Friday, December 30, 2011

Route 66 Kuwait

If you work on Arifjan you will see this sign on your way in. I had to stop and find out where Route 66 would take you... Seems it's a camp named "Route 66"

There's the camp....not much to look at...

Welcome to camp "Route 66"....

Personally, I like indoor plumbing and a comfy bed....Just sayin'

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Women to start getting loans - Govt sanctions KD 45,000

Women to start getting loans - Govt sanctions KD 45,000:

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 26: The government has started implementing women’s housing rights law, sources told Al-Rai daily, adding General Manager of Credit and Savings Bank (CSB) Salah Al-Mudhaf will soon grant a loan worth KD 45,000 to a Kuwaiti woman.

It is for the first time that women are being granted housing loans and informed sources said 3,000 Kuwaiti widows and divorcees will benefit from such loans within the coming period.

It's about time women are recognized especially when the man benefits from divorce. If a couple divorces before they get a house the man can still the house which he applied for before divorcing. If they are married when they get a house then the woman can take half. I know of a lady who divorced after getting a house and has taken half of the house to live in while the ex-husband and his new wife live in the other half.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Kuwait's KFH seals first Canadian real estate investment

Kuwait's KFH seals first Canadian real estate investment - Real Estate -

Kuwait Finance House (KFH) has announced the acquisition of a residential apartment complex in Canada in a deal worth about $32.5m, its first as part of a joint venture agreement.
The purchase of the newly constructed 180 Mill Road Apartments, a 127-unit complex in downtown London, Ontario, is the first property held under KFH's joint venture with Killam Properties.

The investment firm signed the joint venture agreement last year with Killam with the objective of acquiring residential properties in Canada.
Under the agreement, the partners are committed to contribute equity up to C$100m, representing real estate acquisitions of approximately $250m, KFH said in a statement.
Seventy-five percent of the equity comes from KFH and Sigma Real Estate Advisors, its real estate advisor, with Killan providing the other 25 percent, the statement added.
The purchase price of 180 Mill Road was C$33.3m ($32.5m), with KFH/Sigma's ownership interest being C$25m.

KFH said its expected rate of return including fees will be 10-12 percent upon exit.
Construction of the 12 storey apartment building, with two levels of underground parking, and seven adjacent townhouses, was completed during the first quarter of 2011.

Do Kuwaiti citizens get a discount?

TIES Center offers Islamic classes in English

TIES Center is similar to the AWARE center but focuses more on Islam for expats.

TIES Ladies Club offers free English language Islamic classes for boys/girls between the ages of 6 and 10 on Sunday evenings from 5 pm-8pm. Stories from the Quran and Tajweed using short chapters.
For ladies, there are classes every Sunday and Tuesday evening from 5 pm-8pm. Tajweed (the correct way of reciting the Quran) using the short chapters, Tafseer (explanation of the Quran) and the beautiful names of Allah.

Location: Shuhada, area of South Surra
Block 4, street 413, house 67
Phone: 25231015/6 97144138
website: their website is rather complicated, I would suggest contacting by email.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

In memory of Kuwait''s POWs

KUNA : In memory of Kuwait''s POWs - General - 26/12/2011:

December 26, 2011 It is now more than 20 years since the brutal Saddam invasion and occupation of Kuwait and the fate of many of the 600 Kuwaiti and other POWs is still unknown.
The POWs, men, women, children, and elderly, were snatched from Kuwait's streets and homes by the Iraqi forces when they invaded the country on August 2, 1990. All calls and appeals by Kuwait and other states, as well as world organizations, have so far failed to establish their whereabouts or ascertain their fate.
Only 236 remains were found and identified so far.
Since the invasion, the families of the Kuwaiti POWs have been suffering and yearning to lay their loved ones to rest, since they could not be reunited with them.

May they rest in peace.

Anonymous accounts on Twitter to be suspended

KUNA : Anonymous accounts on Twitter to be suspended -- Interior Ministry - General - 26/12/2011:

KUWAIT, Dec 26 (KUNA) -- Interior Ministry announced on Monday that it has asked the Ministry of Communications to suspend all anonymous accounts on the social networking site (Twitter).

The ministry said in a press statement that such measure comes in order to preserve the rights of citizens and residents of people who were used to slander them and their families under fake names, saying that such is a crime punishable by law.
It confirmed that all public have the freedom of expression guaranteed to them by the Constitution as long as those practices are going according to the law, especially with regard to using the (Twitter) site.

It explained that this step comes within the context of the ministry's keenness to preserve community values and respect for the law.

