Kuwait Will Not Be Represented At The Olympics

Post by Mark

kuwaitolympics

Kuwait has lost its Swiss court case against an International Olympic Committee (IOC) ban that will see the nation’s athletes compete under the Olympic flag at the Rio Olympics, a source with direct knowledge of the decision said on Tuesday. [Source]

This was Kuwait’s last ditch effort to get reinstated but they lost their case. All 9 Kuwaiti athletes competing at the Olympics will now be walking out under the IOC flag during the opening ceremony and competing as Individual Olympic Participants. If any athlete wins a medal (and there is a big chance of that happening), it will now fall under IOC and not Kuwait.

Here is the final list of Kuwaiti Olympians participating at Rio 2016:

Abbas Al Qali (Swimming)
Abdulrahman Al-Faihan (Trap)
Abdullah Al-Rashidi (Skeet)
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti (Fencing)
Ahmad Al-Afasi (Double Trap)
Faye Sultan (Swimming)
Fehaid Al-Deehani (Double Trap)
Khaled Al-Mudhaf (Trap)
Saud Habib Al-Kandari (Skeet)

On a similar subject, there is a new documentary called “Between Hope and Pain” which highlights the struggle of the 9 Kuwaiti athletes as well as a Kuwaiti referee to make it to the Rio Olympics.

In ‘Between Hope and Pain’, one referee and nine athletes openly express their immense drive to compete and win, and the supreme disappointment of being unable to do so under the Kuwaiti flag. In the documentary, privately screened at Laila Cinema on Sunday evening, Kuwaiti shooter and Olympic champion, Fehaid Al-Deehani spoke candidly about his dilemma to participate in the upcoming games. He shared that the Olympics ceased to hold meaning for him as he would not be able to leave his mark as a Kuwaiti athlete but only as an independent player, without a country and a flag.

“It’s the first time in my life I have experienced something like this. It’s true that we were banned in 2012 but a week before the competition HH the Amir solved the problem and removed the ban and we participated. But in this incident, we feel lost, we don’t know what’s up ahead”, he remarked. He stated that no resolution seemed to be forthcoming from either the government or the Olympic committee and he chalked this down to a clash of egos. He was honest and critical of the state of sports in the country, saying, “Sports in Kuwait has always experienced obstacles, it has always been sterile, lacking. It has never been proper. Even during the golden age, the football era, it wasn’t proper. It was progressing by God’s grace but there was no strategy. Up until now we represent the country with training suits worth KD 3 while other national teams employ fashion designers.” He shared that he was pained at the loss of the future of many athletes because of conflicts over positions and called for those responsible to tender their resignations. [Source]

The trailer to this documentary is posted above, no idea if the full documentary will be posted online as well.


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Wataniya Airways Coming Back?

Post by Mark

The Wataniya Airways twitter account which had been dormant for 3 years suddenly came back to life with the tweet below stating they’re coming back.

I also got an email from a Wataniya Airways representative stating that they’re targeting to come back between December and January depending on certain circumstances.

For those of you who weren’t around at the time, Wataniya Airways was a premium local airline that launched back in 2009. Compared to Kuwait Airways at that time, they had newer planes and they flew out of the Sheikh Saad terminal which was (and still is) much nicer than the main terminal. In 2011 they shutdown due to financial reasons.

I’ve got a personal attachment to Wataniya Airways since I had worked with them on their advertising from pre-launch till shutdown, so I’m really interested to see how this will pan out.


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New Restaurant: Vigonovo Italian Homestyle Food

Post by Mark

vig1

Vigonovo is a new small Italian restaurant that just opened up a couple of days back in Salmiya. The restaurant is run by an Italian chef called Marco and I passed by yesterday to check it out. Vigonovo is the name of a town in Northern Italy where Marco comes from so he infuses the characteristic and flavors of his province into his dishes. The menu is fairly small consisting of 3 salads, 4 first mains, 3 second mains and a few desserts. Only a few of the items are permanently on the menu while the rest change all the time. Every morning Marco heads to the local market to see what produce is available and based on his findings, he creates a menu for the day. I like that. A lot.

vig2

You could check out yesterdays menu (and prices) since I took a picture of it [Here]. I went with the Cupcake Lasagna, the Pumpkin Tortelli with Smoked Ricotta, the Frico & Polenta and finally the Amaretto for dessert. The portions are all fairly small, similar to tapas so you could mix and match. I hadn’t had this much carbs in months but everything sounded too tempting not to try. Since the place literally just opened it wouldn’t be fair for me to review the food but I did pass Marco and feedback I had. I will say this though, everything was light and the presentation was fantastic. It isn’t a fancy Italian restaurant, it’s a casual homey place with freshly prepared homestyle Italian food. We don’t have anything like it here.

