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Monthly Archives: July 2012

And the First Silver Medal for the Arab World goes to Egypt

Congratulations to Egypt’s Alaa’eddin Abu Al-Qasem, silver medal in Men’s Fencing.

Congratulations

Way to go Champ

Egypt’s first medal for 2012

So far, that makes 2 medals for the Arab World; Qatar’s Nasser Al Attiyah clinched the Bronze medal in shooting.

The Arab World’s First Medal

To Qatar goes the honor of the first medal for the Arab World.

May we see Gold Soon.

 

What has Kuwait Given You?

The blogging community of Kuwait is a very close knit bunch. I still carry a fond memory of a chance meeting from the blogosphere in a bookshop in Kuwait where two bloggers recognized each other.

That being said there is an amazing endeavor being undertaken by a new addition to the Kuwaiti Blogosphere, ImeKuwait (link)!

It is entitled, What Kuwait Gave You, her message is very simple:

Im doing a post on my blog titled ” What Kuwait gave you”. Why am I doing it ? well i just need a little positive streak, a reminder on the good things of life here and a reminder on counting my blessings. It seems a like a good month to do it.

I wanna run a series of posts based on your feedback.

If you could list just 5 things that you have achieved/ got from / as a result of being in Kuwait, I could feature it on my blog.

Also, If you think you might want to share it within your circle of family PLEASE DO! My aim is to get atleast 15- 20 people to do it..but if i can get 30 that’l be just perfect..since that should cover 30 days of Ramadan 🙂

All i need is

– Just 5 straight points / words / lines 🙂

– your occupation

– your age

– your name / alias – I wont disclose this on my blog 😉

So, feel free to send your details her way!

Come on, help a fellow blogger-ette out!

Kuwait News: May soon Cease to be Tax-Free, $496Bn stashed abroad

The News reported these two incidents separately, I had the savvy to put two-&-two together for the Big Picture.

Kuwait may soon cease to be tax-free (according to a report from the IMF – International Monetary Fund [the Rich Bank]) and, after news came out that there is approximately $32 Trillion stored in offshore bank accounts (tax havens) by the world’s wealthy, Kuwait’s share of the pie is $496 Billion, the highest in the Region.

Firstly, the IMF; remember the sexual harassment scandal of their previous head, Dominique Strauss-Kahn (link) and replaced by Christine Lagarde (link)? They are the big bank that bails out countries, but for a price. They get a say in the economic policies governing said “debtors”, until such time the loan is repaid in full.

The IMF informed Kuwait that, at the current rate of government spending, the proverbial well may “dry up” by 2017. Hence, Kuwait needs to impose a tax infrastructure in order to have a safety net of sustainable revenue should this occur (well of course the government is having difficulty! There’s over $496 Billion (i.e. KD 140 Billion) lying in offshore bank accounts!)

For those of you not good with zero’s, here’s a quick looksie at the size of funds we are talking about:

KD 140 Billion.. wow

Here is the link to the above story (careful its in Arabic though).

Which brings us to our next item; the funds hidden abroad. Basically, these are funds moved out by Business Owners (and not the expats repatriated revenues, salaries etc) which should technically be in circulation in Kuwaiti Banks. After all, how do you think banks earn their revenue? Your current balance is not really there, its being invested in a million and one funds to earn revenue for the bank as well as its depositors, when you take that money out and place it elsewhere, the bank loses that income generating ability, savvy?

$496 Billion, tops the region

Here is the (link) the story above, again, in Arabic.

So now we wait.

Passports & CVs ready.

 

Inappropriately dressed Woman causes stir in Makkah – Saudi Arabia

image

In a bizarre incident unprecedented in Saudi Arabia, a woman showed up to perform the holy pilgrimage of Umrah dressed in the traditional garb for men. Men are not allowed to wear anything woven, they suffice with two white sheets, one wrapped around their waist, the other draped over their shoulders. Women can dress as they want, ensuring they cover themselves modestly. The young lady caused quite a stir amongst the people, security forces had to intervene to cover her up. She claims she did not know it was a male only dressing. Question is, didn’t anyone around her know? Family, friends? Ignorance of the law is a valid excuse, in some communities, right?

Parking in Kuwait keeps getting Worse

I’l just put it right here

Yes indeed, it is always great to start the day off with a good laugh.

Although in reality, it is no laughing matter.

Parking has become a serious problem in Kuwait. People have become insolent to the point of arrogance where they just park wherever they wish, with little or no regard for anyone else trying to drive properly or park properly.

I could bore you with pictures of actual moronic parking in Kuwait, but that would be pointless. You need only walk the streets to find examples a plenty.

Take yesterday. There was an alley near my building where people park, serviceable by only one entrance/exit. Whilst going to the mosque at 3am I realized there was a car (a beige Mini-Cooper) parked right smack in the middle of the entrance. At first I thought, its ok, it must be habitual seeker of hookah pleasure who will be gone by the time I get back. Came back and they were still there. Left at 8:00am to go to work, still there, forcing me to have to drive inside a building to get out of the alley. Came back at 3pm, still there. Went down again at 8pm, still there! There were no fewer than 20 cars parked inside that alley, and all had to negotiate rough spots in order to get out because of this one person’s complete and utter disregard for everyone else.

