Beautiful Destinations chooses local photographers

Post by Mark


@BeautifulDestinations is an instagram account in which they post beautiful shots taken by instagrammers from around the world. With over a million followers they’re very popular which is why they just launched a Kickstarter campaign to print a hardcover book of the top 100 liked photos from their account in 2013. From the list of photographers who’s work was chosen, eight photographers are based locally including:


If you haven’t checked out the accounts above before you should, theres a ton of talent there. Also if you want to support the Kickstarter campaign and help get the book printed, visit the Beautiful Destinations Kickstarter page [Here]

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Say no to abs

Post by Mark

Too much pressure on men, and unrealistic expectations from women.
I’m pro censorship of abs.

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Khaleejesque: The Power Issue

Post by Mark

The magazine Khaleejesque have released their latest issue for the fourth quarter featuring their list of “The Young & The Powerful” people in the region and yours truly was featured on the list. It’s pretty unreal since the list also features the likes of Abdulmohsen Al-Babtain, the founder of Sidekicks Academy who’s been helping Kuwait dominate in martial arts world championships, Basil Al Salem who created Slider Station, Burger Boutique and Open Flame Kitchen, Fahad Al Butairi who The Washington Post and The National called the Seinfeld of Saudi Arabia, Ahmed Mater the Saudi Arabian artist and founder of Edge of Arabia, Ahmed Shihab-Eldin the Huffington Post journalist and many many more.

The magazine as of this post is still not available online but can be purchased at various locations around Kuwait and the GCC. If you want to know how the cover looks like here’s a picture from their Instagram account. [Link]

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Writing Competition

Post by Fajer Ahmed

As Mark mentioned earlier today there is a writing competition taking place at the Q8BookStore on November 1st as part of Spooky Book Night. The writing competition is for all ages, the rules are simple:

1) Story should be max 500 words (that’s like an A4 page)
2) It should be a horror story
3) The story should be based in Kuwait
4) Email the piece to by 30th October

The writing club (@q8writingclub) will be judging the story, Kuwait Times will publish the piece and the winner will also get a KD30 store credit as well as a Monstariam tshirt.

Post by Fajer Ahmed

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Q8Bookstore Now Open

Post by Fajer Ahmed

Hey everyone, just like Mark promised I am going to talk to you a little bit more about q8books, and just like a lot of you already know most of the books (and shelves) came from the old q8books. My fabulous team made a short video on how the new q8books came together:


If you want the longer version that Mark thinks is boring click [Here]

The bookstore is non-profit, all the interior was done by an awesome team who worked on it for nearly 3 months, we have around 15,000 books made of but not limited to the following genres: science, music, art, hobbies, history & politics, biographies, families, self help & motivation, cooking, travel, foreign languages, business, reference, romance, women’s fiction, thrillers, mystery, suspense, children, young adult, classics, sci-fi.

Location: We are outside Bayt Lothan right next to Marina Mall on the Gulf road [Google Maps]

Timings: 5PM to 9:30PM on weekdays and 10AM to 9PM on weekends

How the bookstore works
The average price of a book is 1-2KD but it goes down to free and up to 5KD. 50% of the price of the book is a deposit the other 50% is a reading charge. When you bring the book back you get the deposit 50% back as STORE CREDIT (not cash).

You can also donate English books to us, or swap them for store credit.

We have been blessed that Bayt Lothan has supported our cause of promoting reading in Kuwait and have given us a very charming place free of charge, and because of that we are able to have policies like;

1) If your in a writing club or reading club, you can meet free of charge at our bookstore,
2) If you’re a local writer feel free to have your books at the store free of charge
3) We have art pieces donated by a lot of supportive local artists, and we are just happy that we are able to really be a community project.

For more info please follow is on instagram and twitter @q8bookstore or call us on 97182730 or email us at

Post by Fajer Ahmed

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Q8Books opening this Sunday

Post by Mark

Q8Books is officially opening its door this coming Sunday. Other than a night full of cultural entertainment featuring artists Daxna, Monstariam, Dr. Foobar and Hamed Al-Refaei, Q8Books will also be introducing their outreach program. The bookstores opening hours will be 2 to 9PM and they’re located at Bayt Lothan (outside to the right of the main entrance). Pass by and follow them on Instagram @q8bookstore

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Q8Books coming back to life

Post by Mark

Back in May I posted that Q8Books, the used books store was closing down. Well since then a lot of things have happened. Q8Books did in fact close down but all the books were purchased by Fajer the lawyer and she’s moved the bookstore into a much larger location in Salmiya. She’s bringing back Q8Books and it’s going to be better than ever. The new location is at Bayt Lothan and it’s around four times the size of the older location.