Twitter control!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Nigerian man’s hand amputated for theft in KSA

Saudi Gazette - Nigerian man’s hand amputated for theft:

RIYADH — The right hand of Abdulsamad Ismail Abdullah Hawsawe, a Nigerian national, was amputated here Friday after he was found guilty of the theft of gold, a pistol and a mobile phone and taking part in the theft of a car.

The sentence was carried out as per Shariah law, a Ministry of Interior statement said. The ruling, passed and endorsed by the Criminal Court, Court of Cassation and Supreme Court, was forwarded to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques who endorsed it according to Islamic Shariah law, the statement said.

Hmmmm, if they followed the same law here there would be plenty of one-handed people in Kuwait. Just sayin'

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Special thanks to those who donated to Operation Hope

Yesterday was another volunteer filled day at Operation Hope. It was a surprise when the driver for a sheikha came to the door and gifted Operation Hope with a generous cash donation followed by 2 other donations as well. This will help OH in paying for the blankets and warm winter clothing we got on credit. It's great to see people of the community helping out.

A big thank you for donating, it will help those less fortunate. Remember, if you cannot donate cash you can help out by donating your time and/or used items. We have been sending the majority of donations to the Philippine embassy after hearing about the flood and devastation there.

Our next project is Esther's Attic which will open in January sometime, Inshallah. We are looking for metal racks and hangers to display the clothing for Esther's Attic and maybe donations of left over clothing from sales or last season items. If anyone works for a retail company and can help out with some of these items it would be greatly appreciated.

Mr. Al-Shaya hint hint!

Stay tuned!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Household Furnishing Exhibition-Mishref

The first household furnishing exhibition is being held at the Mishref Fair Grounds in Hall 6. There will be 60 companies selling their goods, 45 local and 15 foreign. It started off on December 21 and will last through January 1, 2012.

Soor Center- Professional Therapy & Assessment

I've written about the mental health situation in Kuwait. I've come across Soor Center while searching for English speaking counselors. Most of the counselors in Kuwait are Arab (of course) and don't speak English and if they do speak the language they have no concept of Western living. My daughter acts up and sometimes and it's good to have a third party for her to speak to. I was recommended by her school to speak with some counselor in Salmiya. She spoke English but was of European nationality, again she had no concept of Western life and didn't even speak to my daughter. It cost me 100 KD for nothing.

What interests me about the Soor Center is one of the founders is Kuwaiti Dr. Naif Al-Mutawa, the creator of THE 99 comics. There are several American and British doctors working there which would make me feel more comfortable. Sometimes you just need a neutral person to talk to who doesn't judge you but listens to all your problems. I know a lot of Arabs think it's taboo to speak to other people about problems but sometimes your mother and father can't help. I haven't visited the center with my daughter yet. If anyone has experience with this center please let me know. for more info

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Doha Beach cleanup with K's PATH Marine Conservation

Another great beach clean up this Saturday, 24th December from 8 am- 11 am. Too bad it's my Operation Hope volunteer day..

Everyone should volunteer for a good cause!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"The All Red" Party

For those out there looking for a party, here's one on December 23 @ 9:30 and it's free!!

Just ignore the spelling mistakes.......

Monday, December 19, 2011

K's Path cleanup results

On December 17th volunteers from K's PATH Marine Conservation program cleaned up Sulaibikhat beach. The results are amazing.

Good job guys!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Nymgo - International Voice Over IP

For all of you who are looking for a cheaper way to call overseas......

Nymgo - International Voice Over IP: The upcoming 2012 Nymgo Re-launch

Thanks to an investment from Intel Capital (USA) and Abraaj Capital (UAE) in 2010 and 2011, respectively, Nymgo has now completely re-developed its networking infrastructure and is accordingly re-launching its product, website and brand with a completely new look and set of functions that pushes the envelope of mass consumer VoIP technology in 2012.

With an established user base around the world and fast-growing multi-national workforce, Nymgo is definitely a start-up that you'll want to pay closer attention soon.

In early 2012, Nymgo will be the first VoIP software company to bring its extreme pricing to international calls on its native iOS and Android apps. for more info and your free trial.......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

K's Path Marine Conservation Clean Up

K's Path Marine Conservation will clean up Sulaibikhat Beach on Saturday, December 17, 2001, from 8 am - 11 am.

To volunteer, email for maps and info.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Epetome Pet Boutique helps out Operation Hope

Epetome Pet Boutique is following in the footsteps of Brown Booteek by donating 1 KD for every 'like' they receive on Facebook. Help out our cause and bring some warmth to the workers who have very little this winter.!/epetome

Thanks to everyone who is helping out Operation Hope. We are 1,500 KD short this year and need everyone to help out with one simple click!