Needless to say my inner blogger only kicked in afterwards, as initially, my inner driver wanted to stick (as in with super glue) a very well worded note to their windshield. Now I realize I should have taken a few choice pictures to name and shame this sorry individual.

Please kindly take note that you are not the only one driving or looking for a parking spot in Kuwait, a little bit of class would go a long way.

Ramadan Kareem.

Travel Tips – Flying Cheaper from Kuwait

Business trips are amazing. You get the joy traveling to new destinations without having to worry about the cost to your personal savings. However, pay attention and you might learn a trick or two on how to avoid a hefty travel bill when flying.

The story begins in Kuwait and ends in Italy.

It’s Amore!

The deal was we had work over in the “Boot Country”, the birthplace of cobbled streets, and as always, our assignments are set to begin with the start of the week, Monday over there. Our last working day is Thursday. The company wanted to send me over on Saturday, but I figured, why not get an extra days vacation from this? And so I went about attempting to get it done.

At first it almost proved impossible. Here is why, the city we were destined (Genova) for doesn’t receive that much international visitors, and as such its airport is hard to reach, only a few airlines offer direct calls there.

My initial plan, albeit quite aloof, was to head over to Genova, leave my bags at the hotel our agent selected for us (paying for one additional night), get on a train to Milan, spend one night there and be back in Genova by the time our work was supposed to start (which was Sunday).

So, we needed to leave Kuwait on Thursday after work, arrive in Genova (hopefully early so as to be able to get a train to Milan and enjoy the day there).

Turkish airlines almost offered a respite, they flew to Genova directly, with little transit time. There was a catch however; their flight time was 7am, which would mean I would miss work on Thursday (no can do, plenty to do that day). And even more unfortunate, they did not travel on Friday.

Looking around the internet for a ticket that could get me to where I wanted to go, I was disheartened upon learning that the only way to get to Genova on Thursday night/ Friday morning was a ticket that with an itinerary as follows:

Kuwait – Lebanon – Paris – Amsterdam – Rome – Genova

The cost? A whopping 580KD, ONE WAY!

No way would the company shelf that much to get me to a place early (The round trip ticket on Turkish Airlines leaving Saturday cost half that). I had to think fast.

And then it came to me. And the tip is right here, try other airports, and rely on TRAINS!

My initial plan was to go to Milan right? Why not touch down in Milan FIRST, that way you save the cost of paying for the hotel night in Genova, plus the ticket from Genova to Milan.

Turning to Google, the train tickets prices and schedules were easily located (a mere 2hr train ride), and then it was just a matter of requesting to go to Milan first.

The end result? A saving on the initial cost of the ticket worth 80KD! (Roundtrip from Kuwait to Genova).

The cost of a one way ticket to Milan, was a surprising 160KD, and only one stop over! And even better, it left Kuwait at 2am, and ended up arriving in Milan at 11am, meaning you have a FULL DAY of sight seeing.

So in the end, everyone got what they wanted; I got my one day vacation in Milan, a respite before the start of work, the company got to save on the cost of my ticket.

You would be surprised, the norm is that a roundtrip ticket is cheaper than booking separate flights. However on this occasion, it was not.

Explore other options.

Let the Games Begin!

Olympics 2012 – London

We are mere seconds away from the Opening Ceremony.

Everyone is glued to their TV sets, hopefully. London has been preparing for this since 2005.

Enjoy!

Update: Egyptian Minister of Foreign Affairs to Investigate Israeli Ad

Yesterday, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsy ordered the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare a report about an Israeli ad that has been decried as “offensive” to the Egyptian president.

(link)

Of all the news articles they could have chosen, to fall to a persons foot?

Word around Jerusalem on the blogosphere is that the ad is made by a separate institution that has nothing to do with Israeli television. According to them the ad is in good taste.

And that is why we continue to have differences in opinion over what is considered “bad form” and “improper”, and what they believe is ok.

Let us see what transpires.

Israeli Ad stirs Controversy in Egypt

In the wake of Egypt’s first free democratic elections and first non-military, elected president Dr. Mohammed Morsy’s victory, the following ad was released on Israeli state television:

The point of controversy is at minute 1:01.

Nothing in advertising is ever subtle or unplanned. This leaves the world asking, what is the meaning of this gesture?

Based on a true Story – Sued for being Ugly

The sad truth is that we live in a completely superficial world that teaches at a young age NOT to judge a book by its cover, however the actual practice is the exact opposite.

Those familiar with internet humor must have seen the following comic strip:

image

 Funny right? Man marries woman under the false pretense that she is beautiful, however upon conception and delivery finds that the child is a pale comparison to his wife’s currents looks, albeit a spot on copy of her previous visage.

It would be funny, in a sick humor sort of way, until such time you discover that this is in fact based on a true story that occurred in China earlier this year.

Here are links to said story (link), (link 2), (link 3).

The truly sad part? He sued her, and WON! So not only is she divorced and ostracized after being publicized as a beauty pretender, but she has to pay HIM money ($120,000 to be exact – roughly KD 34,000)!

It is high time mankind practiced what they preached.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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