Iftah Ya Simsim is Coming Back

Posted by Mark


The popular kids show Iftah Ya Simsim which first aired back in 1979 is coming back on air for the first time since it stopped 25 years ago. But, the show that was originally produced and filmed in Kuwait is now instead being filmed in Abu Dhabi. We lost Iftah Ya Simsim to Abu Dhabi and that sucks. First episode is expected to air on Kuwait TV tomorrow (Friday, September 4th) at 5PM. [Link]

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An Art Gallery for Domestic Workers in Kuwait

Posted by Mark


I got the message below from a friend of mine and thought it was an interesting project. If you’ve got a house helper have them take part:

Dear All, I hope this message finds you well. I am contacting you on behalf of one of my projects: Project 52-Pixels An art Gallery for Domestic Workers in Kuwait. We are trying to have people who believe in the rights of their domestic workers to be an example to other locals in Kuwait, if you believe in their rights as a human being and give them a day off, we want to shed light on you so others could get influenced and follow. (Abuse is too common amongst domestic workers in Kuwait, a high percentage of them suffer from a form of abuse in one way or another, ranging from sexual abuse, physical, food deprivation, no pay- modern day slavery, suicide, and more. All gone with no reports and no punishment to the employer)

This is a short project and won’t take time from you and we would only need a few hours from your house helper to do the following:

1) On Saturday, September 12th we only need 4 hours from your house helpers time, (from 10am-2pm) for the domestic worker to attend the photography workshop given by professional photographers taking place at Masaha 13. They will learn how to professionally take photographs in an intense course and then each of them will be given their own cameras to take and keep.

2) Anytime after the workshop (whenever they are given their day off) they need to take the camera with them and take photos of whatever they desire, anything that speaks to them, the city, the streets, church, the friends they meet whatever it may be. (No photos of the house or the family employing the worker should be taken)

3) We will come and collect the film from you once they have taken their photos and produce them and blow them up into big photos.

4) Around October 20th (date not confirmed yet) we will host a public Art Gallery exhibiting all the domestic workers photography at Masaha 13, where you and your domestic worker are both invited to be congratulated and acknowledged in hopes of having any of the attendees and public who have forgotten that their domestic workers have a life outside of their uniform and Job are just like you and I.

We hope you believe in their rights and believe in change and could participate to be a leader who leads by example.

If you’re interested in having your house helper take part you can contact them on 97841212 or send an email to lama@project-189.org

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Instagram Ads Launching in the Region Soon

Posted by Mark


As some of you might have heard, Instagram advertising soft launched awhile back in the States, but what you might not be aware of is that it will also be soft launching in our region very soon. Advertisers will soon be able to place ads within your photo stream which will most likely have a big impact on Instagrammers who currently charge for posts.

Not only will advertisers no longer need to pay Instagrammers, but by placing ads directly with Instagram they can accurately target their customer base. Right now there is no way for example to tell where the followers of a certain Instagrammer are residing, that will all change with Instagram advertising since advertisers would be able to specify who they want their ads to be seen by.

The official word from Instagram MENA is that they will be beta launching the program shortly with a limited group of advertisers. They wouldn’t give me a specific launch date since it still hasn’t been finalized, but from what I’ve been hearing in the grapevine, its expected to launch within the next couple of months. The partners for this launch have already been set and I know one of them but I sadly can’t share who they are because I was told off the record.

Instagram advertisers will have two buying mechanisms once this program launches:

Self-serve: This will work similar to how Facebook Ads work and, similarly, will be priced by an auction.

Insertion Order: Managed clients will also be able to book these which are sold on a fixed price, but rates aren’t yet established for the region.

The targeting aspect of these ads will function similarly to how Facebook targeting currently works.

As I mentioned, Instagram will be soft launching soon with a limited group of advertising partners. This means for now Instagrammers will not be losing a lot of income. But once this program launches officially and to everyone, they’ll most likely feel the pinch.

Update: I just opened Instagram and noticed the ad below so I’m guessing the soft launch might take place this month.


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The Mubarakiya School

Posted by Mark


I tried passing by the Mubarakiya School last year but when I did they were closed and then I just forgot about it and never went back. Then last week I got an email from a reader that reminded me about it so I ended up passing by yesterday to check it out. The Mubarakiya School is a museum celebrating 100 years of education in Kuwait and after visiting it I’m not sure what to think of it.


I got there around 12:30 which according to the sign outside was after closing time but the door was open so I just walked in. There was a security guard at the desk who didn’t seem to mind I had come in so I just proceeded to walk into the museum. For a museum on education I thought the interior was… whats the word, futuristic? scifi-ish? Lots of geometric shaped walls with very dim lighting giving the illusion I was onboard a spaceship. I mean I liked it, a lot, but the interior seemed to overshadow the actual museum pieces which sadly there wasn’t enough of. There were just a handful of displays showcasing historical artifacts and documents in the main corridor and then there were 3 or 4 film viewing rooms. The viewing rooms had TVs that displayed historical footage (or photos) with a voice narrating, actually I’m not sure what the TV screens were displaying because they were off with just the voice narration playing. According to the security guard sometimes the AC effects the TVs, I didn’t understand how but thats why the TVs weren’t working according to him.


On my way out I picked up the museum brochure which actually contained interesting information and a bunch of old photos. Personally would have liked to have seen those old photos enlarged and on display at the museum along with the corresponding info. I’m guessing they might be part of the films in the viewing rooms which I couldn’t see but even if they were, when it comes to old photos I generally like viewing them as printed old photos. The Mubarakiya School is located in Souq Mubarakiya [Map] and is worth passing by if you happen to be in the area since its free and looks great for a museum in Souq Mubarakiya. Their opening hours are too complicated to list so instead here is a picture of their opening hours sign [Link]

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Gia in the City

Posted by Mark


Gia are opening a new location in Kuwait City on the corner of the Souq Al Kuwait building opposite the Kuwait Stock Exchange. It’s a pretty good location since the area is surrounded by lots of financial offices. The new location will have some pre-packed takeout items for easy pickup as well as delivery within the area. If everything goes according to plan the new location is expected to open sometime in October.

