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Monthly Archives: September 2015

A Very Powerful Message

Remember how before we asked who still watches music videos (link)? This reporter was under the impression that the art of the video clip was long gone; however we are glad to eat our words and say that it is definitely not.

(The story comes full circle but please bear with me as I explain how)

Anyone remember Stromae? A musician that shot to fame with the following song that dominated the radio waves in 2010:

Well, I was sitting at my desk counting down the minutes till home time and checking Facebook when the following video appeared on my feed:

Now firstly, that look @ minute 1:18 @@

I digress. Anyhoo, remember I saw it on FB, so initially I started looking for the actual songs they were singing, couldn’t pinpoint the non-English ones, so I fished through the comments section and luckily, the internet answered and someone was nice enough to post videoclips to all the non-English songs (in case you are wondering, here is the list of all the songs they covered pulled from Youtube)

Freedom – Pharrell Williams
Lean on – Major Lazer
Carmen – Stromae
Hey mama – Nicki Minaj / David Guetta
Gangsta – Bigflo et Oli
Laissez passer – Maitre Gims
Conmigo – Kenji Girac
Bitch better have my money – Rihanna
Uptown Funk – Bruno Mars
Cheerleader – OMI
CoCo – O.T. Genasis

So, one of the songs belonged to our friend from above Stromae, and as I was watching the videoclip, it captivated me; so here it is, with English subtitles, although you do not need words to understand what is going on:

Now I do not recall hearing this song over the radio waves, ergo I am assuming it did not hit well with the English speaking crowd, so I felt the need to post about it so that people can understand the powerful message it conveys.

We are all slaves to the machine. We grow the beast more by delving deeper into social media, refusing to look up at the blue sky above and instead peeking only at the blue bird on our screens, the retro camera, and the blue F.

Upon our demise, the cycle repeats.

Very surreal.

Update: How to apply for the UAE eVisa for GCC Residents

In our previous post (here) we talked about the procedure regarding applying for the UAE eVisa.

We posed a question; which job title did they want – actual or work permit?

The answer came in: Work Permit.

update UAE visa GCC

Parents/Teachers- Teach Your Children about Jaywalking!

Dear Parents, Friends of Parents, Neighbors of Parents, Frenemies of Parents, Friends of Expecting Parents, Planning Parents, Teachers, Friends of Teachers, Neighbors of Teachers etc etc,

Hark! The world is a dangerous place to the unprepared!

As you all well know, Kuwait is suffering from an exacerbating traffic problem – the main cause of this is the aforementioned groups (teachers, parents – mainly schools) however, we are not here to point fingers and place blame, we are here for the children.

Most of the time, you find any traffic jam you are 99.98754% likely to find a school in the vicinity (except main roads like 30, 40 etc). Initially I had thought parents should not be parking their cars, taking their kids by the hand to cross the street or walk towards the school. That is until this morning.

Whilst driving to work I took a shortcut that unfortunately turned to a near-dead end due to an unforeseen school causing a backlog of cars. The road was a two-way street, so the side coming towards me was completely gridlocked. My path was clear past the turn where parents went in towards the school. Miraculously I managed to cut through and go towards the main road (distance: 4 or 5 blocks). As I was driving toward the main road, which was also gridlocked, all of the sudden a little girl and what I assume is her brother DARTED in front of me! Mind you, the cars on my left were not moving, but the lane I was in was OPEN AND EMPTY. These little children, who’s heads were barely over the hood of my car, RAN between the parked cars onto the road they BELIEVED to be clear. They did not stop to look, they just ran across.

They were not Asian

They were not Asian

Luckily, I was able to stop in time, they literally made it out between two cars as the front edge of my car pulled forward.

I ask you; what are parents teaching their children nowadays?! At school I remember reading stories about looking both ways before crossing, at home I remember my parents instilling in me that I have to look both ways before crossing, even on a one-way street.

At first I thought, why are kids rushing to get to school? The bell won’t ring now it was 7:20AM, their parents aren’t late for work (technically, yet) so what on earth would possess this mongrels to just dart across the street like that? Then I figured, even if they are late, and even if their parents are late for work, CAUTION IS KEY!

Parents, Teachers, PLEASE teach children the basics of how to cross the street, as it seems common sense is not so common when dealing with pint sized runts.

Rant off.

How to apply for the UAE eVisa for GCC Residents

Kuwait Residents, it is time to go to Dubai!

Now, as of September 2015, the UAE has enacted a new system for visas – gone are the days of visa on arrival, which I did once, or twice, and back in 2011/2012 and it cost about AED 120 at the time. The process was time consuming and tedious however, with long lines, forms and receipts to drive you mad.

Today, it has become much simpler, however I have been struggling to find out how since early September as there was no website (a far as I knew) I could go to to find the info. If you Google UAE evisa you are given multiple useless, none-state-sponsored websites.

