The Early Bird Truth

Posted by Mark

bianca

The Early Bird was one of the first breakfast places to open up in Kuwait back in 2007 and is still a pretty popular place. But, according to a recent blog post by the original owner and creator Bianca (pictured above), it seems her Kuwaiti partner took over the business and kicked her out without giving her a single penny. She just put up her side of the story online and you can check it out [Here]

Update: I sat with the Early Bird people and they will be sending me their side of the story soon as well.


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Kuwait Law: We are all equal

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

rainbow

The fact I have to write this post is a disgrace! It’s embarrassing that as a lawyer I have to be preaching about essential human behavior instead of doing plain old legal work. People need to be more tolerant towards each other in Kuwait. I have hope that this attitude will change.

I always knew that being a lawyer wouldn’t be easy, the job requires you most of the time to deal with negative explosives. You know what they say, when the tough gets going, the tough gets a lawyer. I wasn’t expecting people to come to me with celebrations but everyday emails and emails flow into my inbox (and sometimes into my junk folder, I apologize) filled with words describing emotions, most of which is anger. Why? One word; inequality.

The Kuwaiti Constitution clearly states in Article 29 that we are all EQUAL
Article 29 [Equality, Human Dignity, Personal Liberty]
(1) All people are equal63 in human dignity and in public rights and duties before the law, without distinction to race, origin, language, or religion.
(2) Personal liberty is guaranteed.

None of us, none of you, no matter how rich or poor, fat or thin, tall or short, smart or dumb, want to be treated unfairly. Yet, in the emails, the employer isn’t respecting his employee, the parent isn’t tolerant of his gay child, house help are being tortured and turned into slaves, religious debates are nothing but aggressive personal attacks and expats are being told to f*** off.

Recently though I got an email from a homosexual young man. The way he is being treated by his environment is not acceptable so I decided to write about it in this post, not just for intolerant people in general in the hopes they will be more tolerant, but for all the homosexuals in Kuwait to understand that it is their choice.

Being homosexual is not illegal. Your thoughts are yours, no one can punish you for your identity. Who you prefer to be with is up to you. Now some acts, might be illegal, please check my two previous posts:

Kuwait Law: Sexual Crimes
Kuwait Law: Indecent Acts

And please before you go on to “accuse” me of being gay myself, if I was I would let you know, but I am into straight non-blonde tall men, from western (in it’s broad meaning) or/and south East Asian descent, preferably with a good sense of humor and an Irish accent! And yes I am a female (so please, I beg you please, stop emailing me with Dear Mr. Fajer)

Just remember, if it wasn’t for your employees your company wouldn’t function, if it wasn’t for your house help you wouldn’t have a clean home and a hot meal. Just remember, your son did not chose to be gay. Your religion doesn’t make you a good or bad person, your actions do and all religions are lovely in one way or another.

So be tolerant and be patient with each other, for your sake and for your communities’ sake. You never know when you will be sick and you will need that Jewish doctor, you will get into legal trouble and need that homosexual lawyer, or your child will need that atheist teacher.

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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The Nomad Kitchen Food Truck

Posted by Mark

nomad

The Nomad Kitchen is a new concept by Basil Alsalem, the creator of Slider Station, Cocoa Room, Burger Boutique and Open Flame Kitchen. It’s a food truck that just launched last night at the Gulf Run 10 year anniversary event and will be active and moving around Kuwait pretty soon.

The menu last night consisted of a variety of sandwiches from burgers to lobster rolls along with a bunch of sides and dessert. I ended up trying the Nomad Chicken Burger, the Sriracha Glazed Lobster Rolls and the Blackberry Lemonade all of which were delicious.

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The food truck is a huge and gorgeous Airstream trailer that’s been converted into a large kitchen and last night there was an all-star cast running the show with many of whom you’d recognize if you’ve been a regular to any of Basil’s restaurants. If you’re interested in following them they’re on instagram @nomadkitchen


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Mondays with Matthew: Flowers of Scotland

Posted by Matthew Lodge

scottishflag

If you were passing by the British Embassy yesterday you may have noticed that we were flying a different flag. 30 November is St Andrew’s Day – the national day of Scotland. We were proud to raise the Saltire – the flag of Scotland – and delighted to see it flying in the beautiful Kuwaiti sunshine. As well as being a part of the United Kingdom, Scotland is part of our identity, part of my identity. Here at the British Embassy in Kuwait we have a number of staff who enjoy Scottish heritage, family connections or both. I am one of them. I am proud to be British. I am also proud to represent Scotland, alongside England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
So how much do you know about Scotland?

