Shaab Park is No More

Post by Mark

According to a contact of mine at the Touristic Enterprises Company, Shaab Park will not be reopening again. Back in August, the park along with Sultan Center and other businesses in that block were closed down and the whole area cordoned off due to contract issues. I was under the impression that the park was owned by TEC, but turned out only the land is actually owned by them.

I still have memories and photos of when I used to go to Shaab Park back in the 80s. It was a lot greener back then and it wasn’t fenced up as it is now (I should dig up the old photos). Even though I wasn’t a fan of the current iteration of the park, it was a place for young guys and girls to go hang out and meet up in so I’m sure it will be missed by many.

Photo from Fried Junk

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The Kuwait Heritage Museum

Post by Mark

I could swear I’ve written about the Heritage Museum before but I can’t seem to find the old post for some reason. The Heritage Museum is located inside the Kuwait National Museum and I passed by yesterday since I wanted to check and see if the Planetarium at the museum was still open. The Kuwait National Museum is currently being refurbished (I’m so glad they decided not to demolish it) so I wasn’t sure if visitors could still access it or not. Turns out, for the most part, its inaccessible including the Planetarium, but the Archaeology Exhibit and the Heritage Museum can still be accessed.

Archaeology Exhibit
I didn’t find this exhibit to be that interesting and it’s pretty small. It’s located right as you walk into the museum and it will take you just a few minutes to skim through the stuff on your way to the main Heritage Museum.

Heritage Museum
This part of the museum is a lot more interesting to check out and is fairly big which makes the trip worthwhile. The Heritage Museum is divided into three areas, the first is a wax museum where different aspects of Kuwait’s traditional past are on display. The wax models aren’t very realistic but there are a lot of different displays and the whole thing is meant to resemble an old Kuwaiti street so it’s at least visually interesting.

The second part of the Heritage Museum is where different items from Kuwait’s past are on display. These aren’t wax objects but actual real objects that were collected and put on display. An example of a display would be for example a collection of old radios that were used in Kuwait back in the old days.

The final part of the Heritage Museum is a small photography exhibit where old photos of Kuwait are on display. This is a fairly small cooridor which you’ll be walking through on your way out of the exhibition and is fairly dark so it’s hard to see the photos properly.

If you’ve never been to the Heritage Museum you should check it out mostly because of how odd it is. I mean the eerie dark mood of the museum is alone worth the trip and with the construction taking place, it just adds to the whole creepy mood. If you want to pass by, the museum is open from 8AM to 2PM and then again from 4PM to 8PM. There is no entrance fee. Here is the location on [Google Maps]

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Drug and Alcohol Addiction Treatment in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Not only do we have an addiction treatment center in Kuwait, but its actually so good that addicts from other GCC countries come to Kuwait to get treated here. Recently through a friend, I managed to find out a lot about our treatment facility, and I was so impressed I decided I’d share what I learned.

If you have a drug problem, the first thing you need to do is admit yourself into the KFH Addiction Treatment Center in Shuwaikh [Map]. You go to the reception and you ask to see the doctor (they don’t admit on Fridays). The doctor will ask you a few questions including what substances you use and you will also be administered a drug test. After this first step is completed, you’ll be admitted.

As part of the admittance process you will be given a full body search to make sure you don’t have any drugs on you. You can check-in your belongings before admittance and you can also put money on your account in case during your stay you need to purchase something from the baqala like cigarettes since money isn’t allowed inside the center. Once you admit yourself into the center, you can’t leave for 21-28 days.

The treatment facility is for everyone including expats. Until recently, it was also free for everyone but with the new health fees, expats now have to pay a fee per day.

During your stay at the treatment center, doctors will check up on you often. There are also different workshops and lectures that take place there for example, there are lectures on recovery, lectures on how to deal with negative thoughts and lectures on judgment errors and what they are. In addition to the lectures, there are also group therapy sessions that take place. All the lectures are given by therapists with a few exceptions where doctors give the lectures themselves. Every Tuesday there are also sessions for family members called “Tawasal”. These sessions allow the parents to understand and cope with family members who are in there for treatment.

It is important to state here that your medical file with the treatment center is not shared with any other party and remains with the center. So your admittance won’t pop up when applying for a job or anything of the sort.

After around 21 to 28 days you’ll be able to check out of the center. They then highly recommend you stay in a halfway house which is a temporary living arrangement for people suffering addiction. The halfway houses are run by recovering addicts who are helping other addicts stay clean. Unlike the addiction center, there are no nurses or doctors here and you’re allowed to leave at any time you want. But, if you decide to become a resident at a halfway house, there are rules to abide by. There are rules like having to wake up early, having to clean your room, do some house chores and also signing in and out throughout the day. The rules meant to provide structure for the addicts who at this point don’t have any.

The halfway houses also provide group therapy sessions and are where the addicts are introduced to the 12 Steps of NA, the Narcotics Anonymous program. The program is essential to recovery once they leave, it becomes part of their lives and they keep at it after they leave the halfway house to stay clean. Even though you’re allowed to leave the halfway house anytime you want, the recommendation is that you work through the NA program. Part of the program is choosing a sponsor and attending external NA meetings. I attended a meeting with my friend as support and was completely taken away by it. I attended an English NA meeting and there were around 30 guys and girls from different age groups and backgrounds. It’s difficult to put into words what I felt, but it was very emotional. Once a week they meet up with other people who are going through the same things they are going through, even though most of them don’t know each other, they all still connect on a very personal level and I found that to be so beautiful.

