September 30, 2011

This weekend with every purchase from the H&M – All for Children collection .. 25% of that purchase will be donated to charity!


Today, child labour unfortunately occurs within cotton production around the world. H&M does not buy cotton and can therefore not impose any demands upon cotton and cotton seed producers. However, by cooperating with UNICEF we can help address the causes of child labour and improve the situation of children in cotton-producing areas. Since India is a large cotton producing country H&M has decided that the All for Children project should focus on Tamil Nadu, one of India’s largest cotton producing states.

Read more about it here:

(Link)

Is The Iraqi Dinar Worthless Paper Or Maker Of Millionaires?

Photo credit: twilightguy.com

Robert A. Green, CPA, Contributor , Forbes

Postscript. After reading several good comments on this blog exposing the buy Iraqi Dinar get rich quick scheme as a scam, I want to make it very clear that I also believe it’s a scam. My intent for the original blog was to answer tax questions about holding physical currency as an investment, not to drill down into the Iraqi Dinar scheme. I may do just that in a follow-up post soon. -R.G.

Dozens of people have signed up for tax consultations with me over the years looking for a windfall profit on the U.S. government revaluation of the Iraqi dinars back into U.S. dollars. In other words, these were people holding dinars who were hoping they could exchange them for dollars again.

Most dinar investors are current and ex-military, warzone contractors and now speculators. A cottage industry of promoters has sprung up on the Internet promising dinar “get rich” schemes. Many have invested, say, $5,000 and they hope to make millions. I’ve always thought it was a scam, as it sounded too good to be true.

These people ask me about their potential large tax bills. Most hope for long-term capital gains tax rates, currently up to 15 percent. I have to give them the bad news: holding physical currency is considered ordinary gain or loss in Section 988 (foreign currency transactions). Unlike forex traders, who don’t hold physical currency and don’t take or make delivery, they can’t file a capital gains election to opt out of Section 988 and into short- and long-term capital gains treatment.

That means no lower 60/40 futures tax rate either (Section 1256). At least, it’s not considered a personal loss which otherwise can’t be deducted, as is the case when a person returns from a vacation and exchanges his left over currency from that trip. Investors in dinars can deduct ordinary losses in Section 988, but few expect a loss.

Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed is about how the four leading central bankers from the U.S., U.K., France and Germany navigated in and out of WWI and financed recoveries and German reparations. These central bankers went off and on the gold and new dollar standards by manipulating their exchange and interest rates and much more. This is how money and power (military and otherwise) go hand in hand.

Our current situation begs the question: Did the Bush administration plan on, and is the Obama administration still considering, paying for part or all of the Iraq war by collecting taxes from the revaluation of the dinar?
Special Offer: Safety In High-Yield. Three of Richard Lehmann’s fixed-income portfolios yield more than 7.1%. Click here for to gain access to his portfolios in Forbes/Lehmann Income Securities Investor.

If this scheme has any resemblance of reality, it could be an interesting revenue raiser for the government, and I know the government is hunting for revenue raisers and closing of tax loopholes.

Maybe the story here is just that it’s a scam. But, if rumors in the marketplace are true, and the dinar does revalue and allow conversion for most to pre-war levels, what are the ramifications for the government, Iraq, the military, investors and taxpayers? Also, what’s holding up the revaluation? Can Iraq handle it?

It does sound like a happy ending which makes me suspicious. How much tax revenue do U.S., state and local governments stand to collect? How many former and current military personnel and contractors stand to become millionaires overnight?

(Link)

September 21, 2011

Metallica to perform for the first time in UAE on October 25th


Yas Island Show Weekends (YISW) just got louder, with Metallica making their debut appearance in the United Arab Emirates on Yas Island next month.  FLASH Entertainment is bringing the greatest hard rock band on the planet to the Capital on October 25 – making this the most intense and powerful concert to hit the YAS ARENA this year.

Shatha Al-Romaithi, FLASH Entertainment spokesperson, said Metallica in Abu Dhabi was one show rock fans could not afford to miss.

“We promised you more big things for the new season of Yas Island Show Weekends, and nothing is bigger than Metallica,” she said. “Metallica redefined the model for hard rock music.”