That is until a friend informed me to check the airport website. So without further adieu, I give you the step-by-step process.

Do NOT try their chat assistant! Doesn’t work

On your phone it won’t show much, so you need to view the desktop site (link), and then click a link for the Dubai Dept. of Naturalization & Residency (link).

 

dnrd_logo

 

Here is where it gets tricky – you have to open this on, you guessed it, INTERNET EXPLORER…

images (1)

Why Dubai, WHY?!!!!

Also, it MUST show you the following popup, keep refreshing till you get it:

POPUP

GCC Individual Services

Once you get that, click on it (or try this link).

You will then be transported to this page here:

Capture

As you can see, the above page has a few setbacks in that you are required to enter information in Arabic, maybe it changes depending on your country/nationality, but for all intents and purposes, ya’ll are gonna have to get your Arabic typing skills up to par.

The profession and birth place have to be written in ARABIC – and I am unsure whether they mean your ACTUAL PROFESSION or your PROFESSION AS PER WORK PERMIT. I tried the latter and found it on the list, so it worked. Someone should ask which profession they are looking for though.

Next up comes the fees page, which looks like this:

fees

 

AED 230 is roughly KWD 19.

You can apply for it for a maximum travel upto December from September, meaning it has a 4 month window. As I need to travel in January, i’ll do it in October.

I tried opening the website through Chrome, however it fails to load. Did not try Firefox or Opera/Safari.

And there you have it.

What do Syrians really want?

Since the start of 2011, the Arab World has been thrown into catastrophe as a result of the “Arab Spring”. What started in Tunis as a protest for dignity inspired a chain of events that led to the toppling of governments. But mostly, it resulted in Anarchy.

Libya, Yemen and Syria all followed the Arab Spring steps, all are now left without a semblance of government. War torn countries that have caused the deaths of thousands and the displacement of millions.

Tragedy is not new to these scenes. Victims of all ages have been documented in this conflict. The most recent seems to be the straw which broke the camel’s back as it has resulted in a tumultuous turn of events.

But is it really for the better?

What do the Syrian people really want?

Lets look at the facts:

Since the start of the conflict, many Syrians were forced to flee their homes, uproot from the ancestral grounds, and relocate elsewhere. At the time, they moved to Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. The GCC countries did not accept any refugees, in fact most enacted laws to prevent their entry. But that is another tale for another time.

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Not everyone that relocated to these countries is doing so because they want to. However, it is a way to survive and live, and most of these countries have accepted the Syrian refugees into society. Of course not all are fortunate, some live in squalor whilst others live in luxury. The UN and various other organizations around the world are raising money for the refugees, but that is never going to be enough to guarantee them a life like the one they left behind.

Recently however, the tides in Europe have changed, and the certain EU countries are now accepting refugees. Whereas some would see this as a blessing, I see it as a disaster. I will explain why in two points:

The first point; the most recent tragedy that for all intents and purposes was the trigger for the EU to open its doors – the death of Aylan Kurdi. The tragic story has brought tears to the eyes of millions, which is strange because children have been dying in this conflict since 2011, but non garnered a more critical response that this. The point being, the father of Aylan Kurdi lost both sons and his wife as they tried to make their way from Turkey to Greece to go on to Germany (which stated that they are ready to receive 800,000 refugees, in addition to Austria). The fact they had made it to Turkey, were no longer in the dangerous, war-torn area they once were. Now pardon me for being blunt, but rational thought would dictate you stay put and make a life in the first safe haven you reach. Sadly that was not the case, as everyone is under the guise that Europe is the promised land and they would risk life and limb to get to its shores.

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The second point; we all see the world through the eyes of our profession. As an internal auditor, my view is that everything that is currently being done is SHORT TERM. In the short term yes, it is possible to relocate Syrians from conflict zones to other areas, to give them the basic guarantee of a roof over their head and the promise that they will not wake up to find a barrel bomb has fallen on them, to give them the most basic necessity for life; safety. However, as we stated earlier, you can never give them a life similar to what they had before. Medical students that had not graduated cannot hope to get back into medicine. Doctors that have graduated cannot practice without equivalency. The language barrier alone will hamper thousands from achieving careers similar to what they had.

An Egyptian telecom tycoon offered to buy an island for the refugees. But all the island represents is safety, not a future. Their future is in their home country, and the farther they go, the longer they stay, the less likely they ever are to return.

Do you think for a minute that if the problems in Syria were resolved, that anyone that sought asylum in the EU or the West would return?

Upstream prevention vs. downstream correction. All that is being done now is correction, however the influx of asylum seeks will remain. To put the point in numbers, in 2013 the population of Syria was documented as 22.85 million. 800,000 are being allowed into the EU now, about 4 Million have moved to neighboring countries, that leaves 18.05 Million still in Syria. Where will they go? Who will take them?

