Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fitness First- Sama Mall

Fitness First has opened their Egaila location in Sama Mall. The gyms are located on F2, to the left is the men's gym and to the right is the gym for females. I took a tour of the female gym and it was really nice with updated equipment, lockers, sauna and hair dryers. The only concern I had was the size, it was a little on the small side and the room for classes was full which is one of the workouts I would like to do. I was told that gym was originally set up for men because they are mainly interested in weights and don't need a lot of equipment but at the last minute it was changed.

There is a cafe, area with wifi and personal trainers available to help with the learning process. 

The membership prices for 'Plus Home' range from 146 KD for 3 months to 451 KD for 18 months. The platinum range is from 338 KD for 6 months to 539 KD for 18 months. The minimum age to join is 14 and their is a 'junior home' package for 241 KD as well as a student membership for 399 KD. I have the contact info for the men's gym- Dennis 977277004 and you can visit their website and IG @fitnessfirstme

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

US citizen gets death Sentence

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 26: The Criminal Court presided by judge Mohammad Al-Mutairi has sentenced a US citizen to capital punishment for smuggling cocaine into Kuwait for the purpose of trafficking, reports Al- Jarida daily.

The convict is expected to appeal the verdict which may be upheld or commuted to life imprisonment. In Kuwait death penalty is carried out by hanging.

----These people will never learn until they get caught, FYI, no one wants to get lost on the Kuwaiti central jail system! No will ever find you once you enter that place and there are some scary things that go down there and no one is watching.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Kuwaiti auto insurance after an Accident

My friend was involved in an accident the other day which did significant damage to the truck as you can see. On the highway there are 2 designated lanes for turning left and 4 other lanes to go straight. Normal human beings would know the rules and follow them but this is Kuwait. The truck was in the first lane heading straight when the female driver in his right lane decided to turn left, right into the truck. Luckily the truck didn't hit the solid light post or it would have been totaled.

Second step of course is the dreaded police station visit, if you can find the correct police station as a small border will determine where you go. The investigator established the woman was at fault and she has full coverage insurance. Simple, right? Wrong! After heading to the insurance company my friend was told that because they don't have full coverage they will only cover 25% of the cost which was over 2000 KD! The make of the truck meant scrap parts are hard to find and are almost the same as new ones.

In the end my friend had to come out of pocket to fix the vehicle and they might see some money after 4 months!!! What a joke! The same accident happened to me, the guy turned left in front of me instead of using the turn lanes, investigator said it was his fault, he was like 'take me to court.' He had a scratch where as the whole right side of my vehicle is crushed. In the end the cheap insurance you pay for is useless just like the grey insurance card you pay for when you get your residency.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

26,000 more single laborers to come to Mahboula

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 14: The number of workers needed for the environmental fuel project is about 26,000 and around 1,000 employees of various nationalities have been arriving weekly for this purpose, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources from Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC).

Sources affirmed 65 percent of the project has been accomplished and 80 percent is expected to be done by the end of the current fiscal year on March 31, 2017.

Sources disclosed the labor force for the environmental fuel project has solved part of the problem related to empty buildings and apartments for three years in Fintas, Mahboula and Mangaf.

Sources said the contractors prefer these areas due to their proximity to the project sites while recent reports mentioned that 60 percent of residential buildings and apartments in these areas have been empty for three years so the rental fees reduced significantly.

Sources added the target number of workers as per previous plans is 50,000 at the peak of the project, although the contractors will present their plans next month to determine whether they will execute the work with this number of labor force or reduce it.

Sources confirmed the workers involved in the project solved about 30 percent of the problem faced by the residential real estate business in the aforementioned three areas, although several residential buildings are still empty.

Talking about the empty residential buildings in Hawally, Salmiya and Farwaniya; sources pointed out the buildings in these areas do not attract contractors because they are far from the project sites. Sources explained the role of KNPC is to open a labor file at the concerned government body, indicating other functions such as hiring workers and housing them are under the jurisdiction of subcontract.