Vigonovo is located in Salmiya where Gia is located in Al Khaled Complex. They’re right next door to Lorenzo in the shop called “Rose Gathering” since the restaurant is actually called “Vigonovo by Rose Gathering”. Vigonovo is currently open daily from 5PM onwards except on Fridays when they close. Definitely worth checking out. Here is their location on [Google Maps] and their instagram account is @vigonovo_kw


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The Kuwait Invasion Anniversary

Post by Mark

invasion

Every year on the anniversary of the 1990 Kuwait Invasion, I like to share the links below:

Free Kuwait
This is a website that focuses on the campaign that was led by Kuwaitis in exile and is loaded with photos and information.

Kuwait Invasion – The Evidence
This is a website that contains over 1,200 pictures taken right after the 1990 invasion as photographic evidence to all the destruction caused by Iraq.

Short movie: Hearts of Palm
Hearts of Palm is a short movie set in August 2nd 1990 and deals with Kuwaiti students living in Miami Florida during the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait.

The Class of 1990
This is a short documentary about reuniting class mates years after the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

Homemade video from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
Video clips taken by a Kuwaiti family during the Iraqi invasion

Desert Storm Photos
Photos taken by soldiers during Desert Storm.

Short Animation: Sandarah
A captivating story based on true events that took place during the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

Photo on top by Adel Al-Yousifi


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Gas Prices to Increase Starting September 1st

Post by Mark

gaskuwait

Kuwait is to increase the prices of gasoline by as much as 73 percent from September, showing how the oil price slump is affecting the energy-rich Gulf state’s finances.

Kuwait’s cabinet said on Monday that the price for the ultra gasoline grade would rise to 165 fils a litre, from 95 currently, the super grade to 105 from 65 and premium grade to 85 from 60, state news agency KUNA reported. [Source]

Ouch, thats a pretty steep hike.


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Kuwaiti Medalist Refuses to Carry Olympic Flag

Post by Mark

Legendary Kuwaiti shooter Fehaid al-Deehani has refused to carry the Olympic neutral team flag at the Rio Games opening ceremony, where the Gulf state’s athletes cannot march behind their own emblem.

Kuwait is suspended by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and other leading federations such as FIFA, football’s world body, over government interference in sport.

According to Kuwaiti media, the IOC asked al-Deehani, who took trap shooting bronze medals at the 2000 Sydney and 2012 London Games, to carry the Olympic neutral team flag.

But the Kuwait army officer turned down the request.

“I am a military man and I will only carry the Kuwait flag,” he said. “I cannot carry the IOC flag.”

The Kuwait Olympic Committee on Sunday called on the government to start dialogue in a last-gasp bid to get the Kuwait flag in to the Rio opening ceremony.

Hussein al-Mussallam, vice chairman of the committee’s legal and international relations commission, told AFP it was time “to sit down together and review things in a positive way”.

He said “the interests of Kuwaiti athletes should come above all else”.

“I am speaking on behalf of the KOC and not in the name of international organizations,” al-Mussallam added.

“The time has come in front of everyone, the Kuwaiti government and the ministry for youth and sports, the Kuwait Olympic Committee and the Olympic Movement Kuwait to sit together for the national interest and for Kuwait to return as it was.”

Al-Mussallam also appealed for all sides to “stay away from personal issues”.

“The Olympic movement has a role to deal with the government in the interest of sport. The government has to hear the point of view of international organizations and the United Nations and the opinion of the Kuwaiti Olympic movement.”

