13 Hours With No Electricity

Post by Mark

Last month the power went out in my neighborhood for around 8 hours, this weekend it went out for 13. The thing is, it shouldn’t have been out for that long.

At exactly 9PM the power was cut in my neighborhood, the fact it was cut at exactly 9PM leads me to believe this was a planed maintenance cut. The problem though the portable generators like the one pictured above only arrived to my neighborhood at 1AM. There were 8 trucks and by the time they were all connected to the various power transformers around the block, buildings only started getting electricity by 3AM. By 4AM all the buildings got electricity except mine. Now if you’re planning on cutting the power off to hundreds of families in the middle of the hottest month of the year, at the very least have the generators ready to be plugged in ASAP so that people don’t have to suffer. Or, how about notifying the neighborhood by placing posters at the entrance of the buildings that will be affected to let them know that power will be cut off at this day at this time so that people can be prepared.

Now as I mentioned, by 4AM power was restored to all the buildings except mine. So me and some neighbors called up 152 which is the hotline for Electricity & Water Emergency. 152 was pretty useless. They transferred us to the electricity office up the street from my building in Salmiya. We explained to them what the problem was and they told us they had nothing to do with it and that we needed to contact the electricity office in Jabriya. We called Jabriya up and they were like this has nothing to do with us and that we need to contact the Salmiya office. So after running around in circles Jabriya finally agreed to send someone to check it out. by 5:30AM nobody had come yet so we called Jabriya up again. They told us there isn’t anything they can do now since the shift is nearly over and we would have to wait for the new shift at 6AM. 6:15AM we call them back up again, they were like they aren’t going to send someone over because there is maintenance work going on and power will be back soon. We asked if they could tell us where in Salmiya the work was being done so we could pass by them and get a time estimate from them. The guy on the other end got super pissed off, started yelling and telling us its none of our business and we had to end the call. Power came back four hours later 10:12AM.

What a clusterfuck. Whomever is in charge in Salmiya obviously doesn’t care about the residents. I’ve posted about the horrible garbage situation a million times before (still hasn’t been fixed btw), the horrible urban planning, the tall residential buildings with zero parking and now the complete lack of empathy towards its residents. There should be town hall meetings where residents can meet with whomever is in charge so we could voice our complaints. Better yet put me in charge of Salmiya already!


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Full Schedule of Kuwaitis Competing at Rio 2016

Post by Mark

kuwaitisatioc

There are nine Kuwaiti athletes competing at the Olympics under the IOC flag. They are:

Abbas Al Qali (Swimming)
Abdulrahman Al-Faihan (Trap)
Abdullah Al-Rashidi (Skeet)
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti (Fencing)
Ahmad Al-Afasi (Double Trap)
Faye Sultan (Swimming)
Fehaid Al-Deehani (Double Trap)
Khaled Al-Mudhaf (Trap)
Saud Habib Al-Kandari (Skeet)

If you’d like to watch them compete, below is their schedule (Kuwait time):

August 7
Khaled Al-Mudhaf: Shooting – Men’s Trap 3:30PM
Abdulrahman Al Faihan: Shooting – Men’s Trap 3:30PM

August 9
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti: Fencing – Men’s individual épée 3PM

August 10
Fehaid Aldeehani: Shooting – Men’s Double Trap 3PM
Ahmad Alafasi: Shooting – Men’s Double Trap 3PM

August 11
Abbas Qali: Swimming – Men’s 100m Butterfly 8:16PM

August 12
Abdullah Al-Rashidi: Shooting – Men’s Skeet 3:30PM
Saud Habib Al-Kandari: Shooting – Men’s Skeet 3:30PM
Faye Sultan: Swimming – Women’s 50m freestyle 7:02PM


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Car Driving Erratically Captured on Video

Post by Mark

I’ve heard two different stories about the video above. The first story is that the gas pedal got stuck and the second story is that the driver was intoxicated.

