Registration Open: The Seventh Nuqat Conference

Post by Mark

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Nuqat is one of the largest creative conference events in the MENA region and registration is now open for their seventh annual conference titled “The Seventh Sense”. The week long program will take place at the Amricani Cultural Centre from the 10th to the 17th of November and include interactive talks, discussion panels, roundtable sessions, workshops, cultural tours, galleries, live performances and more.

All lectures and discussion panels are free to attend but you still need to register for a ticket [Here] or using the Nuqat app.

The workshops on the other hand aren’t free (Except the kids ones). Below is a list of all the workshops that will be taking place:

Designing and Producing Arabic fonts using Glyph app ($365)
Wall Tagging: Wajh Al Hurouf: Face of Calligraphy ($265)
Creative Pivoting: Your Business From New Perspectives ($365)
Food in Motion Videography ($365)
The Daily Future: Improve Everyday Objects or Problems Using Technology ($365)
Boosting Your Employability in the Creative Industry ($165)
Sadu Inspired Product Design ($280)
Creative Leadership Group A: Shifting Perspectives for Societal Impact ($220)
Creative Leadership Group B: Shifting Perspectives for Societal Impact ($220)
Kids Workshop: Gardening Activity (Free)
Kids Workshop: Center of the Arts Painting (Free)
Kids Reading Corner by My Book My Friend (Free)
Kids Workshop: That Al Salasil Arts & Crafts (Free)
Kids Workshop: Engineering For Kids (Free)

If you’re interested to find out more about a specific workshop or want to register for one then click [Here]


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Giveaway: Micro 3D Printer

Post by Mark

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I’ve been meaning to give this 3D printer away every since I published the review back in July but because I had it boxed up and packed away, I completely forgot about it until now. The printer was provided to me by Clarotek for review purposes and is currently priced at KD169. I’ll be providing 6 filament rolls of various colors including blue, white, red and orange with the printer. If you’re tech savvy and think you would make good use of this printer, then participate in this draw for a chance to win it. All you need to do is leave a comment below mentioning what you could use this printer for.

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I will stop accepting entries in the comments section by tomorrow morning at 9AM and then randomly choose one winner and notify them via email. Good luck!

Rules: Only one entry per person and please make sure you use a working email since the winner will be contacted by email. If winner doesn’t respond, another winner will be randomly chosen.

Update: At 9:02AM I closed the post for comments and using random.org I chose the winner which is comment #219 by Fahad.

219


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The Secret Garden Was Destroyed

Post by Mark

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The urban community garden know as The Secret Garden was completely destroyed a few days ago (before picture above, after pictures below). I heard about the news yesterday and was pretty upset by it. The Secret Garden was a perfect example of how an abandoned unknown park could be turned into something so beautiful with the help of a dedicated and passionate community. During the cooler months of the year people were encouraged to come by the Secret Garden every Saturday to either plant, paint, build or just socialize. Lots of parents brought their children who planted seeds and then watched them grow over the winter months. Every now and then you also had the Saturday brunches which brought even more people to the garden. It was such a great project and I was really looking forward to it again this year, but now I am not sure if it will be ready for this season.

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You’re probably thinking the garden was vandalized by a bunch of hooligans which is what I had thought at first, but thats not that case. According to Mimi the mastermind behind the Secret Garden project, the garden was destroyed by the Public Authority for Agriculture Affairs & Fish Resources (PAAFR). They’re the same organization who a few years ago were laying out poison all over the parks and free trade zone to poison stray dogs (while at the same time accidentally poisoning peoples pets).

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PAAFR reasoning behind the destruction was that the garden was dirty. Even though the Secret Garden wasn’t being used because it was the summer and there are municipality workers that are meant to clean the garden (the Secret Garden community clean the garden themselves during the cooler months), PAAFR decided it would be better to destroy the garden then try and reason with the community. The result? A catastrophic mess leaving the garden in shambles and disarray. They even had the garbage bins Secret Garden had placed removed and now the garden doesn’t even have trash bins for people to put their trash in. PAAFR also destroyed all the planting stations and just left them lying in the park with nails dangerously sticking out.

