Kuwait announces 6-day Eid break

Posted by Mark

plane-window

Kuwait has announced a six-day break for Eid Al Adha. Businesses will be closed from Tuesday, September 22 until Sunday, September 27, a government statement said. [Source]

Where will you be traveling this coming Eid?


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Kuwait Airport Contract Finally Awarded

Posted by Mark

kuwaitairport

Kuwait’s government said it had awarded a contract to build a new terminal at Kuwait International Airport to the same consortium that had an earlier more-expensive bid dismissed.

Turkey’s Limak Holding and local construction firm Kharafi National won the deal after bidding 1.312 billion dinars ($4.34 billion) for the work – 74 million dinars cheaper than the offer it submitted in November. [Source]

Bring out the non-alcoholic champagne!


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Young boy stabbed to death at 360 Mall

Posted by Mark

stabbing

A 16-year-old Kuwaiti boy died after he received a fatal stab wound during a fight at 360 Mall on Thursday night. The teenager succumbed to his injuries – a stab wound in his chest and lung as soon as he arrived at the Mubarak Hospital. Another 16-year-old Kuwaiti boy was injured in the fight and has been admitted to the hospital.

He is in stable condition. Meanwhile, police reportedly identified the suspect; a Kuwaiti teenager with history of criminal activity, and a security source expects the Interior Ministry to announce his arrest ‘within hours.’ Security had been tightened at the local malls following the killing of a Kuwaiti youngster in Marina Mall in 2013, and a similar incident in which a dentist was stabbed to death during a fight in The Avenues in 2012. [Source]

Originally I had read he was in his 20s so I’m surprised to find out he was actually just 16. Thats so young…


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Kuwait bans home delivery services to reduce traffic

Posted by Mark

kuwaittraffic

Kuwait has suspended home delivery licences in a bid to reduce traffic in the crammed capital.

The Interior Ministry is preparing to regulate home delivery services because it requires too many vehicles to be on the roads, Kuwait Times said. [Source]

Here’s one more last funny article for the day but this time I’m also gonna share my friends rant below (who’s Kuwaiti by the way for those of you who want to tell him to get the fuck out).

Yes, Kuwait, keep chipping away at our quality of life instead of doing anything serious to remedy the dire situation of our roads.

Metro? Let’s keep delaying that indefinitely… Because, you know, talking about it since the 1970s has brought us that much closer to realizing it.

Public transportation reforms? Forget that, bus drivers seem to drive with contempt and face it, who would want to ride one of those dilapidated deathtraps?

New highways? With an average completion time of seven years for a stretch of a few short kilometers and haphazardly-marked diversions, you might as well do nothing at all.

License regulation? Please, with rampant nepotism and string-pulling guaranteeing that every untrained moron with a pulse gets one, I don’t believe shit. Just take it all out on the expats the way you normally do, government.

Funny as it is, I’m dreading going back to Kuwait almost purely because of the road situation. People seem to actively disregard the rules and do things their own way because they know that our hilariously inept police force isn’t going to do jack about it except pass unimplemented law after unimplemented law, we have over 1.5 million cars on a road network with a carrying capacity of around seven hundred thousand vehicles, round-the-clock traffic ensures that what should be a ten-minute trip takes at least an hour, there’s no emission control or any form of environmental regulation and my chances of being killed because of someone else’s idiocy are exacerbated to the nth degree.

For a country with the potential and resources to make something absolutely incredible of itself, it’s moments like this that make me want to facepalm until my face bleeds.

– Khaled

Update: According to the news article on the Ministry of Commerce website, the ban is temporary and only because the MOI are currently overburdened with requests [Source]. So it looks like Kuwait Times are making shit up. Also it looks like Arabian Business is now making shit up because their source (Kuwait Times) never mentioned anything about traffic being the reason for the ban.


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Kuwait plans to enforce ban on smoking inside vehicles

Posted by Mark

Kuwait’s General Traffic Department (GTD) is reportedly considering enforcing the law that bans motorists smoking inside their vehicles while driving.

The decision is part of the ministry’s strategy to curb road accidents, with smoking while driving considered one of the major causes of accidents in Kuwait, Al-Seyassah Daily reported.

