Khataba – Part 1

Post by Mark


So this post isn’t what I would usually share but I’ve made an exception since I found the whole thing fascinating. This was written anonymously for obvious reasons and there will most likely be a follow up post. Check it out below:


I am a 33 year old khaleeji woman and I am living the life of my dreams (ilhamidalla). I have a top notch job, my own business, two college degrees, great friends, lovely family, I am pretty and I am a very content with the person that I am, but the people around me like to point out that something is wrong with me, something is missing, see I am not married. I am single.

I have heard that “you are more likely to die from a terrorist attack then get married after 40”, 7 years to find a husband or a terrorist attack! Yikes. Desperate measures calls for desperate needs (Tinder didn’t work, all I got were horny Americans on a base 53 KM away from the city) so I went to a Khataba. A Khataba is a middle woman that tries to connect a man and a women together to get married the Islamic way.

I found an Instagram account of a Khataba with her number so I texted her not knowing what to say. I had never done such a thing, and being a westernized khaleeji, I have always dated the non-khaleeji way. So I wrote “Alsalam Alaikum. I am a 33 year old khaleeji woman with a college degree, looking for a khaleeji man with a college degree”. Oops! 2 hours later I remembered that I had forgotten to mention the most important thing about me, that I am a virgin. So I sent another whatsapp “never been married”. 10 hours later I get a few images from her as follows:

The first picture had her Terms and Conditions written on it. “Dear customers important notice: 1) We take all requests in confidentiality 2) We seek to marry people the Islamic way 3) If both parties agree, communication shall be through the parents and not the parties concerned 4) Fees will be payable upon signing of the marriage certificate 5) All applications should be complete”


The second picture had 6 skin tones and a number for each skin tone. I was told to identify my skin tone and the skin tone that I was seeking in a man. This was difficult since my hands and face were a shade darker than the rest of my body. I don’t show a lot of skin when I go out, and the Kuwaiti sun burns even a cactus. I didn’t want to complicate things though so I just one color. I have always had a thing for darker men, Denzel Washington style men, yummy chocolateness, so I chose the darkest shade for Mr. Future Husband.

The third picture had a woman’s back with long hair flowing down, and there were numbers coming out at different lengths. I stood next to a mirror and identified my length number. Easy, sent it over.


The fourth picture wanted me to answer 15 questions about myself and my dream man. My job, my family and tribe name, my salary, how healthy I am, my height, my weight (of course I lied about my weight!!! DONT ASK WOMEN ABOUT THEIR WEIGHT!), just regular questions except for two, one that asked if I drove a car?! And the other that wanted to know if I communicate with men that are strangers at work? What is up with khaleeji men not wanting their woman to be behind a car? I haven’t met my future husband, but I know he’s not going to drive the kids to school! Yes, I can drive and my ovaries should be fine. And given that 50% of the human population is male, yes I do come across men that are strangers from time to time. I wrote back saying I am a full time writer and I work behind my screen. So that went well.

The fifth picture asked me to identify what I wanted in a man. This is what I really wanted “a dark tall man, rich, funny, caring, loving, artistic, with a private jet and yacht” but I obviously couldn’t say that so I said “a dark man with a college education, a practicing Muslim that doesn’t smoke”. I wasn’t going to let dark slide, he had to be dark. I added the practicing Muslim to make me look like a good faithful girl. Sent over.

Few hours later I get a response, the Khataba thought I made a mistake. I am light skinned, but I wanted someone that is dark? Must be a mistake. “Are you sure you are okay with a number 5 or 6 darkness?” Yes I replied. “Even if he has facial features of an African man?” Was this a trick question? I want a black man so yes I answered again. She then sent me a picture of a famous black Kuwaiti actor and asked “Are you sure you are okay with this color?” Yes! 2 hours later she sends me another message, “Are your parents going to be okay with a dark man?” Umm yes I said. “Can you please check with your parents?” Wtffff!! I wasn’t going to ask my parents if they were okay with me marrying a black man, but I said I will check anyways and waited a day. That’s when I got my offer, he’s black, he’s rich, I know his age, his height, his college education, and I have to decide. What do you guys think? Should I say yes to Mr. Chocolate? I will keep you guys updated…

Photo on top by Mohamed Kanoo

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The Souk Al-Manakh Stock Bubble and Collapse

Post by Mark


The height of the society-wide insanity occurred when eight speculators, known as “the Cavaliers,” floated a total of $55 billion in postdated checks, seemingly in an attempt to corner the market. The most prolific check writer among the Cavaliers was Jassim al-Mutawa, a Passport Office employee in his early-twenties, who managed to pass off $14 billion all by himself. Sloppy accounting on the part of his brother and partner, Najeeb al-Mutawa, caused Jassim to become a staggering $3.4 billion overdrawn.