The bookshop is nearly done and Fajer is planning to relaunch it sometime next week. Once it’s officially open I’ll have her post about it with more details including information on how you can donate books and on the bookstore’s outreach project to support a library in Gambia. For now you can follow them on Instagram to see what they’re up to @q8bookstore

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The original Kuwait Bookshop

Post by Mark

Everyone knows about the Kuwait Bookshop located in the basement of Muthana Complex but not a lot of people know of the one located near the Sheraton roundabout. The Kuwait Bookshop at the Sheraton roundabout is their original location and has been there since the 1960s. I passed by last night with a friend and we ended up picking up a couple of books. Their top floor is full of old stuff and you can even find prints from the 70s just sitting on the shelves untouched and covered in dust. If you’ve never passed by there you should before the building ends up getting demolished. They’re located right on the Sheraton roundabout in Kuwait City to the right of Al Sawan Travels.

Note: The pictures in this post date back to 2010

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Letter Home by Karen Alanizi

Post by Mark

Letter Home is a book written by Karen Alanizi on her experiences during the 1990 Kuwait invasion. Below is the description I got from her website:

The Compelling true story of Karen Alanizi and her Kuwaiti husband during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Based on a letter written to her family in England her story reveals the heart-wrenching emotions, fears and the often amusing and sometimes bizarre side of life during the Iraqi occupation.

She describes the desperation of their separation, and the journeys that eventually re-unite them in England.

As the Gulf War unfolds they fear for their family and friends left behind in Kuwait and wait impatiently for the Liberation of the country that they love so much.

I haven’t read the book but while checking out her website I found some interesting pictures she had taken during and after the invasion. One of my favorites is the one I posted above of the two people in a George Bush and Margaret Thatcher masks. If you’re interested in her book or checking out more photos click [Here]

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Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan

Post by Mark

“Beating the NBA: Tales From a Frugal Fan” is a book by Kuwaiti author Motez Bishara. I thought the subject was very interesting since I purchase most of my concert tickets from “secondary markets” so I emailed Motez and asked him to tell me more about himself and how he came up with the book and this is what he had to say:

I am a Kuwaiti who grew up between New York and Kuwait, before going to university in Boston and grad school in New Orleans. I now reside in London (so I’m kind of all over the shop).

I have been a big fan of the NBA since I was a kid at ASK, where I played high school basketball. Going to Boston University during the end of the Larry Bird era, I had to find ways to buy tickets to see the Celtics on a low budget. From there, I developed a set of guidelines that ordinarily allowed me to gain entry to live events of every nature (theater, rock concerts, etc.) for less than the price printed on the ticket.

About eight years ago websites like StubHub and Craigslist allowed fans to find ‘secondary market’ tickets much easier. Buying off of scalpers on the street was now just one option, instead of the only option, aside from the box office. Conversely, sports teams kept raising their prices to the point where they were not in line with demand. As more and more season ticket holders in the United States started using the likes of StubHub and eBay to sell unwanted tickets, I would often find deals for a fraction of what teams were charging.

[Radio Interview]

As a fan, and conscientious consumer, I was insulted that sports teams — NBA teams in particular — were still clinging to their antiquated model, while it was obvious that their ticket prices were not reflective of the actual market value of those seats. A point I drive home in the book is that fans (and consumers of all goods) should pay no more than the market value of what they are purchasing. And if they can get away with paying less, then all the better. I show people how to do just that.

Beating the NBA: Tales from a Frugal Fan is a collection of stories from my trips around the United States, Canada and London which document how I, along with other fans I met, go about getting good deals. It is sprinkled with anecdotes and interviews from my travels to 31 games.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book its Available on Amazon as paperback [Here]
The Kindle version will be available any day now as well.

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