July 31, 2012

Al Hamra Business Tower & Luxury Center - Ramadan Greeting


Thank you Al Hamra & Sara :)


Are those real Hermes Kelly, Birkins and Chanel Bags? Arab expat involved in multiple robberies in Kuwait


I'm guessing that the bags are fake (because they don't look authentic in the pic) but can you imagine if they are real? How devastating! Would the thief even know how much these previously owned authentic bags go for? Thank goodness he was caught. I hope he is put in a Kuwaiti jail and then deported. A maximum jail sentence or the death penalty should be enforced for criminals that steal Hermes and Chanel. ;)

Arab Times Article [source] Police recently arrested an Arab expat involved in multiple robberies in the Capital governorate, according to a local Arabic daily. The robber specialized in stealing from cars, shops and vacant homes. The suspect was caught red-handed breaking into a shop by police patrol. Upon interrogation he led the police to his home where the stolen goods and tools used to commit robberies were found.

I wish Kuwait could deport all of these criminals and prevent them from coming back in.


July 29, 2012

Where My Wanderlust Has Taken Me and Where I Plan to Go Next

I took this shot in Greece

My true love that I inherited from my beautiful Mother is traveling the world. From the time I was very young I would sneak into my Mother's boudoir and watch her dress for her evening occasions out with Father. She was stunning with her natural bee stung lips, flawless peaches and cream 
complexion, hypnotic blue eyes and legs that seemed to stretch a few miles long. She would capture my complete attention with her romantic tales of international travel and foreign cultures that were 
narrated with her amorous Southern accent. 

Thanks to her, I have a passion for seeing the beauty of the world around me and all that it has to offer.  I started traveling at a very young age with my family. I continue to travel the world as I work in the tiny, exotic land of Kuwait that has become my beloved second home.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

Where I've traveled (Updated: May 2013)

The Bahamas
Mexico
Belize
Tahiti
Australia
New Zealand
England
The Netherlands
Belgium
Germany
France
Switzerland
Austria
Czech Republic
Italy
Spain
Portugal
Greece
Turkey
Kuwait
Qatar
Bahrain
United Arab Emirates
Egypt
Jordan
Israel
Morocco
Denmark
Sweden
Finland

I will list a few of the countries I plan to visit next because my goal is to see them all.

Japan
China
Thailand
Brazil
Costa Rica
Russia
South Africa
Kenya

* LOL! Let me stop before I list them all...

Readers: What is your favorite country that you have seen during your travels? What country would you like to visit during your next vacation? If you could live in any country in the world where would it be? What country has the best cuisine?


July 28, 2012

Smashburger is Coming to Mahboula, Kuwait

Not the best pic but I nearly had an accident trying to snap this from my car in Ramadan traffic.

The new Smashburger location is in an American area across from Spoons complex in Mahboula.  The restaurant should do really well here because they will have a captive Western / Filipino audience. Right now, Smashburger is my favorite burger chain restaurant in Kuwait. This is their third branch in the country.  Their menu is endless with amazing choices. i.e., Create your own burger where you can choose between various buns, burger size (regular or large), toppings, types of cheese and sauces.  They have amazing sides like sweet potato fries, fried pickles and fried Jalapenos.  When I'm in the mood for a burger treat this is where I go in The Village.

There are Americans managing the restaurant (shout out to Sarah) that seem to really know what they are doing. But the biggest reason I am excited to have another location is that the burgers taste great! I love Smashburger and nobody invited me, gave me anything for free or paid me to say it. They are just freakin' delicious. Yummy from the heart.

Smashburger is expected to open in Mahboula this October 2012.


Alshaya continues long-standing partnership with the MGRP to develop local talent in the private sector of Kuwait


It is my sincere pleasure to present the following announcement from Mr. Khalid Al-Shammaa.  Khalid is the external Corporate Communications Executive for Alshaya.

Alshaya continues long-standing partnership with the MGRP to develop local talent in the private sector. 

