Monday, April 6, 2020

Landlords in Kuwait, no relief for US

 There's been discussions about landlords helping out the renters during this time of hardship with people being out of work and having financial problems. The top one is the request from my residence and the other is a friend of mine in Hadiya.

We were both denied and asked to pay full rent. As I've been told by other renters the owner of the building has it registered as private and not commercial meaning no one can put their CID residence on this location, we can't get individual phone lines and I was told I couldn't have a satellite, I could only have the Arabic stuff that the house has but finally was allowed to have OSN. I was also told the landlord purposely rented out to people who word for the government knowing they would always get a salary if anything happens. The last surprise was thinking there were six apartments in the building that turned into 14 now. 

Now I will have a whole list of questions for the next place I plan on renting with after dealing with surprises here.

Friday, April 3, 2020

Fighting for onions in Kuwait

While the Western countries fight over toilet paper Kuwait has their own version but fighting over onions!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Praise for Kuwait

Here's a rough draft video as he had commented on my IG post sharing his video. There will be a final draft coming out soon. He's a popular guy in Kuwait now, his IG is @othersideofthetruth he has a FB and YouTube account under the same name as well. It looks like he is a doctor who volunteers with other doctors performing surgeries and helping less fortunate nations.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Kuwait curfew day 3

Not much goes on during the day for me. I did have to make a trip to the supermarket for a few things I forgot on Sunday. After what I saw today there's  no way I will go out again unless I need emergency items and it will be early morning after seeing the lines.

The first video is of the government supermarket where they are taking temperatures of people and making the bachelor men sit and wait for their turn to go inside. I decided to go out to another private chain supermarket as it is a much bigger place to shop. Once again the bachelors are made to wait while families, women and old people are allowed to go inside grab a cart and wait until called.

My advice is start the day off early around 8 am to get things done, any time after 12 is just crazy.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Day 1 of Kuwait Curfew

Day 1: I went to the grocery store for shopping as I didn't do any major shopping since this all began, N95 mask, gloves and hoodie to the store. At the supermarket I went to they were spraying the shopping carts but not practicing the spacing of people. As time went by the amount of people increase and it became a little overwhelming.

Once I got out I took off the mask to breathe, it was so hot and stuffy but with that many people so close to each other it was necessary. Once I reached home I took my clothes to the wash and had a shower before I did anything, that's a daily ritual for me. Everyone was waiting patiently for 4 pm to come as we were supposed to hear a siren or some type of warning message but no one I know heard anything besides some mumbling in a distant area. So we all waited for 5 pm to come as the big announcement made earlier was about sirens going off, that didn't happen either.

Now I just go back and forth from my computer to IG to watch videos of smart people getting arrested. My friend and my sister were watching people continue to walk and drive as if nothing was going on, they can't seem to follow the rules.

Those are a few videos of the day showing people don't take the curfew seriously and in time the military may get involved if people continue to be arrogant.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Lockdown Life in Kuwait

Yeah, not much to post about any more other than things related tot he virus. I am truly blessed to be in Kuwait with my family during this time. I watch on TV how people fight over toilet paper, I see pictures of empty aisles that friends send me from California and how they are running out of money because there is no work.

I worry about my children in California, my daughter told me they couldn't find milk or sanitizing essentials which is truly sad considering they live in America. This is a test for all countries, it shows the greed and anger people truly feel towards one another. I feel for the elderly who are alone and vulnerable, then I see the young generation partying like it's a regular day.

Humanity has lost their core values, respect the elders, be kind to one another, just simple things we used to live by but have been lost by the glitter of money and fame.

With this lockdown my routine is basically sitting at home refreshing IG, checking out Snap, laptop and the daily walk around the neighborhood. I am thankful to be living in Kuwait at this time, we have enough food, everyone who needs to be tested are receiving it. The markets have food, businesses provide gloves and hand washing areas and life is calm here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Lock Down life is getting BORING!

I'm bored from the internet, nothing on Netflix worth watching, I try to take a walk around the neighborhood during the say to get some sun. This is really difficult....

