Yesterday me and some friends headed to the Kuwait Camel Race Club in Kabd. I had never been to a camel race before and when my friend proposed it I figured it would be something exciting to do on a quiet Saturday afternoon. My friend got in contact with a person at the track so when we got there we had a guide waiting for us.
The guide got into the car with us and took us past the security gate into the center of the race track where the camel owners drive alongside their camels during the race. The Kuwait Camel Club no longer use human jockeys but instead use robotic ones due to the controversial child jockey problems faced in the past. During the race the camel owners drive down the track alongside their camels controlling their robot jockeys with wireless controllers. The guide made me tune into 93.1mhz on the FM radio because there was a live broadcast of the actual race so we could follow it that way. You could watch the short video above to get a feel of the view from inside the car. During the start of every race all the cars drive to the starting line where the owners make last checks on their camels. The camels don’t start in front of the spectators stand but 3KM away from the finish line. Once the camels are ready they are lined up and the race begins. The cars drive alongside the camels all the way to the finish line and then the cars drive back to the starting line to check on the other set of camels. We did this maybe five or six times until all the races had been finished and then we drove back to the spectator stands.
There was a black tent near the track where the winner was given his prize. Afterwards we were invited to some dates with camel butter and camel milk. The butter was absolutely delicious and even the milk didn’t taste bad at all, kinda like something between buttermilk and laban.
If you’re interested in visiting the tracks to watch a race it’s very easy to find and do. Take the 6th Ring Road and if 360 Mall is on your right keep heading straight past the Jaber Al-Ahmad International Stadium. Keep driving until you pass the new Kuwait University campus on your left (currently just hills and hills of sand surrounded by hoarding) and then after that in a bit you’ll see a sign for the 604 exit. Once you take the exit stop at the traffic light and then take a left and pass under the bridge. Then keep driving straight until you get to a roundabout, drive straight past that roundabout and keep driving until you get to a second roundabout. Once again pass that roundabout and keep driving until you hit the third roundabout. At the third roundabout go left and then head all the way till the end of the road. Once your read the end go right until you get to the end of the road again and you’ll spot the Kuwait Camel Club on your left. The whole ride shouldn’t take you more than 30 minutes. There is no entrance fee and races are held every Saturday from 2:30pm between October and April. Here is the location on [Google Maps]
I’ve being thinking about this post for the past few days trying to figure out what I was going to write exactly. The place turned out to be such a cool and surreal experience that I just couldn’t figure out where to start or how to say what I wanted to say. In the end I decided that I’ll be brief and not go into details so that you go there with no expectations other than having a good time.
Last week a friend asked me if I wanted to join them on a tour of the House of Mirrors and since I had never been I decided to join them. The House of Mirrors belongs to Lidia al-Qattan, the widow of Khalifa al-Qattan, a renowned Kuwaiti artist. She started decorating one small wall with mirrors and through time more and more walls were decorated until the whole house inside and out was covered with mirrors.
The reception area with munchies
As I said, I’m not going to go into details because I don’t want to ruin the experience for you but simply put Lidia is such an amazing person. We were expecting the tour of the house to take around 30 minutes but it took us 3 hours and the 3 hours literally flew by. She was such an incredible host full of stories and the whole experience was seriously pretty trippy.
If you’ve never been to the House of Mirrors you should and when you do make sure you go with a bunch of friends since its an experience that should be shared. The cost of the tour is KD2 per person on weekdays and KD3 on weekends. The location of the house Street 94 Qadisiya, House 17 Block 9. You need to call ahead and make an appointed on this number 22518522.
