Movies Now Showing in Kuwait

Post by Mark

The movies below are now showing at either Cinescape, Grand Cinemas and Sky Cinemas:

New This Week:
Aftermath (7.4)
Eat Local (8.3)
Going in Style (6.9)

Other Movies Showing:
Collide (5.7) ♦
Daylight’s End (5.3)
Get Out (8.2) ♦
Kong: Skull Island (7.6)
Life (7.8)
Logan (9.0) ♦
Max Steel (4.6)
Power Rangers (7.1)
Sleepless (5.5)
Smurfs: The Lost Village (5.9)

The movies below are now showing at the Scientific Center IMAX theater:

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Flying Monsters 3D with David Attenborough (7.6)
Humpback Whales 3D (7.2)
Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D (N/A)
Journey to Space 3D (6.5)
Kenya 3D: Animal Kingdom (6.0)
Mysteries of the Unseen World 3D (7.5)

Numbers in brackets refer to the IMDB rating at time of publishing.
★ is for movies I’m interested in. ♦ implies movie might contain censorship.


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Must Watch TV: GIRLS

Post by Mark

Can we discuss the last episode? GIRLS, one of my favorite shows on TV right now is in its last season and they’re going out with a bang. The scene above was the saddest scene I’ve watched on TV since the finale of Six Feet Under (which is considered one of the best TV series endings btw). The acting was incredible, the subtle facial expressions and moments were so real, it reminded me why I loved the show so much, not that I needed reminding. GIRLS is real and raw in the same way The Wire was.

While some of my favorite shows like The Walking Dead, Homeland and The Americans have gotten pretty lame, GIRLS has not only managed to stay good 6 seasons in, they’ve actually gotten better. The current season is winding down all the story lines and there are only 2 more episodes remaining before the show comes to an end, and so far it’s looking like their best season yet. I don’t want it to end.

If you haven’t watched GIRLS then I highly recommend you do, it’s available to watch right now on HBO and OSN.


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Beehive Installation with Just Bee

Post by Mark

Just Bee is a local honey business that provides raw and local Kuwaiti honey. You might have come across them at Qout Market but what a lot of people don’t know is they are promoters of urban beekeeping and that they have a beehive installation service. Just Bee don’t have their own beehive location, all their honey that is sold is produced from beehive hosting. This past season for example, their honey was harvested from 8 different locations that includes people’s homes, chalets and farms (Salmiya, Khaitan, Sharq, Qurtuba, Messila, Abu Al Hasania, Nuwaiseeb and Wafra).

At Just Bee we promote Urban Beekeeping and our vision is to be able to provide our community with honey from every area in Kuwait, to do that we need to team up, and we do that by allowing locals to host beehives for us.

So how does it work?
The first thing they do is come over to your home and do a site consultation. The beekeeper needs to asses the space, check how suitable it is or not for the bees, and recommend needed shelter for the bees to protect them from the cold in the winter and the heat in the summer. They usually ask the host to let them set up a minimum of 6 hives so that it’s worth their time and effort.

All the work is on them, they handle the installation and all the costs involved with the hives. They also supervise the hives by visiting them as much as every two weeks. By the end of the season, they harvest the honey and give you 10% of the honey that has been produced as a barter for the space that you have given them to set up the hives.

The honey is then branded with the name of the Area, making their honey literally come from the homes of the people.

Kuwait produced these beautiful and varying colors of honey! In order from the left: Abdili, Nuwaiseeb, Sharq, Zahra, Egaila & Mishref

How many times do they harvest honey?
There are 2 seasons of harvest during the year:

– June/July where they harvest the Multifloral Honey, usually light in color and crystalizes within a month or so. Varies colorfully from one area to another.

– December where they harvest the better known Sidr Honey from the Ziziphus/Sidr tree that produces the Knarr, Jujube fruit. It is much darker and remains liquid if not, a lot of other floral sources are mixed in when the bees are gathering nectar to produce the honey.

Depending on the season, each beehive can produce between 3KG to 5KG of honey.

I love this idea a lot and if I had a home with a garden I would have definitely hosted some hives. If you on the other hand live in a home or have a chalet or farm and love honey, then get in touch with Just Bee and host a hive. Their instagram account is @justbeekw and their website is justbeekw.co


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Taxi Meters

Post by Mark

Something weird has been happening with me and cabs recently and I’m having a hard time understanding the logic behind it. Years ago on the blog I complained about how cabs weren’t using the meters and instead charging whatever they wanted even though the meters would result in a cheaper rate. So for example a ride might cost 800fils based on the meter but the cab would tell he wants KD1.5 for the trip. They basically made more money not following the meter which they are required by law.

Recently though the price of fuel was increased and along with that the taxi meter rates. But I don’t think cab drivers themselves have increased their rates.

