Giveaway: Two Platinum Tickets for the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra

Post by Mark

The George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra will be performing over three nights in Kuwait at the end of the month from March 29th to March 31st. Founded in 1868, the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra of Bucharest is one of the oldest musical institutions in Eastern Europe and they’ll be holding their performance at the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre.

I’m collaborating with JACC to giveaway two platinum tickets valued at KD110 for the March 31st performance which will also feature the popular Kuwaiti opera singer Amani Al-Hajji, as well as 15 minutes of Kuwaiti songs performed by the philharmonic orchestra.

If you haven’t been to an orchestra before this is a great opportunity to experience it. All you need to do to enter the draw is leave a comment below mentioning where the event will be taking place. That’s it. I will stop accepting entries in the comments section tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon and then randomly choose one winner and notify them via email.

For more information on the event, click [Here]

Rules: Only one entry per person and please make sure you use a working email since the winner will be contacted by email. If the winner doesn’t respond, another winner will be randomly chosen.

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Best Guac in Kuwait

Post by Mark

If you’re a guacamole fan I think I’ve found the best one in Kuwait. The guac at the new restaurant MANA I think is one of the best I’ve had anywhere and easily the best being served in Kuwait right now. The guacamole is made fresh at your table and even the accompanying chips are really delicious too. Everything else I had on the menu was pretty average so far, but I would keep going back just for the guac (and I did two days in a row).

MANA is located in Argan Square in Salmiya and you can check them out on instagram @explore.mana

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Guest Post: My First Step Towards Independence

Post by Mark

sidewalk accessible to the blind

Last month a blind reader sent me an email, I had changed one of the settings on my blog and it was affecting his ability to read my blog and he was wondering if I could change the settings back. I told him I definitely would but that I also had sooooo many questions! Firstly I was curious to how I could improve the accessibility of my blog even further for my blind readers, and secondly what he was using to read my blog. Turns out he was reading my blog using the iPhone app Newsify, and when on his computer the software called NVDA (NonVisual Desktop Access). For images, he was using this really fascinating application by Microsoft called Seeing AI. The app tries to describe the contents of a picture to a blind person which I think is such a feat I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it before. We got to talking about accessibility in Kuwait vs accessibility in the US where he studied for a short period of time and I thought that might be an interesting subject to post about on the blog. So I asked him if he’d be interested in writing an article about it which he was and he did. It’s a great read so check it out below:


Hi all,

When Mark told me to write an article on here, I was unsure about how I was going to start it. The beginning of most important things is always a challenge, and the beginning of my life was no different. I was born prematurely, and as a result, I was put in an incubator. The oxygen that was provided to me was more than the required amount and, subsequently, I lost my sight. Of course, it was hard on my family in the beginning to raise a blind child. They had to research and improvise new ways to teach me things that they already knew how to teach a sighted individual. I went into school, graduated from high school in 2013, joined university in the same year, and I graduated last semester. I won’t be talking about my life in this article. Instead, I’ll be talking about an experience that I had when I was in university.

Last summer, I had the chance to study a summer course in the US at the University of Missouri in St. Louis (UMSL), on scholarship. Of course, I was afraid in the beginning because I thought that my blindness would be an issue and that it would be an obstacle to my experience in the US. The Dean of Student Affairs at GUST here in Kuwait assured me that everything would be ok. Before going to UMSL, I was contacted by the International Liaison Specialist at UMSL to figure out what they can do for me in order for them to meet my needs as a blind person. I went to the US and my stay there was perfect. Learning how to depend on myself was hard in the beginning yet, it got easier as time went on. Moreover, the group that I traveled with was very helpful as well as the team that was working with us from UMSL.

