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Monthly Archives: April 2013

How to Celebrate your Birthday

Birthdays are a strange occurrence. They represent a bittersweet moment, a joyous celebration despite the ominous connotations they bring forth with them such as the passing of age and loss of youthfulness.

As of 2002, I celebrated my birthday by smoking a lone cigar; an activity I knew would definitely shorten my life expectancy; however it seemed a good way to celebrate. Starting 2012 however, I decided to do the exact opposite. They say smoke shortens your life expectancy whereas exercise increases it. I chose to exercise.

Last year I turned 26, in celebration I ran 26KM. It was an arduous experiment, my greatest distance to date, 3hrs18mins of constant movement. I decided to add a KM for every year on every birthday.

April 21st I turned 27, this time however, I decided to go all out and run a full marathon of 42.2KM.

My resolve was strengthened by the encouragement of my running group, the Q8FootSoldiers. One member in particular, Adam Ayesh, would remind me every morning of how many days I had left to “The Great 42”.

On D-Day, I was aroused from sleep by the ringing of my lazy alarm, oblivious to the task I had set at hand; persistently filling my ears with annoyance to the point that I was required to make the conscious physical effort to silence it, removing me from the land of dreams completely.

I lay in bed for the next 15 minutes, my body desperately attempting to convince my mind to drift back to sleep, to not put it through the arduous torture of a 42KM that it had never experienced. My body begged and pleaded, and had it not been for my heart stepping in and saying, it shall be done, I would have most likely fallen back to sleep. I forsook the usual morning pick-me-up of coffee as it does terrible things to long distance runners.

Arriving at the starting point, the intersection of the Fahaheel Expressway (Road 30) with the 6th Ring Road in good timing, as the sun was just about rising; I set about finding a parking spot and synchronizing my equipment.

For the journey I had packed 30 dates in packs of 3, placed inside a weight belt that was devoid of any weights, and a lone 330ml water bottle. The dates would provide energy during the run, and as I was not used to drinking water for running 25KM, I rationalized I would only need a small amount by the end. How wrong I was.

At 5:40am, I set out to conquer my quest.

The first few KMs were relaxing. I ran into Adam somewhere in Salwa and he selflessly followed me on his bicycle, making sure to keep the traffic away from me, as well as document the journey on film. Had it not been for Adam, I would not have lasted the distance, as he also replenished my meager water supply which I had severely underestimated given the weather conditions that set in.

The first 10KM was knocked out in 50mins; previously my fastest 10KM was in 45mins, so the law of energy consumption was being followed. At 21.1KM, the halfway point, I was at 1hr42mins, previous record being 1hr35min.

At exactly Souk Sharq, I had to rely on Adam to replenish my water supply. Before reaching the Palace I noticed that the sprinklers were turned on for the sidewalk gardens, and the effect they drew with a myriad of rainbows was intoxicating, mesmerizing me like a siren song, and I ran through the sprinklers, getting a much needed cooling factor.

Past the point of 25KM, my knees began to protest and my shins began to tire. As the music steadily flowed into my aural canals, I persisted to push forward. Adam’s constant motivation was a breath of fresh air as well. As we reached Kuwait city, the KPC building came into view, and the final leg of the journey began.

My legs were screaming at me to stop. The Nike+Running App lady on my iPod urged me to continue.

We reached a traffic light where Adam pointed to a sign and asked me to read it, in English it read “Detour Up Ahead”, but Adam corrected me saying it read “Greatness Up Ahead”.

We arrived at KPC with 7KM to go to complete the 42. The sun was blazing down upon us, sapping our strength through the pores of our skin, relentlessly beating down upon our tired minds but unable to faze our determined spirits. We ran around the garden near KPC, Adam discarding his bike and joining me on foot. When I would falter, he would urge me on.

At long last, the final 200M was joyously received with a sprint after 42KM crossed; there was a little left in the tank for one last hurrah, a dash toward determination, a proclamation that any obstacle no matter how demanding can be overcome with the proper mindset. The final verdict was I had maintained a steady speed of 5mins per KM, 165 strides per minute; Total time: 3hrs30mins.

