Sunday, July 13, 2014

Explore the Beaches at Khiran and Zour

If you're on my Facebook page ( you'll know that I had question on there a few weeks back asking if it was illegal to go swimming in a bathing suit during Ramadan. While it is not technically illegal, if you go to open/public areas (like along Blaajat Street), it might still get you arrested.  Go somewhere secluded (where you will not appear "disrespectful" in a bathing suit.)

I go swimming every weekend in the Khiran area; Ramadan or not and bathing attire is no problem because during Ramadan - there isn't a soul around (except for a few laborers working on the chalets under construction).  It is secluded and very clean (workers actually rake the beaches every day for trash) and the water is clear.   I let my dog run free.  Non-Ramadan is a little busier, but you can still find areas where there are no people if you drive around a little (no cars, no people...)

Getting there is a hike; it is about 45 minutes down either 30 (Fahaheel Expressway) or 40 (Malik Al Fahed) towards the Saudi border to exit 278. (And watch your speed - there are point-to-point cameras which measure your speed/time over distance rather than by cameras.  The overhead arches have cameras in them and you'll get a ticket - unless you have a Saudi license plate and that is like a license to speed in Kuwait... Just sayin.)

I guess they are planning to build Khiran City because it's not there yet...
Exit 278 and Chalets/Resort is to the left after this sign.
GPS:  28.677533, 48.298381

Turn Right at this sign - that's 278

Watch for massive speed bumps on 278.  They're hard to see and killer on your suspension!  Once you get on 278, you go straight down.  If you go all the way down to the end of 278, you'll come to the Khiran Resort.  I think they charge to get in, but you can drive around and see the resort.  You have to rent one of their chalets if you want to use the beaches there, however.

Where we swim is on the Zour side to the left of 278 (U-turn just before the bridge or alternatively, U-turn just after the bridge.  GPS: 28.687738, 48.385853 ).  If you take the first U-turn, take the first right (at the U), then the first paved road on the right (there will be an electric sub-station there).  You can go all the way down to the end of the road, or stop anywhere along the way (on the right of the road).   There are berms and trenches surrounding most of the beaches because the chalets are either still under construction or the land is still for sale.  You can either pull up next to a chalet and walk next to the wall for beach access; or just watch for where there are paths leading over the berms.

(Taken with my iPhone - and no filter added.
This is what you see!)

The streets are paved with the exception of several areas off-road where you might be better trying it in a 4x or higher vehicle.  (Any rental car is built for 4-wheeling so that's never a problem.)

There is no heavy current.  These are inlet beaches so the water is more shallow and great for kids.  What you won't find are public toilets (it's the sea...) or restaurants or even food trucks. (Although there is a Sultan Center mini-store on the Zour Chalets side near the boat ramp -  GPS:  28.676015, 48.381739.)   Bring your own food/water (and an umbrella!).  A lot of people go at night and make small barbecues on the beach.

The chalet architecture is also interesting if you just want to take a drive around.

There are closer beaches like at Dubaiiya or Julaii'a, but you have to explore along the road until you find access - and those places will likely require a 4x4 to get to (or you'll end up hiking in with your stuff).  The places I'm describing at Khiran/Zour are close to the road, so you don't have much of a trek.  The other beaches also may not be as clean as Khiran/Zour as they're not patrolled by cleaners.

This is the map of the Khiran area.  As you can see, there are a lot of inlets and places to see and to swim.  You can take exits 278, 285 or 290 and get to the sea.  (For those of you now upset with me for divulging this national secret - there are a LOT of beaches, not just one....)

If you are interested in diving, my friends at Al Boom have trips from Khiran resort (straight down 278).  You need to book in advance.  They will take you out to the islands (Um Al Moradim, Qaroh, or Khubbar - depending on where they want to dive that day) for 10kd per person for the entire day.  See my previous post here.  Their contact information is Tel : 965-4830570 /4830474 /4834831  Fax : 965-4838293  website :

If you are interested in renting chalets in the Khiran area, there are several realtors on Instagram @luxury_chalets @chaletrent                

For more photos and info, Ladies Who Do Lunch in Kuwait Blog has video clips taken from The Discovery Channel's documentary on Sea City  LINK HERE.                                                                                               

Donate Leftover Food to Poor People in Kuwait

I'm plagiarizing this morning because I' sleepy and I'm just not feeling creative.  (Ok a little, but not much...). This is a direct plagirization from Crazy in Kuwait's blog post today.  I think it is noteworthy and important.

Note to lazy people:   these guys will pick up from you.

Leftover Food Donation
Crazy in Kuwait Blog

Many people in Kuwait are used to buying and cooking more food than what they really need. They then throw away the rest, while there are hundreds of poor people in need who could benefit from it. The Al Bir Charity Foundation is now collecting leftover food and any excess food that people don’t need or will not consume soon, and distribute it to families in need.

