Jade Yoga Mats

Posted by Mark

jade

Since I joined Alive Yoga a month and a half ago I’ve been going practically daily which turns out my 2 year old Adidas yoga mat just couldn’t handle. All the sweat along with the fact I leave my mat in the car ended up warping my mat and it just started looking very ghetto. Not that I have an issue with a ghetto looking yoga mat but because it was warped it wouldn’t stay flat on the floor anymore and move around. So I started looking for a new yoga mat. Alive Yoga sell the Manduka PRO mats which feel ridiculously good but are also heavy and large so it wouldn’t fit into my yoga bag. The other model they sell is the Manduka LiveON which is what I was considering getting until I read reviews about how the mats warped if left in the car.

Finally after a bit of research I ended up finding a phone number of what I’m now calling my “Yoga Mat Dealer”. The dealer sells Jade Harmony yoga mats (68″/black) which are probably one of the most popular yoga mats. On Amazon for example over 1,150 people have reviewed it and have given it an average rating of 4.5 out of 5. I ended up picking up the mat and I’m loving it so far which is why I wanted to share the dealers number. If you’re looking for a good yoga mat then this is a great locally available option. The mats cost KD34 which is slightly cheaper than if you ordered it from Amazon and had it shipped to Kuwait. If you’re interested send a whatsapp to 99683129.


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British Airways Deny Rumors – Flights to Kuwait Will Not Stop

Posted by Mark

british-airways

On Friday Al Arabia published an article stating that the British Airways had given the Kuwait Authorities a warning to fix the security lapses at the Kuwait Airport or risk having all BA flights to Kuwait canceled. According to one of my sources close to British Airways, BA are denying this story, no warning was given to local authorities and no flights to Kuwait will be stopping.

Since we’re on the subject of British Airways, last month they finally announced that they will be refurbishing their aging Boeing 747’s which currently operate on the Kuwait – London – Kuwait route. The current planes are in pretty poor condition with an outdated entertainment system while lacking amenities like USB ports to charge your devices. Does anyone know if Kuwait Airways are operating their new planes on the London route? If they are they might be a good alternative until BA finally upgrade the planes.


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Metal Gear Solid V is Out in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

metalgear

For the gamers here, Metal Gear Solid V is out in Kuwait ahead of the official launch date by 5 days. I picked up my NTSC copy from Kuwait Toys Center in Rihab Complex a few moments ago for KD20. Thats the cheapest price I’m aware of for the PS4 NTSC version as of this post in Kuwait. I think the shop is going to be open all day because of the rush for this game. When I was there at around 2:45PM there were three other people in the shop with me all there to get the same game. Not sure how many more copies he has but if you want one you could call them up and have them set aside one for you. [Link]


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The Kuwait Harps Gaelic Football Team

Posted by Mark

kuwaitharps

The Kuwait Harps will be starting the new season of Gaelic Football on September 4th and are looking for new faces to join the club. Gaelic Football is a form of football derived from the Irish ball games. There are some major differences between regular football and Gaelic football like the fact Gaelic football is played with 15 players aside and you can also hold the ball with your hands.

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The Kuwait Harps hold weekly training sessions for both men and women on Fridays and Wednesdays at the American International School. They compete primarily in tournaments based in the Gulf region and new players are always welcome and immediately feel at home within the club. The majority of the current squad were actually new to Gaelic Games when they first arrived in Kuwait. While many clubs in the Gulf region can depend on a strong pool of Irish players, this is not the case in Kuwait. While a core of the club may be Irish, it relies heavily on the support of players from the international expat community. Kuwait Harps Players have come from Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales, Canada, USA, Australia and even Sudan to name but a few countries. So if you’re interested in joining the club, here are some details:

When: Every Friday (Women: 10AM to 12PM / Men: 12PM to 2PM)
Where: American International School [Map]

For more information email kuwaitharpsgaa@gmail.com or call Harmony on 51055225


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My Money Exchange Guy

Posted by Mark

exchange

Years ago I started exchanging my money before I traveled from this small money exchange shop down the street from my place. It’s run by a grumpy sounding old man who always gave me great exchange rates, had odd currencies which I needed but nobody else had plus he memorized my name which is why he’s been my go-to guy ever since. Recently a bunch of new exchange places started popping up. I think there are around 2 or 3 in his same building, around 2 across the street and 2 more in the building next door. Not sure why all these exchange places started opening up on my street but it seems it’s affecting the business of my money exchange guy. So recently he’s been trying to attract more customers. One way is by giving guests water or a fruit drink but the other thing he’s been doing which caught my interest was trying to get people to spread the word about his shop. When you exchange money he now hands you back your money in an envelop with his businesses card and a small paper with the following message on it:

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Friends, (His first line was definitely a lot more embellished)
Please use your phones to photograph Masood’s Exchange in Al-Salmiya business card and send it to all your friends and family. Please be sure to ask them to forward that image to their friends and family members as well. If it’s possible, post the photo of the business card along with the above paragraph on Viber, Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram and Tango.

Thank you!

Your brother,
Masood

I thought that was cute and since I like the place I figured I’d help him out by posting about it here. His shop is located near Burger King and Pizza Hut in the old Salmiya on Salem Al Mubarek Street. Here is it on [Google Maps] I don’t know where everyone usually exchanges their money, probably at the airport but if you’re in the neighborhood check his place out. Thats the picture of his shop on top.