It was then that another savior from the Q8FootSoldiers came to our rescue; Cristian Craita, one of the first few to run from the northern border of Kuwait to the South, and the coach that guides me. He arrived bearing refreshments, replenishment for lost sugar and fluids, besides the ones that Adam had been carrying on his back for the entire distance.

Our personal goals can be accomplished with the help of friends. Had it not been for both of them, this goal would never have been accomplished.

Afterward, upon receiving a shower of congratulatory comments from the FootSoldiers, and on the day of my birthday, I came to realize just how amazing this group of individuals was, as they bamboozled me into a surprise birthday party with the following centerpiece grabbing the group’s attention:

Q8FootSoldiers Birthday Cake

 

The Q8FootSoldiers are not just a group of friends, they are family.

From 6th Ring to KPC and beyond – A Marathon Video Journey

Birthdays are a strange occurrence. They represent a bittersweet moment, whereby we celebrate most joyously despite the ominous connotations they bring forth with them such as the passing of age and loss of youthfulness.

As of 2002, I celebrated my birthday by smoking a lone cigar, an activity I knew would definitely shorten my life expectancy, however it seemed a good way to take the load off.

Starting 2012 however, I decided to do things differently. How you say? I chose to run.

Last year I turned 26, and in celebration I ran 26KM. It was an arduous experiment, my greatest distance and time, it took me 3Hrs18Mins, and I decided to add a KM for every year, on every birthday.

April 21st I turned 27, this time however, I decided to go all out, why delay running a marathon until I am 42? Why not just do it now?

And so I did.

I completed the Marathon in 3Hrs30Mins, a distance of 42.2KM.

Many thanks to Adam Ayesh, my friend and protector who diligently kept cycling by me to ensure that no car careened towards me, and helped me with my aquatic needs, and provided the much needed moral support to complete this arduous task.

One down, many to go.

Enjoy the video:

PS there shall be a glorious write up to document the event, but for now please enjoy the video.

Kuwait’s Freestyle Football Championship Finale!

Freestyle Football – as if regular football was not difficult enough!

Kuwaits Freestyle Football!

This past Friday Marina Crescent laid witness to a spectacular treat of breath-taking proportion – that of the crowning of Kuwait’s Freestyle Football champion before the eyes of current World Champion Andrew Henderson & Guiness World Record Holder Laura Biondo, who would further add to the evening festivities by smashing her own previous world record in our very own Kuwait!

If a picture paints a thousand words, then get ready for a mouthful!

The evenings opening festivity, a spectacular showing by the champions:

The first semi-final match between Karam & Armand Kourji

Laura smashing her previous Guiness World Record!

Andrew Henderson attempts to smash Guiness World Record:

The finals between Karam & Abdul Wahab Al Outaybi:

An extra 30 seconds on the clock!

And the winner is:

KARAM!

Ladies & Gentlemen – The Poet Kamanha

Talented, articulate, brazen and confident are but a few words that can be used to describe this poet.

The spelling is as the President of the Kuwait Writing Club informed me!

Please listen to this young talent as he recites his poem entitled “Birth”.

Kuwait Writers Club Open Mic Literary Night – The Wonders of Words

image

It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword, that fact was never clearer than yesterday at the Kuwait Writing Club’s Open Mic Literary night at the GUST.  The Cultural Club as well as the Riyadh Writers Club were performing as well (bedecked in red shoes, and women think guy’s do not notice such things)

A picture paints a thousand words, and yet however words fail to describe the soulful satisfaction that was delivered yesterday by the young performers, some of whom were aged 17! And with such talent, the sky is the limit.

Much like a delicate painting or spectacular sunset once captured on film lose a great deal of their zeal, so to would yesterday’s acts if one were to attempt to summarize them in words. No words can do it justice. You had to be there to hear the passion of the performers as the painted their elegant tapestry of vocabulary, selecting from a river of words to form a stream directly aimed at the audiences aural canals.