St Andrew’s Day is a good moment to remind ourselves of the impact Scots and Scotland have had on the world. Did you know that James Bond is a Scot? Or that penicillin was discovered by a Scot, and that television and the steam engine were invented in Scotland too?

Scotland today has a huge amount to offer whether you are a tourist, a student or looking to do business. Take a look at www.VisitBritain.org for an idea of what Scotland has to offer for visitors. This year looks like being a record year for tourism, but in a usual year, 20 million people can be expected to visit Scotland, four times more than the entire Scottish population!

Visitors come for Scotland’s mix of vibrant, cosmopolitan cities; the biggest arts festival in the world; the beautiful, clean and unspoilt scenery, with thousands of historic castles, houses, battlegrounds, ruins and museums, and don’t forget Scotland’s contribution to global fashion. You can also enjoy Scotland’s food and drink, famed around the world, and the great outdoors. So, if you want a change from Kuwaiti heat, sunshine and sand, Scotland can offer something different!

And 40,000 overseas students (including quite a few Kuwaitis!) travel to Scotland every year to seek an education fit for a King. It was, after all, at one of Scotland’s world-class universities, St. Andrews, that HRH Prince William studied and where he and the Duchess of Cambridge met.

2014 has been Scotland’s year. The Commonwealth Games brought 6,500 athletes to Glasgow. They came from 71 nations and territories, representing a third of the world’s population, to compete in 17 sports over 11 glorious days. Over a million people filled Glasgow’s sporting arenas, and over a billion more were willing on the athletes from their homes. A short while later, the eyes of more than half a billion viewers in 183 countries turned to Gleneagles as Europe’s and America’s best golfers battled it out for the glory of winning the Ryder Cup.

2014 was also the year that the United Kingdom demonstrated that values aren’t just something we talk about abroad – we live by them at home. In a defining moment in British history, and by a decisive majority, the people of Scots voted to remain part of the United Kingdom, one of the most durable and successful political unions ever seen.

In a world where separatism all too often leads to conflict, the Scottish referendum demonstrated Britain’s confidence in her own democratic institutions and processes.
A free and open debate electrified the nation; a peaceful, lawful and democratic vote drew admiration from around the world; and, with a record turnout, the settled will of the Scottish people was determined.

So when you think of Scotland, I hope you think of all the above and more. Scotland has an enormous amount to be proud of, and we have an enormous amount to celebrate with Scotland as part of the United Kingdom.

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


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Beach Flag Football Finals – Kuwait vs Thailand

Posted by Mark


[YouTube]

Kuwait reached the finals in the Beach Flag Football tournament at the 4th Asian Beach Games before losing out to the hosts Thailand. The Beach Games were held last month and Kuwait ended up winning a whole bunch of medals including a gold for the Men’s Shot Put. You can check out the full results [Here]

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Am I the only one who’s surprised that Kuwait has a Beach Flag Football team and that they’re really good as well? The Kuwaiti crowd at the event were pretty energized as well. Did anyone in Kuwait even know this was taking place?


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Talabat was NOT hacked

Posted by Mark

talabat

Last week there were rumors going around online and on whatsapp about Talabat’s customer database being hacked. The hacker supposedly was able to get access to Talabat’s customers addresses and published a file online containing a sample of addresses with a promise that more would be released soon. So I contacted Talabat right away to find out if this security breach was true before posting about it and I received the following response from them:

Dear Mark,

We have our internal security monitoring tools that notify us automatically in case of any hack attempts and have not received any threats about data leak. All our customer information is secured and not leaked to anyone. However, we take notice of such things very seriously and assure you that we are going to investigate this issue thoroughly and will get back to you upon completing our investigation.

talabat2

Earlier today Talabat called me up to let me know that after thorough investigation they’ve concluded it to be not true and that their customers information were not leaked. I was also invited to pass by their offices and get a behind the scenes look on how they operate which I will be doing sometime this week.

From the looks of it this incident could be a competitor trying to smear them or even possibly a disgruntled ex-employee. In any case if anything new develops I’ll update this post.


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Child sex offender working as teacher in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

sexoffender

Over the weekend a friend of mine told me about this story but I didn’t want to post it until I got some more facts. Based on a number of sources, a teacher by the name of Paul Meekins left India because he was being investigated over child abuse claims and moved to Kuwait where he was teaching Social Studies at one of the American schools until he quit. According to my source the school never reported the teacher and so he is still at large in Kuwait.