Popular international brands from around the world are increasingly coming to Kuwait, offering new and exciting shopping experiences to local consumers. Interestingly enough, as the retail industry continues to grow, it is becoming a major driver of job creation in the private sector, and Kuwaitis are getting the chance to experience this industry from the other side – on the shop floor.

For more than a decade, Alshaya has collaborated with the Manpower and Government Restructuring Programme (MGRP) to offer young Kuwaiti men and women with an in-depth introduction to the world of retail through Alshaya’s Retail Summer Programme. With a steady increase in the number of applicants to the programme each year, Kuwait’s youth are starting to recognise the advantages of a career in the private sector, especially one as dynamic and rewarding as retail.


This year, over 300 places were offered, and participants took part in a four week programme where they were able to gain experience working for internationally renowned brands such as Mothercare, Debenhams and Starbucks.

The participants of the programme experienced various different aspects of retail, with customer service being at the core of their learning. Students were encouraged to engage with customers and attend to their shopping needs. Under supervision from experienced staff members who acted as their mentors on the shop floor, the students were presented with a unique opportunity to practice the retail basics in order to drive sales to help meet their brand’s objectives.


The collaboration between Alshaya and the MGRP, through Alshaya’s Retail Summer Programme, is part of the company’s wider goal of introducing young Kuwaitis to the wide array of employment opportunities in the private sector through part-time summer jobs.

To mark the conclusion of the programme, now in its 12th year, Alshaya recently held a ceremony to congratulate its top achievers and recognise their efforts during the summer: [Link]


In addition to the collaboration with the MGRP, Alshaya partnered with the Kuwait Society for Guardians of the Disabled (KSGD) to run a mirror programme which offers part-time summer employment to young Kuwaiti men and women with special needs: [Link]


The Retail Summer Programme is one of a number of related initiatives created by Alshaya which aim to introduce young Kuwaitis to a career in retail, and to develop those with talent.  Alshaya also runs a dedicated six month Graduate Recruitment Programme, now in its 12th year, as well as a Retail Management Programme, a dedicated two year course for those interested in retail operations roles.  If you’re interested in finding out more you can email the HR team at hrsupport@alshaya.com or call (+965) 2224-3688,



July 27, 2012

Go Team USA and Team Kuwait!



Call Me Maybe - 2012 USA Olympic Swimming Team

I'm cheering for both Team USA and Team Kuwait! They are already winners for just making it to the Olympics.

Click [here] to learn how to watch the Olympics in Kuwait online and from your phone.  If you have OSN then click [here].  Thanks Marky Mark.

Booyah!!!

July 25, 2012

If Only Joe Manganiello Was Coming To Kuwait!

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If you want to make me happy then please bring the True Blood, American actor, Joe Manganiello to launch your new franchise in Kuwait.  He is just the most gorgeous guy in the world.

Hayati who? I LOVE you Joe! ;)

_______________________________________

Thanks to my brother I'm now expatandthecity.com (LOVE U BRO!)

He tried to get me to move over to Worldpress but it was just too complicated for me. I just love Blogger because it's clearly for blondes. ;P It's too easy and packed with cool widgets. 

Happy Ramadan everyone and it's good to be back to my second home. I hope to get back to Instagram soon so I can post some trip pics.

xoxo E&TC

Kuwait Royal gives $215 million to local PhD students, newly-weds and people in debt


Kuwaiti donates $212 million to help citizens

PhD students, newly-weds and people in debt set to benefit from generous offer.

Article credit: Habib Toumi Bureau chief [Link]

A Kuwaiti has donated 60 million Kuwaiti dinars (Dh779 million) to help fellow citizens reduce their debt, complete their doctorate studies and get married.

Shaikh Salem Al Ali, the head of the National Guard, said that the donation is “a contribution to boost the social standards of Kuwaitis and to achieve a higher level of human resources development”.

“The donation is in appreciation of Kuwaiti people who have pursued their studies, obtained a PhD degree and took up a position to help students,” Shaikh Salem said in a statement. “It also aims to assist Kuwaitis confront the challenges of a married life.”

