Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Join the Celebrations at the Grand Re-Opening of Applebees in Bnaid Al Gar

















Grand Re-Opening of Applebee's Bnaid al Gar! Festivities will begin at 8pm! DJ 7, Live Broadcasts by Marina FM & much more will set the stage for a massive celebration that will be full of explosive atmosphere!








The Flying Start Triathlon October 19, 2012


Win a MacBook Air or an iPad 3 with an NBK Al Shabab Card at Office Depot















It’s coming up to that time of year when you will need to stock up on folders, notebooks, pens, design materials, fancy calculators and all the other bits and pieces for the new academic year. 
You can buy all this and more from Office Depot, and if you spend KD25 or more on any of your NBK Al Shabab cards, you will automatically enter a draw to win a MacBook Air or one of two iPad 3s.
Hurry, as this offer ends September 30, 2012.
The Avenues, Level 1, Near Food World - Call 2495 4570
Shuwaikh, Pepsi Cola Road - Call 2258 1069



LWDLIK - Am I too old for an Al Shabab card? ;O)

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Kuwait Rally Championship 2012/2013 Schedule


































Are there any Rally enthusiasts that would like to be a part of the Team for this years season?! They are always looking for marshalls / safety and other supporting roles. Just drop them a line if you are interested and they'll get back to you. Email: motorsport@kiac.com.kw. 
Click on schedule for more details on their FB page.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Build-A-Bear Party Time


A Wonderful British Summer 2012

My sister's local park where we spent many fun hours. 
I have a thing about real grass and really enjoyed walking bare foot 
in this fine lush lawned park





































 


I have specified the year in the title as there aren't many wonderful summers but when they do come along they are fabulous. 

We started off in Southampton, which is finally getting it and looking pretty good these days. Keep in mind that everything looks better when it's not cold and raining. Some lovely old Tudor buildings, good British food and the New Forest.



Tudor House, Southampton circa 15th century
well worth a visit.





Glorious sunshine is what we were lucky to have, not too hot and a lovely cool breeze. Makes all the difference.



















A fun hen night for my sister who was dressed up and looking very sparkly. She really does have lovely fun friends who all helped to make her hen night, and wedding day, so very special. The wedding day was just perfect and such a fantastic day for all. Made some lovely new friends and family xxx.


The gorgeous couple

























The country's obsession and love for the Olympics was contagious and thrilling. It seemed everyone in the country was smitten with team GB and the other athletes' progress. To be sat in a restaurant and have another diner yell out 'YEEESSSS!' as he followed the Olympics on his phone - brought a room full of cheers when we learned more medals had been earned for team GB, the fabulous Usain Bolt, Jeter and other incredible olympians. Most retail businesses were showing the Olympics so you could just about follow it anywhere. Was a very proud time for the Brits to put on the Olympics and do such a great job with the whole show. Really wondered what I was going to do after it finished as it seemed to take over my life for a while.

Fun times in the garden collecting raspberries,  BBQs with family, the kids trampolining in their PJs and eating ice lollies at 8.30AM. 

Renewed my faith in the NHS when my precious doll had a trampolining accident.






































Looks much worse than it was. 

These paramedics arrived in two minutes and had the situation under control and daughter off to be checked at hospital in no time. A fantastic service - I shall never complain about the NHS again. We are so very lucky. No residence, insurance, civil ID, passport or money required - You make me very proud to have such a great humane emergency service available to all.






































After being checked by a neck and back specialist (free of charge) it was ascertained that the nasty cracks she heard - when she hit the soft part of the trampoline - were just air bubbles, much like cracking your fingers or me bending at the knees. However, my scared babygirl was afraid to move and this led me to call 999. Thankfully she's fine. But I have now learned there are lots of accidents happening on trampolines especially from falling off or hitting the metal sides. 

