DNA Tests Mandatory for Everyone in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

dnatesting

In a move that will make privacy advocates cringe, Kuwait passed a law yesterday making DNA tests mandatory for all residents. According to the AFP, people who refuse testing will face a year in prison and a hefty fine.

The draconian law will establish a comprehensive database of all residents in Kuwait, presumably making it easier for law enforcement to track down criminals after the fact. The country’s 1.3 million citizens and 2.9 million foreign residents will all be affected. Roughly $400 million has been set aside to implement the national DNA database program.

Many countries, including England, Sweden and the United States, routinely store the DNA of convicted criminals. Kuwait’s program would be the first such mandatory DNA test for every resident of a given country, regardless of criminal history. [Gizmodo]

Not sure how I feel about this. Don’t think I’m allowed to have feelings on this anyway, it’s compulsory so if I don’t like it I’ll have to GTFO or else I’ll have to spend a year in jail.


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The Chinnah Mo Kuwait Awards – 2015

Posted by Mark

chinnah

Last year I was contemplating what to get Nima (a close friend of mine) for his birthday when I decided to give him a 24 hour pass to post whatever he wanted on the blog. He’s always critical of what I write so I was like here, take my blog and see if you can do a better job. He took the pass and started thinking of various ways he could use the blog, maybe even turn it into one of his art projects.

Months after I gave him the pass we were sitting down and I asked him what ideas he had come up with and after sharing some with me one stood out. He was joking around about how he wanted to give a “Chinnah Mo Kuwait” award to a place that made you feel like you weren’t in Kuwait. “Chinnah Mo Kuwait” translates to “It doesn’t feel like Kuwait” and I thought that was actually a brilliant idea. It’s the best compliment you can give a place in Kuwait so, instead of just a 24 hour pass, I told him we should expand this idea and turn it into a proper awards with different categories and different winners. Now this is the plan, starting next week both Nima and I will be announcing winners for the following categories and in the following order:

Best Coffee Shop
Best Local Store
Best Shopping Mall
Best Bank
Best Hospital
Best Fitness Center
Best Art Gallery
Best Cinema
Best Internet Provider
Best Customer Service
Best Leisure
Best Restaurant

I won’t be editing Nima’s opinions nor censoring them. So if you have any complaints with his writing then direct it to him. Without further ado, here is Nima:

————————–

“It doesn’t feel like Kuwait”

The aspiration of anyone with means. To build a house, garden, restaurant that filter out the elements of the everyday ‘struggle’ of being here. Our mutual disdain for the loud, hot, smelly, smoggy, honk-happy traffic. To filter-out loud and obnoxious riffraff. To trip-up the loud screaming children who insist on playing football with anything remotely shaped like a ball and foot. This, my dear loathsome friends is the highest compliment we can offer.

Oh, shut up, don’t act so incredulous. You’ve said it too. Maybe you were at your grandfather’s farm or a friends chalet. And they’ve spent considerable effort to build walls up to block out the sounds of the road, mere meters away and traffic mere centimetres apart. They lined the walls with trees and bushes to block out the…lets say…overly enthusiastic sun. They’ve hired gardeners and maybe an agricultural engineer to keep the plants from incinerating. And you refuse to pay him the greatest complement in this countries vernacular?? I think not. This is so nice, it doesn’t feel like you’re in Kuwait. Chinnah Barees.

That is why we, the custodians of current events in Kuwait feel it is high time to pay the ultimate respects to the gems of this country we all call home. Here’s to that extra effort people put to be not half-assed. We are a full-assed people. Here’s to the complete package!

– Nima


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Kuwait at the Tate Modern

Posted by Mark

When I was in London back in February I passed by the Tate to check out some of the exhibits. One of the exhibitions that was taking place there was called “Conflict, Time, Photography”. I didn’t end up seeing this exhibition since it turned out I had to get a ticket and to do that I needed to go back down to the ground floor. Problem was the escalators weren’t working that day and I had already walked up like 4 or 5 floors so really didn’t feel like going back down and up again. Anyway I basically missed out on that exhibition and now I found out Kuwait played a role in it.

fait

The French photographer Sophie Ristelhueber exhibited her photos of Kuwait at that exhibit. Sophie traveled to Kuwait in 1991 soon after the end of the first Gulf War and took photographs of the ravaged desert. She later published 71 photos in a book called “Fait” (Fact in English) and those photos were displayed at Tate. I found the video above in which Sophie discusses the photos and in which you can get a glimpse of the photos. The exhibition ended back in March. [YouTube]