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Kuwait announces 6-day Eid break

Posted by Mark

plane-window

Kuwait has announced a six-day break for Eid Al Adha. Businesses will be closed from Tuesday, September 22 until Sunday, September 27, a government statement said. [Source]

Where will you be traveling this coming Eid?


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Kuwait Worst Destination for Expats

Posted by Mark

worst

Kuwait occupies the 64th and last place of the overall ranking, particularly due to its low score in the Ease of Settling In Index. In fact, 53% of respondents are unhappy with the general friendliness of local residents. The opportunities to find new friends also leave a lot to be desired for one-third of respondents.

Unfortunately, the situation is similarly grim when it comes to the overall quality of life. Many expats are not satisfied with the available leisure options, while others see their personal happiness suffering. Only for the Job Security and Language subcategories does the country receive some decent results, making it to 26th and 25th place, respectively.

InterNations, the networking group for expats yesterday released the results of its latest annual survey. The organization asked expats in a bunch of countries a wide range of questions about their life and impressions of their adopted country and the results were charted. Kuwait came last which we could sit here and debate all day but what was surprising was the fact that Saudi Arabia was ranked as a better destination. How the hell is that even possible?? [Link]

Thanks James


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Wanderlei Silva Coming to Kuwait

Posted by Mark

silva

For those of you who watch the UFC you’ll be interested to know that the PRIDE legend and UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva will be in Kuwait next month for a seminar. Although he’s currently serving a lifetime ban from the sport for refusing to submit to a drug test, he’s still a legend and I’d be excited to see him here. Come to think of it, fight fans in Kuwait are pretty lucky since we’ve gotten a good share of UFC legends come to Kuwait so far including Anderson Silva and Royce Gracie. For more info on the Wanderlei event, click [Here]

Update: The seminar cost is KD60 for 2 days and its KD25 for a photo/autograph. Also it seems the lifetime ban was overturned in May.


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The Onam Festival 2015

Posted by Mark

onam

The Onam Festival is back and will be taking place this coming Friday 28th of August. Onam is the biggest and the most important festivals of the state of Kerala in India and it’s also celebrated here in Kuwait. A few Southern Indian restaurants in Kuwait offer the traditional vegetarian dish the Onasadya during the festival and below are some of those restaurants.

Caesar’s Dakshin Restaurant – Jeleeb Al-Shuyoukh – Al Jawhara Building
Time: 12PM to 3PM and 7PM to 11PM
Price: KD3
Telephone: 24319191, 24310303 [Map]

Udupi Restaurant – Fahaheel – Green Tower
Time: 10AM to 4PM and 6PM to 11PM
Price: KD2.250 (KD2.500 takeaway)
Telephone: 25456565 [Map]

Saravanaa Bhavan – Fahaheel – Humoud Towers
Time: 11:30AM to 4PM and 7PM to 10PM
Price: KD2.500 (KD2.700 takeaway)
Telephone: 23929099 [Map]

If you know of any more places please let me know.

Thanks Ahmad Arafa


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Bake and Educate

Posted by Mark

bake0

A couple of nights ago I was over at a friends place when I was introduced to Noor AlObaid, the young Kuwaiti behind the nonprofit charity organization Bake and Educate. I was so fascinated with the story that I couldn’t wait to post about it on the blog.

Noor started Bake and Educate at the age of 14 years old. She grew up with a mixed background, her father is Kuwaiti while her mum is Syrian so she got to see life from both perspectives, the easy privileged life of a Kuwaiti and the struggle of a Shami in Kuwait. Ever since she was a kid her mother used to teach her that because God had given them a good life, they have to give back to people who aren’t as fortunate. So she started giving a few dinars from her allowance to less fortunate children and when she grew older it just became a habit.

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Noor went to a private American school and her tuition at one point had reached around KD5,000 a year. On the other hand the tuition fees for some Arabic private schools in Kuwait were only around KD400 to KD500 per student per year and yet several families had difficulty affording that. In 2009, Noor’s mum received a list 21 pages long of students that were financially unable to cover their school fees. The overdue payments ranged anywhere from KD20 up to KD400 so they came up with the idea to create a baking exhibition where all proceeds would be used to cover the student fees. At first it was a difficult concept for people to understand, why would a 14 year old be running a non-profit? Why is it for education? People didn’t realize the significance of a diploma and how without one, many places wouldn’t be willing to employ a non-Kuwaiti.

At first Bake and Education started off as a yearly exhibition and then it became bi-annual until they started doing delivery. By 2012, Bake and Educate had started to gain a reputation after working closely with the Ministry of Youth and EQUAIT. In the 6 years since Noor started Bake and Educate the program has helped cover the tuition of 389 students while also helping refugee camps in Syria.

How does it work?
With each donation or order you will receive an official Bake and Educate receipt. When payment is received, Bake and Educate contact the schools and send the money over either on the same day or the morning after. Once the money is received by the accountant of the school, they deduct the amount from a students overdue payment and provide Bake and Educate with a receipt which they file. Bake and Educate is an officially registered non-profit organization. Some of the schools they work with are AlJamil School, AlRiqqa Elementary School and AlWataniya School, however, they try to work with any school that is willing to accept financial aid for students.

So if you’re interested in what they’re doing, follow them on instagram @bakeandeducate


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