Kuwait Towers Still Not Open

Posted by Mark

The other day I shared an article from KUNA stating the Kuwait Towers were opening on February 25th. According to a couple of readers who visited the towers, that article was incorrect and the towers are still closed. But, according to a security guard at the towers, they will be opening on March 10th.


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Drone Footage of the Kuwait Towers Light Show

Posted by Mark

I love this, it looks like something out of Blade Runner. They should definitely consider keeping these lights on the towers permanently. [YouTube]

drone


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#NewYorkLovesKuwait

Posted by Mark

“The 32 Balloon Journey #NewYorkLovesKuwait” is a collaborative project by three Kuwaiti New Yorkers, Alyamamah Al Awadhi, Mohammad Al Mashaan, and Razan Al Sarraf. In the video they glide through the city of New York, celebrating the National and Liberation holidays in Kuwait. [YouTube]

ny


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National Day Music

Posted by Mark

Here are some old National Day songs you can download as MP3s as well as a few music videos:

Downloadable MP3’s (Right click and Save As)
Beladona Il Kuwait
Shadi Al Khaleej – Kaseeroh Dalah
Sana Al Kharaz – I7na IlKha6awi AlAkeeda
Sana Al Kharaz – 6ig Ya Mu6ar 6ig
Sana Al Kharaz – Al Azrag
Sana Al Kharaz – Salam Ya Wa6ani
7naina Il Ayadi
Il Wa7id Allah (Om A7med – Wainich Yal Ibra)
Imbarak 3alaik il3id
Abdul Kareem Abdul Qader – Wa6an Al Nahar
Abdullah Al-Ruwaishid – 3ashat Lina Il Kuwait (Original)
Hussien Al Jasmi – La Telomoni (Hala February)
Nabeel Sh3ail – Ya Dar (Hala February)
Rashid Al-Majid – 6ayir Men El Far7a
BBS Kids – Wa6ani 7abeebi
Kuwaiti TV Band – Ya Wardity Ya Nidiya
Kuwaiti TV Band – Al Ziman Dawar

oldsongs

Music Videos
حفل المعاهد الخاصة سنة 86 – كلما زادت المحن – شادي الخليج
امبارك عليك العيد يا بلادي – حفلة العيد الوطني 1977
شادي الخليج 1986- كاسروه دله اربع انات مله
شادي الخليج – كويت و العرب من اوبريت شراع الوفاء


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Dedicated to Kuwait on the Occasion of the National Holidays by Expats

Posted by Mark

The music video above is dedicated to the people of Kuwait from the expats of Kuwait (the remaining expats who still haven’t been deported). The video features a bunch of talented expats including a few I know like Monstariam and Basil Al Hadi. Check it out above. [YouTube]

kuwaitmusicvideo


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Kuwait Towers to Re-Open Today

Posted by Mark

kuwaittowers

The Kuwait Towers which have been closed since 2012 are set to reopen today, coinciding with National Day and Liberation Day. If anyone gets a chance to pass by before I’m back in Kuwait, please let me know if they’ve changed anything on the inside. [Link]


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Bayan Palace now has a Botanical Garden

Posted by Mark

botanical

KUNA doesn’t have much information on this, just the fact the 3,200 square-meters greenhouses host some exotic plants. My guess is these gardens are not open to the public since they’re located in the Bayan Palace. [Link]


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My love and hate relationship with the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay A2

Posted by Mark

a2-1

When the BeoPlay A2 was first announced back in October, the first thing I did was head over to the local Bang & Olufsen dealer to find out when they were going to get it. I own two other B&O products which I love; the B&O A7 and the BeoLit 12 and since I had been looking to get a travel speaker for sometime now, I knew I also wanted the A2.

Two things sold me on the A2, the first is the way it looks (I fell in love with the green model right away) and the second was the 24 hour battery life.

The A2 ended up arriving to Kuwait just a few days before my trip to Cape Town which was perfect timing since I was hoping to take the speaker with me on that trip. They had received only one green speaker and I made sure I would be the first one to get it. The price was KD150, around KD30 more expensive than Amazon but since I had a good relationship with the local dealer and since I wanted it right away I didn’t mind paying the extra KD30.

At first glance the A2 ended up exceeding my expectations. Not only did the speaker look better in person than in pictures but the sound that it produced was so much bigger and better than you’d expect from such a small portable speaker. I was mind blown. In my room in Cape Town the speaker was able to fill the room easily at lower volumes and produce enough bass to impress me. When I took it to the beach I was even more impressed, at near full volume the speaker sounded fantastic outdoors even with the sounds of the waves crashing on the beach. I even snapchatted how this was simply the best portable Bluetooth speaker ever and I even whatsapped the dealer the shot below of the speaker on the beach. But then just like that, my experience went downhill nearly instantly.

a2beach

Up until the moment I took the speaker to the beach I had been using it plugged in to the power. But around two hours into my first outing with the BeoPlay A2 I noticed the volume suddenly dropped considerably. At first I thought the speaker overheated because I was out in the sun but even after shutting it off for 15 minutes and turning it back on the speakers volume was still very low. It was barely audible but I kept playing the music until the speaker went dead. Once I got back to my room I checked the manual and turns out once the battery level reaches 10% the volume level drops to around half way.