Thank you American Univeral School students and faculty for their generous donation! Magikats Math and English workshop is helping OH by donating every placement test fee of 10 KD to OH. Please contact Magikats at 99687875 for details.

Those who believe and do deeds of righteousness and establish regular prayers
and regular charity will have their reward with their Lord; On them shall be no
fear, nor shall they grieve (2:277)

Princess Car Rental Agency, Mangaf- BEWARE

A lot of people rent cars and are always looking for a bargain. Since I couldn't get financed for a car because I'm American, I had to rent a car. My husband has been dealing with Princess rental agency for many years. The cars are so-so, some smell like an ashtray and others are in fair condition but they rent to almost anyone. I took a Nissan Sunny for 180 KD a month 'gasp'. I had to have one ASAP and that was one of the cheaper cars. It was my husbands decision not mine.

They have a 150 km limit on them and after that you have to pay for mileage. I got into a small fender bender and that's where the drama started. Most rental agencies replace the car while it's in the garage or being serviced, not Princess. They want to charge my husband for the Nissan and charge for the replacement rental car at the same time. The investigator at the police department said that was illegal yet they are still doing it. They also want to charge my husband for the damage knowing damn well they are fully covered by insurance. Just a little FYI for those thinking of renting cars from them. I would have rather paid more money and got a car from Autolease, at least they aren't shady.

My husband took the car to turn in and gave me his mother's jeep (with the check engine light on) and after having it for 4 days the engine died on me yesterday. It might have been cheaper to pay for a second rental car instead of paying for a new engine. Princess nightmare!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Doha, Qatar Trip

I took a trip to Qatar and I thought it was such a clean and beautiful place. I only stayed two days so I didn't get to see much but the mall was so cool. It reminded me of the hotel in Vegas. The gondola ride looked awesome, maybe next time. Women weren't bothered there like they are in Kuwait. There is an ice skating rink in the mall too.

The corniche was really beautiful. I love the compound life Qatar has. You can live in a villa in a compound that has pools, parks and recreation areas. I'm sure it has changed since I last visited. Qatar is growing every day. Great place to visit!

Google photo of the gondola ride through the mall.....
View from my hotel room.....

Dhow rides......

Qatar is on my list of places to visit again...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Government Hospital Drama

My sister had to deal with the government hospital last week because of an emergency and unfortunately no medical insurance. Last Wednesday she had a really bad pain, she thought it was her appendix. She went to the ER of one of the government hospitals (not located in one of the richer areas of Kuwait). During her 8 hours in the ER the doctors tried to find the problem and in the end opted for exploratory surgery. The ER is segregated so the ward was full of women of various nationalities. My sister said the husband of one of the patients busted into the ward to confront the doctor. The women were trying to cover themselves and one lady finally yelled at the guy to get out.

The next day I went to visit her in the maternity ward where they kept her. I was schocked at the condition of the room. Everything in the room was so old and out of date. The beds have 1 blanket, 1 sheet and 1 pillow and that's it. The items are rationed and you can't get anything extra. The curtains had blood stains on them and the walls had graffiti on them. The bathroom was unbelievable and I couldn't imagine having to stay overnight in that place. There was no television, thank goodness for iPhones and internet.

Yesterday my sister came home and told me the horror stories she witnessed during her four days there. One young pregnant Kuwaiti female was admitted because her water was leaking. The doctor told her she would have to stay in the bed for 5 months, the doctor then told her she didn't have to stay in the bed if she got an abortion. After giving the girl pills she began to bleed and no one would help her. She asked my sister for the garbage can and when my sister opened the curtain she saw blood everywhere, she had to step outside because of the smell.

The next day they sent the girl home and when the nurses cleaned the bed there was blood under the mattress, I hope they threw it away. There were three more Kuwaiti women who came and went. Two of them had "extractions." The other girl was given the abortion pill because there was something wrong with her baby. She then started screaming that the fetus was coming out. She looked between her legs and said in Arabic "that's my son". After it was over she asked the nurse not to throw the fetus away as she wanted to bury it.

My sister said they put the body in a bag and tossed it on the bed beside her head as they wheeled her out. My sister said she was traumatized by all the abortions and extractions and the attitudes of the women, no emotion or crying. I'm so glad I have insurance.

Grafitti on the wall...
Manual lift bed.....

Hallway of the maternity ward...

The bathroom of the ward.....


There were only four bathrooms for the whole floor, 2 toilets and 2 holes in the ground. No toilet paper or paper towels, we had to bring those for my sister to use. One bar of soap for everyone to use, not very sterile. There were 3 shower stalls in some nasty looking room, I wouldn't dare touch the floor with my feet.

