Dear #USA; Why September 11, 2016 will be a celebration for Muslims

Dear America,

What’s happenin’? (in tune with Tupac – Letter to the President)

We find ourselves now in the month of April, and as such I feel it is pertinent to give you an early heads up that this year, if all goes according to plan, you will notice Muslims around you celebrating on September 11.

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Customary greetings during Eid

Firstly I need to get something off my chest, the entire world calls it 11-September, so get with the metric and enough of this 9/11 nonsense. Logically, dates follow an ascending order, from smallest to largest, so its days – month – year, like 10s-100s-1000s when we we were learning arithmetic in elementary school. Anyhoo, that is neither here nor there, so I digress.

Yes. This year Muslims will be celebrating Eid Al-Adha, an auspicious religious festival that dates back to the dawn of man, specifically Prophet Ibrahim, or as you call him, Abraham, specifically when he was asked by God to sacrifice his son, Is’haq, or as you call him, Isaac, as a test to his faith.

Sura 37
[37:102] Then when he was old enough to work with him, he said, “My son, I see in a dream that I am slaughtering you, so take a look, what do you see?” He said, “O my father, do what you are commanded to do. You will find me, God willing, patient.”
[37:103] Then when they both submitted and he placed his forehead on the ground.
[37:104] We called him, “O Abraham,
[37:105] you have believed the dream?” Thus, We surely reward the good doers.
[37:106] This was an exacting test.
[37:107] We made a concession for him in place of a great slaughter.
[37:108] And We preserved his history for those who followed.
[37:109] Peace be upon Abraham.
[37:110] We thus reward the good doers.
[37:111] He was one of Our believing servants.

Said concession was a Ram.

The same is mentioned in the Old Testament (here).

And as such, every Eid Al Adha, Muslims around the world partake in sacrificing of animals. Now before you jump up and down screaming PETA, you need to understand that there are certain rules regarding how the sacrifice (which sounds way worse than it really is btw, almost archaic), how the animal must not be harmed prior, how it must not see the blade, how a swift blade has to be used (not serrated) etc. The animal is then distributed amongst the poor. If memory serves, you keep a third, gift a third to friends and relatives, and donate a third to the poor and needy.

As you can see, we’re more alike than you think.

So you might ask, why this year? The Muslim calendar follows the lunar year, which moves back 11 days every year, so the timing of the Holy Month of Ramadan (fasting) moves annually, as do all other religious holidays.

So you might ask, why does it move back? Well, so everyone feels what it is like to fast at different times of the year. I remember when I was in university Ramadan was in September, now it is June. You get to fast in all seasons.

I am no religious scholar, most of what I wrote above was in jest. However, the point is the celebrations are religious, and should not be interpreted in any other way.

If Donald Trump tries to sell it in any other way, know that he is a pompous, arrogant, blowhard full of hot-air.

And if you don’t believe me, ask Google:

@ISNAHQ @YngMuslimAmer @icna @MuslimCouncil @CAIRNational

The dates may change as it depends on Lunar sighting, however, should it not, you’ve been told!

Scaring the Fright Bone – guide to horror movies

It is extremely impossible to find a horror movie that truly reaches out and scares the living daylight out of you.

More often than not, slasher movies have made their unfortunate way into the “horror” genre, completely setting it askew. We are no longer terrorized by ghosts, demons or spirits of the undead, rather a macabre, disturbed individual with a penchant for sharp (or blunt) objects.

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For the past week, we (my wife and I, along with my brother and his wife) have been trying to up the adrenal high of fright night by finding movies that truly send chills down our spines. We only found two winners, and several flops when it came to so-called supernatural horrors.

We’ve come up with a quick guide for getting your scare on:

  1. more often than not, the sequel will butcher the original, regardless of whether its a prequel or a spin-off (case in point – Sinister 2).
  2. never go by ratings! we’ve been stung several times by movies that received such amazing accolades online, however failed to deliver (case in point – The House on Pine Street).
  3. The more a supernatural entity is featured, the less scary it becomes. Ghosts should only be shown sporadically, with dramatic music for maximum fear-age. Giving them more screen time diminishes the scare-factor. (Case in point – Insidious 3).
  4. never go by the description of the film! Several c-list movies, made on budgets, have amazing trailers and stunning descriptions, however they fail. Horrendously. (Insert several titles here).

If you wish to get your scream-game on, we suggest you try the following two titles:

  1. The Conjuring
  2. Grave encounters

The latter is a budget film, however delivers excellent scenes. It really made use of “found footage”, and much like Cannibal Holocaust, appears to be a film within a film, question the very reality in which it exists.

