Test the Fastest Internet in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

500mb

The local coding school “Coded” is hosting an event tonight with Fasttelco to test an ultra fast internet connection that they claim to be the fastest in Kuwait. The connection will be a 500Mbps fiber connection and everyone is invited to come and try it out. To test that speed you can either bring your own laptop and connect it to one of the available ethernet cables or you could use one of their test laptops. If you’ve got a huge file you’ve been wanting to download or upload then this might be a good way to do it. For more information click [Here]


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The rescue of a domestic worker in Kuwait

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

hid

I would like to thank Mark again for giving me the opportunity to write here, and I know I don’t write as often as I should, but I thought it was very important to share with you what has been taking place behind the scenes of the blog.

I get a lot of emails on a daily basis from people who find my posts while searching for help online. The majority of the emails I get are from expats being mistreated in Kuwait, from CEO’s to blue-collar workers, they all seems to have issues but the worst off are the domestic workers. With that said, there is also a lot of humanitarian work and compassionate people in Kuwait and that in itself makes me very proud to be Kuwaiti.

I want to share with you a story of a domestic worker in Kuwait, how she came here, what happened and how she escaped. Most importantly though, I want to share what we can learn from her experience and how we can make Kuwait a better place.

The lovely woman is from an African country and I will give her the name Malika to respect her privacy. She wanted to move to the Arab world for better opportunity, so she started applying for jobs online. A few weeks later she got offered a job position to work as a supervisor and was promised a lucrative salary of 800 USD – 1,200 USD.

Her agent told her that she would meet her boss at the airport but when she arrived to Kuwait she was shocked to hear she was going to work as a maid.

“We were all taken to a room once we arrived at the Kuwait airport, many girls from many countries, some from Philippines, some from Nepal and many other Asian countries. Young girls even, some as young as 16 or 17, some thinking they were going to work as beauticians, but from my experience we were all there to work as maids”.

The girls waited in the room for hours at end, without water, food or any money, as their possessions were taken away. A woman then came and took them to an office where each girl had to wait for her employer to come and pick them up. Malika’s employer came and picked her up from the office and as soon as she got in the car with her new family, they asked her “Do you have a phone on you? You’re not allowed to have a phone, if you need to call someone, you need permission and you need to use the house phone”. So Malika quickly hid her phone on her.

She describes the house as being busy with a big family of 7 kids living there, she was shocked to see the situation as her agent had told her that she was going to be a supervising maid at the house and only be working from 7am-4pm, she described to me her feelings;

“The first night I couldn’t sleep, because I was crying and crying, I had a phone but no SIM card or money, so I used the phone to search the internet (wifi). I was so depressed working all day, from cooking to cleaning, the work was so much”

things

She told her employer that she wanted to leave, her employer responded to Malika that if she wanted to leave she had to pay 700 KD. So after some online searching she found her countries embassy’s number that was located in another GCC country. She used a VOIP app to contact them, they didn’t help her though, so she kept on searching online.

She kept fainting at work because the workload was inhumane, and her employer did not bother to take her to the hospital but instead took her to the agency and said that she wanted her money back. She accused Malika of being weak and lazy because she was fainting. The agency ended up beating her. But by going to the agency she found out that her sister and her sister’s friend had come to Kuwait as well, they were told that they would each work here as a nanny and as a waitress.

room

She was then taken back home by the employer, and she kept searching online for help when she found one of my posts on Marks blog’s. She said “I found out that I have rights and that I can leave. So I sent an email and I was so happy when I got an email back.” When I received her email, I assessed the situation and realized that the best person to help her would be Bibi Nasser Al Sabah from the Social Work Society of Kuwait, who have been aiding many workers in Kuwait over the past few years and I must say are making a huge difference in the lives of many here.

shelter

Bibi told Malika about her rights as an employee in Kuwait as well as the rights of her sister and her sisters friend who she was able to get in touch with. Bibi also told her there was a shelter available for them so all three ended up running away from their houses to the shelter. When they arrived to the shelter, Malika was searched and her possessions were taken away except for her clothes (thanks to Malika, the policy has now changed and the ladies at the shelter are allowed to keep their possessions). On Fridays, calls are allowed to be made from the shelter for 1 KD. One of the ladies at the shelter managed to sneak in her phone, Bibi transferred 20 KD for them and the ladies started contacting Bibi till she got them tickets and passports to get back home. They were there for around a month except for her sister who had to stay longer because she had a case against her that turned out to be fake accusations.

Malika says that being in Kuwait was one of the worst experiences in her life, she says that she has domestic workers at home and she treats them with respect and she would never treat anyone like this. She also told me something important;

“I don’t want to judge Arabs, even though I kept hearing mean stories at the shelter from the girls. I can’t judge because Bibi is Arab, so is Fajer, and so was the driver that helped me from the shelter to the airport. They were all so nice.”

