Five Guys Coming to the Region

Posted by Mark

fiveguys

Five Guys are opening in Dubai Mall soon which means they’ll most likely be opening up in Kuwait as well. Also according to The Avenues instagram account another burger joint opened up there yesterday called BGR so that’s two franchise burger places that have opened up this week. I think the only place left to open that I’d be excited for is Arby’s. Where you at Arby’s??

Thanks David


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Kuwait Law: Domestic Workers Rights

Posted by Fajer Ahmed

domestic

There’s an estimated 600,000 domestic workers in Kuwait and it’s no secret locally and internationally on how some domestic workers are being treated like slaves in Kuwait (and in the region). I don’t know if the majority of house help in Kuwait have access to internet, but I get a fair amount of emails asking for urgent help. From being kicked to being burnt to working 20 hours a day with no medical access and obviously they’re held as prisoners. In some ways it is modern day slavery.

What makes it worse is that there are no concrete laws designed to protect domestic workers in Kuwait. Domestic workers do not fall under Kuwait Labor Law for the private sector, I don’t want to get into the legality of it as it is complicated and really not useful. Do we really need laws to act human? (I don’t know, maybe the philosopher Kant was right)

I am going to write it out, even though it should be common sense

1) 8 hours a day, within reasonable timings. They are humans, they require rest.
2) No physical abuse! No emotional abuse! If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
3) Give them their passports, you cannot legally keep them.
4) Give them a day or maybe two a week off. Yes off, and off means they can leave the house if they want to. If they want to go to the movies at Cinemagic then they can.
5) They aren’t slaves, don’t lock them in.
6) They aren’t your 14 year old daughters, if they want to date guess what? They can.
7) Give them reasonable pay. 50KD a month is not reasonable, just cause its reasonable in India (where they might be from) it is not reasonable here. They work and live here.

I am sure there are much more things you can do to make their lives better, if you live in a house and your house help are being abused feel free to email me. (I won’t tell your mum, strictly confidential). If you are a domestic worker, also, feel free to email me as well ask@fajerthelawyer.com.

I am also happy to announce that I am working with the Social Work Society of Kuwait. The society does advocacy work and provides social and legal services for the vulnerable population in Kuwait. Currently most of its efforts are focused in providing advocacy and protection for migrant workers. Kindly note, that your emails will be confidential but will be forwarded to them, so I will not be the only person handling your case.

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.

Photo from GulfNews


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5 Dead, 50+ Injured in Bus Crash

Posted by Mark

Five people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a horrific crash in Kuwait yesterday, involving a bus carrying Bahraini pilgrims.

Thick fog blanketing most of the region was blamed for the incident which happened when the bus, carrying pilgrims from Bahrain to Karbala in Iraq, was apparently overtaken by a water tanker, leading it to crash into a truck carrying bricks. [Source]

A horrific accident that took place the other day here in Kuwait during the thick fog. [YouTube]

crash

Update: Video has been removed by the uploader


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Internet Prices at InfoConnect 2015

Posted by Mark

wimd

I passed by InfoConnect earlier today to check out the internet prices and I’m not sure why but the prices have started increasing instead of decreasing. For example two years ago 10Mbps would have cost you KD140 while this year it’s going to cost you KD165. Check out the prices for the annual subscriptions below. Most of the providers were offering some sort of gift be it scratch and win cards or free speed upgrades etc..

internet-prices-2015-kuwait

InfoConnect is taking place at the Kuwait International Fairground until February 1st. For more information on the event click [Here]


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Orchidaceae Flower Shop

Posted by Mark

flowershop

Last week while heading to Masaha 13 I drove by a place that looked interesting. I didn’t know what they sold but it was evening and the place was nicely lit up so after having drinks with a friend at Masaha, I drove back to the place to find out what it was. Turned out it was a new flower shop that had opened around a month back called Orchidaceae. It’s definitely the coolest looking and trendiest flower shop I’ve ever been to with concrete floors and a black mesh ceiling. It was hard to leave without getting anything so I ended up picking up an Oncidium orchid for myself.

If you’re interested they’re located in Shuwaikh near the Bulthaup kitchens dealer. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and here is a link to their instagram @orchidaceaekw


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Giveaway: Win Two Tickets to the Kuwait Rising Music Festival

Posted by Mark

Kuwait Rising is an alternative Arab music festival which is going to be held in Kuwait this coming weekend (Jan 30) and feature artists from around the world including Bei Ru, Omar Offendum, Zeid Hamdan, Maii Waleed, Z The People, El Jehaz and Hasan Hujairi. The event is hosted by Zahed Sultan at the new DAI in Yarmouk with limited tickets costing KD20 each each.

musicfestival

248AM has teamed up with Zahed Sultan to giveaway two festival tickets to one lucky winner. All you need to do to enter the draw is leave a comment below mentioning the brand of the energy drink in the flyer above.

I will stop accepting entries in the comments section by Tuesday at midnight and then randomly choose one winner and notify them via email.