Before and After quarantine

I post more on my IG @kuwait411

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Kuwait on lock Down

'1. All flights to and from Kuwait suspended until further notice (limited trips to Kuwaitis and their family)
2. Public and Pvt sector holidays from 12th Mar till 26th Mar
3. No gatherings/meeting to avoid infection
4. Restaurants, Cafes, halls, shopping centers, Pvt health institute closed
5. Banks closed from 12th Mar till 29th Mar (ATMS will be open)'
Total chaos has hit Kuwait after the above announcement was made, traffic, people running to super markets, massive atm lines and long lines at the gas stations. I tried going to a supermarket but went back home due to the crowds, pushing and ridiculous lines.

For those who didn't have the virus, we should all be checked now after going out to these places. It only takes 1 person to spread the virus like wild fire and this was the perfect storm.

Why was this decision made so suddenly? Is there something going on that we don't know about?
It seems really suspicious that the whole country would be put into hysteria to control the virus when we were doing our daily jobs and hiding in our homes.

 This was the crowd in the supermarket, no thanks, I came back home! What happens when the atms run out of money? Who will refill it if the banks are close?? This is going to get ugly fast!

It really seems like a zombie movie is playing.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Rules for teachers, report schools for Threats

KUWAIT: On Thursday Kuwait Times interviewed Sanad Al-Mutairi, Manager of Private Education Department within the Ministry of Education, to clarify some issues related to private schools. Kuwait Times has received many complaints regarding the school closures. One school principal threatened to cut the salaries of any teacher not in Kuwait during the period of the closures.

Other schools have been forcing teachers to meet and come to campus despite the closures. Another concern is that some schools may deduct from their teachers’ salaries due to the two weeks, which was a Cabinet decision to suspend schools for students and administrative bodies working in public and private schools and institutes, starting from March 1, until March 12, 2020.

Replaying to that, Mutairi said, “The decision is due to circumstances and a crisis in the country and based on the decision of the Council of Ministers, no school has the right to deduct the two-week suspension of schools from teachers’ salaries.” He advised any teacher that faces problems in this regard to file a complaint to the Private Education Department in order to do the necessary actions toward these schools.

Regarding E-learning that was implemented in some schools, he revealed that his department did not receive any official decision yet. “Although nothing is official, I believe that e-learning in schools will be activated through the so-called ‘educational television’ to make teachers interact with students, and until this moment we have not received any new instructions regarding that,” he said.

“The schools’ e-learning is optional to parents and students and there is no decision yet to obligate both sides. The e-learning now is an agreement with both sides,” he added. Mutairi added that the decision to extend the school suspension is up to the health ministry to make. “Till now the cases are stable in the country, and it is expected that students will back to schools on March 15. But if the situation worsens and the number of cases rises, it is possible to extend the suspension for the educational institutions,” he said.

Some school are considering canceling the spring break to catch up on what was missed. In this regard, Al-Mutairi told Kuwait Times that: “The school does not have the right to cancel the spring break without the approval of the Ministry of Education, An official circular must be issued to approve that decision, and nothing was released yet.”

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Education announced on its official Instagram on Wednesday that teachers and students in Arabic schools (public and private) can use the “Siraj” application to keep on track if they choose to do so. This e-learning platform has not been mandated as a requirement.

The Ministry affirmed that the student and teacher can use the remote study through the educational channel “Siraj” that has been started broadcasting since 2013 where it includes approximately 700 records of reviews and previous exams for high school. Officials from the health and education ministries met to determine the latest preparations for the return to schools, in the context of precautionary measures to counter the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The gatherers agreed to start distributing thermometers to schools from Sunday with two for each school, besides providing nursing bodies for new schools and launching awareness campaigns for students, teachers, and administrative staff to prevent the virus from spreading. LINK

Sunday, March 1, 2020

IKEA and a new extension to 360 Mall

After lunch my friend wanted ice cream so I suggested Marble Slab in 360 so we could get ice cream and check out the new IKEA. It's located in the new extension of 360, you cross over on a covered walkway leading you to an airy mall full of plants and greenery. There are several stores open like Addidas, New Balance, Calvin Klein, Polo and a few cafes and restaurants. The food hall has yet to open so in the future there will be more to choose from. 

