Wednesday, May 27, 2015

No money to pay for private school Tuition

As a volunteer with OH we come across parents who can't afford to their child's tuition. Our group is not financially able to provide that type of assistance so what do they do? As I posted before the inflation rate in Kuwait is extremely high, rent is high, food is high and of course tuition eats away at what's left of the monthly salary that never increases enough to cover monthly expenses.

So what do parents do when they run into this situation?

When the end of the year comes and a parent is unable to pay and the school is already asking for registration for the next year because 'there are only a few places left so you must pay registration now to save your child's place' which is not usually the case, the school is just trying to suck more money out of the parent what do they do? The parent can't take the child out of the school as the school keeps all records and will not release them until the amount is fully paid. Will they let the child attend the next year of school even though there is still a balance from the previous year?

I've heard of organizations out there that help expats pay for the tuition but most of them are Arabic related, what if the parent is not Arab? Where are these organizations located? I met a Behbehani lady who does this type pf charity but I don't know the details or qualifications to receive their help. It's too bad the schools don't offer some kind of work for the mother or some way of paying it off, the people who work in school administration never give up their jobs because they get a discount so landing one of those is almost impossible.

Can schools blacklist parents due to non-payment? It's getting more and more difficult to live in Kuwait.

Red Bull Drift Event

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Kuwait's inflation- no end in Sight?

Kuwait’s inflation has soared to its highest level in three years, at 3.4 percent, according to the official statistics office.The significant rise is heavily influenced by housing costs, which account for nearly 29 percent of consumer expenses. They jumped 6.3 percent year-on-year but were flat month-on-month.The waiting list for government housing in the Gulf state is at least 20 years, according to past reports. An influx of expatriates, who account for two-thirds of the population, without matching residential construction, also has caused rents to climb significantly.

Food and beverages, which account for more than 8 percent of the basket, rose 2.3 percent from a year earlier and 1 percent from a month ago.Kuwait is under pressure to reform its public spending, including reigning in subsidies and increasing spending on infrastructure, which has failed to keep up with population growth.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the finance ministry have said the country risks dipping into a deficit as early as 2017 if it does not respond to economic reforms.Oil accounts for more than 90 percent of export revenues and the state budget. The economy has been hit hard by the 50 percent fall in oil prices since June.

Costa Coffe opens at Sea View Complex

Monday, May 25, 2015

Dubai Parks and Resorts 2016

Coming late 2016 to Dubai

Motiongate Dubai- Movie lovers all over the globe, motiongate™ Dubai welcomes you to a cinematic journey into the fantasy world of films. Dive into an alternative universe of captivating stories and adventures with your favourite animated characters from Hollywood .

Enjoy unique, high-value entertainment with the latest-in-technology attractions and new-generation rides that recreate the thrill only motion pictures can deliver.

Best-in-branded entertainment from three of the largest and most successful motion picture studios in Hollywood – DreamWorks Animation, Sony Pictures Studios and Lionsgate – complete your visit to a world of innovation and creative storytelling

Bollywod Parks- Bollywood comes to life for the first time in the Middle East at Bollywood Parks™. Experience the vibrant celebration of Mumbai’s famous film industry.

Live, learn and soak in the quaint charm of classic blockbusters. With live entertainment and stage performances transporting you into a realm of all things Bollywood, celebrate quintessential filmy flair at the retail outlets, themed F&B restaurants, and the flamboyant cinematic rides.

Legoland Dubai- As the first LEGOLAND® theme park in the Middle East and the seventh worldwide, LEGOLAND® Dubai will bring the well-known LEGO® brick to life in a unique interactive world specifically designed for children aged 2-12, encouraging them to stretch their imaginations and their skills as the ‘heroes’ in a fun day spent together with friends and family.

LEGOLAND® Dubai will feature over 15,000 LEGO® models made from more than 60 million LEGO® bricks. This includes over 40 interactive rides, shows and attractions – all set in six themed areas.

Lapita Hotel- Check into our Polynesian themed resort and enjoy a soothing yet captivating stay with us. Expansive pathways sprinkled with colourful flowers adorn the entrance to Lapita. The Dubai Parks and Resorts’ experience continues into the guest rooms where the comfort and d├ęcor will ensure an unforgettable stay.

Riverland Dubai-Journey through time and experience the streetmosphere that takes you on a journey through three different eras: a French village from the 1600s, the Colonial architecture of the 1930s, and America of the 1950s.