So go on, scream.

No one will hear you.

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Flipping the Bird in Kuwait

More often than not, we’ll find ourselves on the receiving end of a one finger salute, a flipping of the bird, a middle finger…

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When driving back home, I make sure to let any offender know exactly what I think of them (especially on crowded streets) should they have the misfortune of transgressing upon me.

Here however, I keep my windows rolled up and my fingers inside the car, so as to avoid landing on the wrong side of the law should the insultee take offence and attempt to press charges.

Believe it or not, insulting someone whilst driving is a punishable offence. It happened to me today (I refuse to call it Karma) and I did what any warm blooded person would do, I noted the car licence plate number and decided to attempt to press charges.

Went to the closest police station (walking distance) and recounted my terrible ordeal to the police officer, who asked me to wait for the Station Officer, who was not there. So I waited a little while then left, and returned later, adamant to see justice run its course.

The shift had changed and a friendly officer was seated at reception. I recounted my ordeal to him. His first reaction was to find out exactly where it occurred, so as to slide me off to a different police station (jurisdiction) but when I insisted he had it wrong, he told me that I could press charges, then a case would be filed, and I would have to go back and recount what happened, and they’d call the transgressor in for questioning, at which point he could say that it was in fact I who had done that to him!

I asked what he would do if he were in my place, he said if he were not in his uniform, he’d just ignore it and move on.

So I took a page out of his playbook and decided to let this matter go.

A word of warning though the owner of the vehicle with the registration 10-79134

الحياة خيارة، يوم في يدك، ويوم،،،،

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(Do not attempt translation with Google – instead, ask you nearest Arabic speaking friend to explain)

Update: The complete unprofessionalism of @BankBoubyan social media handler

The first law of Customer Service: The customer is ALWAYS right.

However, it would seem the CSR agent in charge of Boubyan Bank’s social media account (on Twitter) was absent the day they taught that class.

Here is an article I wrote 5 years ago regarding CSR at another bank in Kuwait, The Commercial Bank (link) entitled “Customer service, The Commercial Bank of Kuwait has it right!”. So you know I am not specifically targeting Boubyan Bank, I am merely a dissatisfied potential customer voicing my indignation.

How does Boubyan Bank choose to respond?

@KFHgroup @Gulf_bank @warbabank @NBKpage @AltijariCBK

When I tried to respond to that tweet today, I found out it was deleted.

Shame on you for responding on behalf of a corporation with the wherewithal of an infant.

@OoredooKuwait – Tough times, Desperate Measures

Let’s face it, we live in troubled times where everyone from you, your neighbor and your telecom provider are struggling to make ends meet. The financial crisis is showing no sign of turning around any time soon, and quite often this forces us to think outside the box in terms of how to maximize income, hopefully without reconsidering our values.

Ooredoo, or Wataredoo as I like to call it (it will always be Wataniya to me) is not doing so good financially:

ooredoo revenue stream

In an attempt to earn an extra buck (without selling their collective kidneys), they resorted to the oldest trick in the book:

screenshot_2016-04-13-10-35-14.png

Look at the message in 2015, and the same one in 2016. Notice anything different?

Advertising.

Wherever you can.

However you can.

Without incurring extra cost.

Here is an idea; a dynamic screensaver that automatically launches on all idle phones receiving your signal, funneling a subliminal message to “Eat at Joe’s”…

Award for Most racist bank in Kuwait goes to @BankBoubyan

The world of banking is quite fickle; in Kuwait, it is extremely fickle. As an employee, you cannot receive a salary without having a bank account, so everyone is aware of every banks requirements.

As an NBK Customer, I quite enjoy their services, their locations and most importantly their online banking.

That being said I like to live by the advice of Warren Buffett, “Do not spend then save, save then spend”, I do so by having a secondary bank account to which I transfer monthly savings in order to prevent myself (or my wife) from spending them. I usually opt for savings accounts to see a meager return on these savings.

I’ve tried several banks in Kuwait, most notably The Commercial Bank, Gulf Bank and Ahli United Bank.

Never have I ever in my life been told that I need “Branch Manager Permission” to open a savings account, except at Boubyan Bank. Their reasoning? It is only for Kuwaiti’s.

Now this is not my first rodeo, I checked the banks website to find the following:

Not only are they racist but sexist too, Males only?

