DNA Tests Will No Longer Be Mandatory for Everyone in Kuwait

Post by Mark

dnatesting

Back in 2015, Kuwait passed a law making DNA tests mandatory for all residents. Anybody who refused testing would end up facing a prison sentence along with a hefty fine. I obviously found this an invasion of privacy and made that clear in a number of posts on the blog, but some people were actually for this and were defending the decision. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter anymore, Kuwait’s Constitutional Court overturned the law ruling it unconstitutional.

This means the government will not be collecting DNA samples of every resident in Kuwait as well as tourists. Thank you to the lawyers who fought this law in the courts. If you want to read a bit more about this, Ars Technica has an article about it [Here]


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

A lot of events taking place this weekend, check them all out below:

Thursday
Consumer Gifts Exhibition
The Beatles! Sing-along
Middle Eastern Cuisine Course
Concert: Kalthoumiyat – Reham AbdulHakim

Friday
Consumer Gifts Exhibition
Purrlates – Pilates with Cats
Good Game: Magic – The Gathering
Wellness Workshops with Ana Mattos – Women’s Health
Live Music at Boulevard
The Beatles! Sing-along

Saturday
Consumer Gifts Exhibition
Yoga with the 3
Chess & Backgammon
Family Film Fun: The Iron Giant
Good Game: Pokémon Tournament
CO-EXIST Kuwait Concert

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.


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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas or Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Blade Runner 2049 (8.5)
My Little Pony: The Movie (6.3)
The Foreigner (7.5) ♦

Other Movies Showing:
American Made (7.5)
Flatliners (5.7) ♦
Home Again (5.7) ♦
IT (8.5)
Kingsman: The Golden Circle (7.6)
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House (6.3)
Nick Off Duty (4.1)
Open Water 3: Cage Dive (4.2)
The LEGO Ninjago Movie (6.8)
The Son of Bigfoot (6.2)
Victoria and Abdul (6.1)
Wind River (8.0) ♦

The movies below are also now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.


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Petrol Filling Company by Pace

Post by Mark

The other day while trying to get more information on the new Jazeera Airways terminal I checked out the website of the architects behind the project and ended up finding some old photos from really old projects they had worked on. One series of photos I liked was of a gas station they had designed. I couldn’t find any information on this project but I’m assuming it was completed in the 50s or 60s. You can check out all the photos by clicking “read the rest” below or visit their website for photos of their other projects [Here]

Read the rest of this entry »


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Sneak Peek: The All-New Cocoa Room

Post by Mark

It’s been over 6 years since Cocoa Room first opened up on the Seef Strip next to Slider Station. Over the years it went through some pretty major changes but in the end settled down to become a breakfast place, and a great one. On Friday mornings for brunch you’ll usually find me at one of two places, either Baker & Spice or Cocoa Room. It’s one of my favorite breakfast spots and from what I got to see yesterday, it looks like things are going to get even better.

First of all, some disappointing news, the Cocoa Room as we know it on the Seef Strip is gone. A couple of weeks back they shut it down and the location now is just Slider Station. So if you wanted to say goodbye with one last breakfast there, you’re too late. Cocoa Room is now going to be reopening in a much larger location at the Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre instead. I got a sneak peek of the interior and its a complete revamp of the old Cocoa Room look. Not only have they created a new interior style but they’ve also given the brand a much needed facelift and its looking much more cleaner now (gone is the grungy and gritty look). The new Cocoa Room will also now be opening all day since their new menu will include lunch and dinner items instead of just breakfast.

I’m pretty excited about the relaunch which will be happening really soon. If everything goes according to plan they’re hoping to have the new Cocoa Room open by October 14th. To stay posted, you can follow Cocoa Room on instagram @cocoaroom


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Chef Khaled Al Baker

Post by Mark

Khaled Al Baker, or KB for short is the brand manager and head chef at Meem Cafe. He’s also a good friend of mine and I’ve been wanting to post about him and his transformation of Meem Cafe since I’ve been watching it happen from the very beginning. Just over a year ago, Khaled moved back to Kuwait after studying culinary arts at the Johnson & Wales University in Miami. He started looking for work and decided he wanted to join MMC Catering who had a bunch of popular restaurants including LeNotre, Meem Cafe, Over Jar and Three & Barista. When he applied, one of the tasks they gave him was to pass by Meem Cafe, try their food out and let them know what he thought of it. So he invited me along with a bunch of our other foodie friends (including Hind from PantryBee) and we passed by Meem Cafe and tried out as much food as we could. My overall impression wasn’t that positive with items on the menu that didn’t make sense to be there, and what was there wasn’t that great either. But Khaled was busy taking down notes, he saw a lot of potential and so he went back to MMC with his feedback and they hired him, giving him the task to revamp and upgrade the Meem Cafe menu.