And as you can see below she has fully recovered from the trampoline incident and now mummy has her up a tree doing a commando zipline tree top adventure about 40 metres up a very tall tree at the very fun Go Ape Junior Course at Moors Valley Park, Hampshire. A must visit park/forest area with mini steam railway, lakes and segways or bicycle hire. Book ahead online if you want to do the Go Ape Adventures as it's always really busy.








































No need to go to 'heaving-with-tourists' Euro Disney in summer... try Paulton's Park, Hampshire it's much prettier and less crowded. Cheaper tickets can be booked online ahead of your visit. 






























Then to Brighton for two weeks to be beside the seaside. The sea air was invigorating. A trip on the Brighton Eye to see for miles and learn about some of the local area and famous inhabitants. 






































An interesting and educational visit to The Royal Pavilion to see 'the most' extravagant dining room and residence ever. Built for Prince Regent in 1787. 

A super dinner with friends in their gorgeous listed Georgian home (top two floors overlooking the sea) a pre-dinner walk in their shared communal garden in Lewes Crescent.


The residences' private magical communal gardens
which inspired Lewis Carroll to write Alice in Wonderland and

 yes we looked for the rabbit hole. The gardens have their own tunnel
under the busy road to the beach.



















We usually use www.holidaylettings.co.uk for our accommodation whilst travelling and, so far, have had some lovely apartments. Works out cheaper and you get more space than in a hotel.


Wall art and lighting in our quirky rented Brighton studio































Getting lost in The Lanes in Brighton is a must do; a lazy day meandering around window shopping, having lunch (Plateau, Havana, Jamie Oliver, a la fresco listening to the buskers or some sandwiches from Pret-A-Manger and sit in the park next to the Pavilion to watch the Morris dancers or listening to classical bands) and definitely a cream tea at the pre-war Blackbird Tea Room in Ship Lane (we had several but whose counting).  

A visit to the Brighton Pier for some candy floss, whelks or a ride in to the Haunted House. A walk along Kempton to see the new, quirky shops and some adorable antique shops. Take the Volk Railway to the Marina, a quick peek to see if anyone's on the Naturist part of the beach (discreetly surrounded by mounds of pebbles to retain a little privacy from the gawkers and to not have the more prudish visitors fainting). 


Be warned!































A nice lunch at the Marina area overlooking the yachts. A week long festival at nearby Arundel Castle with great live music, BBQ'd lunch and ghost walks.

An overnight visit to friends in the Hampshire countryside to enjoy a serene and beautiful garden. A fantastic dinner party with friends whose hospitality was much, much appreciated.


A dining table with a view TDF
and the finest hospitality @ Christine Butler's




























But really what made the holiday was spending quality time with fab family and friends. Making great memories.  Thank you all. Love ya xxx



Monday, August 27, 2012

New Female Employee Parks in Boss' Parking and Then Has Him Assaulted When He Complains


Kuwait Times

A search is underway for a female employee from the Kuwait Municipality and her male companion, who physically assaulted her manager when she called the male companion for help following a dispute. The manager had reportedly summoned the newly appointed employee when he learned that she had parked her car in his parking space and removed the sign that marked it. Following a heated argument, the woman reportedly made a phone call, soon after which a man arrived and struck the manager, before he and the employee escaped. The manager filed a case with Salmiya police after receiving treatment.

LWDLIK - Is this a sign of what's to come? Hello people, big flashing warning sign!


K'S PATH Quiz Night


























Have you put together your very own team for K'S PATH Quiz Night? A fun evening for a worthy cause to be held Friday, September 28th, proudly hosted by and at the Australian College of Kuwait. Fabulous prizes, great dinner and loads of fun! This is one night you don't want to miss. All proceeds support K'S PATH programs. Sign up today! Email your team details to events@kspath.org





Every Child Deserves A Home: Zeina Al-Sultan Unveils The Truths Behind Adoption in Kuwait


In 'Adoption Story', a mother who gives birth to a baby girl leaves her newborn child at the mosque. When prayer time ends, some of the women leaving the mosque hear the child’s wailing. 

