A Story About the Twenty Dinars Note

Posted by Mark

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Uwe is a well known photographer in the local advertising scene and he’s lived in Kuwait since 1983. I’ve known him for a few years and awhile back when I posted about the new Kuwaiti currency he emailed me a very interesting story regarding the photo of the Court Complex on the back of the old KD20 bank note which I thought was interesting to share. This is what he told me:

Shortly before the invasion I was contracted to photograph the Court Complex which was to be used as part of the design on the soon to be introduced KD20 bank note. I headed to the Court Complex on a Friday morning with someone from the Central Bank to shoot the building. We parked our Toyota 4-Runner on the side and I got up on top of it with my camera and tripod to take photos. A short while after two police cars with sirens on showed up and told me to get down from the roof of the car. They asked us what we were doing and when we told them they asked for our permission papers. THe person who was with me from the Central Bank had forgotten to bring the permission papers with him so the police took me into the court house and held me there until the person went and fetched the permission slip and came back. It took him 7 hours to bring that paper! From then on whenever I look at the KD20 note I remember that messed up Friday.

On a side note, why does the Central Bank of Kuwait website ask you if you want to visit their old website or their new one? Why not just automatically load the new one?


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Vintage Trucks Event

Posted by Mark

pickuptrucks

Looks like a pick-up truck event was held recently at the Kuwait Car Museum. No idea when exactly it took place or else I would have passed by myself to check it out as well as post about it. Check out the video below.


[YouTube]


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Our grandparents had it right

Posted by Amy Freeman

paleobooks

Post by Amy Freeman

I remember in the early 90’s watching my nana and pop switch from butter to margarine, whole to skim milk and where possible, full fat to low fat. The 80’s and 90’s was the start of what would become a processed food epidemic. As Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig were constantly being advertised on TV and in magazines, leading the ‘weight loss’ industry and the ‘microwave meal’ industry, woman were becoming more body conscious and diabetes was on the rise. It became a highly publicized and popular belief that calories in and calories out was all that mattered, low fat was the key and all carbohydrates were equal. Enter the diabetes and obesity epidemic!

The unfortunate thing is that the belief systems that were used for weight loss in the 80’s and 90’s are still held in high regard to this day. Trying to convince people that eating natural butter is BETTER than processed margarine is a daily battle. Trying to convince people that full fat milk or cream is BETTER for your insulin levels than low fat or skimmed milk is hard to land with a lot of people.

The reason ‘Paleo’/Whole Food nutrition (or clean eating as I call it) has been so successful, is that it is taking people back to eating a very similar diet to those that lived in our grandparents era. Home made food, unprocessed junk food, lots of fruit, veggies and meat, this style of eating is identical to how our wirery, fit and non diabetic ancestors lived. Even though I remember my nana’s baking yummy desserts, they didn’t eat it in copious amounts and binge till they burst on a Saturday night. They worked it into their active, busy lifestyles and treated food as fuel and NOT as bribery or reward on a daily basis.

When my nana passed away and we were going through her bookshelf I remember the copious amounts of nutrition books she had collected over the years. Amongst what must have been around 50 of them, there were soup diet books, detox books, vegetarian diet books, liver cleansing books and a number of diabetes books. I remember feeling really impressed and proud that my nana had been so conscientious about being informed of health and wellbeing.

The problem is that behind all these diet books is a person trying to make money. Telling people to eat natural foods with correct portions and live a balanced lifestyle isn’t going to make the authors of these nutrition books any money. Instead, what sells is ‘14 Day Detox’s’,‘Lose 10 Pounds in 5 Days’, ‘Do the Dukan Diet’ or ‘Do the Atkins Diet’. Around the time that these books started becoming popular, curvy models were out and skinny was in and magazines really started to promote size 0 as ideal.

The amount of clients, family members and friends that I have seen fall into the trap of going on one of these unrealistic diets and rebound back from it (me included), is ridiculous. Through this a lot of people have developed unhealthy relationships’ with food from being convinced that low fat/ low carb is the only way to lose weight and then go 4 months without so much as one lick of an ice cream only to then rebound and go the other way and live in a chocolate coma for a month. Both extremes are as bad as each other and each time your body goes through this cycle is going to make it harder the next time you try to lose weight.

