A Blog of a Domestic Worker in Kuwait

Post by Mark


Back in September when I posted about Abdulai (the school teacher from Ghana), I had a feeling we would be hearing a lot more similar stories. With more people having access to smartphones and internet, I was confident more people would come forward to share their story. Then last week I got the following email from a domestic worker in Kuwait:

Journalism have been one of my passion since childhood but I had these infantile reasoning that being into journalism might also mean you re signing your death warrant.I have witnessed some renowned journalists being killed and other being put into prison custodies with out persecution but that doesn’t move me to give up on ma dreams of becoming one the worlds finest journalists.To be frank this blog has motivated and inspired me a lot.You have given me the reason why I shouldn’t give up on ma dreams I always say “HARDWOR AND DETERMINATION LEADS TO SUCCESS” .Am an African working in Kuwait as a househelp an I will really fight hard to accomplish my dreams when my contract is over

So after a bit of back and forth by email, I convinced her she didn’t have to wait and that she could start writing from now. I told her she should start a blog and I explained to her how she could set one up and be able to post articles from her phone. So she did that and got back to me today to let me know that not only was she able to set up her blog but she had also posted her first post. I’m not sure how often she will be updating the blog, she told me she will try to whenever she is free but in any case its still a big step forward. So check out her post and story on how she ended up in Kuwait by clicking [Here]

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November Cat Adoption Campaign at K’s PATH

Post by Patrick


Ever since I was a kid, I loved having a pet. I’ve had a turtle, rabbits, birds and a dog (not all at once thankfully). Ever since getting married my wife and I have been debating whether or not we should bring a pet into our family. Problem was, my wife loves cats and I was never a cat person, I love dogs. My opinions of cats were pretty generalized. They’re independent, have an attitude and just aren’t really affectionate (at least not as much as dogs). But, owning a dog would have been challenging because of our work schedule among other annoyances (like walking a dog in the heat). So I decided to research different cat breeds and discovered that even though cats can’t be as affectionate as dogs, they can still be loving and they can still be great companions, but only if you pick the right breed for you.


Last week, as chance would have it, K’s PATH posted a picture on Instagram of a lovely Balinese kitten. Balinese cats are related to the Siamese and they’re similar in temperament and in looks. They’re also Hypoallergenic which means they’re good cats to own if you have allergies to them (like both my wife and I do). The Balinese are also very vocal and love to communicate with their owners, they’re friendly and don’t mind having anyone petting them or playing with them. And even though they are independent to a certain degree, Balinese enjoy chilling on the couch with their owners.


So the next day after seeing the Instagram post I called K’s Path. The process for adopting a cat from them is pretty extensive, but simple. You book an appointment for an interview at their facilities in the morning from 10AM to 1PM either on Wednesday, Friday or Saturdays. The entire family (or whoever is going to interact with the cat extensively) has to go. So I made an appointment and my wife and I drove up there Friday morning. The drive was pretty long, about an hour or so from where we live in Salwa. Once we got there we were met by friendly staff and their offices are pretty laid back with cats relaxing or playing out in the open. We were interviewed for about 30 minutes and asked various questions from our history with pets, what kind of environment our house is like, if we have any knowledge on raising cats and so on. Once we were done with the interview, we were taken to a room with the Balinese kitten. They do this to make sure that the kitten would interact well with us and to make sure that it’s the kitten we actually wanted. The Balinese was sharing a room with a couple of other kittens and we got the chance to play around with all of them and even though I nearly picked a different kitten, we were certain we wanted the Balinese.

Once we were done with that room we went back to the interview room to finish up the process. Normally the charge to adopt a cat is KD35, which includes vaccinations, neutering, and a microchip. But if you adopt a cat in November, the fee is just KD10 and if you don’t bring an animal carrier, K’s PATH would supply you with a used one for an extra charge of KD5.

So if you were ever on the fence about owning a cat, pay them a visit this month. I’m absolutely in love with the kitten we got (named him Link, duh) and couldn’t be happier.

Visit the K’s PATH website or instagram account for more information.

Posted by Patrick

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Kuwait the Worlds 3rd Fattest Country

Post by Mark

A new world fattest countries list was released and Kuwait surprisingly came in third:

#1. Samoa
#2. Qatar
#3. Kuwait
#4. United Arab Emirates
#5. Fiji
#6. Bahamas
#7. Bahrain
#8. Saudi Arabia
#9. United States
#10. Libyan Arab Jamahiriya
#11. Lebanon
#12. Barbados
#13. Trinidad and Tobago
#14. Oman
#15. Jordan
#16. Turkey
#17. New Zealand
#18. Egypt
#19. Australia
#20. United Kingdom
#21. Mexico
#22. Canada
#23. Papua New Guinea
#24. Chile
#25. Solomon Islands

When these lists started popping up nearly a decade ago I couldn’t agree with them more, but today they just no longer make any sense. There is no way on earth Kuwait is currently the third fattest country in the world. Just no way. I can’t remember the last time I saw an obese person and the population is so much more health conscious than they’ve ever been.

