Kuwaiti Author Nominated for the First Book Award

Posted by Mark


Kuwaiti author Mai Al Nakib has been nominated for the First Book Award at this year’s Edinburgh International Book Festival. Debut novelist and every overseas writer whose words are published in English for the first time are included in the award and the winner is chosen by readers who vote for their favorite author.

Mai Al Nakib was nominated because of her book The Hidden Light of Objects which is a collection of short stories and is available on [Amazon]

If you’ve read the book or just want to vote for her as encouragement, check out the Edinburgh International Book Festival website[Here]

Update: If you’d like to pick up the book locally it’s available for sale bookstores at the following campuses:

American University of Kuwait
American University of the Middle East
American College of the Middle East
Box Hill College Kuwait
Australian College of Kuwait

You can also contact Mr. Shabbir Hussain of Growmore Books if you run into any problems on +965-9786-7475

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Our grandparents had it right

Posted by Amy Freeman


Post by Amy Freeman

I remember in the early 90’s watching my nana and pop switch from butter to margarine, whole to skim milk and where possible, full fat to low fat. The 80’s and 90’s was the start of what would become a processed food epidemic. As Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig were constantly being advertised on TV and in magazines, leading the ‘weight loss’ industry and the ‘microwave meal’ industry, woman were becoming more body conscious and diabetes was on the rise. It became a highly publicized and popular belief that calories in and calories out was all that mattered, low fat was the key and all carbohydrates were equal. Enter the diabetes and obesity epidemic!

The unfortunate thing is that the belief systems that were used for weight loss in the 80’s and 90’s are still held in high regard to this day. Trying to convince people that eating natural butter is BETTER than processed margarine is a daily battle. Trying to convince people that full fat milk or cream is BETTER for your insulin levels than low fat or skimmed milk is hard to land with a lot of people.

The reason ‘Paleo’/Whole Food nutrition (or clean eating as I call it) has been so successful, is that it is taking people back to eating a very similar diet to those that lived in our grandparents era. Home made food, unprocessed junk food, lots of fruit, veggies and meat, this style of eating is identical to how our wirery, fit and non diabetic ancestors lived. Even though I remember my nana’s baking yummy desserts, they didn’t eat it in copious amounts and binge till they burst on a Saturday night. They worked it into their active, busy lifestyles and treated food as fuel and NOT as bribery or reward on a daily basis.

When my nana passed away and we were going through her bookshelf I remember the copious amounts of nutrition books she had collected over the years. Amongst what must have been around 50 of them, there were soup diet books, detox books, vegetarian diet books, liver cleansing books and a number of diabetes books. I remember feeling really impressed and proud that my nana had been so conscientious about being informed of health and wellbeing.

The problem is that behind all these diet books is a person trying to make money. Telling people to eat natural foods with correct portions and live a balanced lifestyle isn’t going to make the authors of these nutrition books any money. Instead, what sells is ‘14 Day Detox’s’,‘Lose 10 Pounds in 5 Days’, ‘Do the Dukan Diet’ or ‘Do the Atkins Diet’. Around the time that these books started becoming popular, curvy models were out and skinny was in and magazines really started to promote size 0 as ideal.

The amount of clients, family members and friends that I have seen fall into the trap of going on one of these unrealistic diets and rebound back from it (me included), is ridiculous. Through this a lot of people have developed unhealthy relationships’ with food from being convinced that low fat/ low carb is the only way to lose weight and then go 4 months without so much as one lick of an ice cream only to then rebound and go the other way and live in a chocolate coma for a month. Both extremes are as bad as each other and each time your body goes through this cycle is going to make it harder the next time you try to lose weight.

Being perfect, eating only grilled chicken and veggies, not socializing in case you slip up, feeling guilt when you have 2 eggs instead of 4 egg whites and doing 2 hours of cardio a day is not maintainable. Unless you are going to compete as a figure athlete and you are close to competition, quiet frankly, its stupid and absolutely unnecessary. I give it around 3-4 months before burnout and 4-6 months before you put all that weight you lost back on and then some.

Making healthy choices, eating whole foods like our grandparents and having a balanced workout routine and doing it consistently for 6-12-18 plus months is going to get you results that you can maintain forever. Yes you will need to be patient, it wont happen overnight and there will be times where you get frustrated but weight loss and well being should be treated as a marathon, not a sprint. It will be worth it when you have reached your goal and can still enjoy your life without feeling deprived of food or guilty every time you have a treat.

Happy Training Kuwait

Post by Amy Freeman, a Strength and Conditioning Coach from New Zealand and currently a Personal Trainer at Inspire Pure Fitness in Kuwait.

Image by akeelsworld

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The Kuwait National Library

Posted by Mark


Yesterday I had a meeting at the Kuwait National Library and to kill time before the meeting I wandered off into the small English books section and started checking out the books. I was pretty surprised that the majority of the English books were really old but then I found the advertising section and I knew I hit jackpot.

Right away I noticed, these weren’t just any ordinary advertising books, these were vintage advertising books from the 40s and the 50s! These are the books Don Draper would have on his bookshelf on the TV show Mad Men. I found an empty shelf and started collecting the books I liked and lining them up next to each other. In the end these were my favorite books that I found:


How to Build Modern Furniture (1957)
Five Hundred Years of Printing (1959)
The Watch Repairer’s Manual (1949)
Advertising – a guide for business man and student (1947)
Advertising and Psychology (1954)
The Technique of Advertising (1940)
Successful Television and Radio Advertising (1959)
Advertising (1953)
International Handbook of Advertising (1964)
Colour in Advertising (1956)

I thought they were all very fascinating so once my meeting was done I headed to the main office to sign up for a library card so I could check them out. Thats where I got an even bigger surprise, turns out the library isn’t open yet and is actually opening in two weeks and even once it’s open they won’t allow anyone to check out the books, you can only read them in the library.