A really fascinating article on Souk Al-Manakh in the early 80s. The numbers quoted in the article are insane! I had always been curious about what happened and how it all happened so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. [Link]

Also, here are some photos of the Souk Al-Manakh building taken in the early 80s via the MIT Libraries.

Thanks faahqueimmanutjawb

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Assima, a New Mall/Tower in Kuwait City

Post by Mark

Salhiya are building a new mall/office tower right across from KIPCO Tower in Kuwait City and they’re calling it Assima. The video above is a 3D rendering of how the project will end up looking like but honestly the most exciting aspect for me is that there will be a multistory parking lot which means customers to Solo Pizza which is located right next to this project (check map below) will no longer have parking issues. [YouTube]


via Frankom

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Startup Investment Guide for Kuwaiti Investors

Post by Mark


Abdullah Alshalabi, one of the cofounders behind the local startup FishFishMe has published an article on his blog on how Kuwaitis should go about investing in startups. He shared his own investment theory along with an investment cheat sheet, so if startups interest you, check out his post [Here]

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Gay, Ex-muslim. Kuwait to anywhere.

Post by Mark


Here’s my situation: I’m a 22 years old guy from Kuwait. I ran away from home because i got in a heated argument with my father one day which hinted that I wasnt as straight as he thinks i am and that i didnt believe in islam (the religion of my family & my country) so I woke up the next morning to him on top of me trying to strangle me since I committed two things that are punishable in Islam by death (1-being homosexual. 2-leaving islam) but I was able to break free and leave the house and never come back.

I lived in public parks for 6 months. Tried to clean up once every while and apply anywhere I can and got a job . Later I was able to afford a car but not a place to rent …weird? I know. But in here nobody will rent you a place unless you’re married because everyone is so concerned that single people will use those apartments to have sex and host parties where alcohol would be involved (which are all illegal, yeah.. the pre-marriage sex the alcohol and the parties).

No idea if this is real or made up but it’s an interesting read nevertheless. [Link]

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Video of Aramex Unloading Packages

Post by Mark

If you’ve ever wondered why some of your packages look like my brothers box below, now you know why. [YouTube]


Update: Aramex have responded to the video, you can read their response [Here]

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Magnet Café + Workspace

Post by Mark


Magnet is a new café that opened up recently and I’ve been meaning to pass by it for sometime now but haven’t had the chance to yet. They’re not advertising it only as a place to eat but also a place where you can sit and get work done or hold business meetings at.

A video posted by Magnet ( on

They’re located in Salmiya and you can find a map as well as more pictures and information on their instagram account

Photo from @rimdesign

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Wall of Kindness

Post by Mark


Basta, a local non-profit group are planning to takeover walls around Kuwait where passerby’s can hang their donated items so that others can take any of the items they need. They’re calling these walls “Wall of Kindness” and they recently setup their first one inside The Secret Garden in Salmiya.


It’s a nice initiative and I know I will be hanging the stuff I don’t need there since it’s pretty close to where I live, but I think it would make more sense to have the “take what you need” message in different languages since not everyone (specifically the low income workers) can read English and Arabic. In any case check out Basta’s instagram page [Here]

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Kuwait’s Tinder Nightmares

Post by Mark


If you’ve ever used the dating app Tinder in Kuwait then you’re bound to have come across odd profiles which is why I found an article by a British girl in Kuwait so entertaining to read. Here is an excerpt:

It’s no revelation that dating in Kuwait can be rather tricky. I am not a fan of internet dating, I find it unnatural and a playground for creeps, but the alternatives are very limited here. Sitting in a shisha cafe twirling my hair is not my thing and, let’s face it, the type of guys who approach girls in shisha bars, Sultan Centre or the Gulf Road are mostly players. No thanks. So I gave Tinder a go — I was curious and liked the idea of being able to swipe left and never have to hear from him. Also, there is the option to be offline so people can only see you when you’re swiping — which I’d do really quickly, then turn my profile to off. After looking at the photos below, you will see why I only swiped right 5 times. Of those 5, I spoke to one for more than five minutes.