--------I know the owners of these buildings want money but Mahboula is already home to hundreds of thousands of bachelor laborers who wander the streets in their futas and eyeball any woman they see. I moved to Mahboula and due to the fact I have daughters and never felt comfortable being stared at by these guys I had to move ASAP. It really isn't fair to families who can't afford rent in other areas to have deal with this increase. There is no where else to go and as far as safety goes, it is scary to go out and be approached by a group of 20 guys walking toward you.

I've watched the cops come to the area and put up their check points while the building next to mine that housed bachelors had around 150 guys hiding in there until the police left. The door opened up and they took off running! The area is full of prostitutes and people wanted by law, it's turning into another Jleeb shuyoukh. No more going to the beach during the weekend, especially on Fridays as it is swamped with bachelors, they run across the the road staring you down as you try to avoid hitting them. Let KNPC house them in Ahmadi, build your own buildings to keep them close instead of forcing them upon families who have no where else to go!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Only in Kuwait

 I should stick to work-home-work routine, if I go out I always find trouble and this incident was something that would only happen in Kuwait. Last night, after being outside all day I was on my way to drop off my friends. We happen to see a police care being towed so I wanted a picture of it. We pulled up next to it to take a picture only to have the police officer who was sitting in the car look over, at first he had a smile because we were laughing that there was an actual cop chilling in the cop car while it was being towed.

When he saw the phone he angrily got out of the car and came to my window demanding my license and registration and telling me 'delete the picture'. Seriously? Someone's ego was crushed to take it that far. So he tells the tow truck driver to stop and turns on the lights in his car that was on the back of the tow truck. He orders me to pull over in front of the tow truck. After five minutes of trying to find a reason to give me a ticket he comes back to my car. He has his ticket book out so I asked him what is the ticket for? Because you have no seat belt! Really? That's all you could come up with? I am all legal but you just want to give me a ticket because your ego was crushed? He was like you can't take my picture, I asked him if it is illegal to take a picture of a cop car? We weren't taking a picture of you! He said it is illegal to take a picture because of the number on the car bla, bla, bla.

As a non-arab expat who does not read Arabic I don't think it's fair that we have to sign something legal when we don't know what it says! It could say I murdered someone and I would sign it not knowing. I did refuse to sign one time because I told the cop I don't trust what you write, he got really pissed off and wrote 2 more offenses on it. I have work so I wasn't going to push this guy any further although I don't agree with signing something in Arabic.
As we waited at the round-a-bout he passed us up, yes, he did get back into the car being towed and as he passed, smoking a cigarette on his phone we couldn't help but laugh so hard we cried. This is an FYI that, yes, you can get pulled over by a cop sitting in a cop car being towed while smoking a cigarette on his phone. 
 I will be donating money to the MOI fund in support of buying more stickers for their cars.
I heard they get cash prizes when they turn in a filled up ticket book. They could use the MOI funds to balance the deficit. The days of seeing the police parked on the side of the road playing cards and drinking tea are a memory now. They are in full force this holiday week, I see 3 or more people pulled over everyday when I drive home. Be careful out there!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Price gouging going On?

Is price gouging going on since the increase in gas prices? My supervisor came to us with a story about his fuel not lasting as long as it used to. He filled up and took his regular trip to the base and noticed that the fuel was not lasting as long as it used to. Has anyone else encountered this problem?

NBK signature Nazis

I understand security within the banks, I appreciate it immensely. The annoying thing about NBK is their signature obsession. The first time it happened was a few years ago, I signed the documents and then she looked at it, looked back to her computer screen and told me, sorry this doesn't match please try again. I tried again, same thing, sorry it doesn't match. Are you serious? You have my civil ID, my phone number and a signature that is about as close as anyone can get. I told her the more you ask me to sign the worse it will get as I tend to sign according to my mood.

After five times she decided to use my signature as a new one in the system. A few days ago on base the same thing happened. I signed the document, she looked at it, back to the screen. Can you sign again, please? I signed again, then the manager came over, can you sign again? Third time worked but I feel like they're calling me a liar or something, who else has faced this?