Doing simple things such as learning how to use the microwave for the first time as well as making instant coffee felt amazing. You could say that for the first time in my life, I felt completely free. I felt like I could depend on myself completely. Thanks to the International Liaison Specialist, I was able to achieve one of my dreams while in the States, which was learning how to use the white cane. She got in contact with the St. Louis Society for the Blind and Visually Impaired and they put me in contact with a guy there who used to come to me twice a week to train me. The professors there were also very helpful, as well as my note taker in class who became a close friend of mine by the end of the trip. I felt like my blindness didn’t matter there. I did things that I didn’t expect myself to do, such as zip lining and fishing. If we compare this experience to my experience in Kuwait, I’d say that in my opinion, GUST compares to UMSL when it comes to providing assistance for people with disabilities. The professors and students that I’ve worked with at GUST were extremely helpful. However, when it comes to other amenities such as navigation, transportation, housing, entertainment, and others, unfortunately, Kuwait is very far behind.

First of all, there are no sidewalks that can assist the blind when walking from one place to another. Moreover, we don’t have people who can teach us orientation and mobility skills. I haven’t even heard of any houses that are accessible for wheelchair users. The education in Alnoor School for the Blind needs improving and we don’t have audio descriptions in cinemas. The list goes on and on. However, I have hope. There are organizations who are trying to advocate for our needs such as Training Gate International and KISR.

In conclusion, I’d like to thank Mark for giving me the opportunity to express myself on here, and I’ll leave you with a question. I believe that in order for us to contribute to the society, the society should change. Instead of viewing us as people with disabilities, why don’t they view us as a normal person like everyone else?

– Ahmad Albahar

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Kuwait 45th Happiest Country

Post by Mark


The 2018 edition of the World Happiness Report was released last week and Kuwait moved down a few spots from 39 to 45. The highest Kuwait has ever been was 31 and that was back in 2012.

Below is a list comparing Kuwait’s ranking to some other countries in the region including the highest ranked and lowest.

1. Finland
20. United Arab Emirates
32. Qatar
33. Saudi Arabia
43. Bahrain
45. Kuwait
156. Burundi

The scoring is based on a number of factors including answers submitted by people who were asked to assess their satisfaction with their current lives on a scale of 0 to 10. For a more detailed explanation as well as the full list of rankings, you can download the World Happiness Report from [Here]

Thanks Haneen!

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Types of Mail and Delivery Places

Post by Mark

If you get snail mail from abroad and you have a tracking number, then you can follow the guide below to figure out where to pick up your mail from.

I had someone mail me a package from the UK (Registered Mail) and the tracking number started with the letter R. It took less than a week to arrive from the UK. Originally I was told it would get delivered to my office but after waiting a few days I decided to go pick it up myself. Because the delivery address was Kuwait City, I dropped by the post office in the city to see if my package was there. When I got to the post office, instead of asking me for the tracking number the guy just asked me which building my package was mailed to and then headed to the section corresponding to my building. There were a few baskets there and he just looked into one and pulled out a package and asked if it was mine. Oddly it was actually addressed to my office but to another workmate. All the packages in that basket were actually for the same guy at my office. When I told him no they weren’t mine, he took my tracking number, went away for a minute and came back, looked in the same basket again and pulled out my package. He told me to take it along with the other packages for the other guy at my office. I was like sure and I signed a few papers and got them.

I asked the post office guy if they deliver those packages and he said yes every couple of days. My guess is its probably more like once a week but nevertheless, I was still impressed that I was able to get a package from the UK using regular mail and have it in a weeks time.

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My Visit to the Museums

Post by Mark

On Friday I passed by the museums with a bunch of friends and I figured I’d share my experience which was overall pretty good, especially considering the number of people who were at the museum on Friday. First though, let me get the negative out of the way.