Formed in Los Angeles in 1981 by drummer Lars Ulrich and guitarist and vocalist James Hetfield, Metallica have become one of the most influential and commercially successful rock bands in history, having sold 100 million albums worldwide and playing to millions of fans the world over. They have scored almost a dozen multi-platinum albums, including 1991’s Metallica (commonly referred to as “The Black Album”), which is the bestselling album in history of Soundscan scanning almost 15.7 million albums in the United States alone, and over 25 million worldwide.

In October 2008, their latest album, Death Magnetic, debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Album Chart and in 27 additional countries around the world.  It was certified platinum in the United States just six weeks later.  Metallica have also garnered numerous awards and accolades, including nine Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, and multiple MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

Article Link

Even better...



The Saudi Government Has Threatened in July to Shut Any Lingerie Shops Still Employing Male Clerks

Photo credit: Arabian Business.com

Saudi Begins Goodbye to Male Lingerie Salesmen

When Saudi student Sarah Abdul- Mohsen asked the salesman for a nude, 32C padded bra, she didn’t expect an argument about her cup size.

After all, Abdul-Mohsen was wearing the mandatory black cloak and veil that disguise her shape, in a kingdom where custom forbids men from looking intimately at women.

“He told me, ‘No, you’re not a C,’” Abdul-Mohsen, who was buying the bra for a cousin, said in an interview at a Ramadan meal for women in Riyadh. “I felt disgusted. It felt very degrading.”

Abdul-Mohsen, like many women in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, is hoping that decades of embarrassing exchanges with salesmen about lingerie will soon come to an end. She may get her wish as stores begin implementing a July Labour Ministry directive to push male salesmen aside and hire women after a failed effort in 2006.

Managers representing three boutiques said this month their stores will soon be staffed by women, though the transition won’t be easy. Male guards may be stationed outside to keep men shoppers away, while storeowners are considering posting signs saying the establishments are for “Families Only” and hanging heavy curtains to shield store windows so that men won’t look in and see women working.

Continue Reading Article here: (Link)

Unbelievable for a country where women are forbidden to drive, are subjected to arranged marriages with cousins and covered from head to toe in case they excite a man. Yet only a male salesman was allowed to sell them lingerie? Can we say WTF!?!

DNA

Photo credit: Arabian Business.com

Saudi Prince Rebuts Claim of Rape in Spain

MADRID — The office of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, a billionaire investor and nephew of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, released documents to rebut an accusation that the prince raped a Spanish woman on a luxury yacht off the Mediterranean island of Ibiza three years ago.

The documents include a full travel agenda, passport visa stamps and witness statements about the prince’s whereabouts, all of which indicate that the prince was not in Ibiza in August 2008, when a 20-year-old model filed a police complaint accusing him of rape.

The case was closed in July 2010 by an Ibiza judge for lack of evidence, but that decision was appealed to a Spanish provincial court for the Balearic Islands, which include Ibiza. The provincial court ordered the Ibiza judge, Carmen Martín Montero, to resume the case and to summon the prince to appear.

The accuser, who has been identified only by her middle name, Soraya, said she was drugged at an Ibiza nightclub and then taken to the yacht and raped there. Traces of semen were collected when the woman went to the police. One of the woman’s lawyers, Javier Beloqui, said on Tuesday that “instead of documents, the prince should simply provide a DNA sample if he wants to close this matter,” so that it could be compared with the semen samples.

A spokeswoman for Prince Alwaleed’s company said last week that the accusations against him were “completely and utterly false.” She said the prince did not charter a yacht in Ibiza, or take his own yacht there, at the time when the model said she was assaulted.

“Neither the prince nor his lawyers have ever been contacted by the court in Spain,” the spokeswoman said on Tuesday in an e-mail. “However, we have widely disseminated this documentation into the public record, and certainly expect that Spanish authorities now have full access to these materials.”

Prince Alwaleed is the largest individual stakeholder in Citigroup and, among his other major holdings, is the second-largest investor in the News Corporation. Forbes valued his fortune this year at $19.4 billion, making him the 26th richest man in the world and the richest in the Arab world.



