According to an article I found on Forbes, President Obama is keen to getting rid of the American Penny. His argument is that there are over 6 billion people who have phones, so why not go on with making payments through their mobile phones? It won’t be much later till all physical evidence of both paper money and coins will be a thing of the past. Payments for virtually everything will be done through fingerprints or mobile phones.
There’s an NFC chip inside most mobile phone chips that can transmit banking and payment data when placed near certain card readers. According to forbes.com, “a debit card, a mobile phone can display interactive payment details. And, instead of the credit card application process of filling out paperwork and waiting for the mail, using a mobile phone to pay requires only the download of an app and linking to bank details. PayPal president, David Marcus, calls it Money 3.0.”
This notion has started in Kuwait through a company called Borolo. Basically, all you have to do is go to a Second Cup or a Coffee Republic and they’ll give you a sticker to place on the back of your phone and voila! This feature is only available for Viva users for now, but soon this notion will be widespread in all shops and telephones. Also, what’s amazing about this is that it doesn’t need to be a smart phone! Even if you’re using an ancient phone and have no cash on you, you can still have yummy coffee.
If you pay your phone bill at the end of every month, it just adds to the overall payment; and if you recharge your phone, it deducts from your credit. You don’t need to pay anything extra for a subscription. What do you guys think of mobile payments? Are you with or against it?
Apparently all women in Iran that are to play for the National Team need to go through mandatory gender tests to prove that they are actually women and haven’t undergone any gender changing operations. These “random” checks have been issued after loads of different “women” four of which are members of the national team were found to have gone through gender changing surgeries. They varied from men who had not yet gone through with the gender change surgery, or were suffering from sexual development issues.
Iran has legalized gender change operations according to a Fatwa, or religious ruling, pronounced by the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Medical examiners will turn up unannounced at training sessions of teams playing in Iran’s women’s premier league, as well as those playing in the indoor league, known as footsal.
Ahmad Hashemian, head of the Iranian football federation’s medical committee, said “Those unable to prove they are female would be barred from taking part in the women’s leagues until they underwent medical treatment”
I thought this was pretty funny considering how strict Iran was and how proper everyone there is. I didn’t know sex change operations were legal in Iran, and I’m sure a gazzillion other people didn’t either. Anyway, I thought I would share this with you! Lemme know what you think.
I think it’s really sad how workers in this country get treated on a daily basis. I have countlessly witnessed people abusing domestic workers regardless of if they were the street cleaners or maids.
I’m gonna go on a rant, but I can’t wrap my head around people who have kids and then have their nanny’s take care of them? Why? I understand that some women may be working moms, my mom was, and we had a baby sister to make sure we didn’t kill ourselves while she was at work and clean, but other than that my mom was our mom. My mom took us to parks, my mom fed and cooked for us, my mom was the one who carried us as children, not the nanny. You don’t have kids so someone else can raise them, you have kids so you can give another human being a part of your soul, your life, your everything.
Anyway, not my point. These poor workers haven’t gotten paid for the past 4 months, work in poor working conditions, and get zero respect from more privileged individuals. Imagine what it’s like to be paid, what? like 20 KD a month, stuck in a room with 40 other people and have to be awake at the crack of dawn to pick up other people’s garbage just to send home a couple bills to try and keep your family alive.
It’s sad. Bend down and pick up something, then throw it on the floor again and pick it up. Do that a couple times and see how good your back feels. Someone the age of your father does this for a living. People are so cruel and disrespectful it’s horrible.
Do good, everyone is fighting their own battles just to survive everyday. Be thankful for everything you’ve got, there are millions of people around the world who would be thrilled to have a roof over their heads.
So, we’ve all heard about the deportation laws when someone’s caught speeding and what not, and I’m sure many other, myself included, have taken very lightly to it. BUT to much of my surprise, HUNDRED’s have already been deported in the last month for traffic violations alone, and this has raised many concerns for human rights groups in the nation.
According to telegraph.co.uk, a senior interior ministry official said that as many as 1,258 foreigners have been deported for traffic violations since a crackdown began about a month ago, according to the Al-Anbaa newspaper.
There are new computer systems installed in police cars where they don’t need to stop you to know if your papers have expired, instead they just scan your license plate number and all your information pops us. Fun stuff, ehh?
The Kuwait Society for Human Rights called on the government to halt the deportations describing them as “oppressive”.
“The oppressive measure against expatriates… violates the basic principles of human rights,” it said.
So be safe and make sure you’re all legally driving, please. If you’re gonna get in trouble and get kicked out of the country, at least let it be something worth it, not passing a red light or having expired papers. I know the ministry systems and the process of getting things done here is ridiculous, but it’s honestly not worth it.