Each of the three categories of Kuwaitis who will benefit from the donation will be given 20 million dinars.

“Every Kuwaiti who completes a PhD degree and pursues a teaching career will be given 20,000 dinars. Newly-married Kuwaiti couples will be given 6,000 dinars while every Kuwaiti who has debts will receive 4,000 dinars according to a set of regulations that will be published later,” the statement said.


Kuwait royal gives $215m to debtors, suitors

KUWAIT TIMES [Link]: A wealthy senior member of Kuwait’s ruling family yesterday announced a donation of 60 million dinars ($215 million) to help those in debt, those getting married and the learned elite. Chief of the National Guard Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, in his 80s, said in a statement that the donation would go towards helping those in debt, men who plan to get married and those who complete their doctorates. Any Kuwaiti man who marries a female citizen will receive $21,400 while those in debt are entitled to $14,300 each, said a statement posted on his Twitter account. A Kuwaiti who completes his doctorate degree gets around $71,500, the statement said. Expatriates living in the oil-rich emirate are not included.- AFP


*** Posting this for R. And you think I hit the jackpot? Look who's talking Sistah! You go girl! ;P

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July 20, 2012

Happy Ramadan Y'all! ~ Here is everything you need to know about the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan

Photo credit: Stockphoto.com/GHOSS

Here’s everything you need to know about the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

Article Credit: Yahoo

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar in which Muslim fulfil one of the five pillars of Islam - sawm (fasting). This is obligatory for all adult, sane and able-bodied Muslims. During the 29 or 30 days of Ramadan, Muslims fast by abstaining from eating, drinking, smoking and engaging in sexual relations from sunrise to sunset.

Ramadan is a sacred time for worship and concentration on the Islamic faith, in addition to everyday activities. Muslims strengthen their willpower by abstaining from eating, drinking and bad habits with the aim of becoming a better person, with increased patience, gratitude, humility, generosity and heightened consciousness.

When does Ramadan begin?

Since Islam follows a lunar calendar, the start of a month depends on the birth of the new moon. The beginning of Ramadan is determined by Moon Sighting Committees in some countries like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. These designated groups train their eyes towards the sky for an actual physical sighting of the moon.

Most Asian countries determine the beginning of Ramadan by the calculation of the position of the moon at sunset. If the moon is two degrees above the horizon and three degrees away from the sun, then the new month has begun.

In Egypt, if the moon sets five minutes after sunset, they consider it to be seen (i.e. they do not require a physical sighting). Some countries follow the date declared by other Muslim countries, particularly Saudi Arabia.

What is a fast and how is it completed?

A Muslim fast lasts from dawn till dusk and requires a person to refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations. A Muslim is also expected to be on their best behaviour, cleansing themselves of any bad habits.

The first step to fasting is niyyah, or intention, which is essential and should be made daily, preferably before dawn of each day in Ramadan. This is followed by suhoor, a light pre-dawn meal, recommended before actually fasting. Any consumption of food or drink should cease before the onset of dawn until sunset, when the fast is broken with a meal called iftar. This usually consists of a light snack of dates or desserts, traditional foods and water, fresh juice or milk.

At the end of a successful fast, Muslims attend special night-time voluntary prayers known as tarawih. Some people go to bed after tarawih prayers, so they can get up early for suhoor meals. Many people, particularly from the younger generation, prefer to visit special tents with friends for a night of socialising, which can run right up to suhoor.

What invalidates a fast?

A fast is broken during the day with intentional consumption of food, drink or medicine, smoking or taking an injection which has some nutritional value such as glucose. It is also invalidated by sexual relations, voluntary vomiting, menstruation or postnatal birth bleeding.

However, if one eats or drinks accidentally, a fast is not broken. Other things that do not invalidate the fast include unintentional vomiting; unavoidable swallowing, such as one's own saliva; brushing teeth and liquids taken through an injection or intravenously, solely for medicinal purposes.