Al Bir was founded in 1988 by Dr Ahmad Al-Muzaini, who saw similar scheme applied in Saudi Arabia and brought it to Kuwait. It started first with food only, and was called the surplus food committee, but today they also accept other items that people would like to donate to poor families. “Our goal is to provide help to families in need living in Kuwait, no matter their nationality or in which area they live.

Our sociologist will research their case and check all official documents about their debt, health condition, death certificate for orphans, and other documents depending on the case,” Mohammed Al-Muzaini, Chairman of Al Bir, told Kuwait Times. The majority of the recipients are non-Kuwaitis. “We focus on the expats as they live in worse situations.

Kuwaitis usually receive support and allowances from the government, while expats don’t. We realize the great increase in cost of living including rent, commodities and everything else. I don’t think there are other charities helping expats apart from the Patients Help Fund, which can’t cover all cases. We focus to make people aware to make good deeds by donating extra food or things they have to others who will benefit from them,” added Muzaini. “There are many things people don’t need anymore and can donate to others. For instance, some people used crutches and have recovered, so they don’t need them anymore and can donate them.

Also, women can give their wedding dresses to poor girls who will get married soon and don’t have money to buy one. Or people can give away furniture that they don’t need, or electronics. We also have donors who donate new electronics – they buy the item and tell us to take it from the shop and deliver it to the poor,” he explained. The foundation is working during the whole year, but is more active during the holy month of Ramadan. “Throughout the year, we deliver 450 meals daily to laborers.

During Ramadan, we deliver 2,000 meals in markets and mosques where laborers usually gather in Jleeb, Amghara, Rai and others,” stressed Muzaini.

Al Bir also cooperates with companies in the food industry. “Companies supplying supermarkets have to follow regulations by removing foodstuff two months before expiry.This food is not expired yet, and other people can benefit from it. So we advise them to donate this food to poor families,” he noted. People who would like to donate leftover food or any food that may expire before they consume it can contact Al Bir on 24830050/40, and their driver will come to the house and collect

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Expat Moms in Kuwait

I get asked a lot of mom/children related questions here and I should be the last person to ask or to give advice.... but I try to help.  My friend, Emily, recommended this forum and I thought I would pass it along.

This group welcomes English-speaking expatriate mothers of all faiths/origins/beliefs, living in or shortly moving to Kuwait.

The purpose of our group is to:
1) Provide an information service to our members on the practical aspects of living in Kuwait (e.g. schools, hospitals, transportation).
2) Provide a portal for our members to arrange outings/playdates/meet-ups, etc.
3) Keep each other informed of events happening in Kuwait.
4) Provide an outlet for items for sale by members through our Classifieds section.
5) Provide positive and negative product and service information through our Reviews section.

Membership Requirements:
1) Speak English
2) Be an expatriate living in Kuwait or shortly moving to Kuwait
3) Be a mother or a 'mother-to-be'

If you fit the bill, please Sign Up and we look forward to welcoming you into our community! :)

The link is:

Saveco Kuwait - My new happy place

Sometimes I think I'm helpful; and other times I feel like I'm living under a rock and totally behind-the-times.

I have heard about Saveco for a while now, but I'm one of those people whose primary concern about shopping is the parking lot and ingress/egress.  I avoided The Avenues for a long time because parking was a problem (I now know a secret parking place where most people haven't figured out how to get to - saving me frustration and time!).  Anyhoo, I used to work in the same strip where Saveco is in Rai/ Shuwaikh next to the Friday Market and the construction they were doing there (and the amount of people who seemed to be going there to play demolition derby/vehicular manslaughter was a major turn-off).  Things appear to have settled down AND I have found that NO ONE is there at Iftar time (woo hoo!) so that's when I went. (Saveco has parking both in the front and rear of the store, so honestly, I can't complain toooo much.)

My buddies at Bazaar Magazine published a very nice article on Saveco last month -  which I only now read.  I'm even more impressed by the store now that I know about the background and the CEO/founder (and that she's female and went to school in Baaahstin - you go, girl!)    I like the entire concept.  It is refreshing and I honestly wish her total success; hoping she will be able to make it a chain.  The concept is actually better than I have seen at my favorite US stores (like Whole Foods or even Wegman's)

My own perspective was this:  (walking through the aisles, eyes wide with wonder/amazement, mumbling out loud, "This is AWESOME!" and calling my girlfriends to tell them).   I ALWAYS say that you can judge a store and their ownership by how happy their employees seem (sadly, we've got a lot of unhappy employees for the most part in Kuwait as progressive HR methodology hasn't caught up to the rest of the world). Saveco employees were happy, friendly and helpful; and not at all in-your-face with the "sir-maams" and BS (like in some stores where the sales clerks are forced to follow you around and ask stupid questions).  This store felt "real".  It's quality. Quality products.  Quality displays.  Quality people.  BAM.  The prices were also quite good.