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No More Volumetric Weight with MyUS

Posted by Mark


Just an FYI for those of you who use mail forwarding companies to ship items from the States. MyUS which I’ve previously posted about [Here] now no longer calculate volumetric weight, instead they calculate the cost of your shipment based on actual weight. What this means is you now pay a lot cheaper for shipping since if your box is huge or tiny it doesn’t matter anymore. [Link]

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A Warning from a Teacher

Posted by Mark

Back in June I posted about how a lot of teachers were being deported for working illegally in Kuwait because the schools wouldn’t do their visas. Well now one teacher has come out and posted a video about her experience which you can watch above. Not really sure how widespread this is but I’ve also heard a lot of gym instructors have a similar issue. [YouTube]


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Breakfast at Wah Ji Wah

Posted by Mark


I usually tend to have brunch on weekends at either Cocoa Room or Street but this weekend I wanted to try something different and so ended up at the Wah Ji Wah Pakistani restaurant for breakfast. I had heard about this place from some comments on the blog awhile back so when my friend suggested it as an option I was like maybe it’s about time I pass by and try it out.


They stop serving breakfast at 11am so we got there by 10:30 and found a table inside to sit on. We ended up ordering the Aloo Paratha (potato stuffing), Keema Paratha (meat stuffing) and Sada Naan with Chana (a kind of Indian bread with a chickpeas side dish). We also ended up ordering Kashmiri tea and regular chai. I didn’t even know Kashmiri tea existed but it turns out it’s similar to chai except they make it with a different tea and add a couple of more ingredients which also turns it pink. It was odd looking because of the color but it was actually delicious to drink.


From the different dishes we ordered the Aloo Paratha was my favorite and it was also the lightest since the other dishes just felt too heavy to have in the morning. In hindsight I regret not ordering the egg stuffed paratha instead of the meat one because it would have made more sense as a breakfast dish. I’m also surprised they didn’t have a cheese stuffed paratha since that would also have made more sense for breakfast.


The total for everything came to around KD1.5 which is cheaper than a cup of coffee at my usual breakfast spots. But I doubt I would go back to Wah Ji Wah for breakfast because it’s just too heavy for me to have. It’s still worth experiencing though especially for the pink Kashmiri tea. They’re located in Salmiya Block 10 near the park and here is their location on [Google Maps]

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Dar Hamad Restaurant

Posted by Mark


There’s a weird looking building on the Gulf Road right before Marina Mall which I was trying to figure out what it was. When they were constructing it I thought it was someones home but after completion they put up a sign that said Dar Hamad. I thought it was possibly a museum but then over the weekend I found out it was going to be a restaurant. It’s actually going to be a high end Kuwaiti cuisine restaurant serving traditional dishes created by Kuwaiti chef Janan Al Assfour. The opening date? Supposedly September.

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Flying Kuwait Airways First Class to London

Posted by Mark


Yesterday I asked if Kuwait Airways were flying their new planes to London and it turns out they are. One of my readers put me in contact with a friend of his who recently flew to London with Kuwait Airways and he sent me a few pictures. At first I was really impressed thinking I was looking at pictures of the Kuwait Airways business class but then I found out this in fact was the Kuwait Airways first class and my excitement dropped. But I was only looking at pictures so I decided to ask the reader about his experience flying Kuwait Airways and this is what he had to say:


Considering Kuwait Airways history with appalling planes, these are brand new and clean. You can see that the staff are glad and proud to serve you because of the state of the plane. They’re more lively now and very friendly. The touch-screen is huge and has a 3-D map of the trip. The movies are not old, I can say that much. The food, I feel, has always been good but the variety now is vast and tasty. The bathrooms are clean as well. The seat is very spacious and you can slide it down all the way to make it into a bed (Not completely flat, maybe 150-160 degrees).

I haven’t traveled first class on KA for a long time but since they got the new planes, I felt like I needed to experience it again. It is worth it but obviously nothing compared to Qatar Airways and Emirates. KA have a long way to go but they’re on the right track IF they can keep the planes clean and up to standard because I feel like they won’t be able to keep them like that. It was first class and they send you a chauffeur to pick you up and drive you to the airport and vice versa. Its all included in the ticket. Very fancy Mercedes. Qatar Airways have their own lounge in Heathrow, I was granted access to Gulf Air lounge, which isnt bad but Qatar Airways and Emirates is much better because of the benefits. For example, if you book first class on Qatar Airways, you can ship your car with you for free. Furthermore, in business class on Qatar Airways, you flatten the seat completely and they give you a comfy bed to put over your seat and the lounge is amazing.

Oh yeah! Theres no wifi on the plane! Once there will be, it won’t be for free on KA. In Emirates first class, you can take a shower on the plane and the bathrooms are quite large for an airplane. On either Emirates or Qatar first class, the chef can cook you anything you like.

According to the same reader the business class seats on that flight were just over-sized economy seats with larger screens.

I flew economy with Kuwait Airways a few months back to Lebanon and had a positive experience. They’re now my second airline of choice when flying to Beirut and the only reason they’re not the first is because MEA flies over Syria making the trip an hour shorter as well as the fact they serve alcohol.

If you want to view a larger version of the first class images above here are the links:
[Image 1] [Image 2] [Image 3]

Thanks David and Khalid

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