Sustainable Youth Kuwait Community 5KM Team Run Review

At first people were skeptical, how could this event be free? What was the catch? Are the medals for everyone or just the top 3? Last 3? What is going on here?!

Yesterday marked the first time I ever took part with a group to organize a race, under the banner of Sustainable Youth.

Sustainable Youth is meant to highlight the fact that our own youth is in our hands; by living a life of activity, we can remain forever young. And that is what was most prevalent yesterday; looking around the participants, seeing happy faces, young and old, veteran runners and newbies, all united in their quest to have a great time.

Our goal was simple; the race would not be won by the first person crossing the finish line, rather by the last. For each participant crossing the finish line earned their team points, if teams were unequally distributed in terms of numbers, the age-old mathematical trick of cross-multiplication helped to level the playing field.

#SYQ8 #4forfitness #raiseawareness #Kuwait #healthy #physical #active #sports #Fitness #exercise #foreverfitq8 #freefitness #Running #Mindovermatter #yourhealthmatters #healthyq8 #tiretodaybettertomorrow #buildothersup #4awareness #4teams4health

Team GreenIsMean! 

As an organizer, I was proud of the event we put together on such short notice, we had around 4 weeks from the time our project was approved by En.v to the time we had to implement the event, at that time I had managed to get 50 people to sign up and be interested in the event, of course it was no walk in the park from there.

Registrations, confirmations, cancellations, requested affiliations, suffice to say I lost a few friends along the way, but I ended up making MORE FRIENDS than i’d lost, so all-in-all, it was quite rewarding.

#SYQ8 #4forfitness #raiseawareness #Kuwait #healthy #physical #active #sports #Fitness #exercise #foreverfitq8 #freefitness #Running #Mindovermatter #yourhealthmatters #healthyq8 #tiretodaybettertomorrow #buildothersup #4awareness #4teams4health

The Yellow Sparows! (gentleman in the top right was a last second addition, who drove by after the race had started, got out of his car, asked to be signed up, got back in his car, drove to park it, then ran the race and to the finish line – which is as you recall, THE ORIGINAL STORY BEHIND OUR VIDEO!”

The email we had made for the event had a problem; Google refused to let us send out bulk BCC emails, so I had to rely on my personal email for that, with around 14 different threads and 100 conversations or so.

Participants: We had 112 participants show up, out of a total of 156 we had heard back from. 72% attendance.

Food: in excess.

Giveaways: plenty remained, everyone was accommodated.

On race-day some people showed up that were neither registered or waiting list, we took them in as well.

We recruited the registered runners to help us out behind the table, special mention goes to everyone that stepped up and helped make this event a success.

It has been referred to as the M&M’s run, and the Skittles run. And we love the names!

The first four to cross the finish line, surprisingly, were one from each of the 4 teams! Red finished first, however as we said from the beginning, it was never about who finishes first, but this just goes to prove how equally the teams were distributed!

Now, I must step outside my role as organizer and critique the run I organized, as I have made a reputation of doing:

Cons:

1- Demarcations were not clear

When I arrived at 7:30AM that day, I had one mission in addition to organizing, demarcating the path – I’d printed papers to stick up along the path, to make the race a series of 500M runs. The day was very windy and the papers were quite flimsy. After I got to Salwa Al-Sabah hall and turned around (2KM & 3KM markers) I was putting up the before last marker (4KM, at the Sultan Al Jazeera area) when security showed up. Now security along the path belong to Marina, and we’re hosting the event at the Scientific Center ON Marina’s walking path. So of course they required authorizations, paperwork, approvals etc. Which we did not have from Marina. Fortunately, they let it slide and even gave me a ride for 500M in their electric car.

(props to @thescarletzeaster for being my executive manager and handling all phone calls as I went for a run!)

2- The start line was chaotic

We apologize profusely to Tami590 for her injury, which was as a result of OUR oversight, in that the start line was LONG, and the two poles in the middle were unseen by the people in the back as they began their run, so we sincerely apologize for that oversight.