This sounds like a lame April Fools joke. [Link]


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Update on the Kuwait Airways Pilot Story

Posted by Mark

kuwaitairwaysporn

According to an article on Gulf News, when the news went viral about the incident with the porn star and Kuwait Airways, the pilot in the video was in Bangkok on layover. After the story blew up the communication minister ordered an “urgent investigation” into the matter and ordered the “immediate recall” of the Kuwaiti pilot from Thailand. Looks like he’s going to be made an example of. Check out the article [Here]


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Where is the world’s hottest city?

Posted by Mark

dust

Even in rich cities, poor planning can exacerbate the effects of heat. In Kuwait City, the predominance of concrete and asphalt means that temperatures really ramp up in the afternoon as the hard surfaces start to radiate back the heat they’ve been absorbing all morning. As Alshafan’s own research for the London School of Economics highlights, the plans for modern Kuwait City were drawn up in the 1950s by foreign firms with little local expertise or respect for the climate.

The fierce heat is so engrained in the city’s consciousness that, even in the cooler months of the year, most locals shy away from spending time outdoors. As an architect, Alshalfan comes across this often in requests from her clients. “The requests we get are very much indoor-centric, so if we were to suggest a courtyard or a garden space, they’ll be like, ‘No, no, no, that’s just going to be collecting dust and that’s going to be a waste of our land, so let’s close it up.’ So it has become a culture thing, which is unfortunate.”

The Guardian published an article last week on the hottest cities in the world and Kuwait obviously made the list. But what I think the most interesting part about the article was a link to a research paper called “The right to housing in Kuwait: An urban injustice in a socially just system” by Sharifa Alshalfan. I’m half way through the research and find it very fascinating and insightful. Definitely worth reading if you’re into this sort of thing. Check out The Guardian article [Here] and check out the research paper [Here]


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Fines Introduced for Smoking in Malls

Posted by Mark

environmentalpolice

According to an article in Al Anba newspaper, the Ministry of Interior have decided to tackle public smoking in malls by fining smokers. According to the article, first time offenders will be fined KD50 if caught smoking while repeat offenders will be fined KD100. The malls are also required to inform restaurants not to allow any smoking and no smoking signs should be put up to let restaurant diners and mall visitors know it’s a smoke-free environment. Any restaurant or mall that doesn’t comply will be fined up to KD50,000.

I thoroughly believe in the short term this will work but I’m curious to see if the police and the malls will continue to enforce this a couple of months down the line. If you remember Avenues was supposed to be a no smoking mall starting January 1st 2011 and that obviously was a complete flop.


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Human Rights Watch: Kuwait DNA tests violate right to privacy

Posted by Mark

Many measures could potentially be useful in protecting against terrorist attacks, but potential usefulness is not enough to justify a massive infringement on human rights,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director. “I suppose videotaping every user of a public toilet could be useful too, but that kind of intrusion is hardly necessary or proportionate, and neither is compulsory DNA testing.

Human Rights Watch published a press release yesterday on Kuwait’s decision to capture every Kuwaiti citizens and residents DNA. In summary, it’s an invasion to privacy and doesn’t really do much in terms of security. Check out their press release [Here]


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First Arab Woman in History to Officiate at Wimbledon is Kuwaiti

Posted by Mark

aseel

Kuwaiti line umpire Aseel Shaheen admits she is living a dream after she got selected to be part of the officiating staff at the All England Club.

Dressed in a blue pinstripe shirt and beige pants – the uniform for all officials here at Wimbledon – the hijab-wearing Shaheen quickly stands out.

London may be swarming with veiled Arabs, especially in the summer, but the sight of a woman in a headscarf in tennis circles is definitely not common.

“It’s an indescribable feeling being here. It’s something big, it’s a challenge. I’m the first female from the Arab world to be an umpire at Wimbledon. I was worried that they wouldn’t accept me because I wear a hijab but on the contrary, they really accepted me,” Shaheen told Sport360° at the All England Club.

Another fantastic accomplishment to add to the list for Kuwaiti women. [Link]

Thanks Nibaq


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