This past month I’ve had to use a cab twice, and both times I was quoted a lower price by the driver than the meter eventually read. So first time the cab driver told me the ride would cost me KD2, I got in, he started the meter and by the time we got to the destination, the meter read KD2.6, but I just paid KD2. The second time I was quoted KD2.5 and the meter at the end of the trip read KD2.9. So I’m really confused, if they use the meter which they are supposed to by law, they get more money. So why are they not using it? I don’t get the logic here.


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GT4 For Sale

Post by Mark

This is probably the coolest thing thats gone up for sale in my classifieds section so far, the rare Cayman GT4. The GT4 was one of the other cars I had my eye on before deciding on the Lotus. Check it out in the classifieds section [Here]


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Kuwait MD: Depression

Post by Dr. H

Post by Dr. H – A family medicine resident working in a polyclinic in Kuwait

Its been a while since I’ve posted due to the fact I’ve been on holiday. Now its back to reality and I was thinking about what my next blog post would be, when I saw this patient and realized that it should be on the least discussed ‘taboo’ topic in kuwait – depression.

I see so many patients who are truly suffering with this disease, however with the lack of supportive services in Kuwait, they continue to suffer in silence, told by their families to ‘become more spiritual’ or ‘just snap out of it’.

So first off.. what is depression? Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness, and a loss of interest. There are many other associated symptoms, such as trouble sleeping and loss/gain of appetite. There are many theories on the etiology (cause) of depression, one is biological – So it basically says that there are certain ‘chemicals’ in the brain, and when you have depression, these chemicals are a bit off, so you get symptoms. Its multifactorial, theres a lot of other theories, it’s still poorly understood what causes it.. but the bottom line is that it’s a disease. Yes a disease. Just like asthma is a disease.. ever asked someone to ‘snap’ out of asthma?

So.. back to my patient.. I saw a 30 something year old lady, who has been suffering with lack of sleep, low mood, anhedonia (loss of interest), and has been this way for the past 3 months. She was miserable. It was taking a toll on her work, her marriage, and her kids. She did every medical test out there, most importantly her thyroid (gland that produces hormones, when dysfunctional can mimic depression), all her tests came back normal. So I started discussing depression with her, and the treatment options available. I was met with ‘shno depression? lesh tgolin 3ani maynona’ ‘what depression? why are you calling me crazy?’. She refused to discuss treatment or medication and stormed out. This just highlights a huge issue in Kuwaiti society, the taboo of mental illness.

Depression can be very successfully managed with medications and lifestyle modifications, but mention an antidepressant and 90% of patients will refuse.

You must be thinking.. what about psychiatrists? doesn’t Kuwait have a new mental health centre? A centre dedicated to mental illness? Why not refer patients there? What is their role in improving mental health and increasing awareness?

Here’s a fun little fact.. people who get treated at the Kuwait mental health center wouldn’t be considered for jobs in sensitive positions, such as parliament, certain ministry of interior jobs, army, etc. that does a lot to defeat the taboo right? What a good way to move forward Kuwait! Its one step forward two steps back. On the one hand the ministry of health is improving mental health care, on the other they’re saying if you have a file in the mental health center or problems with your mental health then you’re banned from certain jobs. What kind of image does that project?

I was thinking of ways that mental health can be improved, and ways to increase awareness, and I remembered when I was in med school abroad, we had a student hotline and a suicide hotline. These were 24 hour hotlines that you call, free of charge when you feel suicidal, sad, overwhelmed, or unwell. You would call and there would be someone to hear you on the other end of the line to offer supportive services. I think implementing something like this in Kuwait would be a huge step forward, and easier to set up than changing the politics behind being banned from jobs for following up with a psychiatrist.

We’re a long way away from defeating the taboo of mental health in Kuwait, but I think small changes and an increase in awareness would go a long way. So if you’re reading this, and you notice that you or a friend or relative has been suffering with low mood, loss of interest, change in appetite, trouble sleeping, or anything similar, please go to your polyclinic and discuss it with your family medicine doctor. There are a lot of resources out there, antidepressants can be prescribed by your family physician in the polyclinic, and you can be referred to a more specialized clinic if need be. Please do, thats what we’re here for!

(If anyone has any questions, or is suffering with anything similar please do not hesitate to contact me, I’m more than happy to help)

Post by Dr. H – A family medicine resident working in a polyclinic in Kuwait


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My Datsun’s Final Send-off

Post by Mark

Last September my Datsun was used in a commercial for the groceries delivery brand Baqal. They were doing an old school commercial and my car fit the theme so they paid me to do donuts in an empty sandlot (always fun). Since then I’ve been waiting for the commercial to come out so I could post about it, and it finally did… a week after I sold my car. So I guess it kinda works out as a final farewell to the Z. She will be missed.


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Hello Lotus!

Post by Mark

Those of you who follow me on instagram and twitter probably already figured out that I sold my beloved Datsun last week because I bought a Lotus Exige instead. It wasn’t a planned purchase, it just happened, I guess something like an impulse buy but on a grander scale. Last Saturday I went with a friend to check out a 1972 Chevy C10 pickup truck which I was planning to buy. On our way back I had to drop my friend off at a garage when I came across a used car lot that had a yellow Lotus Exige displayed for sale, the same one I had reviewed nearly a year ago. So I sent the Lotus brand manager a message about it and he told me if I had an itch to drive the Exige again, they had the roof off on their current vehicle and I could come in the next morning and take the car out for a couple of days. Who would say no to that?