When I first posted a similar list back in 2007 we were ranked 8th. Kuwait didn’t have as many gyms back then, the organic food craze hadn’t hit yet, we didn’t have a lot of healthy food options and people as a whole (including me) were not properly educated on whats healthy and whats not. Our ranking made sense back then. So there is no way we’ve moved up the list and are now currently ranked 3rd, not unless they’re using old data which is the most likely scenario. [Link]

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Buying Digital Cards in Kuwait

Post by Patrick


Buying digital games is becoming a more realistic option with this recent generation of consoles. This is mainly due to the fact that the consoles all have big enough storage, support external hard drives and because our internet speeds are pretty decent so buying a physical copy of a game isn’t necessary anymore. This is positive, especially in Kuwait where games are expensive and since not every game is sometimes even available. On top of that Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft discount a bunch of games for their consoles throughout the year. The problem for us in this region is that our gaming consoles only accept credit cards from the region you have your location set, which will always either be the U.S. or the U.K. So it’s good to know what websites offer digital codes that could be sent directly to your email.

Keep in mind that the only websites that support KNET are local. So if you’re planning on purchasing a digital code from Amazon, be prepared to use your credit card. So what’s the advantage of buying a digital code off Amazon? Well if you’re buying the $10 PSN card, it costs $9.99 which is equivalent to about KD3. $10 PSN cards in Kuwait go for KD3.750 to KD4 depending on the site you choose. If you have a credit card then there aren’t many disadvantages to getting a digital code from Amazon, the only one I can think of is that if you’re an owner of a Nintendo console, you’re out of luck since Amazon doesn’t sell digital codes for the Nintendo consoles.

For those who want to use Knet, we’re not short on options when it comes to local websites. Currently the websites that offer digital codes (to my knowledge) are Blink, X-Cite and GamesQ8. Digumz sells cards, but it’s unclear if they email the digital codes or not. The website that seems to have the best deals when it comes to PSN and Nintendo cards is X-Cite, but their Microsoft cards are more expensive than the others. GamesQ8 is generally pricier than the other websites and will only send you the digital codes through email only during their working hours.

It’s also important to note that if you’re looking for iTunes cards, both Blink and GamesQ8 currently sell digital codes.

Posted by Patrick

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Places that are open 24/7 in Kuwait

Post by Mark


Back in 2011 I posted a list of places that are open 24/7 in Kuwait. Figured its about time I update the list with your help. If you know of a place that is open 24 hours and isn’t on this list, let me know in the comments:

Places open 24/7 in Kuwait:

• Burger King – Bneidar Gas Station 1, Bneidar Gas Station 2, Fintas, Hawalli, Messilah and Plajat.
• Caribou Coffee – King Fahad Road (towards Chalets)
• Coffee Republic – King Fahad Road (towards Kuwait City)
• Costa – Dar Al Shifa Hospital, Hawalli
• Dunkin Donuts – Amman Street (Salmiya) and Fintas
• Finger Sushi – Kuwait City
• Geant Easy – Salmiya
• Gloria Cafe – Salmiya
• Hardees – Bida’a and Salmiya (opposite Fanar)
• Johnny Rockets – Salmiya
• KFC – Kuwait City, Salmiya (opposite Fanar)
• McDonalds – Airport, Al-Qosour, Al-Rai, Bayan, Bnaider, Fintas, Jabriya, Surra and Yarmouk
• Pizza Hut – Faiha, Fintas, Hawalli, Mishref and Salmiya City Center
• Pizzetta – Seef
• Prime & Toast – Seef
• Shawerma Shuwaikh – Bneid Al Gar
• Starbucks – Dasman, Hadi Hospital and Salmiya opposite Fanar
• Subway – Khaldiya, Mangaf
• The Grove – Opposite Kuwait Stock Exchange

• City Centre – Dajeej
• Co-op – Al Adan, Al-Faiha, Al Qousor, Al Qurain, Dasma, Jabriya, Mishref, Qurtoba, Rumaithiya, Salmiya, Salwa and Yarmouk
• Saveco Supermarket
• Sultan Center – Dajeej, Fahaheel, Hawalli, Jabriya, Mangaf, Al Rai, Salmiya, Salwa, Shaab and Souk Sharq
• Trolley Market – Alfa Gas Station Hateen

• Burgan Bank – Airport
• Debenhams – Airport
• Edge Fitness – Crown Plaza Hotel Farwaniya
• Gold’s Gym Salmiya
• Oula Car Wash – Jawazat Roundabout, Salmiya
• NBK – Airport
• Pharmacy 24 – Baghdad Street Salmiya
• Platinum Gym – Salmiya and Kifan
• Viva – Airport
• Wataniya – Airport
• X-Cite Electronics – Al Rai, Fahaheel and Hawalli
• Zain – Airport

