Live: Ask Me Anything Right Now

Posted by Mark

I’m holding an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session right now up till 11AM. You can ask me anything you want in the comments below and I’ll try my best to reply to you right on the spot. If you’ve ever been curious about anything or just want to know more about me then this is your chance to get your answers. I will be answering all your questions truthfully and if there is one I won’t answer I will say so.

Update: I am extending this session past 11AM since there are too many questions and I am still trying to go through them all.

Update2: I’m closing this at 11:30AM

Update3: And I’m done! That was exhausting. All questions have been answered and no questions were deleted or ignored. Hope that was informative for everyone. Might hold another session in the evening one day (no date set) for those of you who couldn’t take part in this morning session because of work or other issues.


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214 comments, add your own...


  1. 122 says:

    How old are you? Where are you originally from?

  2. Dalal says:

    Whatever happened to Nat? She doesn’t post anything on the blog anymore

    • Mark says:

      Nat and I got separated end of September last year but even before that she never really liked the whole blogging thing.

      • Camus says:

        I’m sorry. It’s weird, not from you country or anywhere near you. But following this blog for some reason, always thought you and Nat had something great.

  3. limited says:

    Just curious.. being quite famous and all that have you been able to land a threesome? ;)

  4. gator says:

    how old are you? do you have another job or is blogging your full time occupation?

    • Mark says:

      I’m 35 and my full time job is blogging. But I do work part time at a local branding agency. I used to work full time at a advertising agency before.

  5. Kab says:

    How long have you been married

  6. 122 says:

    Which school, university did you go to? What faith group do you belong to?

    • Mark says:

      Pre 1990 I was in Sunshine School (now called BSK). During the war I was in an Armenian school in Lebanon for a year, than I came back to Kuwait and went to KES for two years than I moved to Canada and went to School there and then I came back and went to AIS for two years. For university I attended the Lebanese American University. I am Christian.

  7. FQ8 says:

    Do you like living in this country?

  8. Abdullah says:

    I understand that you are a Canadian citizen and a Lebanese Citizen and you seem like a well rounded individual that needs a challenge in life, so why do you continue to live in Kuwait which is going nowhere and if you could live somewhere else, where would that be?

    • Mark says:

      Well this is my home, my friends are here, my childhood memories are here and Kuwait actually isn’t that bad. There is a lot to do here if you’re willing to leave your comfort zone. Where else in the world would you be able to have so much time to socialize as well. But yes I do wish we had a few pubs in Kuwait.

      If I could live somewhere else? Maybe somewhere in Europe? Liverpool seemed like a very cool place to live in when I was there a few weeks back.

      • The Ogre says:

        Other than eating copious amount of food, shopping, watersports…What would you classify has “leaving your comfort zone” ?

        • Mark says:

          Well if you were living somewhere else what would you do to pass time? In Lebanon I could go to pubs or clubbing at night, those two things I can’t do here but generally I can’t think of other activities that we can’t do in Kuwait. I can’t think very clearly right now since I am trying to answer so many questions but if you email me later we can discuss this.

    • aaa says:

      Ah yes because Lebanon is certainly going somewhere

  9. sonny says:

    Is that you in the picture?

    • Mark says:

      yes thats me, taken inside the changing room of an Abercrombie and Fitch store in Tokyo. FYI: That was the emptiest A&F store I’ve ever been to. I don’t think Japanese are fans of A&F.

  10. غنيمة says:

    How much do you make from blogging?

  11. ahmad says:

    If you were elected Mayor of Salmiya, what would be the first thing that you would do as Mayor?

  12. Hansel says:

    Hmmm .. Not exactly how I thought the live session would turn out *sigh* :)

  13. HamsHussein says:

    Choose one of the below:

    A)Scarlett Johansson with a Bugatti Veyron
    B)Jessica alba with a Modded 69 Charger
    C)Kim Kardashian in a Orange Baddou Cab
    or
    D)Mrs.Nat in an FJ cruiser?
    ;) wink wink
    Booya. Boom!

  14. Dil says:

    Where’s your dog Geo…don’t hear bout him too anymore..????