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beshtakhta Kuwaiti Restaurant

While waiting for the movie to start we walked around Fanar Mall where I came across this cute little Kuwaiti restaurant named Beshtakhta, which is the Kuwaiti word for gramophone. There has been a keen interest in Kuwaiti food these days. 

The restaurant is located upstairs above Starbucks, you can find more info on their IG @beshtakhta_kw/25722085 and on Talabat as well.

Monday, September 5, 2016

DNA testing- fraudsters are starting to Run!

Some citizens avoiding DNA tests selling houses cheaply – MoI believes 250,000 Kuwaitis won’t take the tests

KUWAIT: Well-informed real estate sources have observed an unusual spike in real estate sales in Jahra, Ahmadi and Farwaniya governorates over the past three months. The sources deduced that the reason behind such sales might be the owners’ fears of being forced to undergo mandatory DNA tests to get the new electronic passports. They added that many of them will not undergo the test in order to avoid being exposed that they obtained Kuwaiti citizenship through forgery and by providing false data.

Moreover, the sources said that many owners in these three governorates are offering their houses for sale for much less than their actual prices. “It is as if they want to get rid of the houses as soon as possible,” added the sources, noting that these owners fear they would be exposed and want to leave Kuwait immediately. The sources also noted that the interior ministry expects that over 250,000 Kuwaitis will not undergo DNA tests, although the ministry has warned citizens that they will not get the new electronic passports unless they do so, and that those who fail to do so will also lose their citizenships, jobs, housing and all other privileges citizens get.

The government passed the DNA testing law in July 2015. The DNA samples – obtained from saliva or blood – will be stored in a lab at the General Department of Criminal Evidence in Dajeej. The bill was passed with national security in mind, a senior official told Kuwait Times earlier this year. Expats and visitors to Kuwait will also have to provide DNA samples to the government.

A recent report by Al-Shahed daily quoted security sources as saying that Kuwait’s population suddenly saw a sharp increase after the liberation of the state in Feb 1991, as a result of which demand for marriage and housing loans increased. Authorities believe many people got Kuwaiti citizenship fraudulently in an organized manner during this period, taking advantage of the chaos, resulting in the Kuwaiti population rising from a mere 650,000 before the invasion to 1,300,000 at present.

By A Saleh

----One would think they would have started this 15 years ago before they were running out of money and the population was much smaller, they would have better control over it. They should take their homes and give to the people who have been waiting for years to get their house!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Secret marriages in Kuwait

Shush…. The ongoing practice of secret marriages in Kuwait

Anyone born into a typical Muslim family cannot avoid the central place that marriage occupies within the concept of a good Muslim lifestyle. Popular Muslim culture invests marriage with such religious significance, that it is often described as comprising “half of all religion”. On the other hand, getting married nowadays is not easy, thanks to countless social and economic obstacles, including extortionate dowries, costly wedding extravaganzas and lack of housing.

Marriages held in secret are frowned upon in Islam, and some types of such unions may even be considered haram, despite being prevalent in conservative Arab societies where premarital or extramarital sex is taboo. It is not uncommon, however, in Kuwait for men to take a second wife without permission from his first or from marrying ‘temporarily’ for other reasons.

People have different motives for entering into this category of marriage. Defenders of such marriages claim that it allows women who might otherwise be unable to enter into a full-fledged marriage, or perhaps don’t want to contend with the demands of a full-fledged marriage, to pursue their personal interests within a recognizably Islamic framework. They concede that the practice is not ideal, but don’t condemn it as sinful.

Kuwait Times spoke to some women who are married secretly, and therefore preferred to remain anonymous. For a 32-year-old divorced Saudi woman, marriage is all about getting a stable life for her son. “Being a single mother is not easy. With the high school fees, rising rents and low salaries, my son and I could hardly survive,” she said. She explained that the Saudi community kept hounding her after her divorce, especially since her ex-husband is her cousin.

