Nuqat Creative Conference – The Missing Link

Posted by Mark

nuqat

Although Kuwait isn’t known for holding the best events, every now and then we do get some spectacular ones that are world class. The most recent one that took place was the Battle of the East event two weeks ago and the next great event is taking place starting tomorrow. Nuqat has now become the largest creative conference in the MENA region and they’re into their 5th year. It’s such an impressive and organized event that its hard to believe its a locally created concept. Every year it just keeps getting bigger and this year isn’t any different.

speakers

Lectures
Nuqat will be taking place at the Amricani Cultural Center and will comprise of two main parts, the first is a three day lecture that will be taking place this weekend starting from tomorrow Thursday 13th and ending on Saturday the 15th. There will be 24 short lectures taking place over these three days that will be given by different speakers from around the region (pictured above). The cost to attend these lectures is just KD30 for the three days and you can check out the full schedule on their website [Here]


Nuqat 2013 [YouTube]

Workshops
The second part of Nuqat is the workshops. This year there will be 11 workshops ranging in subjects that will be held over four days either 9AM to 1PM or or 2PM to 6PM. I’m personally considering taking two workshops, the first is “Furniture Design: Defy The Existing Function” and the second is “Wearable Technology: Fashion meets technology 101″. Furniture Design and Fashion Design are two topics I have no experience in which is why I’m excited to try out. It’s something new for me and new is generally always fun. The workshops cost KD110 which is ridiculously cheap compared to regular workshop prices in Kuwait and also considering who the lecturers are. To sign up and check out all the workshops available click this [Link]

Cultural Entertainment
There will be a lot of food stalls and pop up shops in the courtyard of the Amricani Cultural Center so even if you’re not signing up to the lectures or workshops it should still be a fun social event to check out. I tried my best to condense as much information as I could into this post without making it too long and boring which is why I’ve left out other activities that are taking place like film screenings, book signings and more. To really get a proper idea of what exactly is taking place you need to visit the Nuqat website. It’s a great event that shouldn’t be missed. [Link]


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Kuwait Babe, diaries of a not-so-well-behaved Kuwaiti babe

Posted by Mark

kuwaitbabe

The past few months a number of interesting dating blogs have popped up, the first I posted about was Single in the Shires and the second was I Date Kuwait. Since then, Single in the Shires shutdown because people found out who she was while I Date Kuwait stopped getting updated. But, there’s now another blog thats gathering interest and it’s Kuwait Babe. Not sure how much of the blog is real or fiction but it’s still an interesting (and dirty) late night read. [Link]


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Street by Zubabar

Posted by Mark

street1

Last night I passed by Street, a new restaurant that just opened up this past weekend in Kuwait City. I had been waiting impatiently for this restaurant to open ever since I heard about it two months ago. The chef and mastermind behind Street is Faisal Al Nashmi, a Le Cordon Bleu graduate whom I had heard a lot of great things about, mostly from friends who had experienced his experimental eatery.

street2

Street is part of the Al Makan project which consists of a coffee shop, restaurant (Street), art gallery and a workshop studio all sharing the same space. They’re located on the first floor of a tower on the same street as Pick Yo and Karak House in Kuwait City. I found the place pretty easily since the restaurant overlooks the main road and is all glass so I spotted all the diners as I drove by. When we got there the place was packed and there was a 45 minute waiting period so me and my friend ended up walking to Souk Mubarkiyah down the road to kill time while our table freed up.

street3

The interior of the restaurant is very industrial looking with an open ceiling, bare concrete walls and a polished concrete floor. Some of the tables were standalone while others like the one we sat on was communal which I actually like. A communal table basically means you’re dinning next to strangers since everyone sits next to each other. Not only is it a great way of meeting people but it also allows you to see what others are eating (and if you’re nosy what others are talking about).

The menu is inspired by street food and isn’t that big consisting of around 16 main items and 5 desserts. Everything is meant to be shared so me and my friend ended up ordering the following dishes:

Crispy Duck Salad KD3.5
Spicy Crispy Rice Cakes & Brisket KD3.5
Green Curry Glazed Ribs KD4
Kimchi Fried Chicken Burger KD3.25
Brisket Bun KD2.75
Tiger Prawn Yakitori KD3.5
Chicken & Egg Bowl KD3.75
White Chocolate Tres Leches KD3.25
Snickers with Coffee Icecream KD3.75
Caramelized Pain Perdu KD3.25

street4

Looking at it now we pretty much ordered everything on the menu, it definitely was a cheat meal. Even though Street was packed and had only been open for four days, the service was pretty good and the food came out fast and at a steady pace. I thought that was impressive. The dishes overall were delicious, some a lot better than others. It’s street food yes but more like gourmet street food which is an interesting combination but also explains why the prices aren’t very street food like. My favorite dishes were the Spicy Crispy Rice Cakes, the Green Curry and the Chicken & Egg Bowl (pictured above). My least favorites were the Tiger Prawn which didn’t look that great presentation wise but also didn’t taste that great either, the duck salad which was just pretty boring compared to everything else we had and the Snickers with Coffee Icecream because I hate both snickers and coffee so worst combo ever. They’ve only been open for four days so I’m sure they’re still fine tuning all the dishes.

street5

I really liked Street and the whole concept and space. This is Faisal’s first restaurant and I think he has a lot of ideas he wants to share and Street is his canvas. I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up changing the menu often or revamps the dishes whenever he feels like it. He’s young, full of passion (as you can see from his instagram) and most importantly, he has good taste. They’re currently in their soft launch phase and so are open from 7:30PM till 10PM. Check out their instagram [Here]


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New emergency lane cameras

Posted by Mark

emergencylane

Two readers sent me pictures of a new emergency lane camera that was just setup on the 5th ring road between road 50 and 55. According to a reader the camera was flashing every car driving on the emergency lane so let me be the first to say thank you to whomever came up with this idea. I love it!