3- No music

Planning the event on a frugal budget and having our mind focused entirely on the run made us miss entertainment, however we sincerely hope that the antics of @mradamantine made up for it!

4- Finish line banner placed on floor

Runners favorite moment is running through the finish line, however the one we had made was quite heavy, and was presenting a challenge both hold up and run through, so we decided to put it on the ground and have people run over it instead.

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Team Red Rage!

5- Everyone was running back

Initially we had communicated to our participants that only captains and co-captains would run back, however, when we saw that everyone was motivating everyone to run back, and that we had plenty of eyes at the finish line to tell us who had crossed before and who hadn’t to ensure no extra points were given by mistake, we decided to allow the people to motivate everyone!

What was beyond amazing was how everyone rose to the opportunity and motivated their team, not just caps & co-caps.

6- No ambulance

We contacted the MOH, they approved our request, an ambulance WAS supposed to come, however, nothing. We also contacted the MOI and got police approval, as well as the governor of Hawally to gather a crowd together, and yet no police came.

Pro’s:

1- as far as first events go, this was not that bad!

2- we reached out goal of motivating people to motivate others, which was something one of the mentors at En.v was skeptical we would achieve. I remember clearly he kept saying, you are assuming. What he failed to realize however was that in my core, I am a runner, and I KNOW how runners are. We’re the people who are over-eager and always happy to help strangers, we give advice when needed and remain silent when needed. We show support by running shoulder to shoulder with strangers and motivating them to reach their potential.

3- M&M’s and Skittles, the shirts were mutli-colored, the people were as different as you could imagine. Older, younger, faster, slower, smaller, bigger – but it wasn’t in how different we all were, as opposed to reflective we were of each other’s spirit – that of sustainable youth. Running is one sport where you can be as competitive as you want or as friendly as you want, there are two extremely and a million places in between where you can land.

4- Everyone was happy, no one was competitive, everyone was co-operative. Your individual finishing time did not matter, what mattered was your team’s collective finishing points, and guess what? we had points going up to 55 minutes, but EVERYONE was done by about 48 minutes, which is no small feat!

5- the t-shirts came out looking awesome, the logo was awesome, the medals were awesome, the trophies were awesome, the recipients who were captains were flabbergasted (especially our most influential runner who was not even paying attention to the guy on the mic as he sang him praise!).

What happens now?

If you think this is the end, you’re thoroughly mistaken. I saw the amount of fun people had, and save for one individual who had something negative to say about the race, we aim to ensure everyone is this happy again.

Our first time was free as it was completely funded by En.v, we plan to see where we can go from here, knowing full well the pricing of standard races in Kuwait.

The hope now is to find a sponsor willing to put their name on this project and write it off under Corporate Social Responsibility, now comes the difficult part of writing it up and pitching it, so if you know anyone that might be interested, please do send us their details.

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The winner’s and inaugural champions – Les Bleus!

Thank you to everyone that contributed to making this event a success.

Special mention goes to the wives of runners, who prove that behind every great runner there is a great wife that sacrifices and volunteers to help the common goal be reached, we were fortunate to meet two such lovely ladies (3 including my wife).

#SYQ8 #4forfitness #raiseawareness #Kuwait #healthy #physical #active #sports #Fitness #exercise #foreverfitq8 #freefitness #Running #Mindovermatter #yourhealthmatters #healthyq8 #tiretodaybettertomorrow #buildothersup #4awareness #4teams4health

The champions!

Review of the #NorthFaceChallenge 2016 @q8sportsevents @thenorthface @thenorthfacekwt

This past Saturday witnessed the 4th version of The North Face Challenge in Kuwait, organized by Pro-Vision.

(I have postponed writing this review as I have been very heavily involved in organizing my very own first community project, a 5KM team run this saturday morning, so apologies for the delay).

Initially, I was not slated to compete at TNFC, frankly because I feel it is overpriced, and based on the statements of people that took part in the earlier versions, quality has been steadily deteriorating, with give-away’s becoming virtually non-existent.