The Secret Garden community have been back at the park the past few days cleaning up the mess so they can start rebuilding the garden. I hope they’ll get it done in time for this winter season because it was one of the few activities I always looked forward to. If you want to stay posted on the progress then I would recommend you follow @mimikuwait


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Meet the Oracle, by Breville

Post by Mark

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As most of you know by now, my obsession du jour is currently coffee, specifically lattes. I just started having them for the first time around 2 months back and I’ve been hooked ever since. Like everything I obsess over, I start really getting into, reading as much as I can and watching endless hours of videos until I know the subject inside out, and thats what I have been doing with coffee machines. Arabica had already passed me a small coffee machine to play around with, the Delonghi Magnifica S but I quickly grew out of it and wanted more. So I started doing a lot of research and had finally decided on the Breville Dual Boiler unit with the Smart Grinder Pro. Just to clear something up quickly, Breville is called Sage in the UK so the machine is listed on Amazon UK as the Sage Dual Boiler not Breville.

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The reason I decided on the Breville Dual Boiler is because it would allow me to pull my espresso shot while at the same time I can steam the milk. That option was important for me since it would save me a lot of time and was a closer experience to the professional coffee machines. You would think pulling shots and steaming at the same time would be a common feature with these machines but they actually aren’t except in the higher end models. Coffee and steam both require different temperatures, so with single boiler units, you either pull your espresso shot first, then wait for the boiler to heat up to a higher temp so you can steam your milk or the other way around, you steam your milk and then wait for the water to cool down before pulling your espresso shot. With dual boiler units, one boiler is set at the correct temp for coffee, the other for steam and you can perform both tasks at the same time.

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After finally deciding on my machine, I placed the order on Amazon UK and then posted the article on the blog on how you could order expensive appliances from Amazon UK and end up paying less than the listed UK price and get it shipped to your doorstep here in Kuwait. That night, like every night for the past few weeks I was watching random videos on youtube on coffee machines and I came across a video review of the Breville Oracle. I was a bit surprised because I thought the unit I was getting was there top of the line model but the Oracle was even a step above mine. The Dual Boiler didn’t have a built in coffee grinder so I was ordering the Smart Grinder Pro along with the unit but the Oracle had one built in. There was another Breville model that had a built in grinder called the Breville Express, but that unit had a single boiler and I didn’t know there was a dual boiler also with a built in grinder.

But the Oracle not only had a grinder and a dual boiler, but it also had a feature I hadn’t seen on any other machine during my research, it not only ground the beans, but it also filled up the portafilter with the correct amount of coffee and then tamped it (check the video I shot above). But that wasn’t the only trick up its sleeve, the Oracle also automatically steamed the milk for you but unlike most automatic steamers, the Oracle allowed you to set the temperature of the milk and generated micro-foams so you could create latte art. So I quickly headed to Amazon to check the price and it was around KD500 shipped to Kuwait, around KD100 more than the cost of the Dual Boiler and Smart Grinder Pro units I had ordered. The KD400 I was paying for my items was already more than I wanted to spend on an obsession I’ll probably be bored of in a months time, so I wasn’t going to pay even more for the Oracle.

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Randomly, the next day, I get an email from my classified section. Every time someone posts an item for sale, I get an email informing me what the item is so I can make sure people aren’t selling anything inappropriate. The email I got that afternoon was informing me that someone was selling the Oracle in my classified section, it was in like new condition and he was asking KD250 for it. Right away I got in touch with the guy and asked him if he’d let it go for KD200, he agreed and I headed over 30 minutes later and picked up the machine. The guy turned out to be a reader of my blog and after reading about how you could order appliances from Amazon UK, had ordered his 6th coffee machine. Since he wasn’t using the Oracle, he decided to sell it which is how I ended up with the unit. Such a strange coincidence.