I left the library in love with it but at the same time a bit confused.

If they’re not open yet, why are all the English books so old?
Where did they even get these books from?
and WTF?


But then it hit me, this is the perfect library. Other than the fact that old books are fascinating, by having all these old books, its as if the library has been around for 50 years instead of just opening now. You’re also not going to find these books on the Kindle so thats another reason to visit the library. Smart move. Once the library is open in two weeks I would definitely recommend you pass by. The library is pretty big and I’m not sure if there was another larger English section but even if there wasn’t, the small section is interesting enough to check out.

The library is located right next to the National Museum on the Gulf Road and here it is on [Google Maps]

PS: If anyone from the library is reading this, please PLEASE remove the horrible window sticker on your building and install a proper sign instead.]

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Check out this months Bazaar magazine

Posted by Mark


Last month I was contacted by Bazaar for an in depth interview for their May issue. That issue is out now and if you’ve ever wanted to know more about me or my personal views on the whole blogging thing, check it out either by picking up a copy from one of their many locations (like Starbucks) or read it online [Here]

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Vintage Arabic Comics

Posted by Mark


Q8books found a bunch of vintage Arabic comic books in a pile of donated books and are trying to figure out their value. The conditions of the books range from around a 5/10 to maybe an 8 or 9/10. Does anyone know how to go about finding how much they’re worth? The books are:

Superman 6 (1984 reprint)
Superman 58 (1981)
Superman 63 (1982)
Superman 64 (1983)
Batman 13 (1977)
Batman 15 (1979)
Flash 4 (1973)
Lulu 16 (1980)

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Beautiful Destinations chooses local photographers

Posted by Mark


@BeautifulDestinations is an instagram account in which they post beautiful shots taken by instagrammers from around the world. With over a million followers they’re very popular which is why they just launched a Kickstarter campaign to print a hardcover book of the top 100 liked photos from their account in 2013. From the list of photographers who’s work was chosen, eight photographers are based locally including:


If you haven’t checked out the accounts above before you should, theres a ton of talent there. Also if you want to support the Kickstarter campaign and help get the book printed, visit the Beautiful Destinations Kickstarter page [Here]

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Say no to abs

Posted by Mark

Too much pressure on men, and unrealistic expectations from women.
I’m pro censorship of abs.

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Khaleejesque: The Power Issue

Posted by Mark

The magazine Khaleejesque have released their latest issue for the fourth quarter featuring their list of “The Young & The Powerful” people in the region and yours truly was featured on the list. It’s pretty unreal since the list also features the likes of Abdulmohsen Al-Babtain, the founder of Sidekicks Academy who’s been helping Kuwait dominate in martial arts world championships, Basil Al Salem who created Slider Station, Burger Boutique and Open Flame Kitchen, Fahad Al Butairi who The Washington Post and The National called the Seinfeld of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Mater the Saudi Arabian artist and founder of Edge of Arabia, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin the Huffington Post journalist and many many more.

The magazine as of this post is still not available online but can be purchased at various locations around Kuwait and the GCC. If you want to know how the cover looks like here’s a picture from their Instagram account. [Link]

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Writing Competition

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

As Mark mentioned earlier today there is a writing competition taking place at the Q8BookStore on November 1st as part of Spooky Book Night. The writing competition is for all ages, the rules are simple:

1) Story should be max 500 words (that’s like an A4 page)
2) It should be a horror story
3) The story should be based in Kuwait
4) Email the piece to ask@q8bookstore.com by 30th October

The writing club (@q8writingclub) will be judging the story, Kuwait Times will publish the piece and the winner will also get a KD30 store credit as well as a Monstariam tshirt.

Post by Fajer Ahmed

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Q8Bookstore Now Open

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

Hey everyone, just like Mark promised I am going to talk to you a little bit more about q8books, and just like a lot of you already know most of the books (and shelves) came from the old q8books. My fabulous team made a short video on how the new q8books came together:


If you want the longer version that Mark thinks is boring click [Here]

The bookstore is non-profit, all the interior was done by an awesome team who worked on it for nearly 3 months, we have around 15,000 books made of but not limited to the following genres: science, music, art, hobbies, history & politics, biographies, families, self help & motivation, cooking, travel, foreign languages, business, reference, romance, women’s fiction, thrillers, mystery, suspense, children, young adult, classics, sci-fi.

Location: We are outside Bayt Lothan right next to Marina Mall on the Gulf road [Google Maps]

Timings: 5PM to 9:30PM on weekdays and 10AM to 9PM on weekends

How the bookstore works
The average price of a book is 1-2KD but it goes down to free and up to 5KD. 50% of the price of the book is a deposit the other 50% is a reading charge. When you bring the book back you get the deposit 50% back as STORE CREDIT (not cash).

You can also donate English books to us, or swap them for store credit.

We have been blessed that Bayt Lothan has supported our cause of promoting reading in Kuwait and have given us a very charming place free of charge, and because of that we are able to have policies like;

1) If your in a writing club or reading club, you can meet free of charge at our bookstore,
2) If you’re a local writer feel free to have your books at the store free of charge
3) We have art pieces donated by a lot of supportive local artists, and we are just happy that we are able to really be a community project.

For more info please follow is on instagram and twitter @q8bookstore or call us on 97182730 or email us at ask@fajerthelawyer.com

Post by Fajer Ahmed

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