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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Arab Vs. Western Women

As told by the mannequins, it is all a matter of perception:

image

The battle has crossed over the realm of the flesh

The mannequin on the left is slightly anorexic, whereas the one on the right is obviously well off.

Fashion.. It’s a killer!

Study Proves Some Women Just Can’t Keep a Secret

According to an article published on Al-Arabiya (link), Egyptian women were least likely to contain a secret told to them by anyone, with the longest restraint lasting a whopping 38 hours. 25% of Egyptian women interviewed stressed they could NOT keep a secret.

Psssssssssst….

The study was based on the responses of 500 Egyptian women, age between 18 – 60.

The huge advances in communication, from mobiles to social network, have further strained the ability to keep secrets.

You have been warned.

FINAL Update: Dealing with the Police in Kuwait

The sad truth is; If you are not Kuwaiti, you will jump through a thousand hoops before you can get what you want.

After the last fiasco earlier today involving the inspector over at Khaitan Police Station (mentioned here) the highlight of which was being told by said inspector that my friend required a translator from his SAME nationality to be present, who also spoke Arabic, to translate for the inspector, because apparently English is not an accepted language of communication, followed by his request for a legal representative of the company to be present, someone who has the authority to effect requests on behalf of the company (whether it was a lawyer or manager he did not say), we returned to our office to find such person.

In most cases, this person is a messenger, or mandoub if you will. So again, my friend returned for the FOURTH TIME to the police station, with messenger in tow (I opted out of the final visit), to request a very simple form from the Police Station stating that a laptop was stolen from his car.

Guess what? IT DOESN’T END THERE!

Imagine a redder face with smoke coming out of the ears, that’s me

Apparently the inspector had some few choice words about yours truly, referring to me by my nationality as opposed to any description of my interaction with him, and still, the drama did not end there!

No sir, not even that legal representative will do. In the end, it was understood that Mr. Inspector wishes for one of the heads of the company to visit him PERSONALLY (i.e. not by proxy) to request this report.

So in conclusion, when it comes to dealing with the Police, forget doing anything yourself, find a Kuwaiti friend and bring them along.

Seriously. That was ridiculous.

Update on Stolen Laptops in Kuwait – Police Requests

A very useful guide to reporting a theft in Kuwait.

STRIKE THREE!! YOU’RE OUT!

Two weeks ago my colleague’s laptop was stolen from his car (link).

For two weeks we have been visiting and revisiting the Police station in hopes of not actually catching the culprit, but only to report the incident of the theft which took place.

The case is as follows: the laptop is company property, it is in the custody of its recipient to do with what they please except dispose of it, hence, upon theft, the employee is held responsible until a police “clearance” is received, this clearance is achieved in the form of a report filed informing the proper authorities of the theft.

Sounds simple right?

Wrong.

In total, we have visited the police station 3 times; here is a quick rundown of the conclusions drawn from those visits:

Firstly, dates: the laptop was stolen on Monday, the 13th of August (Garfield was right)

Visit 1:

Tuesday, 14th of August. Walked through the doors, met by officer who informed us to get a letter from the company with details of the laptop serial number, make, and name of employee it was given to (a plain clothed person reiterated the fact that the stolen laptop would NOT be recovered).

Visit 2:

Thursday, 16th of August. With letter in hand, we approached the police officer, he informed us the inspector would be in office in an hour, please come back then (so technically that is 4 visits).

We went, and returned once more, only to be told by the inspector, very abruptly (during Ramadan mind you) who initially refused to listen to us, that we should come back tomorrow (FRIDAY) for the inspector who was in charge on Tuesday. I tried to explain that nothing actually happened on Tuesday, we only came and were informed by an Officer, to which the inspector replies, “was I not clear?

Friend traveled thursday night, returned this week, hence we re-visited the police station AGAIN today.

Visit 3:

 Tuesday, 28th of August. Armed with everything in hand except the kitchen sink, we went back to the police station. Again, the officer’s asked what we wanted and quickly pointed us towards the inspector. Upon knocking and entering, we were surprised to find the SAME inspector from last time.

He remembered us. Again, agitated, he asks why we didn’t come when he asked, whether or not we think they work for us etc. When I smiled to appear non threatening, he asked why am I laughing.

Trying to defuse the tense situation I explained that no theft occurred on Tuesday, nor had we met any inspector on that day, and that his words were the inspector on Tuesday comes on Friday, meet him as it is his “jurisdiction”.

