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]

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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.

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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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Hunting Ducks with a Slingshot in Hyde Park

Posted by Mark

teen

According to @KuwaiT_ALYoum, British authorities are looking for a Kuwaiti teenager who was filmed hunting ducks with a slingshot in Hyde Park. I couldn’t find another source for this information but I did find the video that went viral and you can watch it below (its safe).


[YouTube]


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The Kuwait National Library

Posted by Mark

library1

Yesterday I had a meeting at the Kuwait National Library and to kill time before the meeting I wandered off into the small English books section and started checking out the books. I was pretty surprised that the majority of the English books were really old but then I found the advertising section and I knew I hit jackpot.

Right away I noticed, these weren’t just any ordinary advertising books, these were vintage advertising books from the 40s and the 50s! These are the books Don Draper would have on his bookshelf on the TV show Mad Men. I found an empty shelf and started collecting the books I liked and lining them up next to each other. In the end these were my favorite books that I found:

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How to Build Modern Furniture (1957)
Five Hundred Years of Printing (1959)
The Watch Repairer’s Manual (1949)
Advertising – a guide for business man and student (1947)
Advertising and Psychology (1954)
The Technique of Advertising (1940)
Successful Television and Radio Advertising (1959)
Advertising (1953)
International Handbook of Advertising (1964)
Colour in Advertising (1956)

I thought they were all very fascinating so once my meeting was done I headed to the main office to sign up for a library card so I could check them out. Thats where I got an even bigger surprise, turns out the library isn’t open yet and is actually opening in two weeks and even once it’s open they won’t allow anyone to check out the books, you can only read them in the library.

I left the library in love with it but at the same time a bit confused.

If they’re not open yet, why are all the English books so old?
Where did they even get these books from?
and WTF?

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But then it hit me, this is the perfect library. Other than the fact that old books are fascinating, by having all these old books, its as if the library has been around for 50 years instead of just opening now. You’re also not going to find these books on the Kindle so thats another reason to visit the library. Smart move. Once the library is open in two weeks I would definitely recommend you pass by. The library is pretty big and I’m not sure if there was another larger English section but even if there wasn’t, the small section is interesting enough to check out.

The library is located right next to the National Museum on the Gulf Road and here it is on [Google Maps]

PS: If anyone from the library is reading this, please PLEASE remove the horrible window sticker on your building and install a proper sign instead.]


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Do we need a new airport?

Posted by Mark

newkuwaitairport

A few days ago I posted about how the construction of the new Kuwait airport was been put on hold indefinitely and oddly enough, some people were actually pleased with the news. One of the comments was that the new airport would make Kuwait very difficult to live in (because more people would come to Kuwait) while another person didn’t think anything was wrong with the current airport.


[YouTube]

I personally would love a new airport especially the Foster + Partners design that got approved (watch the video above). I travel a lot and arriving at a clean, bright and organized airport is a much more positive experience than arriving at a crowded, gloomy and depressing one. I’d love to pass through an eGate and avoid the long lines at immigration or wander around a large duty free to kill time before my flight. Also the first thing new visitors to Kuwait will see is the airport and first impressions matter. Kuwait is so much better than what the current airport leads you to believe.

But that’s my opinion, I’m curious to know if I am alone in this because I don’t think I am. Do we need a new airport?


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Inside the Factory Producing the New Kuwaiti Bank Notes

Posted by Mark

currency

BBC have an article and a short video report on De La Rue, the company that designed and printed the new Kuwaiti Dinars. In the video below the reporter is at the factory while they’re printing the Kuwaiti Dinars and you get to see her hold an uncut sheet of the notes as well as discuss the currency a bit with an employee. Check out the video below and then the article [Here]

Thanks Neil


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