Map

The trail began as follows; short run uphill (soft sand), small rock climb, run on flat surface for a good distance, DANGEROUS run downhill (rocks), flat lands run till base-camp, run uphill (softer sand), run downhill, run uphill (SOFTEST SAND EVER), climb ladder, run to the side, run downhill (soft sand), back at starting point. Repeat X5.

Here are the pro’s and con’s of the race, as we saw and as we heard from several racers:

1- No medals

It is no secret that runners sole drive for participating in races is bling. The organizer claimed that it is a “challenge”, and the challenge was to complete 5-laps in a desert terrain, equaling around 17KM within a cut-off time of 2hrs30mins.

Now I do not know on which basis they decided to select this cut off time, maybe the organizer had an important breakfast meeting he had to run off to, but the fact remains that after checking the official North Face Challenges website (link), I concluded that the cut off time was too short. Here is how I arrived at that conclusion:

For their Marathons (trail) the cut-off time was 8hrs.

Half-Marathon (trail) cut-off time was 4hrs.

10KM (trail) cut off time was 2hrs.

The average runner would complete those distances in half that time, 4, 2, 1 hour respectively. They allotted double the time. Why? Because TRAILS.

Now the cut-off time given by pro-vision was 2hrs30mins, which even if the race were FLAT GROUND, would require 1hr37minutes to complete, meaning they only gave an extra hour, which still does not take into account that this race was a TRAIL, with several climbs.

2- No recognition

Most people refused to give up, even after they were counted out unceremoniously by the organizer, and pushed and persevered to complete the distance, however, upon arriving at the finish line, the timer had already stopped, and all their efforts were for naught. Not only that, the organizers had begun packing up to leave already, removing their signage etc. A sincere low-blow to people that made the effort to drive out 40 or so KM to the base camp. You were the reason they drove there, you better ensure they all leave intact.

3- Dangerous cliffs

As always, the organizer made a habit of yelling at everyone to keep quiet and to explain the terrain of the race. Not once did he bother to give any tips on running up sand dunes or more importantly, running down cliffs. When I was navigating the first downhill stretch, I was going on instinct, and felt more mountain goat than man:

mountain goat

There was only one volunteer at the top, and a camera man that moved towards the cliff as the race progressed, however there was no medical personnel in the area or any other volunteers that could assist should anyone be unfortunate enough to land incorrectly. What’s more there was a downhill jump that had a piece of metallic wiring for the first lap, obviously knocked over by a runner, which could have caused serious injury.

4- No food

Despite the organizers promising meals to the participants, there was not enough to go around, as by the time some finished, the food was already out. So no medal, and no food. Hey, atleast you could get your fill of water.

5- No Gatorade

In addition, the number one thing you need once you’re done with a TRAIL race in the DESERT is electrolyte replenishment.

Was there adequate gatorade? No. What the organizer was doing however was watering it down and giving each participant the equivalent of a few sips. And by the time the race was done the Gatorade was out.

What did they choose to pack in the “meals”? Gatorade you say? WRONG! Juice – Mango, Cocktail and Apple.

6- Faulty toilets

One of the bathroom stalls in the male bathroom had a door that does not close/lock. ’nuff said. How much does a lock cost? How difficult is it to inspect a door prior to driving out that giant porta-cabin to the desert?

7- Trash left behind

A friend that went out to enjoy the trails yesterday was shocked to discover the mess left behind by the organizers, who did not even have the courtesy to clean up after themselves. Just because it is the middle of nowhere does not alleviate the obligation of environmental awareness.

8- Bottlenecks

The ladder was a terrible idea, a bottleneck that would cause  a pile up as people stopped to catch their breath whilst climbing. There should have been alternatives.

editors note: 9- cut-off time for registration

a dear reader (#4 on the podium – Greg Ziembinski) brought it to our attention that one of the problems he saw with the race was that a lot of people that deserved a chance to run the race were denied because they’d reached capacity. Now, this makes us think, for next time, why don’t the organizers specify a minimum requirement for the challenge, seeing as how they officially came on record and said it is not for everyone, but instead of taking people’s money and not giving them a medal because they did not complete the race, set a condition for people participating, like they must have completed a half-marathon in under two hours etc. Something that people can see, compare to themselves, and then leave registration spots open for those that have earned them.