2010 World’s 50 Richest Arabs Worth $245bn, Up 18%

Photo credit: Arabian Business.com

The world’s 50 richest Arabs are worth a total of just over $245bn, an 18 percent increase on the same figure just over a year ago, the Arabian Business Rich List 2010 reveals.

Top of the list is Kingdom Holding chairman Prince Alwaleed, who has $20.4bn – a figure that has been verified by his private office.

Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber retains second place on the list after increasing his wealth from $9.7bn to $12bn over the course of the last year.

The Olayan family has jumped five places to claim the third spot, with $11.9bn, pipping Mohammad Al Amoudi in fourth.

Last year’s third-richest person, Nasser Al Kharafi, drops to sixth place.

Altogether, the wealth of the top 10 people on our list amounts to just shy of $100bn. This is a 16 percent rise on last year, proving – if anything – that the super-wealthy have no interest in easing back their earnings growth.

This year’s highest new entry was the Bugshan family, which claimed eighth place, while the biggest riser was the Bukhamseen family which jumped from 47th to 25th.

Once again, Saudi Arabia has by far the biggest number of entries on the list, with the kingdom’s entities taking up the top five places alone.

Altogether, there are 32 Saudi entries on the 2010 list, and of the 24 new entries, 20 of them came from the Gulf’s biggest economy.

The next highest countries to feature are the UAE and Kuwait with four entries, while Egypt has three. Lebanon has two entries, while Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, Syria and Kuwait all have one each.

Sadly, Hasib Sabbagh, who was featured at number 19 in the 2009 list, passed away in January this year (2011).

To read the full Arabian Business Rich List 2010, click here

The Most Powerful Expats in the Gulf ~ Arabian Business

September 19, 2011

Check This Out! Desert Girl's Post On ~ Tailors, Fabrics and Other "Get it Made" Stuff in Kuwait

Photo credit: Art.com

This is some good %&(#*^! Check out Desert Girl's Post on her recommendation for tailors, buying fabric and furniture in Kuwait.  (Link)

Thank you DG!

Riyadh Tries 41 in Plot on US Forces in Kuwait

Photo credit: McGuinness

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Sept 18, 2011 (Agencies): Saudi Arabia’s state news agency says 41 suspected members of al-Qaeda have gone on trial, accused of planning attacks on US forces in Kuwait and Qatar.

A court in Riyadh is hearing the case.

The SPA news agency said Sunday some of the defendants were charged with recruiting and sending militants to fight in Iraq and sending money to Taleban fighters.

It did not say when they were arrested.

The report said one Qatari, one Yemeni and an Afghan national are among the accused while the other 38 are Saudis.

In June, the kingdom started trying 85 suspected al-Qaeda members accused of taking part in a deadly 2003 attack inside the country.

Saudi authorities did not say then why it took eight years to being that trial.

Meanwhile, an alleged al-Qaeda member who is one of 47 on an Interpol wanted list has said he will turn himself in, the Saudi interior ministry said on Sunday.

“The wanted man Mujab Mohammed Jamal al-Qahtani has called his family telling them of his decision and asking them for help to return home and hand himself over,” said a ministry spokesman in comments carried by state news agency SPA.

“Security services have arranged for his arrival and for reuniting him with his family upon his return,” the spokesman said in the statement, which gave no details on Qahtani’s current whereabouts or when he will return.

He will be dealt with “according to the procedures followed in similar cases, and his initiative will be taken into consideration when looking into his case,” the spokesman said.

In August, a similar ministry announcement said a man on the same “wanted” list had also surrendered to Saudi authorities.

International police agency Interpol issued a worldwide alert in January for 47 Saudis with suspected links to al-Qaeda wanted on terrorism charges.

The suspects posed “a potentially serious public threat at home and abroad due to their suspected involvement with al-Qaeda,” Interpol said at the time, citing the Saudi interior ministry.

Saudi authorities are hunting for dozens of the ultra-conservative kingdom’s citizens who have joined al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, based in Yemen.

Saudi and Yemeni al-Qaeda branches merged in January 2009 to form AQAP, posing a serious threat to US interests across the region.

