Things to do in Kuwait this weekend

Posted by Mark

I just realized it’s Friday and that yesterday I forgot to post the activities list for this weekend. So better late than never here is the list for today and tomorrow:

Friday
Musica: Evita
KLL Car Boot Sale
Standup Comedy: Warehouse No. 005
Music: Karen Edwards

Saturday
The Secret Garden Project
Bright Minds Winter Bazaar
Kreate 4.0
Rooftop Movie: Synecdoche, New York


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La Brasa Argentinian Grill Now Open

Posted by Mark

Back in October I posted about a new Argentinian restaurant that was opening up called La Brasa and I was just told it’s now officially open. La Brasa is an Argentinian Grill owned by the popular local photographer Gustavo Ferrari who’s been living in and documenting Kuwait for 38 years now. He was always known for holding amazing barbecues and so he finally decided to open up his own place. All the meat is imported straight from Argentina and everything I tried during the tasting I went to was delicious.

The restaurant is located in the basement of Dar Al Awadi in Kuwait City and are open daily from 12PM to 11PM. On Friday’s they open at 7PM only if they have any bookings otherwise for the time being they’re close. Their instagram account is @labrasaq8


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Off to Cape Town

Posted by Mark

capetown

I’m at the airport now on my way to Cape Town for a week long vacation. I will be posting while there but very lightly since I will be at the beach most of the day. Sorry not sorry.


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Snapchat is the new black

Posted by Mark

snapchat

Snapchat has really been picking up traction in Kuwait recently and I’m finding it a lot more enjoyable than Instagram. Just like on Instagram, I only follow my friends on Snapchat and I mostly use Snapchat for the stories. For those of you who don’t know how Snapchat works, there are two ways, the first is you send a self destructing video or image to a friend directly and the second is by adding an image or video to your stories wall which then self destruct after 24 hours. It’s actually pretty annoying to get a direct snap (unless nudity is involved) since you get a notification every time but right now 99% of the people I follow only use stories.

Recently I’ve also started following Snapchat celebrities. The first one I followed was Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah (Snapchat: majedalsabah) based on a recommendation. His snapchats are like a reality show of his life and he snaps an average of like a 1,000 seconds a day which is just insane. The second Snapchat celebrity I started following was Bibi Alabdulmohsen (Snapchat: bibii_63). I’m not a big fan of her Instagram but I met her yesterday and found out she was on Snapchat so I started following her. Surprisingly, not only am I finding her really entertaining to watch but she’s also pretty hilarious and really good at Snapchat. She has an advice segment similar to “Dear Abby” where people ask her for her opinion and she replies with very witty and funny comments. Definitely worth following.

Both those Snapchat accounts are in Arabic so for non-Arabic speakers they won’t be very useful. But, if you have any recommendation of interesting local Snapchatters to follow (English or Arabic) let me know in the comments.


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Mondays with Matthew: A level playing field and an honest game

Posted by Matthew Lodge

corruption

Today – 9 December – is United Nations’ World Anti-Corruption Day. Is this just another “World Day”, or is it something that really matters and that we should take an interest in?

Before you answer that, let me note a few things about Kuwait that I have learned or have been reminded of since arriving in the summer:

Kuwait is an open society, with a rich history built on trade and commerce. Kuwait’s political system is more open and genuinely democratic than almost all of its neighbours in the region. This is a society with an independent judiciary, where Kuwaitis believe in the rule of law, value their rights and cherish their ability to express their views openly and freely. Kuwait is also a rich country – with abundant wealth which the Government uses to provide extensive, high quality services for Kuwaiti citizens. Kuwaiti assets are invested across the world and in international markets. But not all Kuwaitis are rich. Kuwait, like all societies in the modern world, needs to think about how best it can maintain social harmony and address the legitimate expectations of all its people.

True? I believe so. You may argue some points of detail, but the key elements are accurate.

So let’s now turn to corruption, former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said:

“Corruption…undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish…corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government’s ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice”

Undermining democracy? Distorting markets? Undermining a government’s ability to provide services? Feeding inequality and injustice?

Left unchecked, those strike me as pretty serious risks for any society. I would argue that tackling corruption is something that should matter to us all – British, Kuwaiti or whatever our home or nationality. No country is immune. Corruption is present in every society.

Some may argue that it is part of every-day life, necessary to get things done. Even if it is, sadly, true to say that a favour here, a back-hander there can help to get things done, that doesn’t make it right. It doesn’t change the fact that corruption erodes trust between people, within societies, between businesses and amongst nations. Corruption diverts resources from where they are most needed, fuelling inequality and holding back development. Corruption also stifles economic growth and investment, and it increases the cost of doing business.

So what are we going to do about it?

Kuwait signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption in December 2003, and today the Kuwaiti Government is taking concrete steps with the establishment of Kuwait’s Anti-Corruption Public Authority. This body – and the wider fight against corruption – deserves our full support.

What are you going to do? Do you think corruption is a problem? Do you even have a clear view on what is and isn’t corruption? How do you think we can help combat it? It’s down to each of us individually to take a stand, and try to make a difference.

Post by Matthew Lodge
British Ambassador to Kuwait
Instagram: @HMAMatthewLodge Twitter: @HMAMatthewLodge


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Kuwait Rugby Kicked Ass in Dubai

Posted by Mark

scorpions

Over the weekend two local rugby teams competed in the Gulf Men’s Open that was held in Dubai, the Kuwait Lions RFC (pictured below) and the Kuwait Scorpions (pictured above). Not only did both teams perform really well but the Kuwait Scorpions went all the way and won the Gulf Men’s Open tournament!

kuwaitlions

The Kuwait Scorpions team was established in Kuwait back in the 1940s and it’s great that they’re not only still around, but they’re also kicking ass. Here is a link to the Kuwait Scorpions Facebook page and here is the link to the Kuwait Lions RFC page.