Moreover he only gives KD 50 monthly for their son. “After I got fired from my job, I had no income. I went crazy, as I didn’t want to lose my child. So I went to an Awqaf-run charity, where a man there helped me. After a couple of months, he asked me to marry him as his second wife, but in secret. Neither he nor me want our families or his first wife to know about it,” she told Kuwait Times.

She said with tears that she was steeped in debt, had no job, no money for school fees and no new shoes for her son. “I had to marry him. He is a good, rich man, and was kind to me, so I agreed to marry him in secret.” After getting married by a licensed sheikh but with no contract in court, her life changed for the better. “I now have a decent job at the Ministry of Awqaf, a big apartment for me and my son, and I even have a maid, so no more doing the chores,” she said with a smile.

Urfi Marriage
One type of secret marriages is “Urfi”. This form of marriage does not require witnesses, and is not registered with state authorities. Couples repeat the words “I marry you” and sign a paper stating that they are married. In Arab countries, Urfi is a way for people to have sex with each other within what is perceived to be a licit framework. The relationship is often kept secret from family members and women often become pregnant but are unable to prove they are married or get a divorce.

For D O, a 23-year-old woman, Urfi marriage was her solution to get married to her poor Christian lover. “My family will not allow me to get married to a Christian man, who also does not have money for Shabka (gold) and cannot afford to throw a big wedding party. We were in love, so we chose Urfi marriage because we did not want to do any haram acts,” she told Kuwait Times. She said that they are now husband and wife, and will officially announce their marriage when he is ready and converts to Islam next month.

Misyar Marriage
Another type of secret marriage is Misyar, which can be defined as a marriage contract between a man and a woman in which the woman waives some of the rights she would have in a normal Islamic marriage. For spinsters, getting older means it is increasingly difficult to marry. In this case, a woman opts for a husband who is not able to fulfill normal marital duties.

N S, a 36-year-old woman, considers that marrying such a husband is better than remaining unmarried. “Being a spinster in Kuwaiti society means that you are sentenced to death,” she reasoned. She said that she got married secretly to a Kuwaiti with four children. “Misyar, as they call it, was my only way to get a husband.”

N S is furious with Arab societies and how they force a woman to get married even if she is happy with her single lifestyle. “My family forced me. Every day they told me the popular saying, that ‘a shadow of a man is better than a shadow of a wall’. To me it makes no sense, but to many people, having a husband is a priority. My friends stopped welcoming me at their homes because they were scared of me stealing their husbands!” she exclaimed.

Kuwaiti Laws
A Kuwaiti fatwa official told Kuwait Times that marriage in Islam is a solemn contract for which the Sharia lays down rules and arrangements to guarantee its stability. An Islamic marriage has to meet certain requirements such as ishhar (announcement), payment of the mahr (dower), the consent of both parties, the permission of the wali (woman’s guardian) and the presence of witnesses.

So all kinds of secret marriages are haram because of the lack of one or two of these rules, he added. And this is enshrined in Kuwaiti law.

In Kuwait’s personal status laws – the codified law no 51 of 1984 which applies to Sunni Muslims – a woman is never free to make a marriage decision on her own. She must have a male guardian (wali) do so on her behalf, regardless of her age.

Witnesses to the marriage must be Muslim men for the marriage to be valid. In addition, a man may legally have up to four wives simultaneously. But if the first wife suspects her husband is having a relationship with another woman, even if they are secretly married, the first wife can accuse him of zina (adultery).

By Faten Omar

-----Unfortunately this is happens more often than not with married and divorced men. Married men are not happy and want a variety, ladies...has your husband been going to 'dwaniya' more than usual? Is he taking more business trips? Has intimacy changed? If yes, your husband may have a gf or secret wife. Divorced men haven been put through the wringer and don't want to have a legal marriage as they are more than likely paying most of their salary to their ex-wife and are totally burnt out on relationships.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Old Kuwaiti house by Marina Mall torn Down

As I left Marina Mall the other day I realized the old Kuwaiti house that once stood there has now been torn down..probably making way for restaurants we don't need, so sad!

Here is picture of it before from my old post