Just a thought.

Thanks Greg!

Pro’s

1- Super difficult trail

details

The race took me 2hrs6mins to complete, of which 1hr44mins were moving time. I set my watch to autopause, therefore the race required almost 20 minutes of walking time in the sand.

2- Supportive crowd

Everyone was super supportive of their fellow runners, showing the true bonds of this fraternity.

3- Not as sandy as people made you believe

Everyone was going on and on about how the biggest problem was sand in your shoes. Instagram is littered with pictures of people with their shoes over their shoulders, and several people on race-day sat on the sidelines to get sand out of their shoes. Some had fashioned their own anti-sand covers, whilst others went for store-brought. I did neither, and had very little sand in my shoes.

The key is: thick socks.

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As you can see we were not shy about getting our feet ankle deep in dunes

If we had to do this run all over again, we would urge the organizers to plot a course that does not have ALL THE UP/DOWN hills in one area, back-to-back.

Stay tuned as I review my own race next.

Where to find Custom Kuwait February Celebrations Artwork?

Look no further than http://craitza.blogspot.com/

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Cris is an artist that brings a touch of locality to his designs; having been in the region for many years, he is well informed of all the norms and traditions of society in Kuwait, which is relfected in his spectacular artwork.

Have a look and see what he has to offer:

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Once upon a run – a tale of Sustainable Youth

You may have noticed that our blog writing activities had decreased significantly over the past month; the reason being we were involved with a new endeavor – planning our first running event!

You can find out more about the event through our instagram post @sustainableyouthq8, as well as our Facebook page (link).

And now, we even have a promotional video:

As far as first attempts go, we’re quite satisfied with the final product. It is worth mentioning however that the final product that came out was not originally what we had intended, here is what happened along the way:

a. The approval to go ahead with the project came later than expected; a project of this magnitude (140+ runners) requires plenty of planning and follow-up, we were given around 3 weeks to put this thing together.

b. The event is called Sustainable Youth, it is meant to be “how to achieve sustainable youth”, not to empower the youth in Kuwait, not an effort by the youth of Kuwait, but an endeavor to bring sustainable youth to everyone in Kuwait.

The original script of the video called for the character to be walking, reminiscing. All of the sudden, he would see runners coming at him, he is supposed to lean forward as if to fall over, followed by a black screen and the sound of gasps, to signify that he might have been trampled by the runners.

However, the running team, although being requested to appear in two different locations, misunderstood and kept going. We were waiting at the midway point, we would then go to the finishing point to shoot the finale.

Once that happened the original idea was out of the window.

c. We had only one day of shooting, as the running group convenes on a saturday, so we made the most of what we had.

d. The video was being shot in Kuwait and edited abroad, put together, then sent back to Kuwait for review. This was not the first we viewed, we had to work on it again.

The new story is that the old man is telling the world that despite appearing as old, there is still gas left in the tank.

We thank you for your viewing and hope to see you at the event, on February 13th, 8:30AM at the Scientific Center.

How the internet helped preserve my Man-Card

Let’s face it, “man-card” is much more author pleasing than “manhood”, so here is the harrowing tale on how technology helped me save my dignity at the time of chivalry.

It all started one lazy afternoon, I was driving home from work where all of the sudden, I was met with a huge traffic jam. Frequent in Kuwait, so as always, whilst passing by the culprit, a rather bulky Hyundai SUV, I noticed two things:

a) there was a woman driving it

b) she had a flat tire, shredded was more like it.

Noticing her distress, and the fact that no one else was stopping to help her, and that she was alone. I parked a few feet away, removed my suit jacket, rolled up my sleeves and walked towards her, palms out to signal I meant no harm.

She rolls down her window, smiling. I ask if she has a spare tire (trick question) to which she replies, I don’t know.

(Now ladies, all new cards come with spare tires. It is not an option you can select or ignore, it is standard).

So I asked if I could check in the back, I go to the trunk and notice the first thing, the hydraulic system that keeps it up is broken. Crapfest.