  15. Dalal says:

    Whats your favorite thing about being a full time blogger?

    And how challenging was it to leave your full time job?

    • Mark says:

      Well I’ll answer both your questions at once. My favorite thing about blogging full time is I no longer have a 9 to 7 full time job. Instead I’m done now by 2 and I spend the rest of the day trying to have a good time. I feel like I am back in uni.

  16. Najib says:

    When are we having an Almaza in Gemmayze?

  17. vampire says:

    what time do you usually go to bed and get up?

    • Mark says:

      I usually want to be in bed by midnight but that rarely happens. I’m usually up till 1 or 2 and then wake up at 9AM. I tend to wake up at 9AM every day even on weekends.

  18. Nixon says:

    how much is your monthly salary? (from the blog + any other job you do)

  19. Nixon says:

    if you had the chance to change your nationality to Kuwaiti, would you do it? why?

    • Mark says:

      I don’t think so. I love my Canadian nationality. But Fajer the lawyer is actually working on a post on how I could get the Kuwaiti nationality if I wanted to. I’m curios to see how that comes out.

  20. The Ogre says:

    Name three restaurants you would recommend (must eat places) ? (Authentic Middle eastern Cuisine, Asian, etc…)

    • Mark says:

      Open Flame Kitchen (my favorite restaurant)
      Leila (my favorite Lebanese restaurant)
      Kei (my favorite Japanese although haven’t been there in ages)

  21. Anonymous83 says:

    Ever fantasized about doing it with another man? :-P

  22. The Ogre says:

    Whats the Joke/Story behind Bnaider 267 ?

    • Mark says:

      It started with Bnaider 258, a picture went viral of three girls standing under the sign. Then I took a picture of myself in front of the sign disappointed that I found no girls there. Then later that day me and some friends decided to go pose under Bnaider 264. I think 360dewan.com has all the pictures.

  23. Big fan of yours says:

    With all the recent harassements and crazy law imposed on expats …how come u never wrote anything about it?
    Was expecting some article from you

    • Mark says:

      It’s because there is no information about it. All there is are rumors and he said and she said. Fajer actually tried to write a post about this but she wasn’t able to gather accurate information and she works at one of the largest law firms in Kuwait.

  24. Kingfisher says:

    Hi – are you holding a dual passport?

  25. HamsHussein says:

    So you’re not in anyway Armenian?
    Boom.

  26. Mon says:

    Quick Q I have noticed your friends are 90% Kuwaitis and of leading families …. What are the connection between u guys? School? Business?

  27. Kingfisher says:

    Given an option would you even try to reunite with your ex wife? If yes, Why? If no, Why? :-)

  28. Rayboy says:

    If you feel kuwait has changed from the 80s, what has changed? and where is it heading to?

    • Mark says:

      It’s a big question. The biggest change I see visually is in the architecture and design. Back then you used to hire the best people for the job. Today you hire the cheapest.

  29. Kab says:

    Dyski and Geo where are they?

    • Mark says:

      Dyski was staying with us temporary due to the fire at the Animal Shelter. We gave him back. Geo is staying with Nataly.

  30. Hush says:

    How often do you get offered free meals at restaurants for the purpose of a blog review?

    How often do you accept them? And have you ever eaten one and did not post a review of it?

    • Mark says:

      I get offered free meals all the time but I stopped accepting free meals for reviews years ago. I am trying to be as professional as I can with this blog. I don’t recall if there was a restaurant I went to with the idea to review but never ended up reviewing. I don’t think there was a place “that” bad. If friends tell me a place sucks I wouldn’t go to it to begin with.

  31. Nixon says:

    ok, apologies for first question.
    If you could be the best in any sport what would it be? why?

    • Mark says:

      Right now? I’d love to be really good at kite surfing. Why? Because that’s what I am learning right now and it’s pretty hard lol

  32. dougmacho says:

    First of all i’d like to say that i appreciate your composure and being no bias with topics on your blog. I also enjoy how people don’t really get into heated arguements.

    What is your dream place to live/retire?