Who is obligated to fast?

Fasting during Ramadan is obligatory for every adult Muslim who is physically and mentally able. However, there are some exemptions. The ill, the elderly, travellers, pregnant or menstruating women and children who have not started puberty do not need to fast.

Those who are too old and feeble to fast are exempt, but are encouraged to offer a compensatory act, which is either feeding at least one needy Muslim daily or donating money of equivalent value. If a Muslim misses a fast due to illness, they are expected to make up for it on a later date when they are well again. Likewise, menstruating, expectant or nursing women and travellers must make up for missed fasts.

A month of prayer and devotion

Ramadan is a time for self-control, repentance, reflection and remembrance of Allah. Muslims spend their time in prayer, asking for forgiveness and blessings.

The main purpose of fasting is described in the Quran is "so that you may attain taqwa or God-consciousness" and Ramadan is known to be a month of heightened devotion when prayer is performed with greater intensity. In the last 10 days of Ramadan, some Muslims retreat to the mosque to perform itikaf (prayer in seclusion), which is a period of total devotion spent in prayer and reflection.

Another special prayer during Ramadan is on the night of Laylat Al Qadr (the night of power), which is the night the Quran was first revealed to mankind. The exact date of Laylat Al Qadr is unknown, but it is believed to fall on one of the odd nights of the last 10 days of Ramadan (21st, 23rd, 25th, 27th or 29th ). As mentioned in the Quran, Laylat Al Qadr is better than a thousand months, so praying on this night gets extra reward.

Thousands of people around the world also prefer to go to the holy cities of Mecca or Madinah during Ramadan for the ritual pilgrimage known as Umrah, although they can perform this any time of the year. This requires long-term planning and preparation in order to arrive ready for prayers, free from any worldly commitments.

The month of Ramadan is an opportunity to develop qualities of endurance and self-restraint, to control anger, to fine-tune the body and benefit from the therapeutic effects fasting may have. It also is a month for spiritual elevation through additional prayers and devotion.

What happens after Ramadan ends?

The end of Ramadan is marked by a three-day celebration known as Eid Al Fitr. The day is marked with congregational prayers and joyous festivities where Muslims don their best clothes, visit friends and family and cook special meals.

Muslims then return to their lives, hopefully refreshed and rejuvenated, with their faith renewed.

Click here for the 411 on Ramadan Rules in Kuwait

Muslim friends: Wishing you and yours a blessed Holy month and a very happy Ramadan.  See you real soon Kuwait!



 

July 7, 2012

I'm Traveling to...

Google Images

I'm going home for vacation and finally bringing Hayati to meet my family. :) He will return to Kuwait for the start of Ramadan and I will be staying a bit longer. 

The blog will not be active since all of us need a break. Enjoy your summer vacation with your family and friends and we will see you when we get back.

Any comments or emails will be responded to when we return.

I'm extremely nervous but very excited!  :D xoxo

The Lie Detector Test ~ Every Guy's Worst Nightmare When He Meets the Parents



Poor Hayati! My Father makes Jack from Meet the Parents look like "Father of the Year".  I hope he can handle the pressure and abuse. LOL!

Five Saudis Taken For a Ride by Kuwaiti Actress Vow Suit

This is not the yacht!

The Arab Times [Link] 5 to sue actress: Five Saudis, including a father and a son who were allegedly taken for a ride by a young Kuwaiti actress while shooting for a TV serial in the Kingdom, have said they will take the actress to court for betrayal of trust, reports Al-Anba daily.

According to the complainants when the actress was in Saudi Arabia working on a TV serial she allegedly made them believe (individually) and that she accepted their proposals of marriage and each of them then showered her with precious gifts in cash and kind including a yacht. The cash is believed to be more than one million riyals.

The victims are believed to be businessmen and one of them is a well-known sports personality.