[YouTube]

What kind of school doesn’t make background checks before hiring teachers or do schools in Kuwait not perform background checks anyway? [Link 1] [Link 2]


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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Posted by Mark

Another busy weekend with lots to do. My personal picks would be the GBS Winter Bazaar today (I love bazaars) and the rooftop movie “Once” if you haven’t watched it (I have and it’s great). For Friday I would do the 4 Nations T20 Festival, even if you aren’t a cricket fan the venue is great, it’s a huge event with international stars attending and there will be lots of stalls. I’d also follow up with Street Fest on Friday. For Saturday I would do the the EG Carnival and the rooftop movie Das Boot which is a must watch movie. Check out the full list of events below:

Thursday
Exhibition: Honolulu by Arwa Abouo
Exhibition: Bird’s Eye View by Ali Cherri
GBS Winter Bazaar
The 39 Steps
Rooftop Movie: Once

Friday
The 39 Steps
4 Nations T20 Festival
Street Fest
Korean Movie Night
Behance Portfolio Reviews Kuwait

Saturday
The 39 Steps
Street Fest
RunQ8
Guided Tour: Red Fort
EG Carnival
Benefit Concert: Humhain Umeed-e-Kashmir
Rooftop Movie: Das Boot
Musical Bridges


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Steak ‘n Shake Opening Soon

Posted by Mark

steakshake

The American burger franchise Steak ‘n Shake will be opening soon in Bneid Al Gar opposite KFC on the Gulf Road. They’ve taken over the building where Fuddruckers was supposed to open.

As you are aware there aren’t that many burger options available in Kuwait so I can’t wait for it to open. /sarcasm


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Review: Alfredo’s Gallery Restaurant

Posted by Mark

alfredo1

Alfredo’s Gallery is an Italian restaurant that has been around since 1907. In Kuwait they opened up back in June and according to the message they have plastered everywhere, they’re “The birthplace of the original fettuccine Alfredo”. I decided to pass by with a friend last week for lunch and I left with mixed feelings.

Alfredo’s is located in The Avenues but in a secluded area away from all the hustle and bustle. I personally love the location but for those who are looking for a place to sit and be seen while watching people walk by, this isn’t for you. Alfredo’s is located in a quiet and nicely sun lit courtyard behind H&M in Grand Avenues. There is plenty of outdoor seating but even if you choose to sit inside you won’t be disappointed since the interior is cozy and nice looking.

alfredo2

The menu is pretty big with a large selection of dishes. We ended up ordering:

Calamari Al Guazzetto KD3.750
Pizza Sofia Loren KD4.950
Extra Mushrooms KD1.000 (for the pizza)
Risotto Al Funghi KD4.750
Tagliatelle alla Bolognese KD4.250
Water KD0.000

alfredo3

Yeah you read that right, the water is free. When tiny hole in the wall restaurants are selling water for upwards of KD1 it’s refreshing to see a proper restaurant serve complimentary water. The water is served in their own bottles like they would serve tap water in Europe so my guess is in Kuwait they’re filling the bottles from a water cooler which is perfectly fine by me. Let me move on and talk about the food. I found the calamari and pizza both bland. The pizza fared better than the calamari but I wouldn’t go back specifically for their pizza since there are a bunch of places that make better pizza. The bolognese was too salty for my liking and by the time I got down to the bottom of the dish where the sauce was located I stopped eating because I couldn’t bare the salt. The risotto on the other hand, how can I put this nicely… I saw my friend eating only the mushrooms in the risotto so I asked them about it and they told me to try the risotto. It was by far the worst risotto I’ve ever tried, it tasted so gritty and bland that it was inedible.

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Back to the positives, the staff are all Italian and pretty well informed on the menu. They were friendly and attentive although when I was there only two or three other tables were occupied so things might be different on the weekends when they get packed. I was pretty surprised though that the waiter didn’t ask if anything was wrong with the risotto when he came to clean up since the plate was basically untouched. I figured it’s probably a regular occurrence so they just stopped asking about it anymore. Price wise I didn’t find them expensive. My only issue with the place actually was with the food but that’s also the most important thing in a restaurant. In hindsight we should have ordered the fettuccine Alfredo since it’s probably the thing they do best but I didn’t feel like having it that day.

Would I go back? Not really sure. We don’t have that many Italian restaurants in Kuwait and I actually like their location even though it’s in Avenues. But, my guess is that even if I go back and try other dishes, I’d imagine everything would probably end up tasting bland. If you’re interested to find out more about Alfredo’s or if you’d like to check out their menu, here is the link to their [Website]


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