    • Mark says:

      I honestly wouldn’t know where I would like to live. I’ve visited a lot of great cities, if I had all the money in the world and I could live anywhere I wanted to it would probably be… Beirut maybe? I don’t know. I mean you can’t just live somewhere and not know anyone there. I like NY and Tokyo but what would I do there without my friends. All my friends are here in Kuwait and in Beirut.

  33. Hush says:

    Since the whole ordeal with Benihana is over, what is your single worst memory of the case?

    • Mark says:

      The whole case is a bad memory. I paid KD1,750 for my lawyer and another KD1,000 to Benihana. It would have been much cheaper for me to fly to Japan, spend a week there eating all the sushi I wanted and come back.

  34. غنيمة الفهد says:

    How many pairs of sneakers do you own?

  35. dougmacho says:

    One more question, if you could date a celebrity, who would it be and why?

  36. MM99 says:

    If you were elected to the Kuwait Parliament, what would be the first initative that you would draft to be voted on that would create the greatest impact on the Kuwait society?

  37. Jayden says:

    Hey Mark,
    We’re all pretty much familiar with the Benihana debacle but was there any other posts that got you into hot water with other establishments or the authorities?
    Also what is your take on blogging in the region with respect to freedom of speech and the cultural sensitivity to certain topics.
    Thanks!

    • Mark says:

      Yes, Virgin Megastore. I was at their store once and they were playing AL Manar on all their tvs. Thats the hezbollah channel which I found very offensive. So I posted on my blog “Virgin supporting terrorism?”. Virgin international contacted me and were apologetic telling me their stores are only allowed to play demo videos. Virgin kuwait call me and ask me to pass by. I met with the owner, the GM, their head of security and their lawyer. They threatened to sue me if I didn’t take my post down. That was years ago and my first difficult situation. I removed the post.

      • MM99 says:

        I spoke to Virgin Megastore in Dubai about the store in Kuwait and it was well known by VM what was going on in Kuwait. This store was closed for many reasons. Kuwait just can’t take a store from a Western country and destoy it’s reputation by incorporating their sick twisted ideals that counter a company’s policies.

      • aaa says:

        Can they legally sue you for a complaint you make? Is it because blogs count as journalism or something? Messed up

        • Mark says:

          No idea. Lawyer was telling me my post stated virgin supported terrorism. I told them I had a question mark which meant I was asking if they did. They were like no you are saying we are. It was long time ago, i was broke and scared and didn’t know many people.

  38. Hush says:

    The most WTF email you’ve ever received regarding the blog?

  39. JamilS says:

    What’s your favorite burger in kuwait?

  40. Ramez says:

    I am really sad to hear about you and Nat, I hope you guys get back together, give yourself a chance and work on getting her back, focus on building a family, Family First, blog comes next. put her as a first priority

  41. Nader says:

    1. I live right under you, so every day its like disco above me lol. What kind of music do you hear? 2. how come you and your brother dont say hi every time we see each other in the garage? its like no one is there. you dont need to answer the 2nd.

    • Kingfisher says:

      “”I live right under you, so every day its like disco above me lol.””

      EPIC! + 100 ;-)

    • Patrick says:

      I usually tend to say hi to people I’ve seen or met before, I don’t mean to be rude or anything.

    • Mark says:

      hahahaha I didn’t realize my music was that loud. I listen to a lot of electronic music and a lot of indie music. It’s probably the electronic music that you can hear.

      Regarding why I don’t say hi. I am socially awkward. My brother is even more socially awkward. Sorry! Why don’t you say hi? :)

      • Nader says:

        I always wanted to become friends with you guys, the whole building knows me even you dad, we talk a lot in the garage but yeah you right i should say HI first and ask you what kind of music you hear because i want to download them.

  42. lolguy says:

    Do you hold 2 passports?
    Looking at the frequent number of trips you make to Lebanon, I doubt you apply for a visa everytime, unless there is a provision for permanent Lebanese residency or something of that sort.

  43. baz says:

    1) At what point did you realize you could work full time on your blog?

    2) What are some of the negatives of full-time blogging?

    3) Do you have any plans to expand your blog and hire other writers?