Then I see that she does indeed have the tools for fixing a flat, so I rush to tell her that. The back area was bedecked with children’s bicycles (X2), school books and the cover for the back area, which I thought would work well to sit on whilst changing the tire.

So after clearing out the trunk, I lift it up to notice that, it’s an extra seat, and not in fact, a cover for the spare tire. I began to feel distressed, how would I tell this lady that I was wrong, and that there was in fact no spare tire in the car?

For some reason, I decided to inspect the undercarriage, and sure enough, there it was, all bedecked in dust and grime, the spare tire, hanging beneath the car. Of all the STUPID places to put a SPARE tire, the underbelly of the car has to be THE STUPIDEST! It is completely at the mercy of the elements! It can get punctured, torn, violated etc. and you would never know until it was too late.

Now came the conundrum however; how to REMOVE the spare tire.

This was NOT my first spare tire rodeo, I have changed countless tires, mostly for myself, but never was I presented with one beneath the car. I went about my neanderthal-like ways of trying to pull at it, to no avail. Then I consulted the oracle, the oracle known as Google.

Sure enough, there was a very smart way to remove the tire, which knowing now, makes me 10% less mad at the idea of a spare tire on the undercarriage. 5%. 2%. It still sucks.

I went about changing the tire, which was very difficult to do bedecked in shirt and tie, but I did it anyway. All the while the lady was on her phone, smiling.

As I suspected, the spare tire was deflated quite a bit. Not only that, it was MUCH SMALLER THAN THE REGULAR TIRE. The car would definitely drive lopsided. So after it was changed, I told the lady she needs to drive slow, no more than 50KMH, to the nearest tire place. She even helped hold up the back of the car as I started piling her stuff back into the back.

Going the extra mile, I noticed the suspension on which the spare tire was was now dangling like a pair of… from the back. So I tightened the screw to bring them back up, away from the road.

And that is the story of how the internet helped me save my man-card amidst a chivalrous act.

PS If you see a lady with a flat tire, help out. She may not have someone else she can depend on.

PSS If you’re a dude that cannot change a flat tire, hand in your man-card NOW.

#SparkMarathon Review 2016 @q8sportevents

Yesterday marked the inaugural run for Spark Marathon, a new contender on the running calendar of Kuwait.

The event was put on courtesy of the following sponsors:

sponsors

As we’ve done in the past, we’ll breakdown the positives and the negatives of the race – starting with the negatives:

  1. Total Takeover by Total employees: at the starting line, there was a very distinct sea of redcaps bearing the Total logo, despite them not being an official sponsor of any sort. What they did however was plant their employees at the start-line for some shameless self promotion, on the very front of the line, despite 90% of them not being dressed for running! This negatively affected the actual runners in the back who had to maneuver around them, in addition to the fact that they started IN FRONT OF the race line, meaning their bibs and chips didn’t even register. More care should have been given by the organizers to ensure they start the race like everyone else.

12545416_1529553034009260_1512260723_n2. Nonexistent markers: the organizers spent a hefty dime getting the road ready for race-day, with banners for the sponsors everywhere along the coastline. Would it not have been a smart move to also include a small sheet of paper at every KM signalling to runners where they were? There were even truss’s along the way, with no apparent logic to their placement save more advertising space! I was stuck doing mathematics along the way as I switched my GPS watch to Pace; I was a little past KFC and wound up thinking – ok, from Marina to Green Island is 5KM, from Green Island to Towers is another 5 or so KM, I’m almost at the towers which means I’ve done about 9 or so KMs. Too much math for a run! Just put up signs for the love of the road.

3. No giveaways: the biggest giveaway that there would be no giveaways for the runners was the running path, emblazoned with signage all the way from flags along the side to giant cranes carry giant banners advertising a giant sponsor. Runners pay the fees to take part in the race for the giveaways, sponsors pay money to get their name mentioned. What happened at Spark Marathon was a purely commercial stunt whereby the money went to the organizers from both participant and sponsor, and nothing trickled down to the participants in the form of giveaways. Low blow.

