝術和文化水平。 我們在2月有一個非常獨特的節日,正好是國慶節和解放日。 它被稱為“ Hala February”,基本上翻譯為「你好,2月」,因此我們有很多慶祝活動,例如表演和許多藝術活動舉行。 2月是科威特主要的節日季節。

2) So do you celebrate it with Kuwait families in HK?


Absolutely, we have almost a monthly gathering in Kuwait House which is located in Cyberport, Island South. We have very few Kuwaitis, perhaps less than 30 in HK. That makes it convenient for me and my wife to gather them on a monthly basis.

絕對會,我們幾乎每月一次會在港島南區,即是數碼港的科威特官邸聚會。 我們在香港只有很少的科威特人,也許少於30人。所以這使我和我的妻子每月都可以方便地與他們聚會。

3) Are there any teenagers going to Kuwait for academics and study?


Absolutely, we are working with so many top universities in HK, as we're trying to get some Secondary school and High school students to go to Kuwait for exchange programs because I believe the teenagers are the future. Of course the Graduate student and Undergraduates are always welcome but I believe we should concentrate on the younger generation, so to have them understand both Kuwait and Chinese culture.


4) Is English the common language?


Absolutely, Arabic is the main official language besides English. I presume maybe we can do better in Cantonese, that we can probably work together on that, but currently, English is the other widely spoken language besides Arabic.

當然,阿拉伯語是英語以外的主要官方語言。 我想也許我們可以在粵語方面做得更好,也許我們可以一起努力,但是目前,英語是除阿拉伯語之外另一種廣泛使用的語言。

5) Which season do you suggest people go to Kuwait?


If you are ok with the 45 degrees weather, you can go all year around. But if you are similar to me who prefer a little bit cooler weather, then you should probably visit from October to April. It's very beautiful during this season as temperatures can be between 10 to 25 degrees.

如果您能夠接受45度高溫,就全年任何時間都可以。 但是,如果您是像我一樣,因我更喜歡涼爽的天氣,那麼就應該是大概從十月到四月最好,由於氣溫可能在10到25度之間,所以這個季節非常美麗。

6) What do you think about HK and what do you feel now?


It’s difficult to explain. I think all the people that I've talked to, mostly feel that HK is their home since they’ve arrived. HK is a very hospitable and open city. It's a little bit difficult sometimes, and overwhelming to see recent events. We hope this is going to subside soon, of course it needs rationality and understanding by allsides. We feel truly like HKongers, we want to live with everybody in a peaceful way and cooperate with everybody. So hopefully, all these will subside one way or another.

這有點難以解釋,我想我和所有與之交談過的人都覺得香港是他們的家,自從他們到達之後,香港是一個非常適宜居住和開放的城市,有時候這有點困難,並且看到最近發生的事件而感到不知所措,我們希望這種情況很快就會消失,當然,這需要整個社會互相體諒和理解。 我們與香港人一樣,都希望與大家和平相處,與大家合作。 因此,希望所有最新的情況都會盡快完結。

7) Any special place you like in HK?


Obviously there is nothing much to dislike. I’m saying this from the bottom of my heart. Our favorite place is Stanley. This place is fascinating and reminds us of Kuwait. We’re a city by the bay, so when we see the water, our heart pumps and feels like being at home. It’s a beautiful scenery as well in Deepwater Bay & Clearwater Bay, so the south part of the island is our favorite.

顯然我從心底裏感到沒有什麼不喜歡的。 現在我們最喜歡的地方是赤柱,這個地方十分迷人,並使我們回想起科威特。 因為我們是海灣旁的一座城市,所以當我們看到水灣時,就會觸動心靈,感覺就像回到家裡一樣。 這裏風景優美,例如有深水灣和清水灣,所以整個島的南部都是我們的最愛。

8) How about Chinese food?


We love Chinese food, of course Chinese food is also famous in Kuwait. Maybe it’s difficult for us to distinguish between Chinese and Taiwanese food as non-Chinese Nationals, but we love Dim Sum. Noodles are also popular in Kuwaiti cuisine because Kuwait is much like HK do eat noodles and rice. By the way, we are almost 18 times the size of HK. So thank you HK for making Kuwait feel grand and big.

我們喜歡中國菜,當然中國菜在科威特也很著名。 對於我們這些非中國裔的人士來説,我們難以區分中國和台灣美食。但我們喜歡點心,在科威特美食中,麵條也十分重要,因為科威特人就像香港人一樣,同樣愛吃飯和麵。此外,科威特的面積大約是香港的18倍。 因此,感謝香港讓科威特感到既富裕又大。

9) Please tell us more about the national flower of your country.


It’s called Arfaj in Arabic, and it’s a Rhanterium Epapposum, it's difficult to pronounce in English. It’s a desert flower which is indigenous to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. It’s very beautiful and unique, of course it's very important before the discovery of oil as camels and sheeps feed on, so it was chosen to be the national flower of Kuwait in 1983.

它的阿拉伯語叫Arfaj,它的名稱是Rhanterium Epapposum,名稱有點難讀,但它是沙漠生長的花,是科威特、沙特阿拉伯和卡塔爾土生土長的品種。 非常美麗和獨特,當然在發現石油之前是非常重要的,因為它們曾經是駱駝和綿羊的食物,它們以此為食,因此在1983年被選為科威特的國花。

10) Please teach us some simple trendy language.


A very simple one is “Yalla”, you can use it to go somewhere. You can also use it to disperse somebody. Yalla is probably the most common word used in our language.

一個非常簡單的就是Yalla,您去某個地方時可以用到,也可以使用它來趕走某人。 Yalla是一種常見的俚語。

11) So what is the meaning of it?


Allah is God, it’s not a unique God to Islam. For example, Christian and Jewish from Arabic descent also use the word Allah for God, so Yalla is a common calling, like Oh Lord, for example.


12) We like to know more, like how to say Hello or Goodbye in Kuwait?


Hello is very nice because it’s “Hala”, so you could always remember it and it's very commonly used.


13) How about Goodbye?


Goodbye is a little bit tricky, it’s “Ma” which is “With”, “Ma 'salama” which is translated to “With safety”, so I wish you to be safe.


14) Please introduce the flag.


This is the Kuwaiti modern flag, chosen in 1961 when Kuwait got its independence in that year. It has 4 colors, basically there is an old poem in Arabic that describes the meaning of the colors. We have to say this, that we are very friendly, black is the result of war, red is also associated with war, green is prosperity and white is peace. It is noted in our constitution that offensive wars are forbidden, so the last offensive war Kuwait under took was in 1901.

這是科威特現代國旗,於1961年科威特獲得獨立的那一年選定。 它有4種顏色,基本上有一首古老的阿拉伯詩,描述了顏色的含義。 我們必須這樣說,我們非常友好,黑色是戰爭的結果,紅色也與戰爭相關,綠色代表繁榮,白色代表和平。 我們的憲法禁止進行進攻性戰爭,因此科威特所進行的最後一次進攻性戰爭是在1901年。

Wrapping Up

I am Salah Alsaif, the Consul General of Kuwait, and you are listening to RTHK Radio 5 Serina Ha’s Cultural Garden.

我是科威特駐港澳總領事Salah Alsaif,你現在正收聽香港電台第五台夏妙然博士主持的文化花園。