    4) If you could go back and start all over what would you change?

    • Mark says:

      1) When I had bought an apartment and paid all my loans I realized I can now relax, earn less and enjoy life

      2) Blogging part time or full time is the same thing. It’s stressful. There isnt anything to post about. I have no idea how I find something to post about every fucking day. Being full time I guess people expect to post more but there isn’t anything happening in Kuwait

      3) I have plans to expand but I don’t think anyone can do what I am doing with as much passion and dedication. My expansion plans are not related to blogging.

      4) The color? I’m joking. I dont think I would change anything. I probably wouldn’t have reviewed Benihana thats for sure.

  44. sonny says:

    Has anyone asked you to review there restaurant/cafe and you turned it down?

    • Mark says:

      ALL the time. It’s because restaurants/cafe get free publicity with reviews or mentions. But that’s normal.

  45. shan says:

    hi….. what is ur full name..and du u have any another work govt/private sector ..?

  46. Boca Mocha says:

    Being a blogger and keeping current on things, have you ever felt like you were talking about things that you should really be? More specific, some people like myself still believe that with the internet people don’t really have to learn the ropes or get educated on scenes and subcultures because they can read a wiki page, then they think they are legit. Just curious if you ever were in a situation like that?

    Another question it seems like you are into a lot of stuff, from reading the blog, it seems like graffiti culture, fighting, photography, and fitness. Would you ever train to fight?

    • Mark says:

      I didn’t understand your first question. Regarding the second question I’m turning 35. If I do train to fight it’s just for fun. I dabbled in jujitsu, muay thai and taekwondo but just so that I could better understand what I’m watching on UFC.

      On a side note at 4:30 today I have a private session with Ray Elbe (www.magicalray.com)

  47. Mohammad Alghaith says:

    3 grand rules in your life

  48. Hany says:

    Who’s the better gamer? Patrick or you? :)

  49. Boca Mocha says:

    Being a blogger and keeping current on things, have you ever felt like you were talking about things that you really shouldn’t be talking about? More specific, some people like myself still believe that with the internet people don’t really have to learn the ropes or get educated on scenes and subcultures because they can read a wiki page, then they think they are legit. Just curious if you ever were in a situation like that?

    Another question it seems like you are into a lot of stuff, from reading the blog, it seems like graffiti culture, fighting, photography, and fitness. Would you ever train to fight?

  50. Kingfisher says:

    How many times a day do you log onto BananaQ8? :-)

  51. WayPastBaked says:

    man, I’ve been dieing to ask you this and I really hope you reply.

    Since you’ve been to Amsterdam, did you “Burn” ? if YES then, was that your first time or have you done it before? You seem like a chill dude with an open mind and I for one think that you might’ve. Am I right? :D

  52. Hush says:

    Favorite movie?
    Favorite album?
    Favorite book?
    Favorite video game?
    Favorite food?
    Favorite athelete?
    Favorite stand up comedian?
    ..Favorite country? ;)

    • Mark says:

      Apocalypse Now
      Mellon Collie and Infinite Sadness – Smashing Pumpkins
      Last book I read was Jurassic Park – The Lost World back in 1999. Nuff said.
      NHL 94 and Super Metroid on the SNES
      Burgers
      Probably George St Pierre
      Louis CK
      I love cities more than I do countries. I heart Tokyo.

  53. jassim says:

    If you could open up a pub in Kuwait, what would you name it?

  54. sonny says:

    What year did you go to AIS

  55. Reg says:

    How much do you pay your 3rd party annually

  56. Good_Guy says:

    Mark, who/what inspired you to take up blogging?

    • Mark says:

      A friend of mind, Bader. You can follow him on twitter.com/nibaq

      Blogging was all his idea. I thought blogging was stupid when he proposed it. I was like who the fuck wants to read about what I ate and what I did?

      That was back in 2003 before we started http://www.qhate.com

  57. aaa says:

    I’ve been given the opportunity to live+work outside Kuwait multiple times but refused each time (I’m Kuwaiti). People think I’m crazy for doing this but I dunno, the feeling of being “Home” is not something that I’m willing to give up.