I must say the hospital is undergoing some upgrades but in the meantime this is what free medical coverage in Kuwait is. The rich people don't see these issues as they can afford to go to private hospitals or travel abroad for their needs. Of course if there is a special case and you have "wasta" you can have medical abroad and the government pays for it. I keep reading about the "cradle to grave" free medical Kuwaiti citizens get, if you use the free medical you may see the grave sooner than you think. Just sayin'

Friday, December 9, 2011

Raising money for Operation Hope

Brown Booteek will donate to Operation Hope:

Lend a hand. Follow us on Twitter @BrownBooteek. Like us on Facebook on our page ( We will donate to 'Operation Hope' KD 1 for each all our followers and supporters of our page to buy warm clothing & blankets for the needy . Lets try to get as much support as we can between now and December 20th. Please contact us at if you would like to know more on how to help 'Operation Hope'.
Please re-post for a good cause:)

Thank you Brown Booteek!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sadu House Winter Fayre Photos

Last weekend was the first Winter Fayre held by Sadu House. It was a gathering of people who make crafts, paintings, photos, soaps and traditional Sadu rugs and weavings. It was a little chilly with the wind but it was a success. With door prizes being given out and so many items to choose from it was amazing.

Operation Hope sold food and refreshments in the dwaniya. We had donuts donated from Dunkin' Donuts, a big thank you guys! We alo had items donated from Magic Chef, an Al-Bustan owned company. Thank you Al-Bustan for the items! I hope more companies can donate goods to charities.
Operation Hope selling food items.
African paintings for Project Mali...

Hand made goods for sell...

My favorite was the Sadu weaver, she was so sweet.....

It was a great event and for those who missed it maybe they will hold it next year.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Recycle construction Waste!

This is my "green" answer to the tire waste problem in Kuwait: Huaraches! When I lived in California we used to head to Tijuana, Mexico and go shopping. I loved the huarache sandals. They weren't too expensive and were hand made using leather and used tires for the sole which hasbeen used since the 1930's. I say bring some huarache makers from TJ and teach some artisans the craft and everyone can enjoy them and save the environment!

Maybe the makers of the traditional n3al can use tires for soles. It would environmentally friendly. Plans to build a big hole in Jahra for the tires seems like a eco nightmare. Does anyone think of recycling construction waste?

According to Arab Times the municipality is planning to dig a 103,000 square meter crater south of Jahra for disposing used tires. It's predicted 60,000-80,000 tires would be buried there per month according to Ahmad Al-Sebeeh, the director general of Kuwait municipality. They may also build a factory, on BOT basis for treating used tires. Come on Kuwait, we can do better than that for the environment!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Grand Mosque tour- AWARE Center

The AWARE Center will have a tour of the Grand Mosque on Dec 17, 2011 @ 9:30 a.m.

For more information contact the AWARE Center:
Telephone: 25335280

Monday, December 5, 2011

Japanese pottery Exhibition

photo courtesy of Japanese learning group- Kuwait

Japanese pottery exhibitiion:

Under the auspices of Secretary General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters Ali Hussain Al-Youha. Embassy of Japan in Kuwait and Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiyyah cordially will open the exhibition ‘Japanese Pottery.’ The rising generation from the traditional kilns today at 7:00 pm at the Americani Cultural Centre, Gulf Road, Kuwait City. The exhibition will continue until Dec 24. For further details contact 25309400 (Cultural Affairs Section).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dubai to Oman road Trip

A few years ago I took a trip to Dubai and from there I went to Oman. The drive was beautiful and a little scary considering it was a two lane highway, one side is a mountain with rocks falling and the other side is the ocean. Once we got through the UAE-Oman border there was a little city, Khasab I think.

The ocean was amazing and the area remained untouched, except for the few resorts. There were still houses made out of mud brick and mountain goats roamed the land. There were fisherman pulling in their daily catch and bedouin women cooking a huge pot of food beside their house. At the hotel I was surprised to find Omani men at the counter and helping with the luggage. But in Oman they have Omanisation in which citizens work in every sector of the country. The Omani women worked in the hotel during the days.

The resort...
My favorite picture of the mountain and the sea...Beautiful sea...

The traditional dagger of Oman...

One of the old houses...


It was an awesome trip!

Friday, December 2, 2011

AFP: UAE gives women right to pass nationality to children

Will other GCC countries follow?