Thanks Omar and Dragos


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Mondays with Matthew: Visitors Welcome (2 of 2)

Posted by Matthew Lodge

visa

Hello again. I knew that my post last week on why we need a visa system would prompt a lot of comments, and I was not disappointed! I have attempted to answer as many of them as I can – please take a look (especially if you posted a comment).. and let me apologise if we have fallen short on occasion. No system is perfect, but we are doing the best we can.

I am glad to say that the vast majority of visas are processed smoothly, efficiently and without incident. We need to make sure that happens all the time. It is obviously more challenging in busier times. But, for example, we are currently processing priority applications in 2 working days (against a target of under 5 days) and ordinary applications in 3-5 working days, rather than 15. On another point one of you has raised – we have updated the VFS website so that it now explains correctly the number of photos needed (thank you Khaled for pointing that out). And yes, the parking arrangements need to be better. We’re working on it…

For this week’s second part on visas (I promise I’ll move onto something more exciting next week), I said I’d offer some tips on how to make the process work as well as possible for you. Our responsibility is to make sure visa applicants are served courteously, quickly and efficiently and that you have all the information you require. Here’s a few pointers about how you can help yourselves (and help us!):

– Always apply as early as you can. Not only does this mean it is cheaper (you don’t need to pay for the priority service), it also allows more time to sort out any difficulties and should reduce any stress. Why not apply for your visa as soon as you have booked your flight?

– Make sure you apply for the right visa. Sounds obvious, but if you’re going for medical treatment, make sure you have a medical visa. If you’re going to study, get a student visa. If you do either of these things on a visit visa you risk getting into difficulties with the immigration authorities – and that will make it harder for you next time you apply or travel.

– Always provide the correct documents (details on the website)

– Fill in the forms yourself – don’t get someone else (like an agency) to do it for you to ensure you’ve input all the correct information

– Please provide a personal e-mail or mobile number so we can contact you if necessary – and we can then provide progress updates on how your application is going.

– If you’re a regular traveller, it may be worth paying extra for a multi-entry 5 or 10 year visa. They are expensive, but worth it in the long run.

Finally, please let us know if we are not doing what we say we will do. That way, I hope we’ll be able to do better in future. Now to more exciting topics, what would you like to talk about next week?

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


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Unsecured Webcams in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

webcams

Insecam.com recently made the news as a website that displays footage from thousands of unsecured webcams from around the world. According to the website there are 112 unsecured webcams in Kuwait some of which are located inside peoples homes. Right now I’m watching a couple sleeping in bed. Creepy. [Link]

If you have a webcam at home make sure you change the password since all the webcams listed on insecam are there because the owners kept the default password.

via crazyinkuwait


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248AM/Fashion Revamped

Posted by Mark

fashion

Back in March I launched a new fashion section on the blog, an ambitious plan to try and get some of the local fashion brands to collaborate on the section but things didn’t work out the way I had envisioned them. Some brands were more active than others, the quality of posts varied and truthfully most of the content just felt like adverts. So, a couple of months back I decided to revamp the section and it’s now my fashion section.

I’m not a “fashionista” and don’t want to be one either but I do think I have great taste in sneakers and good taste in clothes. So 248am.com/fashion is now all about what I’ve bought and what I’ve got my eye on. I’ll also be providing links and prices to everything except for the sneakers. Most of the sneakers I post about are limited releases and I already have an extremely difficult time getting them before they sell out so I won’t be sharing any of my sneaker sources. In any case check out the revamped section and let me know what you think. [Link]


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Bayt Abdallah Children’s Hospice

Posted by Mark

Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice provides multi-professional, specialist, paediatric palliative care and support to children with life limiting or life threatening illnesses who are resident in Kuwait, and their families. We aim to improve the quality of life for children and their families from diagnosis and beyond by offering these services, tailored to the individual family’s needs, in the location of their choice, whether at home, in Bayt Abdullah or through our outreach programme in their local hospital.

bayt

A short film offering a behind the scenes glimpse of the Bayt Abdallah Children’s Hospice. [YouTube]


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Kuwait’s version of a car boot sale

Posted by Mark

carboot

I snapchatted this earlier but thought it was funny enough to share here as well.


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Brunch at The Secret Garden

Posted by Mark

Just a quick update on the The Secret Garden Project meet up for this Saturday since I just found out there will be brunch at the garden from 10AM to 1PM. @saltbakery is making spiced fresh ginger cake, sweet potato scones and maybe some pies @mocucina is serving her vegan treats, foul, and fresh juices and @mimikuwait will be making those Turkish eggs (pictured below), using greens from the garden and her moms malted grain organic grilled toast.

turkisheggs

Fore more information click [Here]


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