The IKEA is a mini one level version with a little coffee shop, unfortunately no restaurant or place to get shawerma and hot dogs which is a bit disappointing.

 There was furniture, rugs and some household items but not much to choose from.
One of the beautifully decorated restaurants was a small extension of Dar Hamad, decorated in wood made to look like the roof of old Kuwaiti houses.

There will be a tennis court and Grand Hyatt Hotel opening soon and will be connected to the mall.
'Grand Hyatt Kuwait will offer its visitors 261 standard rooms of 130 square feet (40 square meters) each and will be designed by RTKL architects who already built the iconic 360 Mall, using sophisticated, innovative and unique design and architecture features.'
 The new leisure of the hotel will also include more than 390,000 square feet (120,000 square meters) of luxury shopping markets facilities and a sports Tennis Complex with more than 7.600 seats arenas, with both indoor and outdoor courts for its guests to enjoy.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Kuwait private schools trying to force teachers back to Work

With all that is going on in Kuwait concerning the Corona virus the cabinet has suspended all schools, universities and college activities until March 12, 2020. Sadly, that doesn't stop private schools from trying to force their teachers back to school or risk losing their jobs.


They took away their spring vacation!

I've also seen another text from a school telling teachers they need to return to school to set up online classes for their students. They also advise teachers on vacation in countries with corona virus to go back to the UK and fly to Kuwait from there to avoid quarantine.  Unfortunately managers of school are not taking this seriously and only worried about satisfying the owner's bank account. Greed is blatantly obvious in all private schools, the way some schools treat teachers as prisoners is disgusting and no one does anything about it.

Bullying young teachers, not allowing adequate time for teachers to have their breaks or lunches, not willing to put their teachers on school visas, holding onto their passports, taking money from their salary without notification and more problems teachers don't voice for fear of backlash. Sadly there is no department within the MOE to ensure private school teachers are taken cared of. The only time the MOE gets involved is to do a raid on schools known for having illegally hired staff.

There should be a number for teachers to be able to report what goes on in their school without fear of getting into trouble but that would make sense right?

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Corona Virus Kuwait 2020

Yes, the Corona Virus has hit Kuwait thanks to those to who came back from Iran which is now the epicenter for the disease in the middle east. As of today there are 45 confirmed cases and the travelers from Iran are being quarantined in Al Kout Beach Hotel, not a hospital. I was shocked to learn that the people weren't in hotels but in a hotel in which the staff have found themselves in the middle of this problem and cannot leave either. There are reports of citizens who were under home quarantine left their house and went out to work and clinics.

Most people are told to avoid the Fahaheel and Mangaf areas but most of the people who visit Iran live in city areas like Rumathiya and Jabriya so it's better to take precautions and stay home of possible. Schools have been told to take an extra two weeks off after this week, my kids are happy with that.

UPDATE: It looks like people are being removed from Khairan resort by 9 am tomorrow as 236 chalets will be used to quarantine people. Nearly 400,000 people will return after holidays.

The above videos are all over social media, showing how angry people are at being held in the hotel. I feel sorry for the staff and medical people who are being yelled at for doing their job, they are mostly expats and are only doing what they are told. Outside of the hotel there are army personnel walking the perimeters with guns.

I don't know who owns the hotel but this isn't good for business and after this is over with I don't think anyone will book there again, the government might as well just buy it.

All National Day activities have been canceled and from what I've read staff from the Ministry of Health have been called back to work and their leave canceled. Only time will tell what comes of this situation, we all need to pray for a good outcome and no deaths.

You can find a real time map of the virus here

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Old Kuwait Videos

I'm always interested in seeing videos of Kuwait before the war, it seems like it was a much simpler time back then.
This video is a little long, I watched most of it, seeing a yalwa (old Kuwaiti wedding) and clips of the old Amiri hospital were awesome. This video take you through a journey from the beginning up until Sheikh Jabber became Emir. At the end it shows Sheikh Jabber at a GCC meeting, all of the GCC rulers who have all since passed are shown gathered together.
This one is a journey through Mubarakiya
From the 80's
An Indian family's home movies from the 80's, toward the end you will find Entertainment City and lastly the ice skating rink that closed yesterday to make room for a concert hall...edited with memorable 80's tracks...listening to it took me back....

