I Heart Kuwait

Posted by Mark

ilovekw

Al Hamra Tower have installed a large “I heart Kuwait” sign outside the building as part of their contribution to Kuwait for National Day. It’s not a temporary structure so it will most likely end up being a popular spot for photos.


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National Day Music

Posted by Mark

Here are some old National Day songs you can download as MP3s as well as a few music videos:

Downloadable MP3′s (Right click and Save As)
Beladona Il Kuwait
Shadi Al Khaleej – Kaseeroh Dalah
Sana Al Kharaz – I7na IlKha6awi AlAkeeda
Sana Al Kharaz – 6ig Ya Mu6ar 6ig
Sana Al Kharaz – Al Azrag
Sana Al Kharaz – Salam Ya Wa6ani
7naina Il Ayadi
Il Wa7id Allah (Om A7med – Wainich Yal Ibra)
Imbarak 3alaik il3id
Abdul Kareem Abdul Qader – Wa6an Al Nahar
Abdullah Al-Ruwaishid – 3ashat Lina Il Kuwait (Original)
Hussien Al Jasmi – La Telomoni (Hala February)
Nabeel Sh3ail – Ya Dar (Hala February)
Rashid Al-Majid – 6ayir Men El Far7a
BBS Kids – Wa6ani 7abeebi
Kuwaiti TV Band – Ya Wardity Ya Nidiya
Kuwaiti TV Band – Al Ziman Dawar

Music Videos
حفل المعاهد الخاصة سنة 86 – كلما زادت المحن – شادي الخليج
امبارك عليك العيد يا بلادي – حفلة العيد الوطني 1977
شادي الخليج 1986- كاسروه دله اربع انات مله
شادي الخليج – كويت و العرب من اوبريت شراع الوفاء


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Kuwait falls back in the World Press Freedom Index

Posted by Mark

mapindex

The 2014 World Press Freedom Index is out and it’s not good news. Even though Kuwait still leads the region in press freedom, Kuwait dropped down from 77th place all the way to 91. The reason? The arrest of two citizen journalists. Here is how Kuwait compares to our neighbors:

91 – Kuwait
96 – Israel
106 – Lebanon
113 – Qatar
118 – UAE
141 – Jordan
153 – Iraq
163 – Bahrain
164 – Saudi
173 – Iran

Check out the full list [Here]

Thanks yousefq8


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SPARK Athletic Center

Posted by Mark

spark1

There are new gyms opening all the time in Kuwait and most of them don’t usually interest me but, when Abdulmohsen Al-Babtain (of Sidekick Academy) emailed me about a new gym he was opening called SPARK, I knew there was going to be something different about it. Actually I really shouldn’t be calling it a gym because it’s more than a gym which is why they prefer to use the term athletic center.

spark2

When you first walk into SPARK there’s a small fitness store on the ground floor with stairs on the side leading you up to the main floor of the gym. I met Abdulmohsen on the lower level and followed him up the stairs to the main floor. I was expecting it to be a small specialized gym similar to the two gyms I’m currently enrolled in, Core Fitness and Circuit+ but when I got to the main floor I was shocked. The place was huge, 2,400m2 huge. I got introduced to the head coach right away who took me on a tour of the space. The majority of the space looks very similar to your everyday gym, they had a TRX station right at the start and tons of cardio machines on the far right. Then from one end of the gym to the other they had top of the line Hoist and Bilt fitness equipment followed by a small room at the very end for spinning classes.

spark3

But, where things get more interesting was a space in the back corner that occupied around 25% of the gym floor. The space is surrounded by a high black metal fence with a large sign outside saying no one can enter without a coach. Behind the black fence is over 400 square meters of professional indoor turf, the only indoor training ramp of its kind in the world, two 50-meter sprint lanes, a sand pit for simulating training on the beach and a corner with four Woodway super treadmills, one of which can hit can hit 40 km/h.

spark35

Finally theres a small room also at the back which they call the SPARK LAB. The lab contains a bunch of scientific equipment that can perform functional screening tests, body composition tests, wingate anaerobic capacity tests and full metabolic testing. One of the equipment is called Bod Pod and is used to calculate your body composition. It’s one of the most accurate ways of measuring your body fat percentage, around 8% more accurate than skinfold calipers. I got to try it out during my full physical assessment and after sitting in the pod for a few minutes the machine printed out numbers that included my body fat percentage, my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and Total Energy Expenditure (TEE). Turns out if I sit on my computer all day I can burn 2,246 calories or up to 3,649 with very high activity. Pretty cool.

spark4

Now the reason I found the gym interesting is because instead of just focusing on muscle gain or weight loss, they’re focusing on athletic performance. They’ve brought in coaches from around the world (one was a Florida Gator coach) and they want to help improve athletes in Kuwait from runners and basketball players to wannabe Olympians. For example I could go to them and tell them I want to improve my sprinting speed or I want to be able to jump higher and they’ll help me achieve my goal.

spark5

The gym is already open and their prices start at KD70 a month which is very reasonable. They also have personal training but that would cost an additional KD20 per session or as low as KD15 depending on how many sessions you would be taking. It’s a mens only gym but they are opening a women’s gym in the coming month or two and it’s going to be even larger at 3,600m2, have more facilities and will be located in KIPCO Tower in Kuwait City.

