Kaifan Clean Up Project

Posted by Mark


[YouTube]

Earlier in the week a group of volunteers got together and cleaned up the walkway between Kaifan Park and Ishbilyah School. They painted the walls on both sides since they were covered in graffiti as well as picked up whatever trash they could.

You can view the video on top of the process or check out more photos at @kaifanme


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It’s not my hospital it’s ours

Posted by Mark

The post below was written by a friend of mine, a Kuwaiti doctor currently living and working/training in Montreal.

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Recently, posts on twitter and many blogs including this one have featured a text message appearing on peoples phones as a random statement that Mental health facilities are available in Kuwait (pictured above). I’m sure that the idea was a good one, unfortunately there was no information on how to get in contact with people who can help (no email, website or hotline to call).

Like many of you I met these efforts made by the ministry with heckling and criticism. In my eyes this was an imported idea that we just couldn’t get right. Granted, it’s not a major disaster but still it’s just one more thing to complain about (the national sport) and it’s not like people here in Montreal don’t have problems with their hospitals. On the contrary, if you read the papers you’d see that some of these places are nearing bankruptcy, and others are being sold off all together with staged layoffs commencing soon.

People complain in Montreal too, they complain a lot, the difference is that despite all the problems and near disasters they face here, there’s always progress being made.

We can now boast that at the Montreal General Hospital (a level 1 trauma centre) we go from the trauma bay to a whole body CT scan and to the ICU or the operating room in less than 30 minutes. You might assume that this is as a results of care considerate government planning. It isn’t, the Montreal General Hospital relies on non government foundations to provide donations on a regular basis to fund research and buy equipment that the government can’t afford. These include MRI machines, CT scanners and surgical equipment that has made the place a true monument to trauma and emergency surgery.

They don’t just wait for people to donate, they set up funds and activities to provide long term assured income annually. This year their campaign included a “dancing with the docs” event where you could sponsor doctors in a dance off and an annual raffle.

Another hospital has come up with similar events such as annual tennis tournaments and fashion and style events as well as an annual gala that honours their doctors as well as many many others (about three per season). They also have franchises open within the hospital which are obligated to donate annually (the frozen yogurt place beats anything I can find at a hospital cafeteria).

That hospital has become the first robotic cancer surgery (surgical oncology) center in the province and one of the most active in Canada. Some of it is because of the money they donate and make for the hospital but a lot of it is because we can rely on these fantastic volunteers to help moving patients, inspect rooms to make sure they’re clean and take care of elderly patients who can’t take care of them selves.

These foundations are practically built on volunteers led by the CEO of the hospital (every hospital has a CEO to handle the business side of things over here). Some of them provide administrative work, others organize activities and others actually involve themselves with patient care activities such as feeding, pet and animal therapy and patient transport as well as acting as translators throughout the hospital I don’t think these hospitals would be the centres of excellence in their fields if it wasn’t for these community led initiatives.

The generic response would be مالت علينا these people are organized and efficient and our guys can’t even run a small emergency room but the fact of the matter is that progress in hospitals in Montreal isn’t just reliant on doctors, nurses or administrators alone, it comes from the community we service.

Think of how much you and I can do to help our hospitals, maybe we can educate diabetics, help inspect rooms or just set up donation pools and funds to build initiatives and not just giant buildings or buy equipment with no further planning involved.

Trying to do this in Kuwait will take an effort on both parts, hospitals have to be willing to accept donations, volunteers and also train them while on the other hand people have to be committed to making their hospital the best they can. Success in this field is never due to one individual and I’m probably as guilty as you are for neglecting my local hospital when it is clearly in need.

Post written by Saud, a Kuwaiti doctor living and working/training in Montreal. Twitter: @saudnz


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Ministry of Education books on your iPhone/iPad

Posted by Mark

The Regional Center for Development of Educational Software (ReDSOFT) have created a pretty amazing iOS App which allows you to download all the books for all grades required by of the Ministry of Education in Kuwait. You just have to tell the App which class you’re in and then you will then have access to all the books that are required by the Ministry for that year. The App is called “كتابي” but if you don’t have an Arabic keyboard setup on your iPhone or iPad then you can search for “nader marafie” in the App store and you’ll find the app or even better here is the direct link to the App Store [Link]


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Co-education ban to be canceled?

Posted by Mark

I just read on Zawya that the parliament might soon scrap the coeducation ban. That would mean both genders will continue to attend school and university together but I am also guessing this means the walls that currently divide the guys and girls in some university classes will also be removed. This is one proposal I’m hoping will get passed. [Link]


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Green Island to turn into a touristic mini city

Posted by Mark

I first heard about this project around a year ago but due to secrecy reasons I wasn’t able to write anything. Then a few days back I noticed Frankom posted a link from AlQabas newspaper on this project so I guess it’s now officially announced.

The Green Island at the moment isn’t really serving any purpose and the proposed idea is to turn it into a mini city with a hotel, resort and a lot of restaurants located all around the island. There is a large bay in the middle of the island and if you surround the area around it with restaurants it will end up being a larger version of Marina Crescent which would be pretty cool.

If I understood the AlQabas article correctly, construction will begin end of this year and the project will be completed in 4 years. Check out the article [Here]

via Frankom


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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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