AFP: UAE gives women right to pass nationality to children:

(AFP) – 1 day ago ABU DHABI — The United Arab Emirates announced Wednesday that children of Emirati women married to foreigners could apply for citizenship once they turned 18, moving closer to giving women the same nationality rights as men.

President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahayan decreed that the "children of women citizens married to foreigners should be treated as citizens," WAM state news agency reported.
In the move, the children are to get the "right to apply for citizenship when they reach 18," it added.

Most Arab countries link nationality to blood relation from the father's side, disenfranchising women who face various forms of gender discrimination across the region.

Tunisia had for a long time been the only country that gave men and women equal nationality rights with few other countries responding to continued campaigns for the regulation to be changed.

But in 2005, Algeria amended its nationality law, giving women the right to pass citizenship to their foreign husbands and children.

In 2007, Morocco said the children of Moroccan women will automatically get the nationality, while foreign husbands can demand the citizenship after five years of marriage and residency in the country.

Egypt followed suit giving women the right to pass their citizenship to their children.

In Kuwait if a Kuwaiti woman is married to a foreigner the only way her children can get nationality is if she gets divorced or widowed and that doesn't guarantee anything. With so much red tape the children will probably never get Kuwait nationality. My sister-in-law was married to an Egyptian and has a son and after getting divorced many years ago her son still doesn't have Kuwait nationality. Too much red tape.

My friends father is Egyptian and mother is Kuwaiti and she was divorced but until now they don't have Kuwait nationality and they are in their late 20's. I doubt they will ever see it. It's got to be hard living in Kuwait and have a Kuwaiti family but be recognized as Egyptian. But I guess when someone is in "love" they don't think about the future problems.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sabah Maternity Hospital- Illegitimate baby Unit

I took the day off from work to help the ladies who go to the maternity hospital and check on the women in the illegitimate baby ward. Trying to get to the meeting place was chaotic. Driving to Kuwait City is my worst nightmare. The meeting place was in front of the Philipino Church behind the big church in Kuwait City. My mistake was taking the highway, considering it's been a few years since I've gone that way I never expected complete road closure.

The first ring road was shut down, time to take the side roads, got lost 2 times, finally after 40 minutes I reached the ladies. As we drove to the hospital they were telling me about the women. I'm not supposed to ask the women any questions and it will be a short visit. We arrived to the ward and the social worker, a nice Kuwaiti woman greeted us. The nurse unlocked the door. Inside were 20 beds and no room to walk. About 15 women were inside, 4 of them had their babies. Majority were Philipina ladies, a couple Africans and an Indian lady. Their faces lit up when we walked in. They were showing us their babies. As we brought the few donated items they immediately surrounded us trying to get the clothing.

Unfortunately the only baby clothing were too big for the newborns and there were only 2 baby blankets. I found out the Philipina lady spends 55 KD a month trying to buy toiletries for the women and items for the babies. I felt bad when there wasn't enough to go around. Being from the states I look at the situation differently than locals do. It takes two people to make a baby and they should both be held reponsible.I was told that a while back the women weren't allowed to take their babies back with them once they are deported but that it has changed some and they can take them. The lock on the door was a little surprising but here they are considered criminals and they have court cases going. I think when they go to their embassy they take their babies with them.

One father was Egyptian, another Syrian and a Sri Lankan. I don't condone this practice. But being in this country for the last 8 years has opened my eyes to the way men treat women. I have never seen a place with such sex crazed males as I have seen here. I've been followed, chased and harassed while living here as other females have I'm sure. When I read the newspaper it's full of violence, rapes, stabbing, kidnapping and murder. I hardly see any articles about criminals being sentenced. Most of the time they are aquitted.Some of the women didn't have their babies as the doctors weren't sure of their mental state and they may harm their babies. Some of them may have been raped and some have aborted their babies. This is such a taboo subject that it's pretty much hidden and taken care of on the down low. As a mother I can't help but feel the need to help the less fortunate.

There was nothing to write on so one of the women wrote a poem on a styrofoam cup. It was about a sick bird who saved itself and got better. She then started crying because it was her mother's birthday and all she wanted was to let her family know she was ok. She said she got in that position because she loved someone. I would like to know what happens to the men? Do they go to jail and get deported or is it the woman's fault? Considering this is a male dominated society I would think the blame is put on the woman. Of course I couldn't take any pictures. I'm thinking of setting up a charity for the babies. Regardless of the situation they are humans and they are the next generation. If anyone has any gently used baby clothing for newborns and would like to donate please let me know. They asked for warm baby blankets as the weather is cold now and they don't have anything for them.

My next step is the orphanage and on to the women who raise their kids in the jails. I just wish I had more time!