    What do you tell people when they ask you “why are you in Kuwait?” I honestly love it here and wouldn’t leave unless I’m absolutely forced to but when I try to explain it to people they just think I’m retarded.

    • Mark says:

      I tell them this is my home. I’ve lived here for 30 years. I’ve actually lived on the same street all my life. Pre 1990 I used to live in the building across the street and after the war I moved to the building across the street where I still live there now.

  58. J says:

    Ever considered having kids? Why/why not?

    • Mark says:

      I wasn’t ready to have kids when I was married because I felt I had still so much to do and so much to see.

  59. SP says:

    What is the one thing you dislike the most in Kuwait?

  60. Sam says:

    So you travel at weekends, Describe your average day during the week.

  61. Joe Miller says:

    If I may ask, how do you find all of your news? Living in Britain, was in Kuwait before yet I still read this blog!

    • Mark says:

      I don’t know. There isn’t a formula, I just noticed things or hear things or read things and whatever I find interesting ends up on the blog.

  62. Jay says:

    Just an idea for your expansion, try giving a chance for new un-famous bloggers to write on your blog for a short while so that it would both help your blog and help them, i know that’s now a question but i’d love to know what you think about that

  63. Sara says:

    Do you also own WeatherInKuwait and NewsInKuwait on Twitter? Cause if you do, you are significantly talented! Lovely blogs+ accounts.

  64. 122 says:

    What car do you drive? Where in Canada did you live?

  65. Kingfisher says:

    If ever given an option to sell your blog for a price, wud u do it?

    If yes, for how much? ;-)

    • Mark says:

      I’ve been offered before. I wouldn’t sell my blog unless I had something else to do. Right now I can’t think of anything else I would rather do.

  66. lolguy says:

    Your username on Reddit?

  67. abdulla says:

    Are you being paid by Al-Shaya to advertise on your blog?

    • Mark says:

      No. I am not paid by any advertiser. A third party handles my blogs advertising and they deal with the advertisers. It’s something I don’t have to deal with.

  68. Yale says:

    When it comes to car reviews, do the local car dealers get to you or do you get to them because of your inside contacts?

    • Mark says:

      depends. With porsche they contacted me with jaguar i contacted them. I get contacted by other dealers all the time but honestly i review cars i want to drive and not ones i have to drive just so i can review.

  69. nYx says:

    I have been an ardent follower of 248am ever since the Latina Mina episode which brings me to my question. Since I follow all your posts and comments, there have been so many people haven’t taken lightly to your posts etc and many people (commenters) have threatened you (not talking about Benihana). Have any of those threats ever materialized? Have you ever been called and given a drubbing making you feel uneasy?

    And lastly could you please take me off your moderation list??? Thank you.

    • Mark says:

      I’ve gotten a lot of calls… A LOT of calls over the years of people threatening me with lawsuits. Only people that went through with their threat was Benihana.

      Email me and I’ll remove you. Don’t know why you’re on it you must have said some fucked up shit in the past.

      • nYx says:

        Now that you mention it… I guess it had to do with my rant when you posted something about price comparison of Starbucks in Kuwait Vs. New York! But it was only a Rant… Oh Mark…. you’re a friggin %$%$%$% (hahahahhahahhahhahahhahah)

    • Kingfisher says:

      nYx – r u still in Kuwait?

  70. Ahn says:

    Hey Mark, just a few brief questions.

    How did you get your blog to spread out and increase the attention to it?
    As a student in the US, we have a conference every year during thanks giving, have you ever thought about coming out to one?

    Thanks!

    • Mark says:

      Not sure how it started. I mean when I started blogging I never thought about trying to get the blog popular. I just always had a lot of things to say and I kept writing and more and more people just kept following me. I used to be extremely happy when I had 100 visitors a day. I just love sharing things with people be it 5 people or 10,000.

      What kind of conference? But generally no I haven’t considered taking part in any conference. Maybe I should.

  71. gsus says:

    Is this AMA just a way to get more hits to your website?

