Things to do in Kuwait this weekend

Posted by Mark

Thursday
Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
Ahmadi Inhabitants Gathering
World Theatre Day Celebration
Rooftop Cinemagic Movie: Fargo

Friday
Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
Ahmadi Inhabitants Gathering
Infiniti Red Bull Racing Formula One Show Run

Saturday
Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
Last Blast Carnival
Rooftop Cinemagic Movie: Russian Ark
GREAT British Automotive Showcase
Spring Strings Concert
Earth Hour

The biggest thing happening this weekend is the Red Bull Formula 1 car that will be racing down the Gulf Road. But, the Ahmadi event should also be a very interesting to those who are interested in Kuwait’s history.


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Tickle Tickle Kuwait

Posted by Mark

26 maart Kiele kiele Koeweit (1974) from Vandaag Voorheen on Vimeo.

I found the video above on Vimeo and it looked interesting since it was from 1974 and had something to do about Kuwait. But, I couldn’t understand anything since it was in Dutch so I sent the video to a friend of mine in Holland and asked him what it was about. This is what he emailed me back:

Haha… this is a funny carnival song from early 1974 about the oil-crisis of 1973. It’s because of this song the Dutch found out about the existence of Kuwait. The 4 guys were famous in the 70s because of their political cabaret show on television; Farce Majeure.

In 1973 Kuwait boycotted the US and Holland for their support of Israel in the 1973 War (Ramadan War). Because of the fear of running out of oil, Prime Minister Den Uyl took the decision to introduce the ‘oil-bon’. A maximum supply of oil for each person every month. Another measure was that cars were not allowed to drive on Sundays. Only doctors, firemen, police and others who could prove that it was absolutely necessary to use their car on Sunday were exempt. But those exceptions were only a few and basically it was a nice time in my youth, being able to roller skate and cycle on the empty highways.

The song is a simple carnival song. Kuwait, Kuwait, tickle, tickle, Kuwait, tickle, tickle Kuwait and so on.. Just funny, no offensive lyrics whatsoever. In the clip you see the official agent (honorair consul) of Kuwait in The Netherlands at that era, Mahmoud Rabbani. A nice person who earned a lot of respect from the Dutch people because of his approach. When he receives the 45″ single in the clip, he thanks the members of the group and add to this the memorable words;

‘Critisism is a good, as long as it’s brought with a sense of humor.’

Yeah, times have changed… :(

At first Kuwait was angry about the song and threatened with more diplomatic sanctions. They blamed the performers of the song for adding even more fuel to the fire. But, as you noticed, Mahmoud Rabbani acted wisely and became popular in Holland. Unfortunately not that much in Kuwait… but that’s another story.

A very interesting story, one I hadn’t heard about before.

Thanks Marcel


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Roads closed on Tuesday and Wednesday

Posted by Mark

closedroads

Because of the Arab Summit, some roads are going to be closed or diverted tomorrow and Wednesday (March 25 and 26). Kuwait Times created a map of the different roads closed and you can check it out by clicking [Here]

Thanks Abeer


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Dubai Mall is going to get bigger

Posted by Mark

dubaimall

It’s the only mall I can get lost in and now it’s going to get even bigger since they just approved expanding it by adding a new fashion avenue. I previously heard that when phase 4 of the Avenues gets completed, it would end up being larger than Dubai Mall. I doubt that’s true. [Link]


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Need a piano moved or tuned?

Posted by Mark

piano1

Early on in the week I asked if anyone knew who I could contact to get a piano moved and tuned. I ended up getting three or four different contacts but in the end decided to contact aDawaliah. aDawaliah are actually the dealers of Yamaha Music and since the piano I wanted to tune was a Yamaha, I figured they’d would be the best people to get for the job.

I originally called up the store and the employee didn’t seem to know if it’s a service they offered or not so he took my number and said someone would call me back. I didn’t hear back from them until the next day when I got a phone call from them requesting details. They wanted to know what kind of piano I had, how far I wanted to move it and which day I was free for them to pass by. The piano was an upright one and I wanted it moved from my neighbors apartment next door over into mine. At the end of the conversation they quoted me KD35 for the tuning and KD5 for moving which I thought was a fair deal.