One of them takes the abandoned child to the hospital. The child is then adopted by a nice couple who learn to appreciate the child’s special powers. Adoption Story was written by the same baby girl whose mother had left her at the mosque. Seven-year-old Noor Mohamed lives with two other adopted kids, Gala and Abdulwahab, as members of Zeina Al-Sultan’s affectionate family.

Albeit experiencing some complications during child bearing, Zeina Al-Sultan was happily married. Her life changed dramatically after receiving a phone call from one of her doctor friends who worked with Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KAACH). Her friend told her about a case that the hospital had received: a two-day-old baby girl who was abandoned at a mosque and was then lying in Jahra hospital. Zeina’s friend had asked, ‘Would you like to see her?’

Without telling any members of her family, Zeina drove off to the hospital to see the abandoned child. Afterward, Zeina returned regularly to check over the little girl. When a month had passed, and no one had claimed the girl, Zeina decided to adopt her herself. She called the girl ‘Noor’ for light, as a testament to the baby’s lustrous smile. Unfortunately, Noor’s temperature began to rise to an alarming level.She was diagnosed with meningitis. After spending nine more days in the hospital on a strict regimen of antibiotics, Noor finally felt better and was allowed to leave with her new mother.

Three months passed before Zeina organized a proper assembly for her daughter. Kuwaitis were curious. Adoption was a topic as strange as cricket, and as taboo as premarital relationships. Even women who had adopted usually kept it a secret and passed off the kids as their biological spawn. Not Zeina. She held a meet-and-greet for her adopted daughter; an assembly dedicated to embrace her adoption. Not only was Zeina unabashed about what she did, but when her child reached three years of age, Zeina had sat her down to narrate the truth about her past.

Talking about the causes of child abandonment in Kuwait, Zeina narrowed them down to three. The first results from the dissolution of a marriage due to an argument. When parents argue, one spouse might separate from his or her partner, leaving the kids behind as a constant and agonizing reminder of the spouse’s abandonment. Forsaken partners tend to seek independenceby foregoing all their parental duties to their children. The kids are transferred to governmental facilities when neither parent desires the responsibility of raising them, and when no other family members step in to embrace them (such as uncles, aunts, or grandparents). Zeina explains that these are the worst cases because the abandoned children own identification papers (ID cards, citizenships, passports), which makes it difficult for the government to issue the kids alternative identities. These identification papers restrict the children’s movement, preventing them from attending school or traveling; it even forbids them from seeking adoption, because the government assumes that once the parents resolve their argument, then either one might reclaim their parental rights.

The second cause is the birth of illegitimate children. If a married woman cheats on her husband, or if she ends up pregnant from a rape and her husband chose not to give her child his name, the child would be transferred to the governmental facilities. If the mother used her real identification papers to check into the hospital, the hospital would then file a law suit against the mother before the child is officially settled in the facility of abandoned children. In Kuwait, however, bribes and cover ups tend to absolve the mother from the scandal of illegitimacy. As a result, a newborn, with no fault of his own, ends up spending all his life within four walls sharing the tutelage of an abusive employee with a host of other forsaken kids. These children are barred from public life including the right to belong to a different family because the facility withholds the real identity of the mother.

In the third case, the child’s parents are not revealed to the authorities. This was Noor’s situation—a two day old baby left by the mosque to be rescued by random strangers. This constitutes the best case scenario for abandoned kids. Although they may never find out the identity of their real biological parents, and despite the threat of being picked up by a pervert or a mentally unstable individual, if an abandoned child manages to enter the facility with obscure origins, the government gains the right to issue new identification papers, enabling the child to enjoy the comfort of a new family, of traveling, and schooling.

When Zeina sat her daughter down to tell her the truth about her past, Noor decided she wanted a sister. Zeina’s next trip to the facility highlighted another agonizing truth about adoption in Kuwait. She walked into the room and found a plethora of boys. When Zeina asked the employee who was stationed at the ward for the purpose behind this ratio, the employee replied “Kuwaitis don’t adopt boys.”