truckcrash


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Remembrance at Al-Shaheed Park

Post by Mark

remembrance1

The Memorial Museum at Al Shaheed Park opened a couple of days ago on the anniversary of the 1990 Kuwait invasion. The exhibit space is really beautiful as you can see in the photos and features interactive displays. The opening hours are from 9AM to 9PM but I’d highly recommend you don’t go during the day in the summer.

remembrance2

The museum is located on the far end of the park, opposite where the parking is located. I wanted to visit the museum during the day time so I could have daylight in my shots and so passed by around 3:30. There was literally no shade from the parking to the museum and by the time I got to the exhibit I felt like I had just crossed the Sahara. If anyone in Al Shaheed Park is reading this, you guys need to have some sort of shuttle service from the parking to the museum or at least plant trees that would shade the walk path.


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Movies Now Showing in Kuwait

Post by Mark

suicidesquad

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

New This Week:
Suicide Squad (8.2) ♦
Sheep & Wolves (6.9)

Other Movies:
Alice Through The Looking Glass (6.4)
Central Intelligence (6.6) ♦
Finding Dory (7.8)
Jason Bourne (8.3)
Now You See Me 2 (6.9)
Star Trek Beyond (7.6)
Submerged (4.0)
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out Of The Shadows (6.3)
The Legend Of Tarzan (6.7) ♦
The Conjuring 2 (7.8)

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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Burnout at Big Ben

Post by Mark

I love this, a lot. The car is from Kuwait and I’m guessing its probably the same group of guys who do the yearly Jahra to Europe trip. If anyone knows them please put me in touch. I’d love to join them on their next trip and document the whole experience. I’ve got my Datsun, just need to plaster some cheesy stickers on it and it will be ready. [YouTube]

In case you’ve missed the posts from the previous years, here are some links:

No Speak English – Kuwait to Paris 2015
Donuts in the Alps
From Jahra to London

jahratolondon


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The Souk Al-Manakh Stock Bubble and Collapse

Post by Mark

manakh

The height of the society-wide insanity occurred when eight speculators, known as “the Cavaliers,” floated a total of $55 billion in postdated checks, seemingly in an attempt to corner the market. The most prolific check writer among the Cavaliers was Jassim al-Mutawa, a Passport Office employee in his early-twenties, who managed to pass off $14 billion all by himself. Sloppy accounting on the part of his brother and partner, Najeeb al-Mutawa, caused Jassim to become a staggering $3.4 billion overdrawn.

A really fascinating article on Souk Al-Manakh in the early 80s. The numbers quoted in the article are insane! I had always been curious about what happened and how it all happened so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. [Link]

Also, here are some photos of the Souk Al-Manakh building taken in the early 80s via the MIT Libraries.

Thanks faahqueimmanutjawb


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Kuwait Will Not Be Represented At The Olympics

Post by Mark

kuwaitolympics

Kuwait has lost its Swiss court case against an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban that will see the nation’s athletes compete under the Olympic flag at the Rio Olympics, a source with direct knowledge of the decision said on Tuesday. [Source]

This was Kuwait’s last ditch effort to get reinstated but they lost their case. All 9 Kuwaiti athletes competing at the Olympics will now be walking out under the IOC flag during the opening ceremony and competing as Individual Olympic Participants. If any athlete wins a medal (and there is a big chance of that happening), it will now fall under IOC and not Kuwait.

Here is the final list of Kuwaiti Olympians participating at Rio 2016:

Abbas Al Qali (Swimming)
Abdulrahman Al-Faihan (Trap)
Abdullah Al-Rashidi (Skeet)
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti (Fencing)
Ahmad Al-Afasi (Double Trap)
Faye Sultan (Swimming)
Fehaid Al-Deehani (Double Trap)
Khaled Al-Mudhaf (Trap)
Saud Habib Al-Kandari (Skeet)

On a similar subject, there is a new documentary called “Between Hope and Pain” which highlights the struggle of the 9 Kuwaiti athletes as well as a Kuwaiti referee to make it to the Rio Olympics.