He then asks who I am, and in what capacity I am talking. I told him my friend does not speak Arabic and I am there to translate. He goes, “get me a translator who is INDIAN, so I can take his [my friend’s] statement in his language and ask him questions”.

My friend speaks English and Hindi, I speak English and Arabic, I can serve as an intermediary. Apparently to the law, my friend does not speak English, and neither do I. If your passport reads Indian, hence you speak only Indian, your bilinguability if you will is called into question. Your translator must be a fellow national who speaks the local language and can communicate with you in your language as you are not a bilingual in the eyes of the law.

After informing the inspector that we do not have any employees on hand who are Hindi/Arabic bilingual, he asks us to bring a legal representative from the company, again so he can take statements. Upon inquiring whether this means the person is from the legal department or a messenger, who is authorized to conduct dealings on behalf of the company, he simply reiterates his request and goes back to his paperwork.

Could this legal representative request not have been made during our second visit? No. That would make things simple.

The inspector must be under the impression that employees routinely “fake” theft in order to commandeer laptops from their companies. We are guilty until proven innocent.

By now, the laptop must have gone through a dozen chop-shops. In fact, it is probably halfway across the world back to its original manufacturer.

And so, we wait.

The Best Ready-Made Lemonade in Kuwait

The Summer season is slowly coming to a close, soon we will be engulfed in the bitter cold that makes one shiver and forget these days of heat, only to be reminded of them once more and yearn for the cold embrace yet again.

A surefire way to endure the heat is to help yourself to a glass of lemonade; after all, its what our childhood (& Hollywood) taught us right?

Awwww…

Back in the day lemonade was freshly squeezed and always a treat! As children we always opted for more sweet less sour, hence a good serving (i.e. a tablespoonfull) of sugar was added to the mix, and later, one would tilt the glass at almost 90’s with their tongue sticking out inside waiting for the precious sugar to slowly work its way down the side of the glass and onto our anticipating taste-buds.

Now unfortunately it is much too hot in Kuwait to actually peddle lemonade from a stand, hence, in the absence of such cute providers, one must turn their attention elsewhere to quench their thirst.

Here is where:

image

The familiar sight at all Co-ops & Markets

The fresh juice market of Kuwait is ridiculously overpriced, given the fact that elsewhere one can drink themselves into a diabetic coma for a mere fraction of the price it takes to get one tall, frosty glass of something here, we tend to avoid “fresh” and opt for processed.

The two top contenders for the crown of best lemonade in Kuwait? Al Marai & Nadec.

This is not one of your Pepsi Vs Coca Cola deals. There is a huge difference in tastes between the two:

Al Marai is more Lemon than mint – a favored additive in most drinks, whereas Nadec is more mint than lemon. Much like the Yin-Yang, a balance of sorts needs to be achieved to harmonize the combination and invigorate the taste buds.

The key operative word is: Balance

Whichever one beats the other to a peach drink shall win the Juice Wars of Kuwait (or Passion Fruit)!

The Return of the KCR Half Marathon

Ladies & Gentlemen,

step 1: Mark your calendars!

November 17th, 2012

step 2: Pick your Poison:

10Km or 21Km

Step 3: Head on over to the C-Club, the Nike Store or Extreme Sports & Register

step 4: slap on them running pumps and get ready!

The Return of the KCR Half Marathon

InterNations Recommends MyBloogle for Expats in Kuwait!

It is most endearing to be recognized for your efforts when you least expect it.

When this blog was first started in July of 2011, it was with a simple concept in mind; to cater to the needs of expats, both hopeful and current, in the state of Kuwait.

From offering general information to answering some of the key queries expats have, MyBloogle has flourished in that regard.

A short while ago, our efforts were recognized as we received an email from the good people at InterNations.org (link)

Internations Blog Recommends MyBloogle for Expats

Hi there,

I’m Simona and represent InterNations.org, We are the largest social network catering to expats working and living worldwide. Our international members can interact with each other in a secure online & offline environment about their individual and shared experiences abroad.

Your wonderful blog would make excellent reading for our members. Thus I would like to highlight it in our Recommended Blog in Kuwait section, where we share unique, informative stories like yours with our expat members in Kuwait. Your blog would fit very well in our high-quality selection of blog recommendations.

Your blog would be a good source of firsthand information for our expat members living in Kuwait or the ones planning on moving there. Stories written by actual expat bloggers like you are always more authentic and offer great insights for readers.