We got to the museum around 3PM and the traffic to get in was a block long because of the fact you needed to buy tickets before entering the parking lot. Although they have 9 drive-thru ticketing booths, they’re arranged 3 in a row, so only 3 lanes with each lane having 3 booths. If you’re the third car in a lane, you have to wait for the two cars ahead of you to finish buying tickets before you could enter the parking lot which is what slows things down. What was also annoying was that the main gate had two lanes to enter, the people who drove through the gate in the left lane ended up at the first ticketing lane, but the cars who drove in from the right lane had access to the second and third lane of ticket booths. So the cars that drove in through the right lane moved twice as fast as those who entered the gate from left lane. So here is a tip, enter through the right lane!

The ticketing system is the only negative thing I have to say about the museums and I imagine its a short-term issue since the museums just opened. It took us exactly 30 minutes waiting in line to enter the museums’ main gate, buy the tickets and then park the car.

Once inside finding parking was easy since there was plenty. Not only that but when we were leaving around 5:30PM, the museum had closed its main gate because the museum was full, even though there was still plenty of parking. I guess based on the number of tickets they sold, the museums had reached their maximum capacity. And here is the great thing, the museums didn’t feel like they were overcrowded on what probably is going to be recorded as their busiest day ever, the first Friday right after opening. Sure there were some busy areas with tons of kids running around, but there were also plenty of areas that were practically empty as well.

They had live music playing outdoors which felt surreal when combined with the orange sky that date and the beautiful and futuristic lights of the museum. Kinda felt like I was on the set of the film Blade Runner. You can check a couple of vertical videos I shot (sorry they were meant for insta stories) [Here] and [Here].

One thing that caught me off guard was their bookshop located in one of the buildings. They actually had a ton of great books for kids and adults and most of them were from Phaidon which is my favorite publisher. I need to go back again this week and buy some books.

Like I mentioned in my previous posts, the museums are huge and you really need a full day to explore them all properly, and even then you’ll probably miss some stuff. I’ve been there twice so far and I have yet to explore the whole museum properly and there are areas I still haven’t even visited. I really love the place and I can’t wait to go back there again. For ticket prices, opening hours and more information, visit the ASCC website [Here]

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Kuwait Motor Town Opening March 28th

Post by Mark

The Kuwait Motor Town racing circuit will be inaugurated in 10 days on March 28th which means we might be lucky enough to get a couple of open track days before the summer hits. Open track days are when the track is opened to the public to come and race on and they’re usually held in the cooler months of the year.

The KMT website right now has three live cams on the track. Not really live live, more like the camera takes a few photos throughout the day. It’s also archived so you can click rewind and watch the track being constructed overtime which is cool. The website is

Finally, the official instagram account of the track will most likely be @kmtkw but there isn’t anything there at the moment to see.

With JACC, the new museums that just opened and now the race track, Kuwait really managed to up its entertainment game practically overnight. The next big project due to be completed is the new airport and that should be done in two years time. Exciting times!

If anyone can get me access to the track so I can pass by and take some pictures and videos, get in touch with me!

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Things to do in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

All the events seem to be taking place on Saturday this weekend which is perfect since it means you can visit the new museums today and tomorrow!

Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: Faces Places

International RC Aircraft Competition

International RC Aircraft Competition
Alnowair Carnival
Kin’s Vegan Brunch Popup
Turathi at the Sadu House
Game Developers Meetup
Science Experience
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: Loving Vincent

If you’d like to share an event on the blog [Email Me]
For a full list of upcoming events click [Here]

Sometimes events get canceled or have details changed so always double check with the organizers.

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Movies Showing in Kuwait this Weekend

Post by Mark

Tomb Raider
Screenshot from Tomb Raider

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

New This Weekend:
Boonie Bears: A Mystical Winter (6.2)
The Arabian Warrior (9.6)
The Leisure Seeker (6.5) ♦
Tomb Raider (7.3)

Other Movies Showing:
Black Panther (7.2)
Black Water (N/A)
Cold Moon (4.3)
Death Wish (6.4)
Hangman (5.1)
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (6.9) ♦
The Shape of Water (7.6) ♦

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

A Beautiful Planet 3D (7.9)
Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters 3D (7.4)
America Wild: National Parks Adventure (N/A)
Dream Big 3D (7.9)
Extreme Weather 3D (6.6)
Tiny Giants 3D (8.0)
Watermelon Magic 3D (7.4)

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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Inside the Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre Museums

Post by Mark

Yesterday I was invited to the Abdullah Al-Salem Cultural Centre (ASCC) for a conference and tour of all the museums. The event was meant to start at 5PM but I decided to get there half an hour early. When I got arrived I realized I was one of the first people there since the parking lot was fairly empty. So I decided to walk around the museums and explore.

