Powered Paragliding in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

I love it when people say there isn’t anything to do in Kuwait because it just makes me want to work harder trying to prove them wrong. This weekend I went paragliding in Kuwait and it’s just another one of many activities you can now add to your to do list.

Last week I called the Kuwait Aviation Club and booked a paragliding appointment for Friday afternoon. The meetup point was also the takeoff point and that was past Khiran City near exit 285 [Map]. Once I arrived I met with Sultan Alanizi who is the only certified paragliding instructor in Kuwait and the guy who would be piloting our flight. Since the wind was a bit strong we had to hang out a bit and wait for it to slow down. While waiting, two other paragliders joined us as well. Turns out it’s sort of a club and they usually go flying together whenever they can. After around 30 minutes of waiting the wind had slowed down and we were ready to take off.


[YouTube]

The setup is a sort of an open cage buggy with a large engine and fan connected at the back. The buggy has two seats, the one in the front is for the pilot while the one in the back is for the passenger. After doing some safety checks, I was asked to put on my helmet and strapped myself into the chair. A few moments later we took off.


[YouTube]

Right after take of we started gaining a lot of altitude very quickly and we ended up going pretty high up. It was close to sunset and it was also low tide so I ended up taking a lot of beautiful shots from the sky. We flew towards Khiran City and circled it a few times while changing altitude every now and then. It was very cool although it kinda became repetitive after circling the third time. Finally after 30 minutes we headed back to our original take off spot and landed.

If you’re interested in paragliding you can do so by calling Sultan on 66515855. The cost is KD30 for 30 minutes and you need to hurry up because once the weather gets warmer they stop flying.


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It’s Jet Ski season again, here’s what you need to know

Posted by Mark

The weather this past week has been fantastic, it was sunny and the skies were a deep blue with very little wind. It’s really the best time for outdoor activities including jet skiing.

If you’ve never jet skied before it’s really very easy and not complicated at all. Jet ski has just two buttons and one leaver. The buttons are for starting and shutting down the engine while the lever is for accelerating. To slow down the jet ski you just let go of the lever. You don’t need to know how to balance a jet ski or anything of the sort, you just sit on it and pull the leaver and that’s pretty much it.

There are various locations on the Gulf Road where you can rent jet skis from and they all basically follow the same guidelines. You need to keep your Civil ID with them while the jet ski is out with you and you also have to sign a waiver/contract. Some locations offer lockers to put your stuff in others don’t. I would recommend you keep everything in the car anyway and then either leave your keys with them so they don’t get wet or get a small waterproof pouch to take with you. Some jet ski renters also give you a cheap Casio watch to wear so you know how much time you’ve been out for and when you need to be back by. Most also have a tap/shower to rinse off once you’re done.

The cost of renting a jet ski is KD10 for 30 minutes or KD15 for 1 hour. If you’re interested in renting one below are some Google Map links to various locations along the Gulf Road. If you’re planning to take pictures make sure your phone has a water poof case.

Location 1
Location 2
Location 3
Location 4


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K’S PATH Eagle Rescue

Posted by Mark

Eagle Rescue April 2013 from john peaveler on Vimeo.

Recently K’S PATH received a dog complaint in Ahmadi and when they arrived to the scene, they found an abandoned house that had an eagle caged up among other animals. The eagle is now with K’S PATH and it’s doing well.

If you’d like to help out and donate to K’S PATH Summer 2013 Maintenance Campaign click [Here]


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Yup, another earthquake

Posted by Mark

This is becoming a bit too common for comfort.


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The Shooting Range

Posted by Mark

As a final leg of the Kuwait tour, me and my friend who’s visiting Kuwait decided to pass by the shooting range. I hadn’t been to the shooting range since they first opened around 9 years ago and all I remembered about the place was that it was pricey which is why I never went back again.

There are two different types of weapons you can fire, rifles and handguns. In each category you have different weapons to choose from and each with a different price. This is the list:

Handguns:
9mm – 20 rounds for KD6
38mm – 20 rounds for KD6 (revolver)
40mm – 20 rounds for KD6
45mm – 20 rounds for KD7

Rifles:
.22 Long Rifle – 10 rounds for KD5
9mm Assault Rifle – 20 rounds for KD6
.223 Assault Rifle – 10 rounds for KD7
7.62 Hunting Rifle – 10 rounds for KD8

We started with the handguns first and then moved to the rifles after that. If you’ve never fired a gun before it’s not an issue since there will be an expert with you the whole time who will briefly teach you about the weapon as well as how to load the bullets and aim properly. 20 rounds won’t really last long but they will last you longer than you’d expect them to since you will be taking your time and aiming properly before every shot. The magazine holds 8 bullets (I think) so you will also have to reload it half way through.

The rifle was pretty fun to fire as well and maybe even more fun than the handguns. They’re easier to aim with because they come with scopes but they’re tricky since any slight movement while pulling the trigger and you’re off target. The 10 rifle bullets lasted me longer than the 20 handgun bullets because you really take your time aiming accurately. If you’ve always wanted to be a sniper this is your chance.

The shooting range complex is located off the 6th Ring Road right behind the Hunting and Equestrian Club. Here is the location on [Google Maps]. Make sure you have some sort of ID with you since you won’t be able to fire a gun without one. There is also an ATM machine at the location and they accept credit cards and Knet.