Much like standing before a famous piece of art, the euphoric effect of the performers words lulled the senses and transported each member of the audience to their own interpretation of what they heard. Some performers were able to recite their pieces verbatim, other’s read it from paper, with equal effect of captivation.

Several performances were worthy of mention, such as the integration of the process of life with the concept of the 7 deadly sins, the scorned lover (several, all women – hell hath no fury!), The poet who captured the essence of the 26 letters of the alphabet being used as a form of expression, a poem to the unborn daughter, the different meanings behind “Ink”. Several received a standing ovation, but most noteworthy were the Al Refai brothers.

Gentlemen, your poetry made me proud to be Muslim, and proud of Islam. I can sing you no greater praise than that.

Get these two a record deal and an music video, Pronto!

Of course, special mention has to go towards Hawr’a Khalfan, the orchestrator behind the event, the Mistress of Ceremonies, many a delightful laugh was shared as a result of her quick wit, and many a laugh I enjoyed at whispering “not yours, not yours” whenever a member of the Riyadh writing club graced the stage!

Words were used to smash stereotypes, words were used to break borders, words were used to change perception.

It is clear that the poetic gene is a fixed asset enjoyed by the femme’s as opposed to the homme’s!

It was an amazing evening and one feels blessed to have had the opportunity to sit before such a talented ensemble of writers.

Understanding @DrBassemYoussef ‘s reference to Nazi’s

Egyptian heart surgeon turned popular TV satirist Dr. Bassem Youssef continues to push the envelope.

E5wan = Nazi

In preparation of advocates of the Muslim Brotherhood taking to the internet and any form of media stupid enough to grant them air time, an explanation of what exactly was referenced by the good Doctor is in order.

E5wan = Nazi II

Dr Bassem Youssef is nothing if not extremely gifted and intelligent. During his show which aired last Friday  April 12th 2013 (beginning of segment can be found here) which lasts for 22mins34secs, the real action started at 16:53:

He goes on to explain how the MB regard themselves as a superior race (ring any bells?) the golden words came when he referred to the video that seeks to maintain the “purity” of the MB lineage.

E5wan = Nazi III

At 17:05 a video of a white haired man telling a story pops up, in it he is speaking of how a woman of decency is seeking to get married, however she is not of the MB faction. He goes on to ask, “what of the one we “made”?” (at 17:16) referencing the women of the MB faction, the “brain washed ones”.

At 17:48 it gets very interesting, where the speaker goes, “if you marry a MB man to a MB woman they will procreate MB children by lineage, so when we start a group/social project with our families, we have created a MB society which exerts itself upon society”.

His exact words are:

MB

 

The Minister of Information goes on live TV to say that he would like nothing better than to hire MB affiliated persons (19:57) and how he would give them preferential treatment in hiring.

At 20:46, a video airs where one of the MB goes on TV to tell a protester that he cannot talk back to the MB as they are his “Superiors” (link).

“Do not resist”

“Resistance is futile”

“Are you insane?”

“Halt!”

“Watch what you say!”

“They are your superiors”

E5wan = Nazi IV

Hail Ekhwan (i.e. MB)

 

 

 

Without lifting a finger, by simply compiling the data and information floating on several other TV channels, the truth has been unearthed, as Egypt now finds itself dealing with the resurfacing of the Nazi Regime, cleverly disguised again as a call to religious piety.

Much like J.K Rowling symbolized Lord Voldemort as Hitler, in that he was not a “pure” wizard but a half-blood, in that he sought to purge the Mudbloods from Wizarding society, in that his close consortium of associates terrorized all those around them, that is what happens now.

In all sense of the words, Hitler stood for Christianity the same exact way that the MB stand for Islam.

E5wan = Nazi V

نراكم بعد الفاصل

So, before one of the bleating sheep take to the internet to call Dr. Bassem Youssef a Nazi supporter, there is your explanation for the presence of the Swastika on his show last Friday.

A warning.