The next morning I headed straight to the Lotus dealership and picked up the Exige. A few minutes after driving off in the car, I had a huge smile on my face I remembered why I loved it so much when I took it out last year to review. So when the brand manager messaged me back the next day to confirm I would be dropping the car off in the evening, I told him I had fallen in love with it and this time I wasn’t bringing it back. After a couple of days of negotiating on the price over whatsapp, I went back to the dealership and paid for the car. I’m still unsure if I got a good deal or not since I don’t consider myself a great negotiator (Tip: Do NOT tell the dealer you love the car), but I’ve got the car now with no regrets so thats all that matters.

When I originally wrote my review of the Exige last year, I described it as a car not meant for 99.9% of the people and I still stand by that. I actually spent most of that review complaining about the car. It’s extremely quirky to put it nicely with a lot of odd and unorthodox things about it. But, with all the issues I had with the car when I reviewed it, something about it really attracted me to it. I’ve reviewed a lot of amazing cars for the blog but nothing connected with me the way the Exige did. I love sitting inside the small cozy cockpit, I love the way it looks on the outside, I even love how awkward it is to get in and out of and I definitely love recording videos of my friends trying to get out of the car. If the Exige was a person, it would be an awkward introvert and I think thats why I love it.

There are only 3 Exige’s in Kuwait at the moment, my midnight blue one, a white one and a yellow one so it’s a pretty rare car and I feel special. But, I’m now curious to see what that means to the cost and availability of parts, supposedly service costs is similar to Lexus which is great, but I didn’t ask about the parts since I didn’t want to freak out and change my mind about buying the car. Speaking of parts, there is a pretty active online community of aftermarket parts and I’ve already got my eye on some carbon fiber body panels and other upgrades, but the first thing I want to modify on the car is the license plates. For some reason Alghanim (the dealer) installed square ones on the car but I think the wider rectangular ones would look so much nicer on it. So if anyone knows what the process is for swapping the square plates for the rectangular ones is, please let me know!


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New Restaurant: BARBA.

Post by Mark

Barba is a new place that recently opened up in Shuwaikh by Amr Alrefai, the same guy behind Solo Pizza as well as his wife and brother. I love the space which was a warehouse that was converted into the restaurant so you have really high ceilings and lots of space which they’ve filled up with long communal tables. The concept of the restaurant is also interesting, mostly because of the different things going on throughout the week. To give you an idea of what I’m talking about, this is the current schedule they have:

Monday: Pasta Night with Susanna (walk-in)
Tuesday: Pizza Party (walk-in)
Wednesday: Pizza Party (walk-in)
Thursday: Guest Chefs (booking)
Friday: Smokey Fridays (BBQ)
Saturday: Currently closed but they’ll open for brunch soon
Sunday: Closed for private events

This Thursday for example their guest chef is Faisal AlNashmi, the guy behind Street and Table Otto so should be an interesting menu. This past Friday was BBQ Chicken night and this upcoming Friday supposedly will be filled with lots of grilled meat. So I really like the fact how there is always something taking place.

Currently Barba is in it’s soft launch phase, so their opening hours are from 7PM to 10PM. They’re located in Shuwaikh in the same building as ARABICA and Healthy Feast but in the back (take the side alleyway). Here is the location on [Google Maps] and you can also follow them on instagram @lets.barba


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Woman Held for Filming Maid’s Fall from Window

Post by Mark

By now most of you have probably watched the video of the maid falling from the seventh floor apartment while her employer snapchatted the whole incident instead of trying to help her. If you haven’t watched the video then good, don’t watch it, you don’t need trauma in your life. The good news is that according to Kuwait Times, the woman who filmed the incident is now being held and will be prosecuted:

Police have detained a woman for filming her Ethiopian maid falling from the seventh floor in an apparent suicide attempt without trying to rescue her, media and a rights group said yesterday. The Kuwaiti woman filmed her maid land on a metal awning and survive, then posted the incident on social media. The criminal investigation police referred the employer to the prosecution over failing to help the victim. The Kuwait Society for Human Rights yesterday called on the authorities to investigate the case and refer it to court.

According to attorney Nouf Al-Ruwaih, videoing the incident itself is not a crime, but he said the employer could be charged with negligence and failure to offer help. Investigations are currently ongoing to determine whether the case is a suicide attempt, an accident that happened while the maid was working, or a case of attempted homicide and libel. “The law says that any person who fails to help someone else who poses a grave danger to himself or his possessions will be punished with a maximum three months in jail and/or fine,” Ruwaih said. [Source]

Sadly, the maximum sentence is just three months in jail and I doubt she’ll get that.


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