Arab Times Link
 

September 18, 2011

Congratulations to His & Hers on the Birth of Their Little Superstar Mishari


I am truly happy for you both.  Congratulations!

xoxo The Bubbly American ;)


Kim Kardashian's Milkshake Brings Dubai to the Mall on October 14th


Kim Kardashian and her mother are all packed for their first trip to the Middle East next month. Here's what they're thinking

Star in a Bollywood movie, integrate their fashion brand, open a nightclub, interior design an entire building, get to grips with the food and see the sights — the Kardashians will have their work cut out for them when they land in Dubai next month.

Eldest sibling Kim and her mum-cum-manager, Kris Jenner, are packed and ready for their first trip to the Middle East and had an important message for fans.

"We really appreciate our fans in the Middle East," said Jenner in an interview conducted in Los Angeles and given to tabloid! by Hollywood.tv. "We're excited to come and have an adventure with them. We want to thank all the people who have tuned in, invested in us. At the end of the day, it's all about family."

In her first interview since agreeing to fly to Dubai, the reality star spilled all.

Dubai:
"When someone says ‘Dubai', I think of this glamorous place. I think about the fashion, about food. I think about just the culture over there — [it] is something that I'm so not used to. I just wanna go and embrace it.

"When I was first invited to Dubai, I was just so excited because it's a place I've just always wanted to go to. I've never been to the Middle East. This will be my first trip and I'm going with friends. I want to really just see the town."

Her reality show:
"My E! show will be following us to Dubai and the whole experience of coming [to] this country and seeing Dubai for the first time."

Dubai business plans:
"When I come I hope I can meet many amazing people. I want to make some new friends and that they can just take me around and just show me Dubai.

"I am so open to different business ventures. I'm a businesswoman, at the end of the day. I just wanna get out and see what it's all about. I'm so excited to bring my TV show so the US can really see what Dubai is really like and to kind of document my experience."

Bollywood:
"I would love to be in a Bollywood movie. Every time I see a Bollywood film it seems so glamorous. My brother actually went to India once and came back with all this amazing jewellery and so many stories. I would love to go there."

The Arab world:
"I love Arabic food and I love Arabic music. I mean, I'm half Armenian so I love Middle Eastern food. I'm curious to see what the food will be like. I'm really hoping to be able to learn about the fashion. I'd love to take some of their influence back with me, I mean I have my own Kardashian collection clothing line so I would love fashion from another place to inspire me."

Dash :
"My sisters and I get asked all the time to open up a Dash store in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. I think it's just really important for me to see what it's like first. I don't wanna dive in too soon. I'd like to spend more time in Dubai and [will] hopefully open up a store there soon."

Millions of Milkshakes:
"I'm really excited to be launching my own shake, because I launched a shake in Los Angeles when Millions of Milkshakes first opened.

"I still can't decide on my milkshakes. I have two favourites. Maybe I'll talk my mum into picking one of them and I'll have the other one and that way I can have the best of both worlds."

Final word:
"My best advice to the kids was always this — if someone says no, then you're talking to the wrong person. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't achieve something."

Don't miss it: The Kardashians will open the Millions of Milkshakes store in The Dubai Mall on October 14.

By Kelly Crane

For more of the article and video click here: (Article Link)

Somebody needs to bring that BIG ole Booty over to Kuwait, Afghanistan and Iraq to support the troops.  Just sayin'! :)

September 17, 2011

Can You Guess Which Cafe I went to Last Week in Frankfurt?


Hint: This was my first time to go to this cafe but I'm already a big fan.


Congratulations Ninnar AlQames for Finishing the Valencia Triathlon

Photo credit: Ninnar's Blog

Kuwait Hotels Company Announces Sponsorship of Ninnar AlQames at the Valencia Triathlon

KUWAIT CITY -- In its continued efforts to both support youth talents and encourage employees in their productive external activities Kuwait Hotels Company is proud to announce its sponsorship of their young CSR & Media Officer, Ninnar AlQames, at the upcoming Valencia Triathlon.

The triathlon will take place in Spain on September 11, 2011, during which KHC continues to provide inspirational support and sponsor AlQames by financing her travel and living expenses, accommodations, and the cost of all the equipment that AlQames may need to effectively participate in the triathlon.