When looking at the profile photos and descriptions, one minute I’d be completely bewildered and the next laughing out loud, taking a screen shot and sending it to my bestie. It may seem mean, but some, no not some — many of the profiles are just plain weird and creepy. Is it really so hard to have a normal profile photo? Just smile? Do men really believe that by putting a photo of their erection (see above if you happened to miss it), sucking toes, a blue eyeball, a gun in your crotch, a headless photo with their wedding ring and/or wife that we’re going to swipe right? I was shocked to find a fellow teacher I work with, posing on Tinder, whilst he is married with kids. What is he thinking? He is on my Facebook posting photos of him and his wife whilst fishing on Tinder for a bit on the side. Creep. When I saw him at work, I couldn’t even say ‘good morning’ — just nodded and rushed past. I also saw one of my 14 year old students pretending to be 28. Scary.

So, I’m sharing with you just some of the strange profiles that I came across (I’ve left my colleague out even though he is clearly a douche — karma will bite his bum). To protect their identities, I have blurred out names, faces and any personal info. Kuwait is a very small bubble after all. However, it should give you a good idea of what tinder has in store for us lucky girls here in Kuwait:

Check out her article along with some screenshots of the funny profiles she’s come across on her Medium page [Here]

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Fork Fed: Pickle Juice

Post by Fork Fed


Is pickle juice the new health hype? Many new health claims state that pickle juice can enhance athletic performance, and improve blood sugar control for those with diabetes; which makes me wonder whether drinking pickle juice can actually be worth it?

Before we take a look at the nutritional aspects of pickle juice, we need to keep in mind that this drink is definitely going to be a salty one! So those with high blood pressure issues should definitely stay away from this drink. In regards to carb, protein or fat amounts, pickle juice doesn’t really have much to make it stand out in a special group. What pickle juice does have is lots of sodium as well as a decent amount of probiotics.

In the old days, pickle juice was the result of combining cucumbers, salt and water. The cucumbers are fermented by the bacteria Lactobacillus resulting in some probiotic content in the pickle juice. Nowadays, pickle juice is the result of combining cucumbers in vinegar, therefore no probiotics are really available, so stick to your yogurt if you want the probiotics. Regardless of the probiotic content, pickle juice is claimed to have other health benefits that may or may not have any truth to them.

1 – Pickle juice can help relieve muscle cramps.
Muscle cramps could be the most annoying thing, especially when they happen when you’re asleep or during a workout. There could be a cure, but only after the cramp takes place. Recent research has shown that taking 1 ml per kg of your current body weight of pickle juice during a muscle cramp could help you recover faster than drinking plain water or ignoring it and not having anything at all. The verdict: TRUE! Keep your pickle juice jars on your nightstands or take them with you to the gym if you frequently get muscle cramps. It could be worth it for you if it takes you a while to recover from that cramp.

2 – Pickle juice can help with stomach cramps.
Stomach cramps usually happen due to low amounts of acid in the stomach. Adding in the acidic pickle juice could potentially help since we are re-adding acid to our stomachs. Unfortunately no scientific evidence has proved that re-adding acid could help with stomach cramps. The verdict: FALSE! Maybe sticking to antacids or just avoiding some foods could be best with stomach cramps.

3 – Pickle juice can help enhance athletic performance.
The theory is behind the high salt content in pickle juice. Since salt retains fluid, the idea is that having pickle juice prior to exercising could keep you more hydrated and enhance your athletic performance for exercises requiring stamina. Unfortunately most studies have not shown any effect making this claim worthwhile. The verdict: FALSE! Stick to regular water, good training and sleep to enhance your performance.

4 – Pickle juice can control blood sugar.
Vinegar and blood sugar have been researched for a while. The link is between vinegar and insulin to be precise, where vinegar has been shown to improve sensitivity to insulin in the body – therefore reducing blood sugar levels. Vinegar has also been found to slow down the absorption of food in the stomach, when taken with a meal; that could also help potentially lower blood sugar levels. The verdict: True! I would consider adding vinegar but not necessarily consuming a cup of pickle juice with my lunch or dinner. Perhaps some apple cider vinegar in my salad dressing would be a more palatable choice.

So, would you be consuming pickle juice? I certainly will continue to enjoy eating my pickles and until more research has been conducted, I will be holding off on the pickle juice.

Post by Hyatt Al Sayegh, a Clinical Dietitian and Dr. Sears Health Coach.
Founder of Fork Fed.

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