Girls are cute. They dress up. They bond with their mothers even after they come of age. And for most of the women who adopt, it is the fantasy of raising a daughter that mitigates their shame with their own infertility. Instead of bringing home a sister, Zeina returned with a baby boy. Since Noor and Abdulwahab’s ages weren’t far apart, Zeina found a woman to breastfeed them both—making them brother and sister according to Islamic doctrine.
More years passed before Zeina desired to expand her family yet again. This time, Zeina wanted a girl. She contacted the facility and informed them of her preference. Then she waited until she received the call.

Zeina explains, “When a child is born, it needs to be touched and spoken to. That is how you can engage their senses. But if children are neglected; if no one talks to them, or holds them, then their senses cease to function.”

Gala was around two when Zeina decided she wanted to adopt her. Since her mother was known, the facility rejected Zeina’s pleas. Yet Gala was quickly devolving. She did not speak or communicate with the other children in the facility, and she rarely ate. She suffered bouts of all sorts of illnesses. Zeina persevered until the facility finally conceded to allow her “weekly visitation rights,” insisting that Gala be returned to the facility during weekends. This arrangement carried on for a while in case Gala’s mother decided to claim her. Zeina finally made the authorities sign a concession. When I asked her if this meant that one day, Gala’s mother might knock on Zeina’s door and ask for her biological child back Zeina shrugged. “She’s my daughter till then. She deserves a home.”

Gala’s illnesses continued and it took a while longer for her to settle into her new home, to talk, eat, and smile again. But the fright of her illness made Zeina contact the facility and demand Gala’s medical history. When the facility refused, Zeina came up with the idea to create Special Mothers—a group dedicated to parents of adopted kids.

One of Special Mothers’ primary aims is to encourage the government to provide the children’s medical histories to adopting families. It hopes to achieve this by amassing an influential number of people who could lobby for their aims. The group currently exists on Facebook, they also meet monthly to discuss various subjects, such as the proper age to disclose the truth about a child’s past, what happens when these adopted kids reach a marrying age, and what books to read.

There are still many complications in the adoption process that Special Mothers intend to resolve. For example, parents are prohibited from bequeathing their family names to their adopted children. Whereas DNA tests continue to enjoy rising levels of sophistication, the government invalidated their use in adoption arguing that these tests could potentially reveal many skeletons in the closets of Kuwaiti families. Another major concern arises when biological parents decide to claim their children from adoptive parents. Zeina recalls a case in one of their Special Mothers’ meetings in which a biological mother contacted the facility after decades of abandoning the child in order to inquire about the child’s whereabouts. The facility gave the mother the address for the child’s adopted parents – without their consent and without preparing them for the meeting. When the adopted parents refused to return “their child,” the matter went to court. The challenge then persists as the government issues a lawyer for the adopted parents of its own choosing, whereas the biological parent has the right to choose their own lawyer. Making matters worse, governmentally selected lawyers are often unconcerned with the results of a given case. These inequities tip the odds in the favor of the biological parents who are the primary cause of the child’s abandonment in the first place.

Special Mothers desires more tolerance and orientation in schools. Zeina explains, “Think what these boys would feel like, for example, if a school teacher asked them to draw a family portrait, when they had grown up in a facility without either parent?” Zeina believes that a school teacher should receive adequate orientation regarding an adopted child to help them deal with cases of a sensitive nature. In fact, education and orientation should begin with the employees at the facility who are themselves biased against these kids. One employee even had the audacity to exclaim to Zeina, “These are illegitimate kids. Why should I waste my time with them?”

Zeina Sultan is continually developing Special Mothers, hoping to offer a comforting environment for parents who are also experiencing the turmoil of adoption. Zeina knows that the road ahead of her is a complicated one. What will Noor’s teenage years be like? How can Zeina secure her daughter’s marital future? Special Mothers aspires to cut through society’s layers of prejudice and focuses on a single noble cause: committing every forsaken child to a loving family. By going to their Facebook page and communicating with them, you too can support the Special Mothers’ dream.