Khaled wasn’t always a chef. He originally studied accounting and finance at the University of Central Florida and then worked 6 years as an accountant in the oil and gas industry. Things started to change right after his cousin opened up the upscale butcher shop Prime Cuts. They started grilling non-stop 5-6 times a week and Khaled would have his home cook put together the sides while he did all the grilling. But his cook kept making the same sides all the time which eventually got boring, so Khaled decided he’d also do the sides himself. He started reading up a lot and experimenting and the more and more he cooked the more and more he was loving it. So he started taking cooking lessons whenever he found any and he cooked for his friends whenever he could before he eventually decided to go back to university to study culinary arts.

Over the past year Khaled has been super busy reorganizing and reinventing the Meem Cafe menu. Because I keep popping over to Meem Cafe to see him whenever I can, the whole thing to me has felt like I’ve been watching a food reality show where the chef goes into a restaurant and just overhauls the menu. The first thing Khaled did was remove all the items that didn’t fit in with the theme of Middle Eastern comfort food. After refocusing the menu under the main theme, he started experimenting with modernizing Arabic classics while also fusing others with different cuisines. He loves cooking and he’s been generally just having fun trying to come up with new dishes like zaatar fries, Lebanese nachos, burrata mana’eesh and braised short ribs hummus. The end result is a lot of good food with a lot of unique flavors. Even his chef coat is infused with Arabic by being designed like a dishdasha while incorporating the shemagh pattern.

While sitting with Khaled and interviewing him for this post I realized where all this passion with Arabic food was stemming from. He thinks that as Arabs we’re losing the food marketing war with items like hummus and pita being considered Israeli and not Arab, while Greek yogurt becoming trendy but not labneh. He thinks that if we don’t start modernizing and refining Arabic cuisine, we’re going to eventually lose it all. I never thought about it in that way but now that I do I’ve started appreciating what his doing a lot more.

If you haven’t been to Meem Cafe for awhile now then I’d recommend you pass by and try it out again. They’ve got four locations, one at the Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center, another in Hamra Tower, another in 360 Mall and the last one in The View in Salmiya. You can also follow Khaled on his instagram account @chefkb


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Rumor: Eggslut Coming to the Middle East

Post by Mark

This is completely unconfirmed but yesterday I heard that a Kuwaiti company got the rights for Eggslut in the Middle East. Eggslut is an LA based gourmet food concept where all the items on their menu features eggs. I had mentioned Eggslut under my “L.A. Eats” post a few months ago as a place to try out if you’re ever in L.A. If anyone has any information on this rumor please let me know!


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The New Jazeera Airways Terminal

Post by Mark

This new terminal is currently being constructed to the left of the existing airport and is expected to be completed sometime next year. This terminal is completely different from the new airport/terminal that is being constructed near the Sheikh Saad Airport.

The Jazeera Airways Airport Terminal aims to both alleviate the current overcrowding at Kuwait International Airport and meet the requirements of travelers in Kuwait for many more years to come.

One of the largest-scale and most important infrastructure projects currently under construction in Kuwait, the new terminal will divert 1.5 million passengers a year from the extremely busy airport once it opens in early 2018. This will increase to over 2.5 million travelers per year in the next few years.

I couldn’t find any more pictures but you could read more about the design over [Here]


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Looking for Space? Check Out Elevation Al Bida’a

Post by Mark

If you’re looking for space for meetups, a place to hold your book club meetings, workshops or even movie nights, then this post might appeal to you. Elevation Burger in Al Bida’a have a top floor which is available to book for your get togethers. It’s a community space that Elevation Burger provide for free as a way of giving back to the local community. You could even book the space to watch football games, F1 races or any other sports games since Elevation have a BeIN sports receiver you could borrow. Depending on how you arrange the seating the space can hold around 40 people easily.

Most importantly, there are no strings attached. You aren’t required to order 100 burgers or anything of the sort, the space is yours to use for free as long as you let them know ahead of time. So if you’re interested in this location, contact the Elevation Burger team on marketing@tabcofood.com


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Staged in Kuwait Auditions

Post by Mark

Staged in Kuwait, the local community theatre group are looking for singers and actors to take part in their upcoming productions over the next two months. Their auditions are very informal and friendly so if this is something you think you might be interested in, their first audition is this coming Tuesday. For more information, click [Here]


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