For those of you who asked if the museums had enough parking, they do. There is a decently sized lot on the ground floor and another much larger lot in the basement.

The museum grounds is pretty huge and involves quite a lot of walking. It took me around 30 minutes to walk around outside the museums before I decided to head back to the first building where the conference was going to take place. When I got there I realized people were just starting to show up and that no way the conference was starting on time. So I decided to ditch the event and instead go back to exploring the insides of the museums. That turned out to be the best idea because I ended up having the all the museum just for myself and I have to say, the place is amazing!

There are four museums occupying six main buildings:

– Natural History Museum
– Science & Technology Museum
– Arabic Islamic Science Museum
– Space Museum

I literally was running around trying to capture photos for my instagram before it started getting dark and it took me over an hour and a half to run through the whole museum. I didn’t even stop to read a plaque, interact with an exhibit or walk around every hall properly and it took me that long, so imagine how long it will take you to explore the exhibits fully. I was told you’d need around 6 hours per museum and that doesn’t include attending any of the shows or workshops that are going to be held there frequently.

From all the exhibits I think my favorite might be the Human Body building of the Science & Technolgy Museum. Although I had left it until the end because I thought it was going to be lame, I think it’s probably one of the most fun and interactive areas. For example, they have a 15m running track where you could run and it would calculate your time and then compare it to famous people including record holder Usain Bolt. So you know I’m definitely going to go back in my full sports gear just to try that out. The whole lower section of that building was filled with different sports activities for you to try, interact or play around with. Then upstairs you have one of the visually most colorful and exciting looking exhibits that deals with viruses (pictured below), and there was also a biology lab where they’ll be holding workshops for people of all ages. That’s another thing I really liked about the museums, not only were their exhibits but in each museum, there were also classrooms and spaces to hold workshops.

The most surprising exhibit to me was probably the Ecosystems building under the Natural History Museum. I walked in and was mind blown, they had converted one of the buildings into an indoor rainforest with an active waterfall and water pools. I was not expecting that at all. You could walk around the rainforest from above it or from the ground floor. I started from the top since that’s where I came in from since I was at the dinosaurs exhibit next door, and then headed down. Once I was done on the ground floor I got another surprise, turns out the pools of water I had seen from the top were actually the top of the huge aquarium which was located in the basement. It’s a huge aquarium, I probably larger than the one at the Scientific Center although it wasn’t yet filled with a lot of fish.

I think I’m going to stop here since this post would end up being gigantic if I described every section of the museum. All you really need to know is that this is a legit and proper museum. I don’t know how they were able to build it and put it together in such a short period of time, and I am really impressed. The only negative thing might be in regards to the ticketing system. The museums were originally meant to be free but late into the project they decided to charge a nominal entry fee of KD3 for adults and KD2 for children. Since the building wasn’t built with the idea of ticketing in mind, they installed drive-thru ticket stations at the parking entrance. There are nine ticket stations in the parking area, you drive up to one, purchase tickets for every passenger in the car and then you’re allowed in. I can imagine that causing a lot of traffic to get in, especially in the beginning when people are rushing to see the museums. But, there is a side entrance for drop-offs and pedestrians, so if it does get super busy, I’ll just ride my bicycle down the street to the museum or have a cab drop me off.

If you want to know more about the museum including location, ticket prices, opening hours, you name it, then check out the ASCC website which is really thorough [Here]

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If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
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