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My favorite place to take tourists

Posted by Mark

I have a friend visiting Kuwait for a few days and last night around midnight I took him to my favorite touristic hotspot in Kuwait, the water towers in Adailiya. I love that place and in the middle of the night when it’s vacant it’s a very chilled and beautiful place.

The Adailiya water towers got cleaned up and painted around a year ago so they look really pretty during the day and night. They’re located inside a park that’s open 24/7 which means you can pass by them at anytime. You can also walk up extremely close to them since the fence surrounding the towers is very very close. I also think you can get a lot more nicer shots (selfies) at the water towers when compared to the Kuwait Towers since the water towers are not as tall and since there are a few of them all huddled very closely, they easily show in all your shots.

So if you ever have visitors and are looking for a cool place to take them to, I would highly recommend the Adailiya water towers any time after midnight. Here is their location on [Google Maps]


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Two wrongs don’t make a right

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

So I got a parking sticker yesterday for parking illegally, let’s talk about this from a legal perspective and a legal perspective only:

1) The constitution says no crime or punishment only by law. Can you please show me where in the law it says the punishment for parking in a no parking zone is to stick a sticker on the violating car?

2) Punishments are to be carried out by police officers. Mall and campus security are not police officers.

3) Do you know that it’s illegal to stick stickers on cars? Even your own car.

I take full legal responsibility for my actions and call for the law to be executed upon me. I know what I did was wrong and a no parking ticket would have been worse than a sticker, it would have cost me more anyways. But I just get bothered when someone does something illegal in the name of the law, don’t do something illegal to let me know that I was illegal! Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at fajer.ar@gmail.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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Sami Alramyan on EyeEm

Posted by Mark

Sami Alramyan, a photographer based in Kuwait was recently featured on the photography blog EyeEm. Sami does a lot of black and white street photography and recently represented Kuwait for the second year running in “The 24 Hour Project“.

You can check out his photos [Here]
You can check out the feature on him [Here]


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Kuwait Law: Passport Rights

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

THE QUESTION
Hey Fajer, I work for a private company in Kuwait and the company has my passport (and other employees) and refuses to keep it with us because they’re afraid we might leave the country. Do they have a right to keep our passports? I was told they don’t but I’m afraid if I make a big issue out of this then I might get fired.

THE RESPONSE
So this question/answer is only for private company employees

Do employers have the right to keep an employees passport?

No, No and NOOOOO!

This is a very common question, at work and now from my readers on the blog.

Why is it illegal?

The Ministry resolution number 143/A/2010 says in (Article 1) “It is prohibited for private sector employers and oil sector employers to hold traveling documents of their employees”

Then (Article 2) mentions a punishment from the labor law for employers in the private sector who do not follow (Article 1). The punishment mentioned in (Article 141) from the labor law is as follows:

“In the event where the violator does not remedy the violation within the specified period, he shall be subject to a fine of not less than KD100 and not more than KD200 for each of the workers who are involved in the violation. In the event of recurrence within three years from the date of the final judgment, the punishment shall be doubled.” This means that your employer will get fined KD100-200 for keeping your passport.

Can you get fired?

No, No and NOOOOO!

You can not get fired except for reasons stated in the law which I won’t get into now but basically non of them is for telling your boss to be legal.

I want everyone to know the following for any labor law violations by your employers in the future:

– There is a hotline you can call (no one picked up when I called) 128

– There is a site where you can file a complaint (no one replied to me yet) http://www.mosal.gov.kw/

– There is also an NGO organized by Bibi Nasser called Social Work Society of Kuwait located in mishref www.q8sws.com Tel: 25375031 they might be able to help you with issues, even though most of their work is for domestic and construction workers

– According to the labor law, if you have a complaint against your employer, the Minstry of Labor and Social affairs will look into it before it gets to court and will try to resolve it

– If it does go to court, the court has exempted laborers from any court fees

– I sat with officials 2 weeks ago from the Minstry of Labor and Social Affairs for a research paper by John Hopkins about domestic workers in Kuwait and their rights. The officials I met with told me that an employee who’s passport is held by their employer can come in if he or she really needs to travel and get a paper from them that will allow the employee to travel

Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
Have a Kuwait law related question? Email me at fajer.ar@gmail.com

The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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Take a tour of the new General Department of Information System

Posted by Mark

AGi architects – General Department of Information System, Kuwait from AGi architects on Vimeo.

I honestly have no idea what the General Department of Information System are in charge of but this is the design that got approved for their new offices and I think it looks really beautiful.

The project is based on three principles: representativeness, security and functionality, turning the complex with a total gross area of 135,482 sqm into a strong civil icon representing Kuwait’s Ministry of Interior Affairs.

Building design aims for the clear transmission of a conceptual duality it derives from: technology, innovation and transparency on the one hand versus strength, stability and security, which are inherent to the Ministry of Interior Affairs that will occupying the building, on the other.

This concept is driven in the building by two contrasting layers that are superimposed onto one another. From afar the building is perceived as a light volume elevated from the ground floor, becoming a landmark in the urban landscape for the citizens, while a closer approach will show the massiveness of the stone plinth, a lower part of the building that is opened to the public the main gates and lifts from ground to hold the upper levels lighter glass structures that house the offices of the various departments.

You can also check out some 3D renderings of the building on the AGi Architects website [Here]


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