Out of curiosity, I was checking how Kuwait is doing in the recently updated Corruption Perceptions Index 2013, and it truly depresses me to tell you that things are getting worse. I recall our last year’s ranking was 67/177, while the new ranking is 69/177 (see above). Also according to the Transparency International Oreganization, we are the mostly currupted country among the GCC countries. Sadly I can relate to this worsening ranking in more ways than one.
Seemingly, most of the curruption is ocurring within the public sector (administration, political) and it’s daylight clear that so far we’ve done nothing (or at least not enough) to fight it back. Well, I remember reading news about Kuwait intention to appoint an anti-corruption chief and to set rigid Anti-corruption penalties that can go up to 7 years in jail, but nothing as of yet.
I read this recently published survey by Condé Nast about ‘The Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the World for tourists, and to my surprise that Kuwait and Saudi Arabia were among the unfriendliest cities. First I’d like to correct those who conducted the survey; Kuwait isn’t a city, it’s a country unless they are referring to Kuwait City itself. I’ll also assume that the obtained results of this survey are indeed credible. Now that being said, frankly I can’t really pass 100% non-biased judgement on this since I’m Kuwaiti and I can’t really tell how others (tourists) see Kuwait, but I think that one of the reasons here is the absence of night clubs, pubs, drinks, and generally night life that many people around the world nowadays consider an important aspect of tourism.However, not-having this kind of night life should not place us among the “unfriendliest list”. Let’s think about it for a sec, people don’t just go to Dubai (which happens to score very high ranking) for merely night-clubbing, many visit Dubai for the pleasant family experience and shopping.
I think problem with Kuwait is that it doesn’t facilitate and encourage the true concept of tourism. Yes we have numerous shopping malls and restaurants out there but that’s not everything, I know for sure that getting a tourist VISA isn’t an easy thing in Kuwait to start with. Another reason is that our culture is not tourist-oriented, we simply have to be more friendly and welcoming with people visiting us and leave positive impression. Staring at someone or a slight dispute over a parking spot should not get anyone killed after all. What are your thoughts fellas?
Unfriendliest cities:1. Newark, New Jersey2. Islamabad, Pakistan3. Oakland, California4. Luanda, Angola5. Kuwait City, Kuwait6. Lome, Togo7. New Haven, Connecticut8. Detroit, Michigan9. Atlantic City, New Jersey10. Tangier, Morocco
I read this newly published statistic by Civil Service Commission in Kuwait regarding the highest paying-jobs within government sector. Interestingly, those who are working in petroleum sector are enjoying the highest salaries followed by the auditing diwan, Kuwait investment authority, and Kuwait Airways. Conversely, lowest paying job is social affairs for disabled followed by the Public Authority for Minors Affairs and public authority for agriculture.
At least now I know exactly where my next job should be.
While having dinner (well it was Suhoor) last night at Kuwait City with some friends we started talking about how Kuwait City has changed in the last ten years with many tall buildings starting to appear. I love skyscrapers and high rise buildings, they make the city skyline look more beautiful (especially at night) and futuristic in a way. Take Dubai for example, Sheikh Zayed Road is now world famous for all those high rise buildings. So I decided to post about the planned and under construction towers in Kuwait City. So are you ready?
Central Bank of Kuwait New HQ: I’m sure you all have seen this one, it’s located in Sharq on the Gulf Road nearby Al Seef Palace. I was told the height is around 240 meters and there are 41 floors, and a multi–storey car park building (three basements, a ground floor, and 4 floors above the ground level). Below are 3D models showing how it will look once it’s completed.
Burj Al Shaya: I think it’s also called Gate of Kuwait (not sure though) and I read that it’s 320-metre high and planned to be used as a five-star hotel (Four Seasons hotel), office space, multi-storey car park, convention center and high-end retail space. It’s located nearby Burj Jasim and is designed by the same designers behind The Avenues mall and expected completion date is 2015.
Wataniya Telecom New HQ: It’s the new head quarter for Wataniya Telecom and it’s located at Sour Street next to the Liberation Tower. I remember the opening was during Kuwait National Day celebrations back in February and there was a show projected on the building exterior.
New NBK HQ Tower: I see it everytime I go to Al Hamra Tower, it’s located right across the street from Al Hamra Luxury Center. I was told by a friend that architectural design was created by renowned designer Foster + Partners and its height is about 300 meters and will consists of 60 floors plus 3 basements.
Kuwait Business Town (KBT): I saw it when I drove across Mirqab, I’m not sure what it is exactly but it seemed like a shopping and business tower. Luckily I found the video below (in Arabic) that explains the idea of this tower.