4. Cotton t-shirts: it has become a longstanding tradition to expect a dry-fit shirt from the seasoned organizers, however all we got was cotton. I’m sure to change it into lounge-wear-come-pj-top and end up running in my dreams.

5. Gatorade on the run: gatorade replenishes electrolytes, runners need to replenish electrolytes on the run, but they DO NOT NEED A FULL BOTTLE TO DO SO! A major mistake on the part of the organizers was putting all the electrolytes ON THE RUN as opposed to on the finish line! Runners ended up taking a sip or two and tossing it aside, a HUGE waste. The RAK Half-Marathon had plastic cups of two sips or so of gatorade along the run, which is what the organizers should have done.

6. Short distance: the 21.1KM was short by 100Meters. Puts me in a crappy position as I just nailed a new PR but Garmin won’t recognize it because the race was not exactly 21.1.

7. Race village: the race village was completely lack luster this year. Runners were offered pre-made packs of one orange, one banana, one bottle of water, one coconut water and a granola bar. Now, the organizers made the assumption that everyone requires the absolute BARE MINIMUM to recuperate, whether they ran 5, 10, 21 or 42KM.

8. Prize money in Half: now this is what the organizers put as the winning pot for the lucky top 3:

prizes

Now people would believe that that means each first place finisher would get the full amount, as is evident in the photo below:

winners

However, we were told that the prize money was split between #1 Male & Female, meaning they each get half the pot only.  edit: we were told that the prizes was half cash, half cash in kind i.e. flights from Kuwait Airways, dental procedures at Bayan Dental, medical checks at Seef Hospital etc. which is all well if you reside in Kuwait, however if you are not a resident of Kuwait, as the majority of the top winners were, these gifts are useless and infuriated the winners.

Benefits:

  1. Good medals
  2. Great ambiance

For a race that was meant to “kick start a movement that will integrate sport & fitness into the very fabric of society” (link), the only thing that got integrated was our hard earned money into the pockets of the organizers. Here’s hoping that next race is more participant-centric.

As far as personal achievement is concerned, this race proved that the winning formula for long distance runs is short distance speed workouts. Specifically 200M sprint, 200M jog X 10 (i.e. 4KM). With that regiment every other day, and the 30-day-shred on the other day, I was able to shave off 6 minutes from my time in the Gulf Bank Marathon and achieve a new PR of 1hr41mins.

In addition to that I was the designated pace-setter for the 1hr40, although I ended up overshooting it by 1 minute, it serves as a reminder that whatever the mind believes, the body can achieve.

And if you’re looking forward to the next running event, look no further than here.

Instagram – The Selfish Kid on the Social Playground

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Once upon a time, I remember waking up and suddenly finding a flood of “memes” on my Facebook page.

Soon after, all social media seemed to integrate, with overlaps all over the cyberverse. Click a link on Facebook and it transfers you to Twitter, and vice versa. And then there was Instagram.

And people thought it was good. Share pictures, write essays, use hashtags. It was a golden age.

Until we realize that Instagram is a very, very, very selfish app.

Unlike its peers, Instagram, or Insta as the cool kids are calling it these days, does not allow you to embed links, anywhere, except on your profile as “your website”, you try to enter a link in the description or comments on a photo, nothing happens. No blue font, no blue underline, seriously, it’s like someone killed the Smurfs.

Ergo, this leads me to conclude that in terms of a call-to-action app, Insta is thoroughly lacking.

Case-in-point, I am attempting to organize an event for next year, I did my due diligence, gathered data, created a registration survey, people signed up when asked via email or Facebook, however, on Insta, despite several reposts and “likes” on those reposts, nothing materialized in terms of new registrants for the event (free) or even likes on the events FB page.

The most people are willing to do on Insta is double tap the screen, other than that, it’s an instant waste of time.

For more information on our event, please click here

We are a group of socially active global citizens in Kuwait hoping to raise the awareness of the masses to embrace a more active lifestyle, and hopefully inspire them to in turn motivate others to take the “Sustainable Youth Pledge”, a document that will be circulated soon representing a promise from you to yourself to become more physically active, and what better time than at the turn of the New Year, Resolution season?!

