Excavator crashes through roof

Posted by Mark

excavator

A reader sent me a picture they took yesterday in Al Riggae in which an excavator that was demolishing a building from the roof down ended up falling through the building. No idea what happened to the operator of the excavator.

Demolishing buildings by placing an excavator on the roof is a common method in Kuwait and it obviously isn’t safe. But, there doesn’t seem to be a law against it and I’m sure the operators aren’t paid much to risk their lives. Below is a picture I had previously taken of an excavator demolishing a building from the roof just to give you a clearer idea of what I’m talking about.

excavatoronroof

Thanks Riba


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Escape to Oman

Posted by Mark

oman1

Ali Husain has been organizing trips to Oman for awhile now but I only recently found out about them through a friend of mine. Ali is a Kuwaiti who used to travel to Oman on a monthly basis to hike and discover new places but he ended up completely moving there back in 2012 because he loved the place so much.

According to Ali, the mountains in Oman are rugged yet majestic and unfortunately, not many people know about the real beauty of Oman. It always upsets him every time he asks a person about Oman and the only thing they know is the Shangri-La hotel which is not a representation of anything real in Oman. Oman has so many hidden jewels, unique mountains, caves and waterfalls to offer but no one is willing to put the effort to leave the comfort of a hotel room. So, Ali decided to start a new outdoor community in the Gulf.

oman2

Every few months Ali organizes trips to Oman from Kuwait. The trips are available usually on weekends and they are all about team work and creating a mini community in a magical setup. Everyone on these trips works together to set up camps, cut wood, cook meals, etc. It is a full on schedule usually for two days with hardly any sleep. There are no hotels or proper bathroom and everyone will have to go back to basics in everything.

oman3

Right now Ali has two upcoming trips this October. The first trip is from October 9th to 11th and its to the the largest caving system in the region. It is an amazing experience like no other places on this planet. The second trip takes place from October 16th to October 18th and is to the summit of the highest point in the Gulf, Jebal Shams at 10,000 ft. The cost is KD150 per person and that includes food, beverages, camping gear and transportation but does not include airfare to Oman or any hotel stays before or after the trip. Most of the trips require a high level of endurance and acceptance is usually based on that.

So if you’re interested in exploring Oman you can contact Ali on husaak@gmail.com or whatsapp +96599635414. You can also follow him on instagram where you can see many more amazing pictures @husaak


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Kuwait Towers could become a World Heritage Site

Posted by Mark

kuwaittowers

The Kuwait Towers are now on UNESCO’s tentative list to become a World Heritage site. The first report was submitted back in May and later accepted by UNESCO in July. It’s only the first step but if it does get approved, then the Kuwait Towers will become the first modernist building in the entire Gulf region to be designated a World Heritage Site.

There are a number of reasons UNESCO found the Kuwait Towers a suitable candidate including the fact that when the Kuwait Towers was designed and built it was a complex task to allocate a big volume of water at a high level, in an elegant object and in such a delicate location. The symbolism behind the Kuwait Tower also sparked their interest, Kuwait being a barren dry desert while the Kuwait Towers representing water, the symbol of life. It’s an interesting report which you can check out [Here]

kuwaittowers2

But, as many of you are aware, the Kuwait Towers are currently closed and although my investigation didn’t result in a conclusive reason to whats going on right now, I did manage to get some idea.

For a building to become a World Heritage Site it’s not an easy process involving a lot or requirements. If the Kuwait Towers does becomes a World Heritage Site then it will no longer just belong to Kuwait but it will belong to all of humanity (figuratively speaking). So if later someone in Kuwait decides they want to change the spheres from blue to gold and cover them in Swarovski crystals, they would have to get permission from UNESCO first. But, for the Kuwait Towers to become a World Heritage Site it also needs to be restored to the original state and this is where I understood the issue is.

kuwaittowers3

The Kuwait Towers were undergoing an internal makeover to make the interior look more Kuwaiti. To UNESCO that means destroying the integrity of the building and UNESCO requires the interior to keep its original elements. For the Kuwait Towers to gain the World Heritage status, they now need to flip through all the old documents and photos and try to restore the Kuwait Towers interior as close as possible to the original state from railings to the carpet.

On a similar note, the Kuwait National Assembly Building which was designed by the Opera Sydney House architect Jørn Utzon was also submitted to UNESCO to become a World Heritage Site. Sadly it was rejected with the main reason being the huge ugly extension that was built adjacent to it.