It didn’t make sense how I hit 10% battery life after barely 2 hours of use, that’s 22 hours less than the claimed 24 hour battery life. I thought I must not have charged it fully so I charged the A2 again and tried it the next day. Again I got barely 2 hours of use. I was pissed off because I was all the way in Cape Town with a defective device. So I whatsapped the Kuwait dealer to let them know about my issue and once I got back to Kuwait I passed by them and dropped off my speaker. They didn’t have any green speakers in stock so I had to wait around a month until they got their second shipment in stock so I could pick up my replacement. Once I got the replacement speaker I went back home, fully charged the device and then played some music at full blast while timing it with a stop watch. At exactly 58 minutes and 26 seconds, the speaker completely shutdown. I was mortified since I ended swapping my speaker for one that was even worse! I charged it again and the next day played the exact same playlist at full volume. This time the speaker lasted 1 hour and 11 seconds before completely shutting down. I couldn’t understand what was happening, there is a HUGE difference between a claimed 24 hour battery life and my 1 hour experience. Obviously I wasn’t expecting my device to last 24 hours at full volume but I was expecting it to last around 10 or at least maybe 6. But just 1 hour? Convinced I had picked up a second defective unit I headed back to B&O to let them know. I explained to them the problem and how my second unit was performing even worse than my first one. They agreed to take the device and run some tests before getting back to me. A couple of weeks later I get a phone call with an explanation. According to the B&O head quarters, battery life can last only an hour depending on the kind of music and the volume its being played at. My units were not defective, they were perfectly fine but because B&O state an up to 24 hour battery life in their marketing material, my expectations were just too high. In any case the Kuwait B&O dealer gave me three options, the first is I could give them back the A2 and once the shipment of the new BeoLit 15 arrives I could pay the difference and get that. The second option was to swap the A2 for a third new A2 or finally I could just get a cash refund. Since I already had the BeoLit 12 I wasn’t really interested in the newer version. I also wasn’t interested in a cash refund since I actually wanted a travel speaker and when connected to power the BeoPlay A2 sounded incredible. So I opted to swap it with another unit in hopes the newer unit would have a better battery life than mine. Sadly that didn’t turn out to be the case and my current unit lasts as long as my previous ones.

a2-2

So here is my dilemma. I don’t know if I can recommend this speaker even though I love it so much because I also hate it so much. I never expected Bang & Olufsen to be so misleading with their marketing since I always saw them as very Apple like. But I’ve now realized Apple is far more trustworthier than Bang & Olufsen. When Apple claims a Macbook Air lasts for 9 hours in normal use most of the time it ends up lasting 10 in real world use. Apple doesn’t lower the brightness to the lowest setting, turn off wifi and Bluetooth and let the Macbook sit there idly and then say the battery life is 24 hours. They could if they wanted to but then no one would trust them. On the other hand B&O are being extremely misleading with their battery life claims. When they say 24 hours, as a user I expect that number to be an achievable claim under normal use. From what I’ve been reading online people have no idea how they can get 24 hours out of the A2 unless its at the lowest volume level and that’s not normal use. So this is what I will say about the A2. If you’re looking for a small speaker with incredible sound then I definitely recommend the BeoPlay A2. But if you’re looking for a portable speaker, one you could take to the beach, camping or anywhere requiring the use of the speakers battery, then I would definitely NOT recommend the BeoPlay A2. Not unless you’re fine with an hour or two of battery life that is.


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Abandoned Zoo Project

Posted by Mark

abandonedzoo

There is this huge compound off the 6th Ring Road that has always captured my attention as I drove by it. The compound is surrounded by a wooden fence resembling something you’d see in Games of Thrones with watch towers every 50 meters or so. I finally decided to get a closer look but once I approached I noticed signs all over the fence warning people of electrocution and that they were being monitored by security cameras.

abandonedzoo2

I drove around the compound but couldn’t find a way in so I resorted to just snapping photos from the outside and through whatever holes I could find in the fence.

While driving around the compound I ran into some workers in a lot next door and according to them it’s an abandoned zoo project. If anyone has any information on this let me know. Here is the location on [Google Maps]


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Tour of Al Shaheed Park

Posted by Mark

The Al Shaheed Park renovation in Kuwait City has been completed and the park is getting ready to open up any day now. The video above gives a small glimpse of the renovated park that will now contain a museum, a memorial and 800 underground parking spaces. The Al Shaheed Park project was commissioned by the Amiri Diwan who are also behind the new Kuwait Cultural Center, Shaab Museums and Al Jahra Hospital. [YouTube]

via Frankom

shaheed


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