Kuwait, the Second Most Toxic Country in the World

Post by Mark

The Eco Experts recently revealed the “most toxic countries in the world” and Kuwait came in second place. The data was compiled by taking five environmental factors into account:

– Energy consumption per capita
– CO2 emissions from fuel combustion
– Air pollution levels
– Deaths attributable to air pollution
– Renewable energy production.

Even though last year I posted a study which ranked Kuwait’s air quality as the 9th worst in the world, I still found this new study as surprising as I found that one. I guess because when I imagine bad air quality I imagine those articles in the news about China, where the smog is so bad planes can’t land and visibility is down to nothing. But here, I mean other than the occasional dust storms, the weather is usually pretty clear and doesn’t seem polluted at all.

But it is.

A friend found out the local US Embassy has a Real-time Air Quality Index (AQI) which you can check out from your phone or browser. According to the index, the air quality at this very moment as I write this post is “Very Unhealthy”. That’s pretty scary. You can check the AQI yourself by clicking [Here]

Now if we go back to the list of most toxic countries, you’ll notice something in common with the top 10:

1- Saudi Arabia
2- Kuwait
3- Qatar
4- Bahrain
5- United Arab Emirates
6- Oman
7- Turkmenistan
8- Libya
9- Kazakhstan
10- Trinidad and Tobago

All 10 nations are all heavily involved in the oil and gas industry. If you want to read more about this study, here is a [Link]

Maybe a doctor can chime in in the comments below about the potential health issues that can be caused by this.

Update: Since I published the post the current air quality index has gone up to the status of “Hazardous”! WTF?!

Thanks Omair and Nibaq


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VOL.1 Shuwaikh Now Open

Post by Mark

The new VOL.1 location in Mayar Complex (what I prefer calling VOL.2) is now open daily from 12PM to 7PM. I was invited to the pre-launch event a few weeks back and I fell in love with the place. Not only is it the best looking coffee shop I’ve ever been to, but I also think it has one of the best looking interiors of any place I’ve been to in Kuwait.

A video posted by VOL.1 (@vol_1kuwait) on

Here is the location for Mayar Complex [Google Maps]. Super/Foods is located in the same building so you could stop by Super/Foods for a bite and then VOL.1 for coffee. Thinking about it, thats probably what I’m gonna do for lunch today.


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How To Get Your Car Plates Back After Parking Illegally

Post by Mark

noplates

As you’re probably aware by now, cops are resorting to remove the license plates of illegally parked cars in an effort to stop the habit. A reader last week left a comment under one of my old posts detailing the process involved in getting back the plates and I’ve went ahead and summarized it into bullets points below:

– Cops took his car plates after he illegally parked in old Salmiya

– They left a ticket and a sticker on the windshield with information on which traffic station to go to

– After waiting for a few days he went to the traffic station in Jabriya where he presented them with his traffic ticket and paid a fine of KD20. He then had to get a signature from the supervisor and after that was told to come back the next day

– Next day he headed back to Jabriya where they told him to go to the Salmiya traffic station instead

– After getting to the Salmiya traffic station he had to get another signature from the supervisor there

– After getting the signature he then had to go to another room where an officer gave him back his plates and asked him to sign a document stating he received his car plates

– You don’t get your screws back so you need to pass by a hardware store before you head back to your car with your plates to screw them back on

The process seems like such a hassle I hope I never get my plates taken. Not that I park illegally anyway, but in Salmiya there are some parking spot you might think are legal but are most likely illegal (Exhibit A).

Thanks RJP


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The Cultural Center Rainbow Road

Post by Mark

The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Center is the second cultural center that is being constructed next to Shaab Park on the Gulf Road. Last night when I drove by I noticed they had their multicolored roof lights on so figured I’d try to sneak in and take some shots. That failed since there was security stationed at every entrance.

I then tried to hop over the wall from the Women’s organization building right next door but as soon as I stepped onto their property, their building security stopped me as well. Need to go back in a full black ninja outfit and try again.

Anyway I still managed to take some shots from the outside which I’ve shared in this post.

After taking the video above I realized the rainbow roof lights look like a real life version of the Rainbow Road from the Mario Kart game. So someone needs to fly a drone over this “track” ASAP pretending they’re racing in Mario Kart and then add the Rainbow Road soundtrack to the video so we can share it on Reddit.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this project, it’s located on the Gulf Road right before Shaab Park. The project consist of six main buildings:

– A Natural History Museum
– A Science Museum
– A Museum of Islamic History
– A Space Museum
– A Fine Arts Center
– A 350 seat Theatre

The cultural center is expected to be completed by the end of this year. For previous posts on this cultural center with renderings and more information, click [Here]


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Below is the list of events taking place this week. Lots of stuff to do so you don’t have an excuse to stay at home this weekend.

