Why it’s tough being a groupie in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Short report by the BBC on Saad Lamjarred’s visit to Al Hamra Mall a few days ago. [Link]

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Frustrated Kuwaitis ask, why is Kuwait falling behind?

Posted by Mark


Reuters have an interesting article today on why Kuwait is falling behind.

When Shawaf al-Shawaf wanted to register his kitchen tools business in Kuwait, the bureaucratic process took six months. In Saudi Arabia, it took him less than a day.

“If I need to go to a government department, I cancel my whole day because I know I will spend the whole time there,” said Shawaf, 24, who set up his company Dolsten in late 2012.

A 2013 World Bank ranking on the ease of doing business puts Kuwait at 104 out of 189 economies, by far the lowest in the GCC. The next lowest, Qatar, is at 48 while Saudi Arabia is at 26 and the UAE leads at 23.

I don’t think its just Kuwaitis who are asking, everyone is. Here is a link to the [Article]

Thanks Ahmed

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World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs

Posted by Mark


Arabian Business released their list of “World’s 100 Most Powerful Arabs” and only two from Kuwait made the list, Mohamed Alshaya of MH Alshaya and Omar Alghanim of Gulf Bank. The 100 people on the list were grouped into various groups, Mohamed Alshaya made it into the “Leaders” group while Omar Alghanim made it into the “Thinkers” group. Check the full list out [Here]

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The 99 Banned in Saudi Arabia

Posted by Mark


The locally created The 99 comics has been banned in Saudi Arabia for religious reasons and the creator Dr Naif Al Mutawa is also being sued locally.

However, Al Mutawa, the CEO of Teshkeel Media Group has vehemently defended his work, saying that it had won universal praise, including from the Emir of Kuwait and President Barack Obama.

“Those who are attacking men are claiming that I am using the 99 Holy Names of God for my characters,” he said. “However, I never thought they would go as far as accusing me of blasphemy and atheism. I am surprised that this is happening in Kuwait, a country of law that respects the Constitution and freedoms,” he said.
Al Mutawa said that his work was under an Islamic company and funded by an Islamic bank.

“We have succeeded in presenting a positive image about the Islamic culture at international events. We had a role in dissipating the negative images of terrorism and killing that people had of Arabs. The series is being shown in 70 countries across the world,” he said. [Article]

The 99 is a comic book featuring a team of superheroes based on Islamic culture and religion that became a worldwide sensation. Dr Naif was featured on the front page of CNN previously as well as being mentioned by Barrak Obama in one of his speeches.

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Video of police getting shot at in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Fourteen suspects have been arrested in connection with an attack on a police patrol during a wedding party in western Kuwait City, the Interior Ministry said Friday.

The policemen had gone to the wedding party to demand that guests refrain from firing guns into the air during celebrations.

I got the video on top a few days ago but didn’t really know what the story was until I read the article above. Pretty messed up.

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How the Persian Gulf Is Quietly Building a Railroad Empire

Posted by Mark


Gizmodo has an interesting article on how most of the GCC countries are building railway systems. The article focuses mostly on Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE but Kuwait also makes a small appearance alongside Oman. Kuwait will most likely be the last on the list to get the rail system built if it ever actually gets built. Check out the article [Here]

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Kuwait Airways jet suffers technical issues with landing gear

Posted by Mark


Reports are coming in that a Kuwait Airways flight coming from Doha ran into problems with the landing gear and had to perform an emergency landing. Due to technical issues the pilot wasn’t able to tell if the left landing gear had opened or not and so had to spend an hour circling over Kuwait trying to sort the issue out.


The pilot was forced to fly at low altitude around the airport so personnel on the ground could give him a visual confirmation on if the landing gear had opened or not. The plane finally ended up landing safely without any incident.

I’ll provide a link to an official news source once I find one.

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Military Graduates Stampede

Posted by Mark

The video above is of Kuwaiti military graduates who celebrated their graduation by not only throwing their hats in the air but also throwing their weapons onto the ground. They were originally handed down a punishment for violating military regulations but were later pardoned. [YouTube]

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The demise of theaters in Kuwait

Posted by Mark


The Arab Times have an interesting Q&A with Kuwaiti film maker Shakir Abal on the demise of theaters (not cinema) in Kuwait. The most fascinating part for me had to do with censorship:

Q: So there is a very strict censorship in Kuwait?
A: When you read the censorship laws, it is not very strict. But the problem lies in the unpredictability which in turn is due to the fact that it is open to interpretation by whoever it is. So when you have invested say 50,000 KD in a play or 100,000 KD on a production, which needs to be done even before the first show is staged, you cannot afford for this one guy who comes from the censorship one day and tells you ‘Well this is wrong. You have to close the play down for whatever reason”.

Q: So you mean to say there are no clear cut ‘dos and don’ts’ as far as censorship is concerned?
A: The laws are not clear cut, and it is, unfortunately, being controlled by people who lack in knowledge. I am 56 years old. I do not like a 25 year old putting restriction on what I can see or cannot see. And that is what is happening. That is wrong. If a script is approved, it is approved. End of the story. If they cannot or do not know how to read the script, then it is not my fault.

Who would want to invest time and money in a show if it could get shutdown without warning by a censor? Obviously not a lot of people hence the demise. Check out the full interview on the Arab Times website [Here]

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The most powerful Kuwaiti women – 2014

Posted by Mark


Arabian Business released their “100 most powerful Arab women 2014″ list and 9 Kuwaiti women made the top 100. Last year 11 Kuwaiti women made the list with the most powerful being Suad Al Humaidi who came in at number 10. This year Suad dropped down all the way to 46th place leaving Shaikha Al Bahar (pictured above) to take the top spot by coming in 21st place. Below is the current ranking of all the powerful Kuwaiti women who made the top 100.

21 – Shaikha Al Bahar
27 – Maha Al Ghunaim
43 – Rasha Al Roumi
46 – Suad Al Humaidi
50 – Faten Al Naqeeb
67 – Sara Akbar
78 – Donna Sultan
89 – Hanadi Al Saleh
99 – Ghosson Al Khaled

For the full top 100 list, visit the Arabian Business website [Here]

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