Stop by a medieval French town and soak in the historic architecture of Europe in the late 1600s. Towers, turrets and the water wheels draw you in, while street performances and outdoor dining and meandering alleyways transport you to a different world

Walk through an urban street bustling with excitement from jugglers to live entertainers, relive the thrill of early Los Angeles and Las Vegas and enjoy the palm trees and bright neon signage that tower over you. link

I'm most interested in the Riverland Dubai as I love the 1600's and early America. It sounds like a great place to visit during the non-humid season in Dubai. In Kuwait we have, Shaab Park and a potential 'Six Flags' themed park.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Vanity in Kuwait starts in KG

Anyone who has been to Avenues or anywhere in Kuwait can see how vain some women are. A lot of them have to wear loads of makeup, perfect eyebrows, contacts, fake eyelashes and plumped up lips all of which are frowned upon in Islam besides makeup but even that shouldn't make you look like a completely different person. As new contouring techniques come out and women strive to be the most beautiful female on Instagran it will only get worse.

I often wondered when does vanity start in Kuwait and today I have found out, it starts in KG. My daughter who is Kuwaiti by birth but has a mixed heritage is constantly being picked on in the government schools because she has curly hair. Before she started school she never had a problem other than the fact that she's the only one with that texture hair. I have always told her she is beautiful and her hair is a gift from God and to embrace it.

When we go out she is always told how nice her hair is but once she started the government school she hates it. She tells me no one else has curly hair and she wants straight hair to the point of crying if she has to wear it down. Tomorrow is her KG graduation and she had pictures today so I fixed her curly hair and immediately she started freaking out crying and saying it's not nice. She continued all the way to school walking in with her hands on her head trying to hide her hair.

When she got home she told me her teacher told her that she has to have straight hair for tomorrow. Teachers are supposed to be educators and nurturers of fragile minds not making a child feel like she is less because of her hair. The teachers already have a problem because my kids are not fluent in Arabic and tend to pick on them already. I've heard stories from halfie Kuwaiti citizens and they have often said they were picked on in the government schools because they were mixed.

It's sad to think that the early years of children's lives are spent learning what is and isn't socially accepted instead of learning to love themselves for who they are. We have complained already because of the singling out of the kids but no one cares. After a hot day on the playground my son was sweaty of course and the nurse told him he stinks and to tell his mom  he needs a shower. What is wrong with these educators? I can watch my kids on the playground from my apartment window and I often see them getting hit and teachers are off to the side chit chatting.

Teaching is not just putting on make up, Cartier bracelets and Valentino heels, it's about teaching children life skills and learning how the world works. It's ugly enough out there without having to get it from your teachers. No, my child will not have her hair straightened, she will have the natural curls she was blessed with and I dare anyone to say something.

I really try my best not to piss off the teachers because they will make school hell for them. It's all about the parents, who they are, what family they are from and how much money they have. If you spoil the teachers with gifts and small talk then your child will be included in the plays and will stand out and if you complain and disagree then your child will be picked on and tormented. My goal is to have my children learn to read and write Arabic, once they gain that I will probably move them to a bilingual school. My daughter is not her hair as India Arie says.

I am not my hair video by India Arie.

New York Seltzer coming back to the Market

--Original New York Seltzer — the 1980s classic soft drink that was a favorite of Rambo actor Sly Stallone — is making a triumphant return after a two decade absence, beginning with online sales and expanding to grocery stores and restaurants across the country in the coming days.--

Founded in 1981 by the father and son team Alan and Randy Miller in Walnut, California, the brand’s popularity soared in the 1980s, focusing on a “natural” approach to soft drinks using a preservative-free formula in an era when such a practice was largely unheralded. Bubbly, fizzy and sold in charming siphon-style glass bottles embellished with a New York City motif, ONYS was omnipresent, with flavors ranging from vanilla cream soda to orange. One of the company’s biggest points of differentiation quickly became the complete foregoing of artificial color, meaning that while raspberry tasted like raspberry, no unnecessary magenta hue bogged it down.

Who else remembers this drink besides me? I also remember zeltzer seltzer four pack.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Suicide bomber strikes Qatif, Saudi Arabia

A suicide bomber has detonated his explosives at a Shia mosque in eastern Saudi Arabia during Friday prayers, killing at least seven people and wounding several others, witnesses said. One witness described a huge explosion at the Imam Ali Mosque in a village in the province of Qatif, where more than 150 people were praying.

An activist told the AFP news agency that at least four worshippers were killed, while a source told the Reuters news agency that there appeared to be at least 30 casualties in the attack. More recent estimates have placed the death toll higher. Pictures posted on social media purported to show the devastation, with dead bodies strewn across the floor and shattered glass covering the courtyard of the mosque.

That is hitting a little too close to home, Qatif is roughly three hours away from Kuwait.