SPARK is located in Shuwaikh right on top of where Shuwaikh Market is [Map] and for more information you can call them on 22282058.


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The Souk Al-Mubarakiya Festival

Posted by Mark

soukfestival

Yesterday I found out about the Souk Al-Mubarakiya Festival and tonight I decided to pass by and check it out. They’ve beautifully decorated one of the main streets with lights and lined up tables on both sides from the beginning till the end with different sellers at each table. Both the lights and the atmosphere were really festive but the tables covered with white cloth made the whole thing feel like a career fair. My guess is since every three days new sellers take over the spaces, they decided to use generic tables to keep things simple.

I didn’t find anything interesting being sold but it’s still worth visiting the festival just to check it out and it’s in Souk Al-Mubarakiya so you could just walk around there once you’re done. Worst case you’ll end up just having a Nutella crepe, but then again that alone would make the visit worth it. The festival started on February 2nd and will run daily every evening from 5:30PM until February 13th.


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E-Gate App

Posted by Mark

e-gatekuwait

E-Gate is a practical new app which allows you to check on your Civil ID status, your traffic violations, if you have a travel ban or not and other things like passport and residency validity.

There are three features I liked about the app, the first being that it will remember your Civil ID so you don’t have to keep entering it every time. The other thing I liked is the ability to add more than one Civil ID to the app and finally I liked that the app does push notifications. In the short time I used the app I didn’t get any notifications but in theory you should get notified anytime there is any new status update for example you get a travel ban or a traffic violation.

The only negative aspect is the fact the app costs $1.99 and isn’t free. But that’s a small price to pay for the convenience this app provides. It’s available for both iOS and Android. Search for E-Gate Kuwait to find it or if you’re an iOS user here is the direct [Link]

Update: Do not download this app. The app no longer works unless you agree to send adverts to your friends.


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Layali Febrayer Events

Posted by Mark

febevents

“Layali Febrayer” started from January 31st and will go on until February 14th. It’s considered one of the largest events that takes place and this year there will be more than 14 shows featuring more than 250 artists from around the world. There are too many events and timings to list but luckily they’ve uploaded a PDF of the schedule and locations which you can view [Here]

All the events and shows are taking place on the Green Island and the different locations and zones in the PDF refer to this [Map]
For more information you can visit the Layali February website [Here]

Thanks Mufaddal


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Kuwait lagging behind GCC in all fields

Posted by Mark

summary

The 2013-2014 ‘Global Competitiveness’ report ranked Kuwait the worst GCC country in:

1. Access to loans
2. Direct foreign investment
3. Government surplus/deficit
4. Financial services
5. Quality of primary education
6. Quality of higher education
7. Quality of math and science education
8. Procurement of advanced technology products
9. Intellectual property protection
10. Bribes
11. Governmental laws
12. Brain drain
13. Extent of staff training
14. Starting a business
15. Technology transfer

Ouch. [PDF]

via Kazima


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Old Kuwait Postcards

Posted by Mark

I was searching for random stuff on eBay when I spotted a bunch of different sellers selling old postcards of Kuwait. I saved the most interesting ones to share below. Notice how much greener Kuwait was back in the old days? Also you might notice some of the postcards feature the Kuwait Towers while still under construction. The postcard I decided to highlight above is of “The Yachting Club”. [eBay Link]

There are two images of the back of the postcards with writings. I don’t know what language they’re in (my guess Bulgarian and Italian?) but if anyone can translate them to English that would be fantastic. Also what happened to all the seagulls??

Update: A friend noted the seagulls might have been super imposed on that shot. Looking at it closely I can’t seem to find any shadows of the seagulls so that’s probably the case.


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Kuwait Law: The Alcohol Post

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Kuwait is one of the few countries in the world where alcohol is not available. The topic is also confusing with people having different assumptions on what is legal and what isn’t. We all know it is illegal to sell alcohol but is it illegal to buy? Are we allowed to have alcohol for personal consumption? Is it illegal to make?

Article 206 of Kuwait Penal Law no.16 promulgated in 1960 states:

206(a) – Any person who brings, imports or manufactures alcoholic or intoxicating beverages for the purpose of trading shall be panelized for a period not exceeding 10 years.

The article doesn’t mention anything about purchasing alcohol but what about if you bring or manufacture alcohol for personal use? The article clearly states that you are only punished if it is “for the purpose of trading”. Lets read Article 206(b)

206(b) – However, if the intention of bringing, importing or manufacturing is not trading or promotion, the person shall be penalized with a fine not exceeding KD100 and should he repeat this act the penalty shall be for a period not more than six months and/or a fine of not more than KD100.

So I guess the first time you get alcohol into Kuwait for personal use you are fined only but the next time you can go to jail and/or fined. The same applies for manufacturing alcohol for personal consumption.

206(d) – Any person who takes alcoholic or intoxicating beverages to a public place or to a place where he may be seen by others be it a public place or a private club, and any person who brings the alcoholic or intoxicating beverage to the said place for another person to consume shall be penalized for a period not exceeding 6 months and/or fined not more than KD50.

Any person who is found drunk will be punished the same.

So the law abstains from mentioning much about personal consumption of alcohol so therefore it is not a crime to drink inside your private space (house/apartment) just as long as you don’t step outside if you are drunk.

Please be careful and stay legal people.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
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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