We would feature your blog in a prominent part of our content section. We would also very much appreciate it if you could fill out the attached questionnaire. In exchange we’d like to offer you an InterNations link badge for you to embed in your blog if you choose to do so. It honors blogs of outstanding quality, especially those by and for expats.

If you haven’t joined InterNations yet, you are most welcome to become part of our exclusive network by simply clicking on your personal invitation link. You would fit well into our friendly community and could start interacting with our members right away.

I am looking forward to your response and would be happy to welcome you to our global expat community.

Sincerely,

 Simona Jadronova

InterNations GmbH
Schwanthalerstrasse 39
80336 München
Germany

Internations is a grouping of expats in over 300 countries that aims to build stronger bonds between expats and their new locale.

Eleven Kuwaiti’s Amidst 100 Most Powerful Arab Women of 2012

From CEOs to activists, journalists to a child bride from Yemen, the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women of 2012 are a colorful group, with several additions from our very own Desert State of Kuwait.

Eleven Kuwaiti women made the list of 100 Most Powerful Arab Women of 2012, according to Arabian Business, in 8th, 18th, 32nd, 43rd, 51st, 53rd, 56th, 78th, 86th, 91st & 95th place!

For such a small geographical location, Kuwaiti Women represent 11% of the Most Powerful Arab Women of 2012!

CEO of NBK, 8th Most powerful Arab Woman according to Middle East Magazine, Sheikha Al Bahar.

(link)

#18, Sheikha Hessa Bint Saad Abdullah Salem Al Sabah, Chairwoman of the Arab Business Women’s Council.

(link)

#32, Suad Al Humaidi; Arabian Business has estimated her considerable personal wealth at around $3bn.

(link)

#43, Maha Al Ghunaim; chairperson of Global Investment House.

(link)

#51, Maha Hussain, Chairwoman & Managing Director at Petrochemical Industries Company since 2008.

(link)

#53, Dr Fawzieh Al Dorai of Al-Rai TV has been dubbed the Middle East’s answer to talk show host Oprah Winfrey, only with better qualifications.

(link)

#56, Rola Dashti; a Kuwaiti activist advocating democratic reform, gender equality and increased roles for women in public life.

(link)

#78, Riham Fouad Al Ghanim, The vice chairwoman of Kuwait Finance and Investment Company.

(link)

#86, Ghosson Ghassan Al Khalid quickly climbed the corporate ladder of ACICO to become Chief Operating Officer.

(link)

#91, Manar Al Hashash; one of the most prominent information technology entrepreneurs in the Gulf, Owner & Chief Editor of her own IT Magazine, Dot.

(link)

#95, Hosnia Hashim, Deputy Managing Director of Kuwait Oil Company (KOC), one of the ten largest oil companies in the world.

(link)

Recovering Stolen Laptops in Kuwait

A friend of mine recently had his laptop stolen from his car. Given that it was company property (the laptop, not the car) a police report had to be filed.

The greatest loss is not the tangible value of the laptop, rather the intrinsic immeasurable value of the info it contains

I was under the impression that something could come of this; as another friend of mine had told me how she (key word here) had had her laptop stolen as well, and upon filing a report with the police was asked sometime down the line to come and check a “bust” of stolen laptops they had made. Unfortunately hers was not in the batch, but the fact was something was done.

I digress.

I went with my friend to Khaitan Police Station, as that was where the theft took place (in fact right behind the police station of all places! As they say, the close you are to danger, the farther you are from harm I suppose).

At first I informed the officer at the desk of the theft, he went and called another officer. I told him that it was company property under the pretense it would warrant more effort due to the presence of privileged information and confidential info. The officer merely said, go back to your company and get me a letter with the name of the plaintiff, the serial number of the laptop, how long he has had it etc.

Then a dishdasha clad man next to the officer came up and said, what do you expect us to do? It’s gone, we can’t get it, it’s a laptop. It will be sold.

And that is how you recover stolen latops in Kuwait with the help of the Police.

You don’t.

Wasta is now a Job Requirement in Kuwait

All transients in Kuwait are subscribed to some form of headhunter or other for that “perfect opportunity” that can present itself at any moment.

Whilst looking through the daily job postings, the following gem came to light:

image

“Connections” is code for Wasta

Apparently now, you do not need Wasta to get the job, you even need wasta to work the job, as you must have “connections” in the Ministries.

How is the aptitude test for Vitamin W given? Are you required to leave references? Are these references your confidants?

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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