Breitling Wing Walker Air Show

Posted by Mark

Breitling are bringing their Wing Walker air show to Kuwait and they will be performing to the public this Saturday at 1PM at Marina Crescent. They also chose a few people who will get to experience what it is like to “wing walk” and I was one of them. Basically I’m going to be flown around with the plane while being strapped onto the top of the wing. Should be fun. Check out the event page [Here]


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Paris: Off the Beaten Path

Posted by Mark

If you’re planning to go to Paris anytime soon you might find the below places interesting to check out:

deyrolle

Deyrolle
This first spot really depends if you’re into stuffed animals or not. Deyrolle is the most fascinating taxidermy store I’ve ever been to. It’s fairly large with a lot of wildlife on display from large animals like lions and horses to small insects like butterflies and bugs. Everything is for sale and there really is a lot to see but photography isn’t allowed which is why I was only able to capture the one shot above. The Deyrolle website has some images (but outdated compared to what I saw) and you can check them [Here]

dinky

Galerie Du Jouet Ancien
This is a little store I found accidentally and fell in love with instantly. The store sells vintage toys with the main focus being on toy cars. The store is tiny but crammed with toys so there is a lot to see (and buy). This is a [Link] with some information on the store and here is a [Map]

pozzetto

Pozzetto
This is my favorite gelato place in Paris and mostly because they have the best pistachio gelato I’ve ever had anywhere. It’s right at the start of the trendy Le Marais district (where L’As du Fallafel is also located) so you can pick up an ice cream once you’re done shopping or after you’re done with your falafel sandwich. [Link]

cnit

La Défense
This is the largest purpose-built business district in Europe and I loved it because it looks completely different from the Paris you know and see. This area of Paris is where all the tall skyscrapers are located including the 20th-century version of the Arc de Triomphe, the Grande Arche. It’s very easy to get to, just take the metro line 1 till the last stop.

steampunk

Métro Arts et Métiers
If you’re a steampunk fan you’ll love this metro station which was designed by a Belgian comic artist in a steampunk style. The station is located on line 3 and 11 of the Metro but only one of the lines is designed this way so if you get to the station and it doesn’t look like the picture above just head over to the other line.

Other places of interest:
Maison Goyard – They’ve got a mens store and a women’s store opposite each other on the same street. Other than the bags, check out some of the pet accessories they have if you really want to spoil your pet.
Colette – A trendy fashion store with a restaurant in the basement.
Ferdi – A small restaurant but you need to book in advance. We were having dinner there when we found out they had to turn away the rapper Drake because they were fully booked.


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GulfRun 9 – Official Video

Posted by Mark

Gulf Run 9 took place late January and they just released a video of the event. Over 60 cars from Kuwait took part in GR9 at the Bahrain International Circuit. [YouTube]


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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


[YouTube]

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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BigMo and Arabique

Posted by Mark


[Vimeo]

I’ve got two new videos from Kuwaiti rappers BigMo and Arabique. The first one above is of BigMo performing an acapella rendition of “Oil Money” off of his album “Both Sides of the Sand”.

The second video below is a live performance of Arabique taken during isma3ni’s (Open Mic) anniversary event, which took place in Discovery Mall.


[YouTube]


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The most powerful Kuwaiti women – 2014

Posted by Mark

bahr

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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I Heart Kuwait

Posted by Mark

ilovekw

Al Hamra Tower have installed a large “I heart Kuwait” sign outside the building as part of their contribution to Kuwait for National Day. It’s not a temporary structure so it will most likely end up being a popular spot for photos.


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Kuwaiti in the Arctic

Posted by Mark

arctic

Nasser Al-Fozaie is a Kuwaiti who is currently living in the Arctic. He emailed me a couple of weeks back and I was curious to why he was there and so he sent me the below to share on the blog:

I’ve always wanted to experience the Arctic. I’m Nasser Al-Fozaie, a twenty-three year-old Kuwaiti, currently conducting sociocultural research and fieldwork on the Greenlandic Inuit society. I dare say life in the Arctic is quite extraordinary and the environment is truly wondrous to behold. The moment I arrived to Nuuk, Greenland, I was greeted by the heavenly whiteness of the city’s mountainous terrain and the rippling waters of Labrador with its gently floating sea ice in all its grace.

arctic2

I’m currently on my second week and I plan to stay here for the next four months, God willing. I decided to come here because I’ve always been fascinated by Earth’s geographic polar regions and I myself have travelled to many parts of the globe to experience both the physiography and the cultures of the places I visit. I lived in a Fijian village, for example, teaching in a public school and performing environmental initiatives with the locals. I was actually inaugurated into a native Fijian tribe which is way cool. I also went on several solo excursions such as backpacking across New Zealand, trekking the Cornish coast of Southwest England, train-hopping across Eastern Canada and music touring across the United States.

Indeed in order to truly understand something, you will need to put in the effort of exploring and searching for the answers you covet. The esoteric beauty that lies within travel is that it teaches humility and you soon realize how wrong you’ve been living. That said, I don’t necessarily understand why a lot of people are losing confidence in their abilities – they numb themselves through the doleful modus of self-deprecation. They, in perhaps a rather puerile sense, give up on their dreams. They start to imbue a desire for comfort and contentment – average contentment. It’s as if the extraordinary is no longer yearned for or encouraged.