We're all looking for a bit of nostalgia now that all of the old landmarks are being torn down, a lot of the past is slowly being erase and in the future we will be telling our kids about the 'old skating rink' or 'Bay Lothan' etc... so sad.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Earth Roastery Coffee Kuwait

During our journey to Kubbar Island Earth Roastery graciously supported our eco cause with endless supplies of coffee and amazing sweets. I am not a lover of coffee at all and I don't understand a lot of the hype but after spending hours on board with the co-founders I had a better understanding. 

Earth Roastery as I was told is a company that deals directly with the farmers and cuts out the middle man giving more earnings to the owners of the farms. They offered me several different flavors of coffee, whipping out their unique kettle and specialty pot which was really awesome to watch.

The light fragrant coffee was surprisingly good and I had him working the whole trip making me more. Now the pies de resistance was their double chocolate cookies, they were so moist and bursting with chocolateness I had to hide some down below in the cabin for later.   
 They are located in the Dhai complex close to The Regency Hotel in Bidda. The shop is light and airy with a modern feel. They have an enormous mint green coffee roasting machine, that thing is a beast!
A must try is definitely the Nitro coffee, a massive hit of coffee, not for the faint-hearted

Lemon, Vegan oatmeal and double chocolate cookies as well as cakes, pies and croissants. All of the sweets are provided by their sister company located in Sabah Al Ahmed and on Carriage.
 Not only are they an everyday coffee shop but also a platform for locals to attend various coffee workshops in cooperation with @brewever consulting company. Earth Roastery sponsors the coffee for the workshops as well as selling their fresh ground beans to businesses and locals alike.
In no way are they sponsoring this post, I just want to bring some attention to their business as they cater to locals with their classes and help out with volunteering with various eco friendly activities. Their sister pastry company also has classes in making various delicacies, check out the mentioned IG accounts and website for more information.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Kuwait camel Races

Finally, after 16 years if living in Kuwait I attended a camel race, my first time ever. I took the kids and headed out for the drive which took about 45 minutes to get to the location. We arrived around 1 pm as the first race is scheduled at 1:30 pm although it didn't start until a half an hour later.

There were camels for the kids for free for guests to sit on for pictures. There is an enclosed area inside the building to sit in and view the races but we chose to stand outside next to the track to see the action close up. As the owners gather in their vehicles, the camels take off from the horizon and make their way around the track with a few taking an extra 10 minutes cruising. To me this isn't an actual race, more like practice races for the young camels as most of them weren't fully grown.

 On this day there was a musical show from the local singers

It was a  nice experience and the kids had a blast, I would recommend it 100%

Location: Kuwait Camel Racing Club, Kabd
Timings: Between November and April 1pm-4pm with races starting every 30 mins

Note: You should bring your own water/snacks as there isn't any at the location, tissue is also a good idea to have handy.

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Kubbar Island clean up with Trashtag Kuwait

My daughter and I joined @trashtagkuwait team for their first Kubbar Island clean up which turned out to be a very good time while helping clean up the environment. One of the guys was nice enough  to bring his Nintendo Switch which kept a lot of the volunteers entertained during the long journey to the island.

We boarded the boat early morning and were kept caffeinated  by the amazing team from @earthroastery. I'm not a coffee drinker but I have to admit their coffee was really good and made me appreciate their concept of bringing coffee directly from farm to store as they believe in supporting the farmers by removing the middle man. 
 They also have which provides their amazing croissants and sweets, they were nice enough to bring us double chocolate and honey oat cookies which were to die for!
 After 4 hours we were finally able to get to shore and start the clean up. We found several orange trash cans on the island which was a good sign that there are officials who care about the place but there again we found a bigger garbage bin that had been set on fire and all of the garbage inside, mostly glass bottles and water bottles were scattered around.

 And someone decided to abandon their boat and leave instead of notifying the appropriate authorities to help remove it, I'm assuming they don't want to pay for the removal.
 We gathered several bags of waste and a lot of iron pieces to be collected by EPA as we were told, I really hope they came and removed it.

After lunch from Subway we were back on the boat heading home, it was a great journey, thanks @trashtagkuwait.