Abdulrahman al-Zanki still in the news

Post by Mark

It’s been over a year since the young Kuwaiti iPhone app designer Abdulrahman al-Zanki created his game but he’s still making headlines, most recently in the New York Times:

It took Abdulrahman al-Zanki, then 14, a few weeks to develop his first game, Yellow Taxi, and upload it to Apple iTunes in 2010, learning from written instructions between school hours and homework. Since then, the Kuwaiti teenager has created 22 more iPhone games in less than two years, including the highly popular Doodle Destroy.

You can read the full article [Here]


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La Senza

Post by Mark

I was reading an article on Arabian Business the other day about ghost brands which is a term being used for franchises that come to the Gulf and do really well here while end up failing and closing down in their original home country. One of the brands hit by the recession was the UK lingerie chain La Senza. But, I just found out that Alshaya got involved and purchased 60 La Senza stores in the UK and helped save 1,100 jobs. That’s pretty cool. [Link]


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Crocodile Attack 3D

Post by Mark

Three Kuwaitis killed a crocodile which had apparently sneaked out of a farm and strayed at night before it came face to face with them.

The two brothers and their friend were sitting near a camp just outside the capital Kuwait City when the two-metre reptile crawled slowly towards them.

“One of them who had a hunting rifle shot the crocodile as they were afraid it might attack them…the crocodile had apparently managed to sneak out of a nearby farm in Bar Al Abdali area,” Alanba daily said.

If someone makes a movie about a crocodile that goes on a rampage in Kuwait City I’d watch it. [Source]


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Kuwait to build first solar power station

Post by Mark

Kuwait’s Public Authority for Applied Sciences and Training (PAAST) announced this week that it was beginning to design the country’s first-ever solar energy station.

According to the center, the $16.16 million endeavor is to be completed by the end of 2013 and is being developed in cooperation with the Kuwaiti firm Pan Arab Consulting Engineers (PACE), the Kuwaiti state news agency reported.

All I can say is it’s about damn time. [Link]


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Meteors tonight

Post by Mark

The Quadrantid meteors to be seen today and tomorrow night in Kuwaiti skies, Astronomer Adel Al-Saadoon said on Wednesday.

The Quadrantids are a major shower, Al-Saadoon told KUNA, adding that they come from a comet that broke into fragments when it was nearing the sun 500 years ago.

He added that Quadrantids meteors are a combination of many meteors in space throughout the years, producing more than 100 meteors per hour from a radiant near the North Star, noting that the first phase of the meteors in 2012 has already peaked and it is possibly visible around 10:00 PM at North Pole direction, and, specifically, south of the Big Dipper. [Source]

Thanks Tuan


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Amusing

Post by Mark

So student pays someone to cheat for him, and when he gets cheated himself he goes to the cops?

Thanks Pat


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Anonymous accounts on Twitter to be suspended – Interior Ministry

Post by Mark

Interior Ministry announced on Monday that it has asked the Ministry of Communications to suspend all anonymous accounts on the social networking site (Twitter).

The ministry said in a press statement that such measure comes in order to preserve the rights of citizens and residents of people who were used to slander them and their families under fake names, saying that such is a crime punishable by law.

It confirmed that all public have the freedom of expression guaranteed to them by the Constitution as long as those practices are going according to the law, especially with regard to using the (Twitter) site.

It explained that this step comes within the context of the ministry’s keenness to preserve community values and respect for the law. [Source]

That’s technically not possible. Kuwait’s Ministry of Communication can’t suspend twitter accounts. Sounds like a request from a department that doesn’t understand how twitter (and possibly the internet) works. I’m sure the MOC know that’s not possible and probably just replied to them with “enshallah”.


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This is scary

Post by Mark

A reader emailed me yesterday warning me of the following:

Three employees from XXXXX admitted with contagious Bacterial Meningitis in the last 4 days. Today, another patient was admitted. I was in XXXXX 3 days ago. I went for a vaccine update and took prophylactic antibiotics. I am a surgeon in Adan. I recommend anyone who has been to XXXXX in the last week to go get a meningococcal vaccination and possibly rifampin or ciprofloxacin antibiotic.