Rules: 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 post for entries and using random.org the winner was #38 which is Nour AlKawass. I won’t be drawing a second back up number since I actually know the winner and have already contacted her.

random


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Caliburger Officially Opening on Wednesday

Posted by Mark

caliburger

Caliburger is a burger joint from South California and they’re officially opening up this Wednesday at Miral Complex. I’m going to sound like a broken record but I have no clue why people think it still makes sense to open more burger joints. Anyway for more information checkout their instagram account @caliburgerkw


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Why Burgan Bank Sucks While Traveling

Posted by Mark

My primary bank is NBK but due to various issues, mainly this one time when their ATM network was down and I wasn’t able to withdraw money before traveling, I decided to open a secondary bank account with Burgan Bank as a backup. I chose Burgan Bank primarily because they were located in the building adjacent to my apartment building and I liked how the branch looked like. As I found out recently though, turns out for traveling, Burgan Bank was the wrong bank to go with.

Last month while in Cape Town the owner of the bed & breakfast I was staying in asked me if I could pay him in cash since that way he wouldn’t have to pay the credit card transaction fee. So I went to an ATM to withdraw money using my Burgan Bank card. The ATM had a limit on how much I could withdraw at once so I had to withdraw the amount in two parts. After withdrawing the first half I tried to withdraw the second half and got an error. I then received a message on my phone from Burgan Bank saying my card had been declined and I needed to contact them. So I called Burgan Bank up using roaming and after getting a hold of an employee I was told that due to security reasons, Burgan Bank has placed a limit on South Africa and that I could only withdraw a maximum of KD25 a day. I went apeshit over the phone. I told the employee I’m on vacation and they have no right to limit my spending to just KD25. I told him KD25 wouldn’t be enough for me to spend per day and I also needed to pay for my accommodation now and I couldn’t because of this stupid limit. He told me he would put in a request to increase my spending limit temporarily. I was like I needed the limit lifted now so he put me on hold for a few minutes before letting me know my limit was lifted.

plane-window

I came back to Kuwait and basically forgot about the whole incident until this past weekend while I was in Bahrain I ran into another issue. On the day I arrived to Bahrain I tried to use my Burgan Bank ATM card but it got declined. I thought it might have been something with the sellers machine and decided to use my NBK card for the purchase instead. I didn’t use my card for the rest of the trip since I was using my NBK credit card. When I landed in Kuwait Saturday night I headed to the Burgan Bank ATM machine at the airport to withdraw money to pay for parking but I got a declined error again and a message on my phone saying the bank declined my card and I should contact them. So I called Burgan Bank and ask their customer support why they’re declining my transactions and the employee told me it was due to security reasons. I was like what?! He was like when someone uses the ATM card in two different countries in the same day they automatically block my card and I need to call the bank to unblock it. I went apeshit again. I told the employee I had breakfast at the airport and then traveled to Bahrain and wanted to use my card there, are you telling me I am not allowed to do that? Are you saying that if I have breakfast at the airport I am not allowed to use my card again until 24 hours later after arriving to my destination? He was like it’s their policy. I was like I can’t be the only Burgan Bank customer that has complained about this. I was literally yelling at this point and asked him if Burgan Bank customers ever travel??? I told him this was the dumbest shit I’ve ever heard and that IF they were to block my card it should be when someone tries to withdraw a large amount like a KD1,000 or KD5,000 but not KD10! I told him I was fed up with them and that I hated being put in awkward situations because of them. I told him they have no right to keep blocking my card like that because they have no idea what situation I could be in while abroad and needed money but because of their incompetence I would end up being screwed. I told the employee to unblock my card and to put a note to never ever block it again. I told him even if five different people in five different countries try to withdraw money from my card at the same time to let them. Even if someone in Nigeria is trying to withdraw all the money on the card to let them. I just couldn’t handle it anymore, I hate being treated like a child by my bank. If they’re concerned about any transaction on my card they should call me and check on it like NBK does. But to block my card without warning is ridiculous.

So in the next few days when I have some free time I’m going to sadly be closing my account with Burgan Bank. I say sadly because I actually love the branch near my house and have had a pretty good experience with them. Even though both their app and online banking sucks I liked passing by their branch and their bank employees are actually really friendly. But their security policies have completely killed it for me. The whole point of opening an account with them was so that I have a backup system to use when I travel and the one thing I wanted them for they’ve failed in miserably. Now I need to find another bank instead so if anyone has any recommendations let me know below.

Update: Burgan Bank ended up calling me regarding my post and according to them they’ve reengineered some of the processes so that people don’t end up having these issues again. This is the email they sent me:

Dear Mark,

Thank you for raising your customer experience with us in regards to recent issues on your debit cards, firstly we regret the inconvenience caused to you. Due to the recent spate of frauds in card related transactions across the region each bank including ourselves had put in parameters in order to protect & safe guard our customers. Our endeavor has always been to protect our customers assets & ensure better customer experience.

We can reassure you that based on your experience and feedback we have relooked at our processes & reengineered them to ensure better customer experience and we will monitor and review the same on ongoing basis.

Regards,


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Kuwait’s All Female Biker Club

Posted by Mark

bikeclub

The popular website Vice have published an article on Kuwait’s All Female Biker Club. The Moto Lady Club as they’re called is the first woman’s club for motorbikers not only in Kuwait, but in the Gulf. Check out the full article on the Vice website [Here]

Thanks Fred


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Avenues Opening in Bahrain

Posted by Mark

avenuesbahrain

Avenues is so big you’re now going to need to fly to get from one side to the other.


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