Once you work your way through the NA steps and reach step 5, and you’ve got your external affairs in order, that is when it is recommended that you graduate from the halfway house. There is no specific timeframe to reach this step, some people have been able to do it in 3-4 months, others have taken 1 to 2 years. The average is around 1 year.

So that is basically it. I was so surprised at the quality of support addicts have here in Kuwait I really wanted to write about it. I think what surprised me the most is the understanding and sophistication involved from the government on this subject. I assumed because this is Kuwait, addicts would be treated like criminals and arrested, but instead, the government understands that addiction is a complex disease that can be treated. It’s instances like this that make me really appreciate Kuwait sometimes.

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New Music Video: Altersal – Saneman

Post by Mark

This is a pretty cool track and video by Altersal, the lead singer of my favorite local band Galaxy Juice. It’s his first single from his solo debut album “Wifi Dreams” which comes out early next year. [YouTube]

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Where to get Vinyl Records in Kuwait

Post by Mark

Last week I passed by the vintage radios shop Moqtanayaty and ended up picking up a 1960’s Dynatron Mazurka record player for myself. I didn’t have any music records, nor did the store so I needed to buy some and didn’t want to resort to ordering them online since they would have taken at least two weeks to arrive. Instead, I decided I’d over to the antique shops basement in Salmiya to check and see if they had any for sale there.

The first shop I went into had a large pile of records piled up in the corner of the shop. So I sat down on the floor and started going through them one by one. Anything that was remotely interesting I put on the side. By the time I was done I had found around 14 potential records which I ended up reducing down to 10. The 10 records I decided to go with were actually pretty great and included the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, Cat Stevens, Marvin Gaye, Andy Williams, Nat King Cole, Fats Domino and more. The buying process though wasn’t so easy. The shop was originally closed (it’s always closed whenever I visit) but the basement janitor has the key. So I had him open up the shop for me and after I chose the records I wanted, he had to take pictures of each one and send them to the owner. Originally I was quoted KD30 for the 10 records but managed to haggle the price down to KD25 which is pretty reasonable considering the stuff I got.

There are a couple of other shops that had records for sale as well but I wasn’t in the mood to go through their piles so there could be more treasures waiting to be found. So if you’re looking for records, I’d head over to the basement as soon as possible before anybody else does (including me). For directions and more information on the basement, check out my previous post [Here]

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WWE Just Signed a Kuwaiti Athlete

Post by Mark

Over the weekend the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) announced that they signed Nasser Alruwayeh, the first Kuwaiti ever to join the WWE. I haven’t watched WWE since back when it used to be called WWF, but I still think this is a pretty cool signing.

Nasser is a crossfiter who took part in the invitation-only tryout in Dubai last April. He managed to impress the WWE coaches and training personnel which is why they decided to sign him along with Shadia Bseiso, the first Arab woman to sign with the WWE.

For more information on the signing you can check out the WWE website [Here]

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New Music Video: Ghaneema – You Got Me

Post by Mark

Yesterday local musician Ghaneema released a music video for her track “You Got Me” from her EP “Bad Habits”.

It’s her first music video ever and you can check it out above or on [YouTube]

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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

If you’re looking for things to do this weekend, here are some of the things that are taking place:

Puss in Boots – The Pantomime
Japanese Speech Contest
Air, Land & Sea – Augmented Reality Experience
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: A Ghost Story

Puss in Boots – The Pantomime
Red Bull Car Park Drift Finals
Touch Rugby Tournament
Gifts & Food Fair
AMG Family Seasonal Concert
Book Launch: Modern Architecture Kuwait Volume 2

Puss in Boots – The Pantomime
A Better Shot Workshop
Architectural Photowalk & Sketching
Yoga with the 3
Annual Tour: Camel Races
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: The Killing Fields
Jazz & Jam: The Zaid Nasser Jazz Quartet & The Afterthought

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.

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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Beyond Skyline (5.9)
Brad’s Status (6.7)
Jungle (6.7)
Just Getting Started (5.8)
Marrowbone (6.7)
Polaroid (N/A)

Other Movies Showing:
Acts Of Vengeance (5.6)
Breathe (7.0) ♦
Coco (9.1)
Daddy’s Home 2 (6.2)
Johnny Frank Garrett’s Last Word (5.0)
Justice League (8.1)
Murder on the Orient Express (6.7)
Paddington 2 (8.3)
S.M.A.R.T. Chase (4.8)
The Mountain Between Us (6.3)
Wonder (7.2)

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
America Wild: National Parks Adventure (N/A)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Extreme Weather 3D (6.6)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.

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Pictures from inside the Natural History Museum

Post by Mark

A few pictures have been uploaded online by the company fabricating some of the wildlife that will be placed inside the Natural History Museum at the soon to open Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, and they look really really good.

The other day I said you could see what looks like a shark hanging on display while driving by on the Gulf Road, turns out its a primitive whale (a Basilosaurus, pictured above).

The Quetzalcoatlus pictured above even got featured in the November issue of National Geographic! [Link]

To check out some more photos, click [Here]

Thanks lovelykuwait

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If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
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