This is an update to the previous article: [here]

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This story below of a Swedish Male Model "Gold Digger" and an Arabian Princess was in the Daily Mail:

Swedish male model 'attacked Arabian princess ex-lover's chauffeur after she caught him having threesome in her flat'

Plus One at Hashtag: Your One KWD Donation Feeds a Worker in Kuwait


Message from Hashtag co-founder, Dari AlHuwail:

In cooperation with "Draw the Smile" Campaign lead by Ms. Bibi AlAyoub, every [PlusOne] order at Hashtag, means that One KWD will be added to your bill and with each [PlusOne] a meal (burger and drink) will be donated to the low-paid workers who are suffering under the extreme weather conditions in Kuwait. Hashtag is contributing to each [PlusOne] donation as well. You may write on note paper/sticky note your twitter handle or any comment you like. At the end of each period and depending how fast we collect [PlusOne]s we will donate them immediately the following day inshallah.

We hope we can inspire others to follow as well. Please do spread the word and have restaurant owners (especially young Kuwaitis) who want to be part of this to contact me at crazyd@hashtagq8.com . We want this to grow and spread viral all over Kuwait as an opportunity to give back.

This initiative is timeless and can be done with any organization. We're suggesting Ms. Bibi because she does it her self and is very transparent. The [PlusOne] campaign means that Plus Another person will eat as well from the same food you're enjoying!

July 5, 2012

Emirati Spinsters Give Cause For Concern

Google

Single female over 30 and Emirati? Hmmm

By Emane Mohammed - AFP [Link]
 
If you are a 30-year-old Emirati woman and still single, then you've have missed the marriage boat. By UAE standards, you are now considered to be an old maid.

The problem, authorities in the Gulf state say, is that more and more women fall into this category: some 60 percent, according to the latest statistics, raising concerns among officials and sparking online debates as to why.

"This is very worrying," FNC member Said al-Kitbi told AFP, adding that there are now more than 175,000 Emirati women who are over 30 and unmarried.

Though he conceded that being a "spinster" is "not a bad thing in itself", he argues that the demographic consequences of these women not having children is the real problem.

The United Arab Emirates is home to more than eight million people, only 950,000 of them UAE citizens. The rest are foreign, and young Emirati men are increasingly choosing to marry them instead.

The latest government statistics show that at least 20 percent of UAE men are marrying non-Emiratis.

The reasons behind this growing trend of spinsterhood are not entirely clear.

UAE planning ministry statistics show that in 1995, only 20 percent of women over 30 were unmarried. By 2008, that figure was 50 percent.

To read the rest of this interesting article click [here].
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Apparently some Emirati women are also marrying foreigners in relatively small numbers compared to the men.  I wonder if their expat husbands and children will receive citizenship and full rights?  In Kuwait this is not the case and their expat husbands and children do not receive benefits or citizenship.
 
To read, "More Emirati Women Marrying Foreigners" article click [here]

In Kuwait they have the same fear: "Approval Required for Mixed Marriages in Kuwait" [here].

July 4, 2012

Five GCC Countries Rank Amongst World’s 10 Fattest Nations and the USA is #1 with Kuwait at #2

Remember my former roommate? Miss Piggy?
Photo [Source]

By Claire Valdini  [Source]

Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Bahrain have all ranked amongst the world’s top ten fattest nations with obesity rates expected to severely affect global food security, a new report has said.

The average person in Kuwait, the second fattest country in the world behind the United States, weighs in at approximately 77.5 kg, 15.5kg heavier than the global average, according to a research report published by BMC Public Health.

Gas-rich Qatar was ranked third globally with the average adult consuming just over 3,000 calories per day, followed by the UAE in fifth place (3017 calories) and Bahrain in tenth position (2889 calories).

The world’s adult population is getting increasingly fatter. The global population estimated to weigh a combined 287 million tonnes, 17 million tonnes of which is due to people being overweight, according to the research.

The rising number of obese people in the world will affect the world’s resources as much as another billion people would, causing a “major threat” to food security, scientists warned.

“Increasing biomass will have important implications for global resource requirements, including food demand, and the overall ecological footprint of our species,” said the report.