A few days later they came over to my place at the agreed time, there were four employees in uniform with white gloves on, the piano tuner and the sales manager. They were extremely professional, like they surprised and impressed me kind of professional. First thing they did was wrap the piano in bubble wrap and then the four guys proceeded to carry the piano over to my place with short rest breaks along the way. They had to move some of my furniture a bit but when they were done they returned everything back to the way it was and disappeared leaving just the sales manager and the tuner over at my place. The sales manager stayed over for awhile to make sure the tuner didn’t run into any issues before leaving. Finally when the tuner was done two hours later he left as well.

The quality of service was beyond anything I expected. It’s difficult to put into words because they were mostly little actions, for example they needed to go back into the second apartment and pick up their tools and the piano chair but the door was closed and even when I opened it and walked in, they waited until I told them to come in. Then when I picked up the piano chair because it’s really light and I could carry it myself, they insisted they take it from me and move it themselves. Or the fact how they were all dressed in uniform and had the white gloves on not to dirty anything or leave finger prints on the shiny piano. Or how the sales manager who was very friendly and was there to overlook the whole process. It felt like I was getting special treatment because of my blog, but I wasn’t since I never told them about my blog or gave them my full name or anything of the sort. But that’s how good they were, they made me feel like I was getting special treatment. I felt like I was getting more than what I paid for.

So if you’re ever looking to tune or move a piano, you can contact the sales manager on 24720631 ext 219 or call him on his mobile on 96688301, his name is Ammar.


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Minecraft as part of class

Posted by Mark

minecraft

Minecraft is an insanely addictive video game and one I stopped playing some time back since whenever I played it I wouldn’t be get any work done. A local school teacher on the other hand has been using Minecraft as an educational tool in his classrooms. Intel recently conducted an interview with Eric Walker, a teacher at the American International School of Kuwait on how he uses Minecraft to teach his students. You can check out the article on the Intel Free Press website [Here]


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R.I.P. Tchantcho Augustin

Posted by Mark

tchantcho

Last month my old karate coach, Tchantcho Augustin passed away. I’m not sure how many of you know Tchantcho but he was my karate coach back in the mid 80s when he used to give lessons at the now demolished Hilton Hotel on the Gulf Road. Up until recently he was the PE teacher at Le Lycée Français and the karate coach at The Little Gym. He was always super nice and he was really loved by everyone. I used to run into him randomly at Sultan Center every now and then and he’d always remember who I was. He taught a lot of children in Kuwait and he will be terribly missed. May he rest in peace.

The picture above was taken around 1985, I’m the white boy in the front row middle.


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New Kuwait Airport Website

Posted by Mark

airportwebsite

The Kuwait Airport website was recently majorly revamped. The website visually looks a lot more cleaner and modern with the most important information, the arrivals and departures timings now clearly displayed as soon as you enter. According to the website theres also a mobile application coming and WiFi will soon be free throughout the airport. Check out the revamped website [Here]

To take a look at previous designs, here’s how the website looked in [2007] and [2011]

Thanks Abdulwahab


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The most powerful Kuwaiti women – 2014

Posted by Mark

bahr

Arabian Business released their “100 most powerful Arab women 2014″ list and 9 Kuwaiti women made the top 100. Last year 11 Kuwaiti women made the list with the most powerful being Suad Al Humaidi who came in at number 10. This year Suad dropped down all the way to 46th place leaving Shaikha Al Bahar (pictured above) to take the top spot by coming in 21st place. Below is the current ranking of all the powerful Kuwaiti women who made the top 100.

21 – Shaikha Al Bahar
27 – Maha Al Ghunaim
43 – Rasha Al Roumi
46 – Suad Al Humaidi
50 – Faten Al Naqeeb
67 – Sara Akbar
78 – Donna Sultan
89 – Hanadi Al Saleh
99 – Ghosson Al Khaled

For the full top 100 list, visit the Arabian Business website [Here]


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Spiderman climbs Hotel Missoni

Posted by Mark

alain

Alain Robert is a French rock climber and urban climber who is also known as “the French Spider-Man”. He’s famous for scaling skyscrapers using no climbing equipment except for a small bag of chalk and a pair of climbing shoes. Turns out that Alain Robert was in Kuwait and climbed Hotel Missoni yesterday as part of the celebrations for National Day. Not an amazing feat as climbing Burj Khalifa but still one that should have been better advertised. Judging by the photo above, it doesn’t look like there was a large crowd.


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