The official said that Kuwaiti athletes want to compete in Rio “under the flag of our country, so and we demand the sports minister respond to the advice of the International Olympic Committee and to stop the implementation of the conflicting articles in the Kuwaiti sports law”. [Full Article]

I’ve been having a hard time finding the final list of Kuwaiti athletes that will be taking part at the Rio Olympics. The article above lists the following:

Abdulrahman Al-Faihan (Trap)
Ahmad Al-Afasi (Double Trap)
Khaled Al-Mudhaf (Trap)
Saud Habib Al-Kandari (Skeet)
Fehaid Al-Deehani (Double Trap)
Abdullah Al-Rashidi (Skeet)
Abdulaziz Al-Shatti (Fencing)
Abbas Al Qali (Swimming)

But, the list isn’t accurate since they leave Faye Sultan out who will be competing in swimming as well. That means there might be other athletes missing as well. So far though, 9 Kuwaitis will be at the Olympics this year.


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Cars, Cops and Trailers

Post by Mark

copcheckpoint

According to a friend of mine, he was driving down the 2nd Ring Road a couple of nights ago and got stopped at a traffic light. There was a cop walking amongst the cars looking for violators or potential violators and because my friend was on the phone, the cop told him to park on the right hand side where some cops were handing out violations. Since my friend had just recently renewed his car registration, the registration paperwork was with his driver. So what was supposed to be a ticket for talking on the phone while driving turned into a car impoundment. So they loaded up his car onto a trailer with a bunch of other cars, all standard stuff so far but here is where things get interesting.

So my friend calls his mum to come pick him up. When his mum arrives the cop saw that his mum had come to pick him up so he called my friend over and told him to go to the trailer and pay the driver KD10. The trailer guy will then drive down the street away from the main road and dismount his car for him. And it wasn’t just my friend, there were 5 other guys who were told to go pay the trailer guy KD10 to have him dismount their cars down the street from the checkpoint.

If you were going to let the guys off the hook why not just dismount the cars right there? Why dismount them down some side street away from the main road? And then on top of that why do they have to pay the driver KD10? The whole thing sounded a bit shady to me so I wanted to post about it and hear some opinions on this.

Image from Arab Times


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Wendy’s Opening in Salmiya

Post by Mark

wendys

Last year Alghanim Industries acquired the rights to develop Wendy’s restaurants across the Middle East and it looks like their flagship store in Kuwait is going to be located in Salmiya on Plajat Street. They’ve taken over the site of a defunct food complex and I’m assuming they’re going to be knocking it down and building a large Wendy’s in its place. No idea on when they’re expected to open but I’d guess sometime end of the year or early next year.

via Frankom


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Video of the First Ring Road Infinite Loop Project

Post by Mark

Last week I posted about the First Ring Road construction that will turn it into an infinite loop and a reader shared a link to a video that shows how the project will look like once completed. Spoiler: There will be lots of underpasses. Check out the video above or on [YouTube]

firstring

Thanks غنيمة


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Mobile Tire Service

Post by Mark

star1

Last week my brother got a flat tire and when he took out his spare tire he noticed that was flat as well. So his choices were:

– Call a tow truck
– Go get his spare fixed and then install it on the car and then drive back to Canada Dry street to get the main tire replaced
– Call a mobile tire service company and have them come over and replace his tire

He ended up going with the third option and called Star Service since it was his most convenient option. Star Service are an emergency roadside assistance service that also do home calls. Say you end up with a dead car battery or flat tire, you would call Star Service up and they’d come over and get you up and running again. If you have a flat tire you could call them up and give them your tire size and brand and they could bring a new tire with them. In my brothers case since his tire was rare, they couldn’t get him one so he ended up buying the tire himself and they then came over to his place to install it for him.

star2

Star Service come over in a small fully equipped van. If you’ve ever had a tire replaced you know that they first need to remove the old tire from the wheel, then install the new tire on the wheel and then get the wheel balanced. Star Service can do all of that inside the van since all the equipment needed is in there. They even have a small generator to power up the computer and the machine needed for the wheel balancing.

ُThe cost to come over and do a tire replacement was surprisingly not too expensive costing just KD10. If you ever get a flat or a dead battery and need their services, they work daily from 11AM to 7PM except for Fridays. Their phone number is 90997823.

Update: Garagee is another company that offers a similar service, their phone number is 50250280 and their instagram account is @garagee.me


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