This is our project, which will culminate in a never-been-done-before kind of run in Kuwait. The timing of which will hopefully be within the first quarter of 2016.
So sign up to participate in our campaign to raise awareness regarding the link between Mental & Physical health, community integration and fostering of global citizenry. Spaces are limited, sign up now!

To take part, please click here

The All-seeing eye of Facebook

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For the past 4 weeks, I have been spending 4 hours of my Sunday and Monday evenings at a program to encourage active citizenship.

The initial hype of nearly 20+ participants boiled down to 12 (of whom I already knew 3 previously) with 4 ideas to encourage active citizenship.

The topic of this post however lies not with the concept, but… the all seeing eye.

The eye of Facebook to be exact.

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No sooner did I start attending this course, that the people in the course started popping up on my “Suggested Friends” list on Facebook, despite not interacting with them on any social media except,,, Whatsapp…

A dim bulb brightens…

Now do you see Alice, how far down the rabbit hole goes?

Coincidence? I think not.

Teetotal Kuwait – The Least Drinking Nation in the World

In a bizarre article recently published by BBC aptly entitled “Booze Calculator – what is your drinking nationality?” (link), Kuwait surprisingly pulled in at a good LAST PLACE making it the least drunk country in the world – even beating out Strict Saudi Arabia, which came in SECOND LAST!

Here are the statistics that favor Kuwait:

Kuwait drinking

According to survey data published by the WHO, about 1% of men in Kuwait had drunk heavily on at least one occasion in month before the survey, compared with about 0% of women. The global average is 12.3% for men and 2.9% for women.

The researchers also investigate abstention rates: 90% of those surveyed in Kuwait reported that they had not touched a drop of alcohol in the previous 12 months. The global average is 61.7%.

Kuwait drinking graph

How do we compare to neighboring Saudi?

Saudi Drinking

According to survey data published by the WHO, about 0% of men in Saudi Arabia had drunk heavily on at least one occasion in month before the survey, compared with about0% of women. The global average is 12.3% for men and 2.9% for women.

The researchers also investigate abstention rates: 94% of those surveyed in Saudi Arabia reported that they had not touched a drop of alcohol in the previous 12 months. The global average is 61.7%.

This is a delightful turn of events from Kuwait being named as one of the fattest nations on the planet (actually 9th – but Fattest in the Arab States):

Fat

click on table for full list

It is also interesting to note how some stereotypes turn out to be false. For example, the French are not the largest consumers of wine (with some stories purporting that it is even available in McDonald’s with meals), nor are the Russians the largest consumers of Spirits, and the USA are not the largest consumers of beer. See for yourselves:

top 5 drinkers

And there you have it! Although, a quick read of the Arab Times Crimes section shows a remarkable trend of moonshine makers and drunkards, however, compared to the global populace, Kuwait is still way behind in the curve.

Russel Peters NOT coming to Kuwait @vibrantinco @therealrussellp

*At least not officially*

Social media in Kuwait has been abuzz with the news that Russel Peters, the Red, White & Brown star that gives new meaning to self-deprecating, is coming to Kuwait:

Russel Peters In Kuwait

However, being someone who is skeptical by virtue of my profession, and judging by the amendment on the poster above (which quite frankly does seem a tad tacky even if it is meant to be a gesture of comedy), I took to the internet to check the comedian’s official schedule. Lo and behold:

Capture

As you can see, Kuwait is no where to be seen.

A few explanations come to mind, each worse than the next; either that Kuwait has yet to be updated on the official schedule, or that it did not warrant mention on the official tour as it is viewed as a pit stop before UAE.

Now, it seems pertinent to remind people that the organizers are the same as those that promised to bring Black Theama to Kuwait back in June, the event was postponed to August.

Since I got my refund back from the last event, I went ahead and booked tickets for this one as well, but I am not holding my breath.

UPDATE:

since the posting of this post, the website has now been amended to show Kuwait dates.

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