Keep in mind that migrants are not only from Syria; they are showing up from all over Africa as well, so take the numbers above and multiply them.

Everyone is ecstatic now about how Germany and Austria are receiving the refugees. I am being a bit more skeptical and wondering how the welcome will be 2, 3, 5, 12 months down the line, when the migrants are settled. The pool of resources available to the UN is not infinite, whereas the waves of asylum seekers will continue to crash upon the shores of all countries where they will be welcomed.

So to answer our own question, what do Syrians want? They don’t want anything, they need their country back. And until that happens, the throngs of asylum seekers will increase; more countries will take them in, from as far as Venezuela to Japan, but in the end, they will keep coming.

The views expressed in this piece are my own, some are based on fact, some are based on perception, we apologize if any are offended.

All about SEX

“Sex Sells”, a phrase used as far back as 1870 and still true to this day.

Yesterday whilst driving around the time of Maghreb Prayer, RKFM had the atha’an and VOA had their special English program, so I switched the channel to BBC Radio. The topic at the time was a website. And what a website it is.

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The “service” is called seeking arrangement, and it is made under the pretense of “mutually beneficial relationships”. It is marked towards 3 main groups – Sugar Daddies, Sugar Mommies and Sugar babies.

The nomenclature itself is disturbing to say the least.

In a perfect world where humanity is not driven by carnal desires, the website offers a mentor/mentee relationship, whereby one party teaches the other party a set of skills they acquired over the course of their experience, what they get in return in the perfect world would be having a protege.

HOWEVER, in today’s world, and based on everything I heard, the latter part of the deal is quite, ambiguous. In essence, the “sugar babies” are online to search for someone to “pay them a monthly allowance in exchange for their time”, to “discuss current events, but not music”, “to take them on trips abroad” or to “finance their enrollment in university/college”. For what? Left open.

According to the sites operators yesterday, THEY ARE NOT SELLING SEX! However, they then go on to say what happens between two consenting adults is their business and they take steps to ensure that the parties are protected. Duality much?

Most of the “sugar babies” interviewed were women, and the majority of them had noble intentions – getting through university without incurring massive debt in the process. However the reality of the situation still remains that all this website is doing is feeding young adults to richer, older persons. It claims that the “sugar babies” dictate the terms of the arrangement i.e. we only meet Saturday nights, do not call or text me every day, take me to the Bahamas over the holidays,,, etc.

We now live in a world that is all about SEX, sex workers  have gone from street corners to the banners on our screens. Every website you open is trying to entice you with pictures of gorgeous women they claim are right around the corner, all you need to do is click, click, click and of course submit your credit card information.

Now take a look at the ad for SA, and tell me its not all about SEX:

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The moniker of the website is “sugar daddy dating”, whereas on the radio they were trying to make it a level playing field saying they catered to all. In essence, it offers a chance for dirty old men to get with little girls, legal paedophilia.

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Its as if the founder read a crappy book about agreements that outline objectives and expectations, that all women were sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the cheesy movie to come out, and decided to make a business venture out of it (don’t ask me how I know this).

Ashley Madison may have been a website for scum, that promoted promiscuity amongst married couples behind their partners back, but at least they were honest about it. They weren’t masquerading as a mentor service for mentors to mentor together. The ramifications of the hack are still being felt across the world, with several people finding themselves in hot waters, some have even gone as far as making the ultimate sacrifice – suicide, as a result of their hidden identity being revealed.

So in a nutshell, you have young women looking for adventure and excitement, and older men looking for company. Lit match, meet powder keg.

Word to the wise Kuwait Instagram sellers

What at first appeared to be the latest in a scheme of “get rich quick” ploys has swiftly turned into a day of reckoning for all who conduct business through Instagram.

Take it from me, licencing an actual company is no walk in the park in Kuwait. You find yourself in a human pinball machine, being shot from one government building to the next. In order to circumvent that, some individuals decided to open up “Insta-businesses”, stores without locations that sell merchandise through Instagram.

Now at first it would appear to be the perfect scenario, the Golden Touch. Buy some things abroad and sell ’em for 4X the value, without having to go through the hassle of licencing an import/export company etc., shelving out thousands of Dinars in capital etc.

However, A LOT OF PEOPLE CUT CORNERS! They buy counterfeit crap and try to pass it off as original, or maybe they did not know any better. One such individual finds themselves in hot waters as the courts of Kuwait have ordered them to pay a female plaintiff the sum of KD1,500 for psychological damages she suffered when she bought a counterfeit purse through Instagram. The woman placed an order for an original purse for KD 500 then later discovered it was a premium counterfeit. (link)

The insta-bubble has popped! HALLELUJAH!

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

September 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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