Being perfect, eating only grilled chicken and veggies, not socializing in case you slip up, feeling guilt when you have 2 eggs instead of 4 egg whites and doing 2 hours of cardio a day is not maintainable. Unless you are going to compete as a figure athlete and you are close to competition, quiet frankly, its stupid and absolutely unnecessary. I give it around 3-4 months before burnout and 4-6 months before you put all that weight you lost back on and then some.

Making healthy choices, eating whole foods like our grandparents and having a balanced workout routine and doing it consistently for 6-12-18 plus months is going to get you results that you can maintain forever. Yes you will need to be patient, it wont happen overnight and there will be times where you get frustrated but weight loss and well being should be treated as a marathon, not a sprint. It will be worth it when you have reached your goal and can still enjoy your life without feeling deprived of food or guilty every time you have a treat.

Happy Training Kuwait

Post by Amy Freeman, a Strength and Conditioning Coach from New Zealand and currently a Personal Trainer at Inspire Pure Fitness in Kuwait.

Image by akeelsworld


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A Walk Around Gate Mall

Posted by Mark

gatemall1

Gate Mall is a new mall that recently opened in Egaila near Al Bairaq Mall. I wasn’t really interested in the mall until I saw a photo of the building from the outside in one of my whatsapp groups and thought the mall façade looked pretty cool. So I passed by earlier today to check it out.

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First problem, there is no parking. For some reason the mall decided they didn’t need parking so the only parking I saw available was a large parking lot outside that is shared by two other surrounding malls. It was before noon on a weekday and I had trouble finding parking so I can imagine it would be near impossible to find parking on a weekend. The only alternative is to park at Al Bairaq mall and then walk through Al Bairaq towards Gate Mall.

Once you walk into the mall though things do get better. The mall is six floors and most of your favorite brands are there including the likes of Zara, Nike, Al Ostoura, Debenhams, H&M, Victoria Secret and Sephora. Food wise there was a Starbucks and Pinkberry open with a number of other places opening soon like Shake Shack, Tim Horten’s, Coldstone, Just Falafel, Cafe Baza and Margherita.

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There were no movie theaters from what I saw. Other than the major parking issue the mall should prove to be useful for the people living in the area but by no means a replacement to Avenues or 360 Mall. If you want to know how to get to it, here is the location on [Google Maps]


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What’s going on here?

Posted by Mark

hawalli-construction

There’s currently a mega project that’s currently under way in Maidan Hawalli. Just over a month ago they demolished the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre and the Abdullah Al-Salem School that were both located there and since then they’ve been working day and night (literally) at the construction site.

My guess is its one of the projects that is being led by Al-Diwan Al-Amiri, the people who are also leading the Kuwait Cultural Center project. The reason I am assuming they’re behind it is because when I last met with them they hinted there were 5 projects in the pipeline and they mentioned one of them was going to be in Hawalli. The fact that this project is also moving really fast with work taking place around the clock is another sign that this could be them.

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I was pretty upset at first when I found out they had demolished the Al-Maidan Cultural Centre but if the Al-Diwan Al-Amiri is behind this project then I know whats going to come up in its place is going to be something much better. If it’s anything like the Kuwait Culture Center I’ll be more than pleased.

If I find out what the project is I’ll post an update. The exact location of this site is near Shaab Park on the Gulf Road. Here it is on [Google Maps]


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Adobe Creative Cloud Now Available in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

adobeicons

Last year Adobe stopped selling their software the traditional way and instead moved everything to their Creative Cloud where for a monthly fee you could rent their apps. Some people hated it others like me loved it because it meant instead of paying a large sum up front for their apps you could now pay a much smaller fee every month. So back in February of this year I tried to sign up to the Creative Cloud but because I was based in Kuwait, the only option I had was to go through one of the regional dealers and turns out because I was in Kuwait I couldn’t pay monthly and instead I was quoted KD175 a year. Obviously that pissed me off but there is good news.

adobeprices

Last week Adobe updated their Creative Cloud apps and also started offering the service in more countries including Kuwait. I signed up to their Creative Cloud a couple of days ago where for KD14 a month I have access to all their apps including their desktop and mobile ones. If you’re a student or teacher its just KD5.6 a month.