Malika was lucky that she spoke fluent English, had internet access and was tech savvy that she was able to reach us at the blog. She is also a very smart lady that understands that issues need to be spoken about. Because of Malika the Social Work Society of Kuwait were able to help 24 other women at the shelter who Malika put us in touch with. I hope that we can learn from her experience and realize that yes there are really corrupt people in Kuwait but there are also a lot of passionate people like Bibi. We bring these topics up because we want to see change and I am positive that one day, Kuwait will be a better place.

Feel free to email me ask@fajerthelawyer.com with any legal questions. I do not have the capacity to answer everyone for free (but I try), and I am happy to annanounce 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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Citybus Not Getting Hybrids

Posted by Mark

bus1

One of my readers sent me the picture above of a new Citybus thats currently on the road. What caught my attention was the fact it had solar panels on the roof and the message “735w solar cells” on the side. I thought Citybus might finally be getting some new hybrid buses, that is buses that run on fossil fuel and clean electric power. So I gave Citybus a call to find out if that was the case and it sadly turns out it wasn’t.

bus2

The bus pictured above is currently being weather tested for the local market and is by the Irish company Wright. It’s not a hybrid but a regular diesel vehicle. According to the person I spoke to, the solar panels are just there to recharge the bus batteries and is not for any energy saving purposes. Oh well that was a downer. I was hoping this was the first step in eradicating the horribly polluting buses currently on the roads. Looks like that’s not going to happen.


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The Kuwaiti Breakfast Game

Posted by Mark

breakfast

Reyoog is a locally created breakfast game for the iPhone where the aim is to try and fulfill as many breakfast orders as you can in 3 minutes. The game is in Arabic without an option for English since the dialect is all in Kuwaiti. The game isn’t free, it costs 99 cents which might or might not be worth it for you. If you’re interested in downloading the game just look for “Reyoog” in the app store or click this [Link]


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Drift Board Face Plant

Posted by Mark

Not sure if this happened here in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia but it’s not important since it’s still funny. [YouTube]

plant


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How is Magic Mike XXL not banned?

Posted by Mark

xxl

How the hell did Magic Mike XXL not make the ban list in Kuwait? Cinescape have it listed as coming soon which doesn’t make any sense since the movie is all about male strippers. How long is the movie going to end up being after all the censorship, a full 5 minutes? So weird.


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Young boy stabbed to death at 360 Mall

Posted by Mark

stabbing

A 16-year-old Kuwaiti boy died after he received a fatal stab wound during a fight at 360 Mall on Thursday night. The teenager succumbed to his injuries – a stab wound in his chest and lung as soon as he arrived at the Mubarak Hospital. Another 16-year-old Kuwaiti boy was injured in the fight and has been admitted to the hospital.

He is in stable condition. Meanwhile, police reportedly identified the suspect; a Kuwaiti teenager with history of criminal activity, and a security source expects the Interior Ministry to announce his arrest ‘within hours.’ Security had been tightened at the local malls following the killing of a Kuwaiti youngster in Marina Mall in 2013, and a similar incident in which a dentist was stabbed to death during a fight in The Avenues in 2012. [Source]

Originally I had read he was in his 20s so I’m surprised to find out he was actually just 16. Thats so young…


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Cybord Drift Board Review and Giveaway

Posted by Mark

cyboard

Last week I was having brunch with a friend at Cheesecake Factory in Avenues when I spotted two kids on drift boards playing around. My friend hadn’t seen one before but I had a couple of weeks earlier when I was in LA. I didn’t really know what they were or what they were called but the way the kids were going at it, it looked like it was a lot of fun. So I turned to my friend and told her I needed to find out who the dealer in Kuwait was so I could get one to review. Not exaggerating, literally less than 5 minutes later I get an email from a company called ClaroTek who were introducing a drift board to the Kuwaiti market and wanted to see if I would be interested in trying it out. I looked over at my friend and I was like you won’t believe this but guess what…

cyboardcolors

I ended up meeting the guy and picking up the Cybord drift board later that day. He gave me a brief background on the Cybord as well as instructions on how to use it and once we were done meeting I went back home to try it out. Getting on the drift board the first time is freaky, your first aim obviously is not to fall off but that requires you to put all your trust into a Chinese made device that you’ve never used before. That makes the first couple of minutes the most difficult but once you’re up on the board and moving around the learning curve quickly speeds up and within 5 minutes you’re riding around as if you’ve been doing it for months. The device is very intuitive and requires very little body movement to work which is why when you watch people on it you wonder how they’re controlling it. Thats because to move all you need to do is press down on your toes gently, if you want to turn right you just push slightly more on your right toe, if you want to stop you flatten your feet, to move back you move some weight towards your heels. It’s all done with very minor movements.