For a wealth of information on the Kuwait Towers and some construction related documents, check out my favorite source [Here]


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Staged in Kuwait is Back

Posted by Mark

sik

Staged in Kuwait Productions is back and ready to start a new season. They have bunch of try outs coming up so if you’re interested here’s some info:

comedy

Comedy Team Try Outs
Tonight, Wednesday 10th September, the SiK Comedy team meet for the first time at the SIK Studio in Fintas and start preparing for the first SiK Comedy Night of the season.

If you have always wanted to make the world laugh come along and try out in our informal audition/workshop first session.

The session meets from 7pm – 9pm. For full information check out this [Link]

madmusicals

Mad Musicals 10 – Join the Cast
What do you get when you take a song from each of the Top 25 longest running Broadway and West End Musicals and put them together into one massive Musical Theatre show? Mad Musicals of course! And this year it’s the tenth and final outing for this show series.

Come and join the ensemble for this fun show this Friday, September 12th, at 2pm for the first rehearsal. Location: Sik Studio, Fintas.

The show will hit the stage October 15/16/17 2014.

No Auditions – just turn up and get involved!

If you can sing a little, dance a little and want to meet new people and get involved in Kuwait’s most followed community theatre group this is the event for you. The first of five Friday rehearsals as we Put On A Show. For full information check out this [Link]

drama

Drama Classes for Kids and Adults
There is just one week left to sign up for the SiK Drama classes for this term. We want to help you or your children build a performance skill set, develop your confidence and learn the foundations of good stage craft. These fun sessions will help you do all that and more.

Classes start next week and there are still a few spots left. Mondays is Adult class (16+), Tuesdays is for Children age 7 – 10 and Wednesdays is for children aged 11 – 14.

For full details, and to sign up, for this exciting addition to our season check out our website [Here]


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Chowking Now Open in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

chowking

Chowking the Philippine-based fast food chain opened up their first branch in Kuwait over the weekend. I passed by on Saturday evening just to check the place out and it was insanely packed with long lines and nowhere to sit. The menu consists mainly of fried chicken, dimsums and noodles (you can check it out here).

They opened their first branch in Salmiya near Johnny Rockets and Shake Shack where Dunkin Donuts used to be. That specific location is considered cursed due to the amount of places that have opened up and shut down over the years but I think Chowking has the potential to break the curse. Here is a link to their [Facebook Page]


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UFC Fighters in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

mattbrown

Three UFC fighters are in Kuwait for the next few days to support the US troops. Matt Brown, Mike Pierce and CB Dollaway arrived last night along with 2013 ADCC grappling champion Joao Assis. This isn’t the first time UFC fighters have come to Kuwait to support the troops and I believe it’s Mike Pierce’s second time since he came back in 2012. If anyone knows where they are staying let me know, I would love to get my UFC tshirt signed by Matt Brown. So far my shirt has signatures from Dan Henderson, Brian Stan, Rashad Evans, Michael Bisping and a few other fighters.

Thanks Ray


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Kuwait Moves up in the Environmental Performance Index

Posted by Mark

sofa desert

According to the latest Environmental Performance Index done by Yale University, Kuwait is now ranked #42 out of 178 countries listed. This makes Kuwait the 3rd best performing Arab country behind only the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Kuwait has moved up more than 100 places since I first posted about this index back in 2012 when Kuwait ranked nearly last. According to the Minister of Oil and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs, the improvement of the government environment policy was a major reason for the 2014 EPI improvement.

Check out the full rankings [Here]

Thanks Ali


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Fight at City Center

Posted by Mark

One of the consequences of Instagram is that people end up sharing just 15 seconds of video. It’s frustrating since I couldn’t find the full fight video on YouTube, the one above is two 15 second clips put together. In both clips the cops were at the scene trying to break the fight apart. [YouTube]

fight


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Have an American Passport? Say hello to the IRS

Posted by Mark

facta

According to zDistrict, the Kuwaiti banks will now be complying with FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) which means any American citizen will have their bank information automatically passed on to the IRS for tax purposes. For Kuwaitis with dual citizenship this might end up being a problem with no easy way out. Check out the post [Here]


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This isn’t an oil leak

Posted by Mark

notpolution

The image above has been making its rounds on instagram and whatsapp reportedly showing a large ship leaking oil into the Kuwaiti sea near the KPC building in Shuwaikh. Other than the fact that I think this is an old picture, according to a redditor who works with large ships this isn’t even a leak:

When it gets shallow the props brings the mud off the bottom, then it kid of sits there in a cloud while a tug boat is pushing it off to the side. The pollution regulations are huge when it comes to shipping, if it was a leak the last thing that would be happening is a tug boat spreading the oil with it’s props. [Source]


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