    • Mark says:

      No. That’s not how things work. I will probably get more hits today than a regular day but that doesn’t mean or do anything? If I get a lot of hits for one day it doesn’t affect the blog in any way. Things settle down back to routine the very next day.

  72. Yale says:

    Are you honest with all your car/food/electronic reviews?

    • Mark says:

      Yes. All I have is my credibility. I don’t need to lie about anything since I have nothing to gain. I don’t get paid to post.

  73. Roy says:

    I read that you were going to be in Lebanon from the 10th to the 14th, are there any interesting events happening btween these dates?

  74. 22:4 says:

    Gadgets you use for blog?

    • Mark says:

      Macs and my iPhone. I can’t for the love of god post from an ipad or my iphone. I mean I can but I just hate doing so. I only post from a computer. I use my iPhone to check and approve comments or to edit a post if I find out I miswrote something while I am away from the computer.

  75. Sam says:

    Favourite 3 cities in the Middle East ranked

    • Mark says:

      Other than Kuwait? Beirut, Dubai and nothing else. Bahrain is nice because of the people (and booze) but it’s really tiny. Haven’t been anywhere else. Oh food in Damascus was insanely good.

  76. G says:

    How many people tried to sue you ?

  77. shan says:

    one more question mark… du u miss ur wife?

    • Mark says:

      When you’ve been married to someone for 8 years and you’ve known that person for a total of 12, you’re bound to miss them of course. The divorce was the most difficult and hurtful experience I’ve ever been through. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

  78. Sam says:

    When you travel to Tokyo , uk for weekends – do you go alone ?

    • Mark says:

      Tokyo I went for 10 days. Europe you can do in a weekend. Sometimes I travel alone. Sometimes I travel with friends. Sometimes I know friends in the destination. It’s different every time.

  79. Roy says:

    You’re going to be in Beirut in 2 days what do you recommend doing? Is there any event you came to watch?

  80. Sam says:

    Do you think you would ever pack up for good from Kuwait ?

    And where would your ideal place to retire be ?

    • Mark says:

      No idea. I don’t have long term plans, I’m just trying to get through the day and will see what happens tomorrow.

  81. tj says:

    Wats the rent like for your duplex?

  82. Ohno says:

    do you consider your self as an artist? do you do art? what for of art appeals to you?

  83. MollyQ8 says:

    You’re very attractive, physically and mentally. Are you involved with anyone? Ever been on a blind date or used online dating?

    • Mark says:

      Thanks. I’m not involved with anyone at the moment but I did go on one blind date a few months back. I’ve never used online dating but that’s because I haven’t had the need to use it since I’ve been meeting a lot of great people without it.

  84. Open says:

    Are you religious? Do you go to church regularly?

  85. 3azeez says:

    Your blog is still, to me at least, the no. 1 Kuwaiti blog. However, it is no longer as ‘cool’ and ‘interesting’ the way it used to be. What used to make the blog interesting was you and your experiences.

    Today, your blog seems to be slower, and you’re posting style is changing, and relying more on reposting what other bloggers are posting (which is not a bad thing btw, but its getting more share i think).

    My question, what happened?

    • Mark says:

      It’s hard to explain. Divorce is very traumatic. I am surprised I managed to continue posting through the whole ordeal so yeah things changed for awhile but they’re back on track now. Also keep in mind that Kuwait is tiny. It gets harder and harder to post new things everyday. I’ve been blogging since 2003, I’ve really posted about every thing and there are less and less new things I can experience and write about. But I still manage to find stuff, there are good blog days and bad blog days.

  86. 3azeez says:

    Do you have other family members in Kuwait?

  87. Sam says:

    Does the daily lack of inspiration bother you ?

    Top 3 things you would do / change to promote a brighter future in Kuwait

    • Mark says:

      yes it does. it’s very stressful.

      1) Kill corruption (i think that will solve everything)
      2) Hire the best people for the job
      3) Allow expats to become permanent residents. You don’t need to give them passports but when someone has been living here for 30+ years that person really shouldn’t have to deal with yearly residency renewals.

  88. Mathai says:

    Do you share a bong with Geo and plot to screw your neighbors?

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