After discovering a number of exciting, local, creative practitioners and organisations in the previous activities and identifying 3 who could potentially become subjects for the upcoming interview, I was keen to make contact with my first choice company.
I was not sure if this activity was going to be straightforward or even if any of my 3 choices would respond positively for a number of differing reasons. Firstly, in the heat of the summer months there is a mass exodus from Kuwait, with many businesses running a skeleton staff as people travel to escape the scorching temperatures. Therefore, I was not sure if the relevant people would even be in the country.
Secondly, it is currently the holy month of Ramadan; In this predominately Muslim society the majority of people fast and for those who don’t, it is still illegal to eat or drink, in public, during daylight hours. Working hours are also reduced to accommodate for this consequently I was apprehensive that people would be reluctant to participate.
Lastly, as a non Arab woman, I sometimes find that some people are not very forthcoming in offering the assistance and/or information as they would to Nationals of Kuwait and it is for these reasons that I was concerned at the onset of this activity. I needn’t have worried as my contact from my first choice company respondent almost immediately with a welcoming yes!
Below is my submission for activity 4, detailing my contact and coordination process. This has also been uploaded as a PDF for tutor feedback. I feel quite confident that I have approached this in a professional and organised manner and I am very much hoping a positive response. I am still to confirm an exact time and date for the interview and I am well aware that I have a lot of preparatory work ahead, ergo I plan to read through the next activity and begin to draft a line of questioning over the next few days.
ACTIVITY 4: CONTACT & COORDINATE
Lines Design Creation & Consultancy
Zawya Center, Block 19 Area 146, Ibn Khaldoon Street, Hawally, Kuwait
Tel: +965 2 265 6201 / 202 Fax:+965 2 265 6101
Website / URLSocial Media links
Date and time of meeting
Date & time to be confirmed this week
Interview will be conducted with:
Ms Inji Darwish
I am increasingly aware of the many cultural differences regarding business relationships in Kuwait. Being an, ‘outsider’ I am not often privy to the nuances of Arabic business affairs. Therefore, I thought it wise to employ the knowledge and contacts that I have already established; using this as a opportunity to discover more about business procedures in a semi–familiar environment. Having a professional relationship with Lines Consultancy, through my work as Graphic Design Internship Coordinator, provided an advantageous position from which to negotiate a positive response.
My initial request was sent to Ms Inji Darwish via an informal email. Had I been contacting a person with whom I had not previously met, I believe my approach would have been far more formal and initiated via a phone call, then, followed by an email. Whereas, my previous experience of dealing with Ms Darwish reassured me that my request would be dealt with in due course. As expected, I received a prompt reply confirming acceptance, as long as I would adhere to a few conditions.
Firstly, I was asked to confirm my student status and that the interview fulfilled an obligation for a specific class. This seemed perfectly logical and I complied by requesting this documentation be provided from my course coordinator and subsequently forwarded the letter, as per Lines’ request.
Secondly I was asked to sign a non disclosure agreement. Although I did not have any issues with signing something this it did, perhaps, seem a little excessive. I have previously questioned the distinct lack of Kuwaiti company information available online. A request to sign a NDA would seem to indicate a high degree of privacy surrounding company information regarding business structure, hierarchy and managerial strategies. This is turn, could indicate a high level of duplicitous dealings.
This is merely speculative and I may be over emphasizing what may even be a standard practice elsewhere in the world. Nevertheless, I am basing my opinion on my observations of the lack of adherence to IP and copyright laws here. I simply, assume the same to be true regarding the acquisition of business information. This could potentially be an interesting line of inquiry in the context of the interview.
In summation I am very pleased that I was able to secure my first choice company and I am hopeful that the subsequent interview will be both productive in terms of further establishing professional links with like–minded creatives and also in establishing a greater understanding of Middle Eastern business practices within the creative industries.