Twitter updated their 2012 user information request page and it turns out Kuwait did not request any data about any local users from Twitter last year. Actually the only Arab country to request user information was surprisingly Qatar. Check out the full list [Here]
Last week I posted about how a tall metal fence was being constructed around Kuwait’s Constitution Monument. Well a reader who I presume is somehow connected to the project left a comment explaining why the decision to erect a fence was made:
Initially the monument and the garden hosting it were supposed to be opened to the public, as the garden was designed to tell a story, the story of the state of Kuwait before and after the constitution. The side of the garden as you enter it from the Tijaria tower represents the past, you`ll see only desert plants arranged in randomly and in groups, planted in sand, representing the tribes scattered over the deserted area of the country. Once you pass trough the monument, which represents the Kuwait Constitution (and which is actually built from titanium plates electroplated with bronze and the bronze blocks you see on the monument are representing the articles of the constitution, one block for each article) you enter the garden representing the present, on the right, and the future on the left. The fountain to the right has few vertical sprinklers representing the oil-wells. The flowers are representing the people of Kuwait (diversity of flowers for diversity of people) and a stream of water that goes to the roots of the monument is the symbol of the will of the people feeding/changing the constitution according to the modern needs. The left side has a mirror fountain, still water, beautiful flowers; is the future of Kuwait.
This is how the park was designed/imagined by the architect.
All those olive trees were brought from Italy and carefully selected to look almost the same in shape and height. Flowers have been brought from outside most of them. The marble used for pathways is also from Italy.
A lot of work/expensive materials/money have been invested in this project. It was supposed to be a place for leisure/ relaxation.
Few days after it was inaugurated flowers/plants were uprooted, stones and plants thrown in the water olive trees with broken branches and the disaster continued. Two times the plants/flowers were replanted with the same effect on people (uneducated / unsupervised kids mostly).
As so.. the decision to place a fence around this area has been taken very easy. This fence will be in place until the second phase of the project (rehabilitation of the entire park) will start/finish.
In conclusion, THAT fence is there because of the people (not drawing a conclusion that all people are the same so don`t jump with lame comments, who wants to understand what i mean will understand; see Mark`s article related to the Zoo) not because someone wanted to stop access of the people to the park. Hopefully one day will be open for everyone to see and admire.
The company Parente Fireworks who were part of the Kuwait Fireworks Guinness World Record have uploaded two “making of” videos onto YouTube. The first video on top contains some behind the scene shots including ones from the control room during the event. The video below on the other hand summarizes that actual fireworks event down to around 5 minutes.
Organica Fish & Chips has been open for a couple of years now but I just got to pass by and try it today. I ordered the large fish & chips platter which included 2 pieces of fish along with chips in addition I ordered an extra side order of calamari. I went to the Salmiya branch which has a lot of seating inside but since it was a nice sunny day I decided to sit outside.
While waiting for my meal I got served lemonade which I thought was a nice thing to do. Once my fish & chips basket came I snapped a few pictures before I dug in. I thought the whole basket tasted pretty bland and between the calamari and the fish I think I preferred the calamari. The tartar sauce which I personally believe makes or breaks a meal wasn’t that great either but it did help add some much needed flavor to the meal. On a side note if you want to know what good tartar sauce tastes like go to try it at Sheraton Hotel. Finally the chips were the most disappointing part of the meal, they were undercooked and soft which was a let down.
Overall, even though the fish basket didn’t awestruck me I still think it’s a good place to pass by for a quick bite. It’s not located in a mall, there’s lots of seating, places to park and the food was above average. Price wise the large fish & chips platter goes for KD3.750 (KD2.750 for the small) while the extra calamari cost me an additional KD1.400. They have three locations around Kuwait and if you want to find out more you can visit their website [Here]
Does anyone have any pictures of the blue and white ghost house that was located on the 30th near the 4th Ring Road exit? Also does anyone know the history or story of the house? I was telling a friend about it yesterday and I figured I’d try and get more information about it since there doesn’t seem to be much info online.
Michel Hayek is an extremely popular fortune teller in Lebanon who comes on TV at the end of the year to share his predictions for the coming year. Embarrassingly, he’s so popular that according to him, 35% of the Lebanese politicians see him in private and most have started basing their decisions on his predictions.
Anyway, Michel Hayek has made a number of predictions about Kuwait I’ve listed below. Please don’t take these seriously:
- Kuwait’s Emir will be subjected to a few attacks and health problems
- A political crisis could lead to a siege around a highly symbolic and important building
- The earths crust displacement will result in cracks to a few buildings
- Kuwait’s mediation in a regional affair proves to be successful
So there you have it, Michel Hayek’s predictions for Kuwait. You can watch him read the predictions in Arabic on TV by following this [Link]