Granted, their premium account is geared for Kuwaiti’s only. It says so right there in black and white in the conditions. However the page for the savings account simply states the following:

racist bank 2

Do my eyes deceive me or does that clearly read “individuals only” as in not corporations/companies?

When I visited the branch and was informed of this, I thought for sure the employee must be joking, but the serious look on his face made it apparent he’d never laughed a day in his life, and so I gave their customer service a call only to be informed that yes, it is also only for Kuwaitis and that it is up to the Branch Manager to decide.

Think about it. This is a SAVINGS ACCOUNT. They are effectively telling you, your money is no good to us, based on where you come from.

What is the logic behind this? God knows.

Disclaimer: The opinion expressed in this post is the writers own personal opinion and no other. This website does not offer any form of advice to anyone. It is simply a means for the author to write their personal view on their day-to-day dealings. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. mybloogle.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Where to find Kuw-pons in Kuwait

The concept of “coupon cutting” is foreign to Kuwait, however, the practice of obtaining coupons is much easier than you think.

I for one am plagued with the conundrum of – I want to buy, but I don’t want to pay that price. Especially when it comes to food. As a child I always wondered why on earth a pizza costs so much, even though the components are so cheap. Until I understood overhead and cost allocation (much later on in life). When I learnt of Goodwill (not the charity, or the movie, rather the intangible asset) I flipped – we’re being charged extra because a restaurant is famous?!

Well guess what? Coupons are in fact available in Kuwait – and much easier to attain than the manual labor intensive process of coupon cutting! All you need to do is head on over to Sheeel.com and voila! Almost a new deal every day, specifically gastrointestinal!

Now, fair warning – MAKE SURE YOU READ THE TERMS! Some restaurants require advance reservation if you are to use coupons, others do not deliver to all areas of Kuwait, the rest might not have Dine-in facilities. Some restrict the number of coupons you can use per visit.

All-in-all, it is a good way to enjoy a great meal at a fraction of the cost.

What’s not to love?

To the well trained mind…

Google is the answer.

Quite often we are faced with tedious conundrums at work, or in life in general, whether it is academic or professional, inquisitive or gastrointestinal, more often than not, Google is the answer.

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I am quite shocked at people that still call to ask, “how do I do this”, or, “How do I do that”, when the answer can simply be found at the click of a button.

There is no question too stupid for Google to answer, nor is there a wrong question! For even if you mis-word the query, Google will correct it for you, did you mean ….. XYZ?

Google makes my life easier.

Thank you Google.

Inspiration behind this post:

Whilst doing tedious excel work, whereby I had to employ vlookup to get review 14,000+ lines of information, now the object in query is read differently on both sheets, an extra space is added when copying it which makes it unlocatable. I tried to remove all spaces but guess what? They didn’t show up. So I wondered, can vlookup find approximate values? and to my delight, Google said YES!

My workload has been reduced!

How to be in the (k)Now in Kuwait – follow GT

Let’s face it, Kuwait is a small country. To some that is a bonus, to others a curse. It seems pertinent that it would be much simpler to be “in the know” when it comes to what to do for fun around here.

Not the case.

For example, yesterday there was a great event going on at the American University of Kuwait, the comedic antics of the talented George Tarabay (@georgetarabay) were put on display as the opening act for the Famous Angelo Tsaroukas (@bigangcomic), however people were asking, where when how (ok one person asked), when I posted about it on social media. Which got me thinking, is there one go-to place for info on events in Kuwait?

The problem is, we’ve grown so accustomed to being in the 21st century that we’ve neglected the basic form of media; aural.

Yessir, the dynamic duo of comedy were not advertised on the blog scene, 248am and KU2D, it started off on the radio.

And in order to get “in” with the radio crowd, you need to follow @Georgetarabay right now.

And keep it on the down-low.

(Yes the title of this post can be read several ways)

@alqabas and the Arab Media Censorship

We (my wife and I) signed up to Al Qabas newspaper to avail a lucrative discount on other things, despite my love for online media and aversion to printed.

It is that same aversion that assisted in this article. After reading about the horrifying occurrences in Brussels, the following article came out in today’s paper :

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Now, does anything look out of place? Irregular? Edited? To the untrained eye, no, even trained, but my memory reminded me that I’d seen this picture before, but different.

Here is the unedited pic:

103488248-ap_909188368966.530x298.jpg

 

Now, the question becomes why go through the trouble of covering up this old lady’s mid section by filling it in like a tshirt on MS paint, why not simply put it behind squares?

Unnecessary censorship, irrelevant even. I’m positive there are many other pictures depicting this tragedy.

So why?

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August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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