Voice for Success is a program initiated by en.v in collaboration with the Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI) to promote Kuwaiti civil society by giving greater visibility to local social activists. Learn more about Voice for Success on www.voiceforsuccess.envearth.com.

LWDLIK - Thanks to www.envearth.com for sharing this wonderful story.

Dear Zeina, you are an incredible human being. Your story and your kids' pics made my heart sing. XXXX

Have asked for the link for Zeina's FB page so check back if you're interested to learn more.

Ready to Jiggle Your Bits, Have Fun and Lose Weight?



























Join our classes

Belly Dancing
Afro
Samba reggae

For 50KD one month 3 classes a week at 7:00 PM with Haifa 

Every

SUNday
TUEsday
THUrsday

Adress: Surrah, block4, st12
Above Lamod Saloon ..

for more information :
Whatsup: 67668824
Tel:25352142

Facebook :
(Bellydancing classes in Kuwait)
Email: Q80_bellydancer@hotmail.com

Twitter:
Q80blackswan

Interested in Learning to Dance?



































"Dance makes moments,
You’ll never relent
Come take the Dive
 with Salsa & Jive,
Two left feet won’t stop the beat.
Join us Now as an Individual or a Couple
            .. And watch the floor Heat"
 
              Individual attention provided
    
              For more information, please call
 
              Sunny:97979816
  
              Stacy 94445711


LWDLIK - Now this is something I should be considering seriously after a very indulgent holiday. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Yay! The Flamingos are Back - Thanks to the Wonderful Volunteers at K'S Path and Al Yaal.

(Photography by K'S PATH Volunteer Rovina Costa)


















The birds are back at Kuwait's 'mangrove' beach at Sulaibikhat, a key ecologically rich marine habitat protected by K'S PATH's marine conservation program and Al Yaal. The green stretch of vegetation alongside the mangroves was first spotted early this summer, the result of countless hours put in by volunteers to clear what was for long a 'river of waste'. The clean-up at this site on August 24th was highlighted by the first sighting of a flock of flamingos and other bird species since the onset of summer 2012. They still  have a lot of work to do at this site including shoveling recently deposited top-layer debris. Join in to protect this fragile habitat. Contact K'S PATH [link] and Al Yaal [link] if you want to learn more.


Holiday's Over :O(


Arundel Castle, Sussex
We got back at 4am today. Left my new wonderful cookbook on the plane, maid started asking for KD 8000 as we had breakfast  - with a story that had my head whirling - and then she 
insisted she go to church.. now.. leaving me wth bags and holiday aftermath. And I thought I'd missed her...

Got some terrible news about Goran, a friend of ours. Hoping and praying he'll have a speedy full recovery. 

:O(

We did have a lovely holiday made even better by spending lots of time with adorable family and friends. Had great weather which gave us the typical English summer tan marks, you know the ones; half sleeves, neckline and lily white legs with shoe outlines on your feet. The weather had been so glorious that I had to pray for rain on our departure day or risk falling into homesick gloominess. But God did deliver and it chucked it down on our leaving date. Which helped a little.

Will be back later to advertise glorious England for your next summer holiday. Weather permitting of course :O)



Get Well Goran - Kuwait National Football Team Coach Shot in Land Dispute























Kuwait national football coach shot by neighbor.

The coach of Kuwait’s national football team, Goran Tufegdžić, has been shot by his neighbor after the two fought over a piece of land in his native Serbia.

“The coach is in critical condition. He is currently at the intensive care unit,” Ali Mahmoud, the Kuwaiti team supervisor, told Al Arabiya.


Tufegdžić, 42, has led Kuwait to win the West Asian Championship in 2011 and the Gulf Cup in Yemen in 2010. He has recently extended his contract to coach the Kuwaiti team for one more year. With a $300,000 annual salary, he is considered one of the most highly-paid coaches to ever manage the team.
LWDLIK - Sad news indeed. Wishing dear Goran a full recovery.