Thursday
Exhibition: Until – Ghadah Alkandari
Exhibition: KRM – Four Hands
CATS – Broadway Show
Maker Faire
Dramatic Poetry Reading by Dr. Ed Simone

Friday
Tai Chi in the Park
Hatha Yoga with Rosie
CATS – Broadway Show
Maker Faire
MMK Cricket Premier League
Good Game: Magic – The Gather
Rock ‘N’ Read
Vegan Gathering Dinner
Salwa’Walk and Socialize Meetup
Picnic at the Park

Saturday
Yoga with the 3
Guided Tour: Grand Mosque
CATS – Broadway Show
Maker Faire
Bootcamp by ONE2ONE
Gardening & Live Music
Shakshooka Market
St. Spray Soup
Q8 Readers Book Club: Animal Farm by George Orwell
Hip-Hop Has Sole

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 Now Showing in Kuwait

Post by Mark

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

New This Week:
Heartbeats (N/A)
John Wick: Chapter 2 (9.4)
Rings (4.6)
Split (7.5) ♦
The LEGO Batman Movie (8.1)

Other Movies Showing:
Kung-Fu Yoga (6.2)
La La Land (8.9) ♦
Live by Night (6.5) ♦
Moana (8.2)
Ozzy (5.6)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (7.0)
xXx: Return of Xander Cage (5.6) ♦

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

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough (7.6)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)
Journey to Space 3D (6.5)
Kenya 3D: Animal Kingdom (6.0)
Mysteries of the Unseen World 3D (7.5)

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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S&S Bookstore

Post by Mark

S&S is a small bookstore in the basement of Laila Gallery. It’s not new, it’s been there for a few years but I was surprised to still see it open when I passed by Laila Gallery recently. I thought I had posted about the store before but turns out I hadn’t so I decided I’d post about them now. They mostly carry children’s books and school books as well as some educational toys.

They’re located in the corner of the basement of Laila Gallery in Salmiya and their opening hours are Sunday to Thursday 9AM to 1PM and then again 5PM to 10PM. On Fridays they’re open only from 12:30PM to 4:30PM and on Saturday 5PM to 10PM. Their instagram account is @SandSBookstore.

I heard the Kuwait Bookshop that was in the basement of Muthana Complex in the city moved to Hawalli. So need to also check that place out if I can find it.


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Introducing Dr. H

Post by Mark

Dr. H is a Kuwaiti family medicine resident working in a polyclinic in Kuwait. I’ve invited her to write on the blog about her experiences and I think these will end up being pretty interesting posts. She just published her first one below so check it out.


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Kuwait MD: Dr. Can you please give me an injection?

Post by Dr. H

maid

I’m a 20 something year old doctor working in family medicine in a polyclinic in Kuwait City. I’m Kuwaiti but I was born and raised abroad, and then finished med school abroad. When I graduated I decided to come back to Kuwait. There’s a lot of ups and downs of being back, it’s been a joy and struggle at the same time. So i’ll be writing about some of that, as well as healthcare, and life as a Doctor working in Kuwait. For my first post, I’ll be discussing an issue I face on an almost daily basis in practice, one that I almost always feel helpless in solving. The treatment of foreign workers in Kuwait.

Patient: Dr. Can you please give me an injection?

Me: Which injection?

Patient: Something that will make my flu go away, that will make me able to work again

Me: I explain that flu’s take time, and that she needs to rest, and that its vital she does so.

I see hesitation.. followed by

Patient: Please, give me anything madame says I have to work

This is sadly a very common scenario. Typically it would be a housemaid, who’s come to seek treatment for a flu or common illness, and is worried that she’ll get in trouble, get deductions from her salary, or even worse, get hit if she doesn’t work through her illness. This is a trend I noticed very early on while working in family medicine.

I thought for a while about what the solution could be, so I started asking for the numbers of their employers, and started explaining to them; the need for rest, how ‘contagious’ a flu can be, and how vital rest is to ‘speed up recovery’ time. Coming from a ‘fellow Kuwaiti’ it wasn’t hard to convince… and trying to appeal to their own selfish nature by implying that they’ll get something out of letting them rest also helped. As if showing a little bit of empathy and basic humanity isn’t enough motivation to do so.

This just highlights a major issue in this country that largely goes un-noticed. Or perhaps its noticed, yet nothing is done. While I was working on a OB/GYN residency, a housemaid came into the emergency room in tears, claiming that she just found out she was pregnant and that she’d been raped earlier. I was horrified, and I contacted the police. Instead of them taking a statement from her, doing their best to protect her.. they dragged her down to station for ‘questioning’ and detained her! “illegal pregnancy” they said.

There are not enough laws to protect foreign workers. We have people from all over the world coming to work in Kuwait whether it be in homes, streets, hotels, restaurants. Immigrants make up a huge percentage of the population of Kuwait.. a percentage that Kuwait wouldn’t be able to run without.

What support systems are in place should they need help? Who can they approach? Is there a helpline they can call? Is there a ‘union’ that defends them? Are there organizations in place?

These issues need to be addressed, if not for the country’s sake, for the sake of maintaining a little bit of humanity, and not losing track of the reality that we live in.

Post by Dr. H – A family medicine resident working in a polyclinic in Kuwait


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Walk This Way Tonight

Post by Mark

A video posted by TQ (@kickstq) on

For the sneakerheads in Kuwait, there is an interactive exhibition showcasing some of the most iconic sneakers to be referenced in hip-hop music taking place tonight at the Visual Therapy Gallery. The exhibit is called “Walk This Way” and features local sneakerhead @KicksTQ and music by DJ Bonita.

The exhibition is from 6 to 9PM and it’s only taking place today, after that its gone. I’ll probably be there the whole three hours as well so drop by, check it out and say hi. For more info including a map of the location, click [Here]

Update: Turns out the event is till Saturday.


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