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Cinescape’s New Logo

Posted by Mark

cinescape

Not sure how I missed this when I watched Interstellar two weeks ago but Cinescape has a new logo. Not sure how I feel about it since I just saw it now for the first time but side by side with their older logo it looks like a step in the right direction.

cinescapewebsite

The new logo along with the website gives the brand a much needed facelift, it looks brighter and more current than their previous logo which I really liked back when it was first introduced. One thing I’m curious about it where is the Arabic version? Their website uses the same English logo for both the English and Arabic sections and I didn’t spot the Arabic logo on their Instagram account either. Curious if they’ve decided to completely drop the Arabic (which I don’t mind honestly).

In any case maybe Avenues can give them a call and find out who did their branding because two years later and the Avenues logo still looks like crap.


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Kuwait Law: Contractors

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

uscontractors

I decided to be a lawyer because I strongly believe that if more people have their rights and get justice, kuwait would be a better place. Even though I am not really helping much, I am still humble and grateful that I get a chance to post here and create some sort of awareness (thank you kindly Mark). I know my topics might be negative lately, but remember I get inspired to write by the cases I have and the emails I receive.

Some of the companies out there are MONSTERS (not the cute ones like monster inc but more like I don’t know I am not really into sci-fi) but seriously some companies are evil.

I have noticed in the past few years an increase in cases dealing with contractors. Contractors are brought to Kuwait from their home country and put to work doing various jobs for companies or entities that are from their home country. These contractors are told that because they work for their countries Army or Navy or whatever, then Kuwaiti Labor Law doesn’t apply to them but their countries law does. NOT TRUE YOU EVIL ******!

If you are working as a contractor for I don’t care who in Kuwait, it doesn’t matter if it’s for the King of Utopia or Queen Elizabeth. If you have a working permit and you are registered under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour then Kuwait Labour Law applies to you. So what does that mean?
You get paid overtime! I have noticed that some contractors have signed a contract that says they are willing to work 12 hours a day. Fortunately though, the law clearly states that the employee can not agree on something different than what the law states unless it’s beneficial for the employee (contractor). The law states maximum 8 hours, so unless you think working 12 hours a day without overtime is beneficial for you, you can ask for compensation for all your hard work. Also:

– The law also requires the sponsors to open a Kuwaiti bank account for contractors and transfer the contractors salary to the bank account. These sneaky companies pay the contractors in their bank accounts back home and deposit small amounts of money in a Kuwaiti bank account, making the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor believe that the contractor’s salary is a lot less than what they really make. Since compensation is based on salary, these contractors won’t be getting compensated fairly.

– Termination indemnity, yes you heard it right, contractors deserve termination indemnity in accordance to Kuwaiti Labor Law.

– Days off in accordance to Kuwaiti Labor Law.

– All other rights in accordance to Kuwaiti Labor Law (please read my labor law post for more information).

If you are a contractor and you are being mistreated and you want your rights, please let me know ask@fajerthelawyer (or any other legal questions). I do not have the capacity to answer everyone for free (but I try), and I am happy to announce that I am currently working with a great team and therefore we are able to reply back to all emails with a reasonable time frame.

Post by Fajer Ahmed – Legal Counsel
The legal opinions expressed in this post are those of the author Fajer. Opinions expressed by Mark or any other writer on 248am.com are those of the individual’s and in no way reflect Fajer’s opinion.


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Spaceman Mural

Posted by Mark

spaceman

Graffiti artists Monstariam and Bufifty spray painted a gigantic spaceman mural over the weekend outside Al Khaled Complex in Salmiya. It’s the same complex where Gia and Lorenzo are located and this has to be my favorite Monstariam graffiti work yet. I love it.

Doodles by @browneyesstudio


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Does anyone remember GUSTO?

Posted by Mark

gusto4

I was talking to a friend about EDO and how it sucks that it’s closing down and we got into talking about restaurants in villas and it reminded me of a place that used to be open called GUSTO. It was located in Kuwait City right at the beginning of the 1st Ring Road (towards the Gulf Road) and it was also located in an old villa.

gusto3

The restaurant closed down over a decade ago and I have no idea if anything opened up in its spot. I found four pictures of the restaurant in my archive which I’ve attached to this post.

gusto1

Does anyone remember this place?

gusto2

Update: The owner of GUSTO left the following comment:

GUSTO! opened in 2001 and closed in 2004, in an old house traditional Kuwait house behind Al-Hamra tower.

The villa was refurbished, taking inspiration from its environment. The architect was Rola Moharrem from Lebanon. There were many interesting architectural features and the interior work was always a talking point. The chef was Larry Lewis, who was recruited to work in GUSTO! from Cordon Bleu London. Larry was known around Kuwait for his Harley bikes. We employed 15 people, and seated at capacity 60.

The menu was an entirely original menu, mainly of fusion food. Some of the best seller items were the beef wellington, thai beef salad, green curry, the duck and the chocolate tart. Larry frequently changed the menu.
These photos were taken for a promotional campaign for GUSTO!. Appearing in the photos are Latif Amara and myself, Rana Sadik, owner of GUSTO!

We opened because I had a passion for restaurants, we closed because passion alone does not pay the bills.


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