Note: The list above might not be accurate, please call locations before heading there

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Burger Boutique Black

Post by Mark


Burger Boutique are opening a new location at the Sahara Country Club food complex (Murooj). Instead of opening the same restaurant as their current one in Arraya, they’re opening a more upscale version they’re calling Burger Boutique ‘Black’. It will have a completely different and upgraded menu, less fast food and more like a proper restaurant kind of menu. To me it felt like somewhere in between their current Burger Boutique and their Open Flame Kitchen restaurant at 360 Mall. One of the highlights of the new location is their use of dry aged beef on the menu. The burger pictured below for example (the Black Burger) uses dry aged beef in the patty mix for an added bit of flavor.


The new Burger Boutique is currently having tasting sessions going on and it’s expected to open up to the public from October 22nd onwards. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

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What will you die of?

Post by Mark


There is a website that allows you to generate infographics for causes and risks within a country and also compare it to other countries or the rest of the world using data from 1993 to 2013. The grid above shows the greatest causes of death in Kuwait, the larger the box the higher the risk. Based on the infographic, heart disease (IHD) is the lead cause of death followed by risk of a stroke and then road injuries. Check out all the data in detail by clicking [Here] (Make sure you choose Kuwait as the location)

Thanks Saud

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Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jabir Palace could become another local World Heritage Site

Post by Mark


After Failaka (2013) and Kuwait Towers (2014), another local site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage tentative list this year, Khaza’al Palace, now renamed to Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jabir Palace.

This site was built in the early Twentieth Century by Sheikh Khazaal Bin Mirdaw, Ruler of Muhammarah (1897 – 1925 ) on a piece of land which he received as a gift from Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Ruler (1896-1915). After Sheikh Khazaal’s death, it was bought by Sheikh Abdullah Al-Jabir Al- Sabah who took it as a family residence, thereafter converted it to the first national museum in Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf region, after which it remained as the property of his heirs until it was taken over by the State and rated as a high preservation building.

When it was built and for many decades thereafter, the Palace was reported to be the most magnificent structure in Kuwait. Patterned on regional antecedents, it was large, elaborate two storey structure in coral stone and mud brick in a stark contrast to Kuwait’s primarily single storey, austere architecture.


The palace is currently in a very poor state and so UNESCO is proposing the following:

In order to save the property from further deterioration, urgent steps are required to be taken, especially with regard to the original crumbling site of the Palace. This measure should be undertaken in coordination with the operational guidelines of the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. This may be followed by considering the addition of a modest Education and Culture Museum building in the surrounding area which may be devoted to fully express the site’s value to present and future generations. Further, the grounds need to be rehabilitated and the ancillary buildings are required to be activated.

For more information check out this link on UNESCO [Link]

Thanks Khaled

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Kuwait 4G LTE Report

Post by Mark


Last week the website Open Signal published an article on the state of LTE around the world. With the article they shared some date including LTE coverage around the world and LTE speeds around the world. When it came to coverage Kuwait was right on top of the list tied in 3rd place with Hong Kong. The only other countries ahead were South Korea and Japan. On the other hand when it came to LTE speeds, Kuwait’s speed landed at the other end of the list with an average download speed of 7Mbps placing it in 63rd place out of 68 countries. The only countries that performed worst were Bolivia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Costa Rica and Iran.

Now the more interesting information is the breakdown of the local operators by Open Signal. The operator with the most local coverage was Zain with 87%, Viva with 85% and Ooredoo with 84%. When it came to download speeds, Ooredoo averaged the fastest with 8Mbps, Zain with 7Mbps and Viva with 6Mbps.

Check out the full world wide results by clicking [Here]

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Kuwait Lacking Innovation

Post by Mark


The Global Innovation Index (GII) for 2015 was released last week and Kuwait surprisingly (at least to me) ranked last compared to neighboring GCC states. The GII ranked the innovative performance of 141 countries and economies around the world, based on 79 indicators and Kuwait ended up coming in 77th place in the rankings.

43 – Saudi Arabia
47 – United Arab Emirates
50 – Qatar
59 – Bahrain
69 – Oman
77 – Kuwait

I downloaded the full report to better understand why Kuwait came last in the GCC and so low worldwide and found a few positives and negatives which I’ve highlighted below.

Electricity output, kWh/cap (Rank 1)
Pupil-teacher ratio, secondary (Rank 8)
Ease of paying taxes (Rank 11)

Business sophistication (Rank 132)
Knowledge absorption (Rank 130)
Cost of redundancy dismissal, salary week (Rank 124)
Ease of starting a business (Rank 120)

Check out the full report on the GII website [Here]

Thanks Musaed

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