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Ghazwa Residential Complex

Posted by Mark

highrise

Not much information on this residential building but from the renderings and the bit of information that is available, it looks like we’re finally getting a decent looking high-rise residential tower. [Link]

Thanks ChaoticTranquility


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Mujawharaty

Posted by Mark

jewls

Mujawharaty is a new website where you can buy jewelry. I don’t have any interest in jewelry but I’m just glad people are launching ecommerce websites and not just trying to sell stuff on instagram. The website is still under development because there are a few sections not working but there are a ton of items on there already if you just wanna browse. [Link]

Also, there’s a new online electronics store that just launched called Beraven (and they also just started advertising on my blog). You can check out their website [Here]


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New Kuwait Airways Commercial

Posted by Mark

A friend sent me the new Kuwait Airways commercial and I couldn’t stop laughing once I watched it. Basically what I got from the commercial is that a guy purchased a business class ticket for himself and his wife (I am assuming she’s his wife). Once they board the plane, the guy finds an old man sitting in his seat. The guy insults the old man and then goes and sits in economy because I guess the flight attendants couldn’t sort out the problem (it’s Kuwait Airways after all). The guy then negotiates his way to another economy seat and then lies his way back into a business class seat and forces a business class passenger to go back into economy. Finally after all the hustling the old man who was sitting in his seat decides to get up and give him back his seat. I guess the new revamped Kuwait Airways is just like the old Kuwait Airways… a mess. Check out the commercial above. [YouTube]

Thanks Musaed

plane


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Alargan Square

Posted by Mark

alargan

Because we don’t have enough of them already, there is a new restaurants complex currently under construction in Salmiya called Alargan Square. It’s located right next to Symphony Style Hotel and it’s by the same company that built the Al Bida’a strip. Construction is supposed to be completed in around four months time. I don’t have any idea what restaurants will be opening there so if you know any let me know. Another food square recently opened in that area closer to Sultan Center called The Cube which I previously posted about [Here].


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Badilha Video Games App

Posted by Mark

badilha

Although visually not pleasing, the idea behind the Badilha app is a great one. Badilha is an app that allows you to buy and sell used video games in Kuwait. Currently your best option is usually heading to Rihab Complex when you want to do that or using my blogs classified section. But, having an app revolving around this idea is much more convenient. If you’re interested, the app is available for both [iOS] and [Android]


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The Millennium Hotel & Convention Centre

Posted by Mark

hotel1

Last week I found out the Millennium Hotel & Convention Centre off the 4th Ring Road had finally opened up. Construction on the hotel started years ago, before the financial crisis (I think) and then after the crisis work on it stopped until a few years ago it continued again. Even when construction started they still ran into issues with laborers not wanting to work in the basement because they thought it was haunted. Many weren’t even willing to work alone on any floor because the hotel was built where the old ghost house used to be. But this past May the hotel was completed and opened up for business. Once I found out the hotel was open I decided to pass by and check it out of curiosity. The on duty manager was kind enough to give me a tour of the place and brief me a bit on the hotel.

hotel2

The hotel is located on the corner of the 4th Ring Road and the 30th. It’s an odd location because the area around the hotel is full of old low rise residential buildings. But, according to the hotel, they’re conveniently located because they’re close to Kuwait City and also close to recreational areas like Avenues and Salmiya. The hotel has nearly 300 rooms and over 20 meeting rooms. It’s a business hotel and it’s designed with that in mind. For example all the business rooms look different so that if you host meetings often at the hotel, you can choose a different room every time to keep the employees excited. The color of the hotel room corridors is also different on every floor so you don’t get a sense of ‎déjà vu if you’ve stayed at the hotel before.

hotel3

I took a few photos while I was getting a tour which I’ve shared below. The view from the top floors was pretty cool since the hotel is the tallest building in the area by far and you could see for miles without any obstruction. Would be interesting to see how the hotel ends up doing.


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#onekuwait

Posted by Mark

explosion

I’ve spent the last 30+ minutes trying to figure out what to write. I tend to have a difficult time with words but never like this. By now you’ve probably heard about the devastating explosion that took place at a mosque today during prayers. As of this post at least 13 people are reportedly. I’ve been getting a steady supply of photos and videos via Whatsapp of this tragedy but I won’t be sharing any of them here out of respect. It’s so sad, I can’t believe this happened. If you want to stay up to do date on whats going on, please use this [Link]

This is heartbreaking, may they all rest in peace.


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