“Our scenarios suggest that global trends of increasing body mass will have important resource implications and that unchecked, increasing BMI could have the same implications for world energy requirements as an extra 473 million people. Tackling population fatness may be critical to world food security and ecological sustainability,” it added.

Despite only making up five per cent of the world's population, the United States accounts for almost one third of the world’s weight due to obesity. In contrast, Asia has just 61 percent of the world’s population but only 13 percent of the world's weight.

North Korea was ranked the world’s slimmest nation with an average weight of 49.5kg based on consumption of 2,342 calories per day. Nepal followed in second place, ahead of Sri Lanka and Vietnam at third and fourth place, respectively.

Photo [Source]


* Girls: Where are we going for lunch? I'm starving and craving a big, juicy, loaded burger, fries and shake.....! :)

July 3, 2012

Middle Eastern Gold Digger?

Expat & Hayati ;) Google Images

Arab Times, Kuwait

Four Saudis have shown their desire to file lawsuits against a Kuwaiti actress. The men accuse her of cheating them, reports Al-Anba daily.

According to the complainants when the actress was in Saudi Arabia to take shots for a TV serial she allegedly made the four men believe (individually) and that she accepted their proposals of marriage. Each of them reportedly showered her with precious gifts in kind and cash.


The four men are believed to be well-known merchants and also well-known sports personalities. They said after receiving the gifts the woman reportedly behaved indifferently.


One of the best things about living in Kuwait is discovering the Arab Times...LMAO! 


July 2, 2012

How to get a job in Kuwait when you're an American

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***Work in progress post***

This post is for Americans living back home that would like to find employment overseas in Kuwait or for American’s already living in Kuwait that would like to stay here and find a better job. This was a requested post from one of our lovely readers.

Some Things you should know before you apply stateside:

If you want to work for an American Contractor in Kuwait that requires you to have a NACI or Secret Clearance (most do) you should have a clean background from bad credit, excessive debt or criminal activity. This includes not paying child support. You should have a US Driver’s license and a good driving record. Kuwait now requires all US Citizens to obtain a Police Clearance before even coming to Kuwait.

You should also be in good health and free from any medical conditions or disease that could prevent you from passing your mandatory employment physical or Kuwait residency physical. DOD health and fitness guidelines are followed now more than ever. Kuwait’s medical is no joke and if you do not pass then it’s chicken or fish on your flight back home.

The process of obtaining a Police Clearance, stateside medical, CRC and a Kuwait visa can take months. NEVER quit your current job until you have passed everything and receive your ticket in hand. The old school American’s that work in Kuwait know that you take leave to do the medical, etc. for the new company that sent you an offer letter. You wait to pass EVERYTHING before you put in your notice with your current company.

NEVER burn a bridge with your current company if you can help it. Give notice, do a good job and leave with pride no matter how much you dislike them. You never know when you might run into them again down the road. Contracts change hands in Kuwait and that same company might take over your new company’s contract. You always want to leave in good standing so they will want to hire you back.

It’s who you know…right? The more connections you have the better. That’s just the way it works so suck it up and deal with it. Network your ass off! Go on Facebook and see if you know anyone that is already working in Kuwait or knows someone who does. Join clubs and associations that will enable you to meet others with connections or similar interests. This doesn’t mean you can’t work hard and keep sending in your resume everyday to land that interview.

There are job fairs announced in newspapers or company websites weekly. You should have job alerts going to your email everyday and pay close attention to the news and media. Many US Contractors get their foot in the door by working hard with blood, sweat and tears. I’m all for a combination of both hard work and great connections.

The best way to land that job in Kuwait when you are stateside:

You should create a profile on every job website that is in Kuwait. Apply daily to all the jobs that you are qualified for in your emailed alerts, on websites and referrals.  

***Readers, please comment and add any advice, websites, recruiters info, etc. that might help others. This post is a work in progress and I will add more soon when I have time. Thank you!***