Now I’ve replaced the name of the place with XXXXX since I can’t confirm if the information ir true or not but I just saw the article below on Arab Times:

Rumours rife as famous market worker falls dead, 6 sent to ICU
An employee of a well known shopping complex in Al-Rai area died and six others were referred to the Intensive Care Unit of Farwaniya Hospital after complaining of severe pain in the chest and cough.

The cause of the death could not be ascertained through preliminary tests, but some said the victim died of meningitis, while others said it was a swine flu case.

Co-workers of the deceased, who worked in the vegetables section of the hypermarket, said he suddenly felt severe pain in the chest which was accompanied with a bout of cough. The man fell down shortly afterwards and died. This spread terror among other employees and six individuals who complained of similar symptoms were rushed to the ICU.
Sources said the hypermarket’s administration sent employees for vaccination at Kuwait Clinic in groups to keep work going at the shopping center.

Senior officials at the Health Ministry have refused to confirm or refute the incident. Manager of Infectious Diseases Hospital Dr Jamal Al-Duaij, however, said they did not receive any such case and added that the ministry had earlier instructed that all infectious cases be sent to hospitals in the victims’ area of residence. He said he did not receive any call from the ministry on any emergency and added that it did not announce anything about meningitis. [Source]

Picture taken from the Arab Times article.

Update: For those of you posting the name of the shop in the comments I am not allowing it. If you think you know the shop that’s great, just don’t post it in the comments below.

Update2: Arab Times posted an update to the story, looks like it was a false alarm…

“I wish to state categorically that claims about widespread infection in Kuwait are a bundle of lies and rumor by mischievous personalities. I repeat that the ministry only recorded two of such cases”, the health director reiterated. [Source]


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Anti-Smoking Flashmob?

Post by Mark

Speaking of a smoking ban…

A group of young students surprised shoppers at one of Kuwait’s most frequented malls by shouting anti-smoking slogans and carrying posters asking smokers to stub out their cigarettes.

The stunt, unprecedented in Kuwait where smoking is a major issue, was meant to embarrass those who flouted the law that bans smoking in malls and other closed places, Shuaa Al Qadhi, the head of public relations, said.

Several of the shoppers and people at the mall felt uneasy when they saw the young girls and boys urging them to put out their cigarettes and they complied, she said, local daily Al Qabas reported on Tuesday.

Smoking has been banned in closed areas in Kuwait since 1994, but the rule is often broken.

A field study has found that a cigarette is lit every 58 seconds at Kuwait International Airport and that 20 per cent of grown ups and 11 per cent of teenagers regularly smoke in Kuwait, the daily said. [Source]

Did anyone take pictures or shoot any video of this?


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Shisha Ban

Post by Mark

inister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr. Fadhil Safar stressd here on Monday the need to take the necessary requirements and regulations to prohibit smoking and the hubbly bubbly, known as “shisha,” in public places, restaurants and cafes.

The minister told KUNA while attending the 12th meeting of the Higher Committee for planning in Kuwait Municipality that smoking and shisha constitute negative aspects of civilization and harmful to public health.

For his part, head of the follow-up office of the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Abdul Karim Al-Zaid said that the committee commissioned the Technical Office of the Minister of State for Municipal Affairs to study the possibility of banning shisha at once.

He said the High Commission had reviewed and discussed the report and recommended a joint coordination between the Technical Office and the Legal Department for taking necessary action and to stiffen sanctions on such phenomenon. [Source]

I’m not sure if they’re talking about a complete ban on shishas or what exactly. The article says they want to ban shishas in “public places, restaurants and cafes” and to me that sounds like a complete ban which I think would be a bit extreme. On the other hand it would make a lot more sense if they want to ban shishas from “indoor” public places, restaurants and cafes. Personally I would rather they focus on banning indoor smoking first since to me that’s a bigger issue and in any case, by banning indoor smoking it would basically also ban indoor shishas.


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