In ‘Between Hope and Pain’, one referee and nine athletes openly express their immense drive to compete and win, and the supreme disappointment of being unable to do so under the Kuwaiti flag. In the documentary, privately screened at Laila Cinema on Sunday evening, Kuwaiti shooter and Olympic champion, Fehaid Al-Deehani spoke candidly about his dilemma to participate in the upcoming games. He shared that the Olympics ceased to hold meaning for him as he would not be able to leave his mark as a Kuwaiti athlete but only as an independent player, without a country and a flag.

“It’s the first time in my life I have experienced something like this. It’s true that we were banned in 2012 but a week before the competition HH the Amir solved the problem and removed the ban and we participated. But in this incident, we feel lost, we don’t know what’s up ahead”, he remarked. He stated that no resolution seemed to be forthcoming from either the government or the Olympic committee and he chalked this down to a clash of egos. He was honest and critical of the state of sports in the country, saying, “Sports in Kuwait has always experienced obstacles, it has always been sterile, lacking. It has never been proper. Even during the golden age, the football era, it wasn’t proper. It was progressing by God’s grace but there was no strategy. Up until now we represent the country with training suits worth KD 3 while other national teams employ fashion designers.” He shared that he was pained at the loss of the future of many athletes because of conflicts over positions and called for those responsible to tender their resignations. [Source]

The trailer to this documentary is posted above, no idea if the full documentary will be posted online as well.


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Wataniya Airways Coming Back?

Post by Mark

The Wataniya Airways twitter account which had been dormant for 3 years suddenly came back to life with the tweet below stating they’re coming back.

I also got an email from a Wataniya Airways representative stating that they’re targeting to come back between December and January depending on certain circumstances.

For those of you who weren’t around at the time, Wataniya Airways was a premium local airline that launched back in 2009. Compared to Kuwait Airways at that time, they had newer planes and they flew out of the Sheikh Saad terminal which was (and still is) much nicer than the main terminal. In 2011 they shutdown due to financial reasons.

I’ve got a personal attachment to Wataniya Airways since I had worked with them on their advertising from pre-launch till shutdown, so I’m really interested to see how this will pan out.


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New Restaurant: Vigonovo Italian Homestyle Food

Post by Mark

vig1

Vigonovo is a new small Italian restaurant that just opened up a couple of days back in Salmiya. The restaurant is run by an Italian chef called Marco and I passed by yesterday to check it out. Vigonovo is the name of a town in Northern Italy where Marco comes from so he infuses the characteristic and flavors of his province into his dishes. The menu is fairly small consisting of 3 salads, 4 first mains, 3 second mains and a few desserts. Only a few of the items are permanently on the menu while the rest change all the time. Every morning Marco heads to the local market to see what produce is available and based on his findings, he creates a menu for the day. I like that. A lot.

vig2

You could check out yesterdays menu (and prices) since I took a picture of it [Here]. I went with the Cupcake Lasagna, the Pumpkin Tortelli with Smoked Ricotta, the Frico & Polenta and finally the Amaretto for dessert. The portions are all fairly small, similar to tapas so you could mix and match. I hadn’t had this much carbs in months but everything sounded too tempting not to try. Since the place literally just opened it wouldn’t be fair for me to review the food but I did pass Marco and feedback I had. I will say this though, everything was light and the presentation was fantastic. It isn’t a fancy Italian restaurant, it’s a casual homey place with freshly prepared homestyle Italian food. We don’t have anything like it here.

Vigonovo is located in Salmiya where Gia is located in Al Khaled Complex. They’re right next door to Lorenzo in the shop called “Rose Gathering” since the restaurant is actually called “Vigonovo by Rose Gathering”. Vigonovo is currently open daily from 5PM onwards except on Fridays when they close. Definitely worth checking out. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @vigonovo_kw


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