These things can also go pretty fast, the Cybord can go up to 12km/h and has a battery that will make it last 15-20km. The whole thing also weighs just 10KG. There are many different brands of the drift board and they all look exactly the same. What sets ClaroTek apart from the rest of the competitors in the local market is that they’ll be selling them at Xcite and will have AAA warranty which basically covers accidental damage amongst other things. That’s why ClaroTek chose Samsung batteries for the Cybord, to increase the reliability of the device.


[YouTube]

After using the Cybord for a week, this is what I think. I can’t believe they’ve managed to take the Segway and squeeze it down to the size of a skateboard. The technology is impressive and compared to the Segway, the drift boards are really cheap. Riding it is a lot of fun but my favorite use for it was pacing up and down my apartment while chatting on my phone which brings me to the issue I have with these boards, I wouldn’t know where to use them. As a kid it’s a no brainer, kids will love riding and playing with the drift board and they wouldn’t mind doing it in public because they’re kids. As an adult it’s different, first of all you’re bound to look like a douche riding around on one of these things in public like say a mall. And if you’re not riding it inside malls where else would you ride them? Kuwait doesn’t exactly have fantastic sidewalks and when they do not all the sidewalks have the wheelchair slopes so you’re going to end up getting off and on the device a lot. The only outdoor places I could think of riding the boards is the Gulf Road sidewalks but I’d rather walk, cycle or run them not cruise up and down on an electronic board. On the other hand ClaroTek were telling me they sold a bunch to a company who have a huge warehouse and so they will be used by their employees to move around quicker. That to me makes a lot more sense than riding around Avenues.

The Cybord will be available at Xcite soon but you can preorder one right now from the ClaroTek website. They come in four colors and they will be selling them for KD229 including the 1 year AAA warranty. Here is a link to their website with all the details [Link]

Now since I don’t have any use for the review unit I’ve decided to give it away to a lucky winner. If you’re interested in winning the Cybord just answer the following question in the comments: What is the name of the company that gave me the review unit?

Rules: The comments will be closed tonight. Winner will have to pick up the Cybord. 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: I closed the posts for comments at 6AM. I used random.org to choose the winner and it’s comment #102 by V. Email has been sent, if winner doesn’t respond in 24 hours a second winner will be chosen.

winner


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Chloe Khan clears up what took place inside the Kuwait Airways cockpit

Posted by Mark

Chloe Khan caused a lot of controversy last month when photos and videos of her inside the Kuwait Airways cockpit went viral. She’s now released a video where she talks about what took place in the cockpit and it just feels very surreal, like it’s an episode of TOWIE where Kuwait Airways is featured. [YouTube]

chloe


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Kuwait bans home delivery services to reduce traffic

Posted by Mark

kuwaittraffic

Kuwait has suspended home delivery licences in a bid to reduce traffic in the crammed capital.

The Interior Ministry is preparing to regulate home delivery services because it requires too many vehicles to be on the roads, Kuwait Times said. [Source]

Here’s one more last funny article for the day but this time I’m also gonna share my friends rant below (who’s Kuwaiti by the way for those of you who want to tell him to get the fuck out).

Yes, Kuwait, keep chipping away at our quality of life instead of doing anything serious to remedy the dire situation of our roads.

Metro? Let’s keep delaying that indefinitely… Because, you know, talking about it since the 1970s has brought us that much closer to realizing it.

Public transportation reforms? Forget that, bus drivers seem to drive with contempt and face it, who would want to ride one of those dilapidated deathtraps?

New highways? With an average completion time of seven years for a stretch of a few short kilometers and haphazardly-marked diversions, you might as well do nothing at all.

License regulation? Please, with rampant nepotism and string-pulling guaranteeing that every untrained moron with a pulse gets one, I don’t believe shit. Just take it all out on the expats the way you normally do, government.

Funny as it is, I’m dreading going back to Kuwait almost purely because of the road situation. People seem to actively disregard the rules and do things their own way because they know that our hilariously inept police force isn’t going to do jack about it except pass unimplemented law after unimplemented law, we have over 1.5 million cars on a road network with a carrying capacity of around seven hundred thousand vehicles, round-the-clock traffic ensures that what should be a ten-minute trip takes at least an hour, there’s no emission control or any form of environmental regulation and my chances of being killed because of someone else’s idiocy are exacerbated to the nth degree.

For a country with the potential and resources to make something absolutely incredible of itself, it’s moments like this that make me want to facepalm until my face bleeds.

– Khaled

Update: According to the news article on the Ministry of Commerce website, the ban is temporary and only because the MOI are currently overburdened with requests [Source]. So it looks like Kuwait Times are making shit up. Also it looks like Arabian Business is now making shit up because their source (Kuwait Times) never mentioned anything about traffic being the reason for the ban.


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