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I’ve now had the Oracle for close to a week and I’m just so in love with it. Setting up the machine was fairly easy to do, the most important aspect you need to get right is dialing in how fine you want your beans to be ground. There are 65 levels to choose from but selecting the correct level is fairly easy with a bit of trial and error. With every espresso pull you should get around 20-25ml of espresso, if you get more than that you need to grind your beans finer, if you get less than that you need to grind your beans coarser. Once you set that the first time, as long as you continue to use the same beans you’ll get a consistent espresso pull every single time. I’m using the Arabica Blend of beans from Arabica and the coffee I’ve been producing is as good as the coffee I would get at their shop. I even stole a few empty cups from them so I could compare the volume I was making to theirs and I’ve basically nailed it now. I also experimented with 6 different kinds of milk before settling on the full fat Lactofree milk from Almarai. The steamer in the Oracle is so ridiculously good, I have the temperature set at 60 degrees which is when the milk is at its sweetest point and combined with the Lactofree milk I end up with such a deliciously sweet tasting milk. I’ve even been steaming milk for my hot chocolate and god damn the hot chocolates I am making are coming out so good.

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Over the past week I’ve made a whole variety of coffees for friends from Americanos, Cappucinos, Lattes to straight up espresso shots, and everyone just thought it was the best shit ever. And it’s all because of the machine and the beans. Although I am physically at the machine making the coffee, I’m really not doing much, it’s the machine that is really doing all the work for me while making it look like I’m the amazing barista. I also don’t really have anything negative thing to say about the machine. I kinda wish I had more space on top of the machine for all my cups but thats a minor quibble. The machine also does go through a lot of coffee beans. 500 grams of beans make around 22 cups of coffee give or take. The Arabica Blend of beans I get is KD10 for 500 grams which means every espresso pull costs me around 450 fils. A liter of milk is 450 fils so add around 150 fils and each latte I make costs me roughly 600 fils. At Arabica it costs KD1.850 for a similar sized latte so I’m saving KD1.250 per cup when I make it at home. Since I paid only KD200 for my machine and I have 3 lattes a day, that means I’ll recoup the cost of the machine in less than 2 months time. Not a bad deal at all. Cleaning the machine is fairly easy, I’ve developed a routine I perform at the end of the night and it just takes around 5 minutes which is a small price to pay for great consistent coffee.

As you can tell from this post I love this machine and I can’t recommend it enough. I really wanted to dig into even more details about what makes this machine special but it would be too long of a post and I’d bore 90% of you talking about little things nobody really cares about. Instead if you want to find out even more about the machine then I’d recommend you watch [This Video] on Youtube, they give a great rundown of the machines features. I then suggest you head to Amazon UK and order one since this really is the only coffee machine you ever need [Link]


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Is Majlis Dissolved?

Post by Mark

majlis

Brought to you by ismajlisdissolved.com


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Cereal Killer Cafe Opening in Kuwait

Post by Mark

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Cereal Killer Cafe is a British franchise that serves over a 100 different kinds of cereals. It’s one of those places people tell you to visit after posting a picture on instagram showing that you’re in London and now they’re opening up in Kuwait. The cafe is going to be located in the same building as Arabica coffee in Kuwait City, just at the other end of the building. According to their instagram account @cerealkillercafekw, they will be opening before the end of this year so pretty soon.


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Sponsored: Moqawalat.com – Connect with local professionals

Post by Sponsor

We wanted to take advantage of the sponsored posts to reach out and give you guys a walk through our website, www.moqawalat.com.

The website aims to give people access to professionals that can solve their contracting needs, and, make the whole contracting process a bit less of the struggle than it already is. We have a little over 500 companies across different categories registered right now, hopefully all with the aim of giving people a bit more power and reach.

With the permission of one of our users, we’ll use their project as an example of how the process works. To kick start a project, click on the request quotations tab where you’ll be required to input your projects detail as in the image below. In this case, the user wanted to install security cameras, and used the space in “Other Info” to add some details to the request. In this case, the user needed 10 security cameras with the ability to record up to 3 months with night vision.

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Once submitted, all contractors in the category (“security systems and camera” in this example} will be notified of your new request for free. If you’re curious, they’ll be notified by email and through the moqawalat website. To get more eyeballs on your project, you can feature it on the website, and/or send an SMS to all relevant contractors with your request for 10KD each. The SMS notification in particular has proven to be pretty effective if your goal is to get as many quotes as possible. Rest assured though, you will still be reaching everyone needed if you opt to not pay anything.