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For designers who are interested, ME (Arabic support) versions of the apps are available. Once you install the Adobe Creative Cloud app on your computer go to the preferences and choose English with Arabic support as the app language and then download and install the apps. Check this help page for more info on this [Link]

adobeipad

If you’re into photography, Adobe have a special price on Photoshop and Lightroom, they’re giving both along with the Lightroom mobile app for just KD2.8 a month. So there really is no longer a need to pirate their apps. You’re also allowed to install the apps on two of your computers so I have them installed on my desktop and laptop which is perfect for me.

If you’re interested in signing up to the Creative Cloud follow this [Link]


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Salmiya is a Garbage Dump

Posted by Mark

garbage1

Last year when I was in Dubai having lunch I started chatting with the waiter and it turned out he had just moved to Dubai from Kuwait. He was in Kuwait getting training for just a short period of time before being sent to their Dubai branch. I asked him what he thought about Kuwait in the time he had spent here and he replied saying he was surprised at how dirty it was. Usually the most common response is that Kuwait is too hot or the fact they hated it because there was no social life or alcohol but that was the first time someone had told me they thought Kuwait was dirty. That comment stuck with me ever since because it made me realize, I’ve kinda gotten immune to the garbage like I’ve gotten immune to the heat or the fact that there is sand everywhere.

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The photos in this post are my latest submission to the Deera App. All this garbage is located in a sand lot behind my apartment building, the same sand lot which at one point someone had dug a large pit to dump all the garbage in.

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The way I see it there are a few things that need to be done to solve the garbage issue:

1) Clean up the garbage. Not sure how much money is allocated to cleaning up the garbage but either they should allocate more money or work more efficiently. In this one sand lot behind my place a quick solution for now would be to add more bins. When people dug a pit in the lot to throw garbage it was because the 7 bins weren’t enough. Instead of adding more bins to solve the issue they removed two leaving just 5 so obviously the garbage is going be overflowing. But its also not just about the garbage bins, there is litter all over the floor all around Salmiya and that never gets cleaned up.

2) Educate people. A nationwide anti-littering campaign would be a good start. I can’t even remember the last time there was an anti-littering campaign in Kuwait, maybe back in the 80s.

3) Fine people for littering. This is far fetched of course because I’ve seen cops let people run red lights and not chase them so I doubt they’re going to fine people for littering.

garbage4

4) Finally put me in charge of Salmiya because whoever is in charge now obviously doesn’t give a shit about the area.

Update: Just a quick note, it took two trucks but thanks to the Deera App the garbage was all cleaned and the building that had caused most of the waste in the first photo was also fined.

cleaned


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Wataniya Airways Coming Back

Posted by Mark

wataniya

Failed Kuwaiti carrier Wataniya Airways is reportedly planning a comeback as soon as the first quarter of 2015. The airline has begun efforts to re-launch by attempting to raise KD24m ($85m) and lease an initial two planes, according to Kuwait Times.

The company has asked the Ministry of Commerce to publish the minutes of an extraordinary assembly meeting held this week and will then contact the Capital Markets Authority so it can prepare for a new initial public offering (IPO). The airline needs a minimum of KD11m in capital to re-launch operations, a company source was quoted as saying. [Source]

Looks like Wataniya Airways is finally coming back to life. I wonder if they’ll fly out from Sheikh Saad Terminal along with FlyDubai or if they’ll be joining the rest of the airlines at the main terminal?


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@mn7asha No More

Posted by Mark

runaway

Looks like the runaway maids account @mn7asha which I posted about last week got closed down. Yesterday Aljazeera posted about the account and when I tried to access it today on Instagram I got a user not found error. I am not sure yet if instagram shut down the account or if the owner did but whatever happened the account is gone for now.


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Bus Overturns on Fahaheel Expressway

Posted by Mark

bus

I took the photo above a couple of hours ago while heading back to the city from the Hilton Resort. A public transportation bus had run off the side of the highway flipping over in the process. Not sure how many people were hurt but I counted at least three ambulances on the scene.


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