My Date with Destiny – @kitkatarabia Stand Up Comedy

It is only outside our comfort zone that we discover our true potential. By allowing ourselves to be vulnerable in the face of an unknown challenge, we gravitate towards attaining an understanding of who we are and what we are capable of.

Have you ever thought yourself capable of standing before a crowd? Public speaking is peoples greatest fear, it even trumps death on the list of phobias.

I decided to step out of my comfort zone one time a few months ago and try my hand at stand up comedy. I have been making friends laugh for as long as I can remember, whether it was through anecdotes or childish behavior. This was different in that I was standing before strangers for the first time trying to elicit a smile. You can read more on that experience here, as it was published in Bazaar Magazine last month.

After that, I had an itch I could not scratch. Being my first performance there were several things to work on, but the most important discovery of the evening was that people actually, genuinely laughed. I needed to do it again, to get back on that stage and feel that rush once more.

Then a friend told me of this:kitkatcomedybreak

The gist of it is the Arab World was trying to find its comedian, with the help of the judges:

The judges

And I knew I had to try.

Enter some really mediocre skills on Windows Movie Maker, and I managed to snip the most laugh-inducing 3-minutes of my performance.

I waited and waited for a comment to pop up from the judges, and as if waiting for the results of a crucial examination, time seemed to stretch forever. When I did receive a notification that a comment was posted, my heart jumped to my throat, my feet felt like lead, my hands were clammy, I was a mere click away from finding out what established comedians in the business thought of my impromptu performance.

Here is what they had to say:

Ali Al Sayed comment on my video

I appreciated the feedback but felt morose, everybody asks for criticism but is rarely able to accept it in a constructive manner. It was amazing how he applied the sandwich approach of leadership, where you start off with a compliment, followed by a criticism, and then another compliment. It was much appreciated.

The second judge to comment on my video had me elated though:

Tony-abou-jaoudeh comment on my video

Sunday April 14th is the date when the judges make their final decision regarding who will compete at the finals.

Here is my submission:

What do you think?

According to Brock! @HeymanHustle @BrockLesnar @WWE

That awkward moment when you realize that the characters from According to Jim look like another pair:

In an alternate Universe

I made this myself too!

Ghost Restaurants in Kuwait – Tayibat Lebanon

It is a well known fact that light travels faster than sound, therefore you are more likely to see a tree fall in the woods before hearing it.

That is not the case however with a certain restaurant on Tunis St!

Whilst cruising the area in search of a restaurant to dine in, I came across the following well-lit spectacle:

well lit, catchy name, why not?

well lit, catchy name, why not?

As you can see, the outside appearance provides the guise that there is a hustle and bustle within (not only is the sign well lit, also through the black curtains you see spot lights on the ceiling).

Deciding to stop by and see whether their culinary skills were as potent as their advertising, I took a  stroll with the familia towards said center.

Emblazoned around the walls were directions to get to the restaurant as follows:

image

We were getting closer to our goal, and our taste buds were tingling with anticipation as we finally came to what we perceived to be the final plane.

image

However, lo and behold, a sign appears on the door:

image

A quick inspection of the kitchen area accessible via the elevator proved the wording correct – lacking the presence of even the most basic requirements for food preparation and storage.

Going back to our previous fact, although light travels faster than sound, it would seem that in this case the people spoke of the restaurant’s untimely demise prior to the lights turning off.

I would hazard a guess and say that IF the restaurant had failed and was forced to shut down, the cost of removing the signs may have been high, and seeing as how you cannot return those signs to the maker, the restaurant owner decided to let the building owner foot the bill, or the next tenant.

Weird.

I have a Friend

I have a friend, she is so neat

We became friends, before we ever did meet

She is a genius, a real creative mind

Her talent is out of this world,

For she is friendly, generous and Kind

She creates art that I never could

And in seeking compensation, she never would

All she asks is that I write my thoughts out loud

So here is my tribute to you dear Artist

A token of my appreciation in earnest

Thank you for being my Creative Support!

Our latest Artistic Creation!

Our latest Artistic Creation!

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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