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Now that the contractors are notified, you will start to receive some quotes. Depending on the details you have provided in your original request, some will be able to give you a quote right away as you can see in the picture above, while others will want further details.

To give further details (or bargain), you can use the website itself to message the contractor and upload additional pictures or layouts if needed.

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Hopefully once you’re done with all that, you’ll have found your contractor and agreed on a fix for your problem. Admittedly, the process itself has not been perfected yet as we keep on refining, but it certainly works and hopefully offers a slight improvement on how things are currently done.

One final but key point, several users have complained about finding their registration emails landing in their spam folders, so if you’re going through the sign up process make sure to check your spam folder while we try to figure this out (Sorry!).

If you face any problems using the website or want to get in touch, leave a comment otherwise here’s where you can find us –
Cell: +965 90094055
Email: info@moqawalat.com
Twitter: @moqawalat
Instagram: @moqawalatkw
Website: www.moqawalat.com


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Majnoon Qahwa – Kuwait

Post by Mark

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Friday night a friend of mine sent me a video (watch it below) of a coffee shop which I assumed was in Dubai because of how big and pretty it looked. I was watching the video and in my head I was trying to figure out why he would send me a video of a coffee shop in Dubai. But, when I got to the end of the video, it turned out the coffee shop was called Majnoon Qahwa, was in Kuwait and had just opened up. So yesterday morning I headed with a friend of mine to check it out.

Majnoon Qahwa is actually a Jordanian brand and they’re located at The Spot, a new food complex opposite Messilah Beach. The place is pretty big, two floors and an outdoor terrace, the top floor has a bit of a sea view, lots of seating and even a small study area. The ground floor has a smaller seating area but a cozier one with two large coffee roasters at one end giving the space a slightly industrial feel.

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We didn’t end up having any of their food, I just had a latte and a pain au chocolat. The latte was ok but the pain au chocolat was terrible, super dense and tasted more like a cake. Not sure how they got that wrong (Al Nata, you guys should hook them up with your stuff). But I really did love the space, the couch we were on was super comfy, the whole interior was beautifully lit up with daylight that came through golden Mashrabiyas and I loved the super high ceiling. Would I go back? Probably not since its out of my way but if I lived in the area then yeah for sure, I’d just skip the pain au chocolat next time.

Now if anyone wants to get the best teapots ever, for some odd reason they sell FORLIFE teapots at the place. They’re reasonably priced as well, around KD10 which is KD2 more expensive than Amazon. They’re really the best teapots, I love them and I personally have 4 different colored ones myself.

If you’re interested in checking the place out, here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @majnoon_qahwakw


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

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A bunch of things taking place this weekend. The only one I’ll probably be going to is the Revive.Nine Popup thats taking place at the new Elevation Burger in AlSeif since I’m curious to see their new outdoor events space. Check out all of this weekends events below and if I missed anything let me know:

Thursday
Exhibition: Attraction
Play: Part of a Whole
Revive.Nine One Day Pop Up
The Divan’s Movie Night: Memento

Friday
Tai Chi in the Park
Breast Cancer Awareness Workshop
Good Game: Magic The Gathering
Quiz Night

Saturday
Yoga with the 3
Discussion: How Literature Shapes the World
Pink Saturday Carnival

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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Sponsored: The Best Solution for Hair Transplants in Kuwait Using the Latest Technology

Post by Sponsor
yiaco

Are you suffering from noticeable hair loss or balding? Why put yourself through the hassle and cost of traveling when the best and most effective treatment is available right here in Kuwait.

The Istanbul Hair Transplant Center provides a modern day solution to an age old problem using the latest techniques and technology. An average of 40% of men suffer from hair loss by the age of 35, while women have also experienced hair loss issues due to hormonal, chemical, and environmental changes. Other hair loss issues include eyebrows, eyelashes or beards as well as for those who suffer from a traumatic accident or injury that has caused loss of hair in specific areas. The Istanbul Hair Transplant Center includes a team of qualified and trained Turkish doctors who have had extensive experience in addressing those hair loss issues and are able to complete the entire procedure in just one day with a high success rate.

Please call our center in Salmiya, Amman St. for more information on 18821883 or visit our website [Here]


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