“This opportunity, of training for, and racing at my first triathlon wouldn’t have been possible without the motivation and generosity of my KHC family, on my part I shall strive to represent Kuwait in the best light and make my colleagues proud," AlQames said. For triathlon related updates visit (Ninnar AlQames Blog) or follow her on twitter at @NQWASINDC AlQames will be swimming 750m, cycling 20km and running 5km at the Valencia Triathlon. There will be more than 2200 competitors from all around the world simultaneously swimming the Mediterranean Sea at Port America’s Cup, cycling at the Formula 1 Valencia Street Circuit, and running through the notable City of Arts and Sciences.

“It is important for us to have Ninnar compete in international sporting events such as the Valencia Triathlon, for such participations help elevate Kuwait’s athletic portfolio and position our athletes on the global sports spotlight,” Najla Karam, Marketing & Corporate Communications Director said.

Among our most significant areas of focus are Kuwait's young demographic. Hence, it is without hesitation that we have come to the decision to support AlQames all the way to Valencia. We believe in the bright future our youth are carrying out for us, and hence we continuously seek to support and foster their innovative initiatives. Every day brings a new opportunity for us to be more integrated in the local community and we always look forward to supporting the medical, educational, sports, and arts fields in Kuwait.

Kuwait Hotels Company (KHC) is a member of the KIPCO Group as a diversified hospitality and catering holding company. Among KHC's many subsidiaries are Safir International Hotels Management, Kuwait Catering Company, Safir Support Services, and Safat Catering Services Company
 
Congratulations Ninnar!

Sorry my post is late but I was traveling when I received the email from KHC. :D

Runway Model Open Audition


 OPEN AUDITION

Do you want to be a Runway Model?

Iszonica Modeling School is calling all ladies aged 18+ years and above who would like to audition to model in this year’s Kuwait Annual Recycle Trash to Treasure Art and fashion show. The event is scheduled to take place in November 2011.

Professional runway training will be provided for the selected participants.

Details:

Date: Friday 30th September 2011

Venue: Better Books store- Salmiya

Time: 11:30am- 3pm

E: Iszonica@hotmail.com

Facebook: Iszonica

Photo credit: Chanel

September 16, 2011

Even More of Ramadan and Eid in Kuwait ~ Missoni Hotel


Hot chocolate is available 24/7.

If you're lazy like we are then you can have complimentary breakfast delivered to your room.

Baked fresh every morning while you are sleeping.

So European!






This model is easy compared to the one I have at home. You will find one in every room at the Missoni.
 

View of the Arabian Gulf ~ I love watching the boats go by...

If only I could live here...*sigh*

More of Eid in Kuwait ~ Missoni Hotel

 
 
 
 

You do not have to stick to their room service menu and can order from any of their restaurants. It's nice to eat in your room after spending the evening at the Six Senses Spa.

I wish they had more pasta, fish and local flavor on their menus.

Their room service vegetarian breakfast is always fresh and on time.

The guest bathroom is missing the scented, pink toilet paper.

Guest Bathroom

Bama had it on FOX news! :o
 
 

Each suite has an incredible view.
 
 

I have pics of the Nespresso I made in another post.

Watching the sunset on the Arabian Gulf and Kuwait City.
 
Info, tips and tricks for staying at the Missoni:

Ask for a high floor room and book a suite to best experience the hotel.

The entire hotel is non-smoking so if you smoke this might not be your ideal place to stay.

When you first check in to your room make sure the A/C, Nespresso, 2 mini fridges are working and that there is a tea kettle in the cabinet.  We've had issues with all of them but the reception had them fixed immediately. 

Make your restaurant reservations ahead of time.

Request all hotel restaurant menus in case you want to order room service after the spa, gym or swimming in their pool.

Book your spa appointments if you haven't already.  9 - 12 noon there is a 10% discount promotion.

If you plan to have the complimentary room service breakfast in the morning fill out the card hanging on the doorknob and hang it outside your door before 2 AM.

When going to the spa, use the private Six Senses Spa elevator at the end of the hall to your right when you exit your room.

Relax and enjoy your stay!


Eid in Kuwait ~ Missoni Hotel