I think many of us in Kuwait are fortunate to be given the opportunity to luxuriate our minds with knowledge and that’s something certainly worth thinking about rather than stressing over which restaurant you’ll dine in today or which car you want to save up for – the Audi or the Jaguar, or whether you should wear Chanel or Valentino tonight. .. and such is the malady of the contemporary indulgent persona. Thus far, I have received exceptional amounts of both academic and moral edification and with God’s help, I will continue to learn and grow.

arctic3

The Greenlandic Inuit people are quite sophisticated and masters of their trade, having grown from a hunter-gatherer society to a more industrialized community – which has begotten many sociocultural and sociopolitical conflicts, like the pseudo-modernization of the Greenlandic youth and the Danish influences and how it affects the culture, linguistics, politics and economy of this autonomous state. There is so much life out here, one wonders where to begin… so let’s just leave it at this point for now.

If you’re interested you could follow my Arctic adventures on instagram @nasser_alfozaie


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Cinemagics Rooftop Schedule for March

Posted by Mark

Below is this months schedule for Cinemagics rooftop movie nights. If you’ve never been to them before, they’re held twice a week, every Thursday and Saturday on top of the building that has Xcite in old Salmiya. I’ll also be listing the movies individually in the Events section to make it easier to track on a weekly basis. Here are this months movies:

Thursday, March 6th 2014 at 7:30PM
GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK
Winner of over 42 international awards, and nominated for 6 Academy Awards, Good Night and Good Luck takes place during the early 1950’s under the threat of Communism most famously exploited by Senator Joseph McCarthy. CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred W. Friendly decide to take a stand and expose McCarthy for the fear monger he was, playing a huge role in bringing down one of the most controversial figures in American history.

Saturday, March 8th 2014 at 7:30PM
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
Considered one of the best films of 2008 by numerous critics and winner of multiple awards mostly focussing on the incredible screenplay by Woody Allen and the extraordinary performances (with emphasis on Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz). Two girlfriends on a summer holiday in Spain become enamored with the same painter, unaware that his ex-wife, with whom he has a tempestuous relationship, is about to re-enter the picture.

Thursday, March 13th 2014 at 7:30PM
A WOMAN UNDER THE INFLUENCE
The third in our Cassavetes series, where we’ll be showing a film every month by acclaimed legendary independent filmmaker John Cassavetes, who is known as the father of independent American cinema. This uncompromising portrait of domestic turmoil details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk give unforgettably harrowing performances as a married couple deeply in love but unable to express their ardor in terms the other can understand. This landmark American film is perhaps the most beloved work from the extraordinary John Cassavetes.

Saturday, March 15th 2014 at 7:30PM
SURPRISE MOVIE OF THE MONTH
Every month we’ll be playing a surprise film, where you won’t know what you’re watching until just a minute before the film begins. One thing is for sure, every month the surprise film will be either my favourite film of the list, or the most unique in one way or the other. This month’s film was won and was nominated for over 87 awards worldwide (including 6 academy award nominations this year), with great emphasis on the fascinating performances and the hilarious but moving script. With a veteran director at the helm who has created his own style of filmmaking unique to himself, the film has creeped into people’s hearts worldwide. Not to be missed!

Thursday, March 20th 2014 at 7:30PM
MAN PUSH CART
Making its debut at the 2005 Venice Film Festival and considering one of the best films of 2006 by many critics (including the late great Roger Ebert), Man Push Cart follows a night in the life of a former Pakistani rock star who now sells coffee from his push cart not he streets of Manhattan.

Saturday, March 22nd 2014 at 7:30PM
DRY SUMMER (Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project)
Every month, we’ll be playing a film from the World Cinema Project. Established by Martin Scorsese in 2007, the World Cinema Project expands the horizons of moviegoers everywhere. The mission of the WCP is to preserve and present marginalized and infrequently screened films from regions generally ill equipped to preserve their own cinema history. This month’s film is Dry Summer. Metin Erksan’s wallop of a melodrama follows the machinations of an unrepentantly selfish tobacco farmer who builds a dam to prevent water from flowing downhill to his neighbors’ crops. The film went not to win the Golden Bear (Best Film) at the Berlin Film Festival.

Thursday, March 27th 2014 at 7:30PM
FARGO
Winner of 62 worldwide awards including Best script and Best Actress at the 97’ Oscars, and Best Director at the Cannes Film Festival, alongside being considered one of the greatest films of all time by the AFI, Fargo needs no introduction really. Produced, directed, written, and edited by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen and starring Frances McDormand as a pregnant police chief who investigates a series of homicides near Brainerd, Minnesota and William H. Macy as a struggling car salesman who hires two criminals to kidnap his wife.

Saturday, March 29th 2014 at 7:30PM
RUSSIAN ARK
Renowned as the film that captured the longest single running take in cinematic history (the film itself being a 98 minute non-stop mesmerizing tracking shot). Of the film itself, acclaimed critic Roger Ebert wrote, “Apart from anything else, this is one of the best-sustained ideas I have ever seen on the screen…. The effect of the unbroken flow of images (experimented with in the past by directors like Hitchcock and Max Ophüls) is uncanny. If cinema is sometimes dreamlike, then every edit is an awakening. Russian Ark spins a daydream made of centuries.”

Cinemagic is organizing these events as part of its efforts to contribute to the development of an internationally competitive Kuwaiti audio-visual production industry, partly by bringing the filmmakers and audiences together and by increasing the public’s interest in – and appreciation for – the art of film-making. Cinemagic movies are screened in the old Salmiya, on the rooftop of Xcite and LG [Map]. There is no entrance fee. Here is a link to their Facebook group [Link]


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