You can read more in detail in the Bazaar article (I can't write anything more - or anything better - than they have).  Saveco has a food academy and I am hoping that I can get my hands on their schedule (which I will gladly publish periodically if someone will send me).  I am also hopeful that they will have Kuwaiti cuisine classes - I will be totally in as long as they are authentic.

Here are some photos I took.  Go check the place out for yourself.  You're going to love it!  It's at the corner of 4th Ring Road and 55 Airport Road in Shuwaikh.  Next to the Friday Market (do NOT go see the animals in the Friday Market!!!  CLOSE THAT PLACE DOWN!)

View of fruit and veggies section downstairs.
Home section upstairs.
(There is also a cafe upstairs that is clean and airy)
Fish art

Hey - here's something new... meat thermometers.  Imagine that.
They have a very large meat and cheese section
Large pet section - look at the massive rawhide bones, Mikey!

OTT selection of baking dishes/displays
(including cupcake holders)

Spanx - Massive amounts of stuff to bake and
 decorate yummy things with!
Food academy offering cooking classes!

Here is my personal wishlist of future sections to see in Saveco in the future:  Florist, pre-prepared gourmet foods (like Wegmans - OMG!), maybe organic/holistic vitamins, cosmetics and toiletries like Wholefoods.

I just love this store!  Go there!

Thanks, Bazaar Magazine for the good read and for providing the following contact information:

Saveco is located in Al-Rai off the 4th Ring Road.  Contact them at 2228 7700 or visit their website at  You can follow them on Facebook and Instagram @saveco, or on Twitter @SaveCoQ8.  For more information on the Food Academy you can call 9714 6363 or follow them on Twitter@FoodAcademyKw or Instagram @TheFoodAcademy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Meeting Desert Guy's Wife

I got home and really didn't have much trouble deciding what to wear (white linen pants and my favorite floral print top).  It was the first time in months that I put on heels (because of my back pain/fractured disc). I knew that I wouldn't be standing for long, but I wanted to look taller.  I went for cute, but not OTT.   Turns out, there was no need to stress over what to wear (but we all do, don't we?)

Mrs. Desert Guy wore a very pretty duraa and had her hair in a pony tail.  We met at the door and did the kissy thing like we were old friends who hadn't seen each other in a very long time.

I've seen DGy's "Parade of Bimbos" for years now, and I was expecting to see a heavily-made-up-Barbie doll person in something tight.  She was not.  She's probably a little younger than I am.  She is well traveled, well-educated, sophisticated and elegant.  And extremely gracious and hospitable.  We even have mutual friends.  Who knew?

You know when you meet people and they say, "I'm just staying married for the kids."  Or "We live under the same roof, but like brother and sister."  You automatically holler, "BULLSHIT!" (sometimes out loud, sometimes inside your head).   But who really knows what goes on in someone else's home/life?  I think I am going to have to be less skeptical (maybe not...)  He has always been very complimentary of his wife and I can't say that I was ever jealous of her; just envious that she got to spend more time with him (but then again, maybe she didn't).

Mrs. DGy was a lovely lovely lovely person.  I really like her.  We talked for a long time and she was open and sincere.  When you're dating someone, everything is a big mystery. I obsess about everything and everything is a topic for analyzation.  When I was dating DGy, I wondered what his home life was like, what he was doing, etc etc.  I wondered if he was telling me the truth about his wife (and I honestly didn't want to upset anyone if they were happy and in love).   ....Turns out it's no big mystery after all.

They met young and fell in love.  Had a few kids.  Decided it wasn't working and they started living separate lives; meeting in the middle to raise wonderful, well-adjusted children.

After some time, her brother came in (equally as nice/kind).  We all shared ftour meal together.  Partway through, DGy looked at me and said (JOKING), "How many years have you and I been married now?"  and I immediately responded with, "Six."  Even the kids laughed.  They made me feel so comfortable (again, like old friends) that that type of banter was humorous.  It was all so "normal" and it just felt like I had been part of it all for forever.  (And yet, so strange...)

I never asked her outright how much she knew about my relationshit with DGy.  She did say that she knew a lot about me and that she had asked to meet me at our camp a few years ago, but I wasn't there (or maybe the timing wasn't right for DGy).  (She said she didn't like the people who go to his camp.  I'm down with that!)  I told her that she was a saint and that I knew it couldn't be easy for her to put up with it all.  She agreed, but basically said, "it is what it is."  I imagine at one point, there was a lot of passionate love between them. They obviously really like each other, but from what I saw, it seems to be more like he once told me, "brother and sister."  (Of course, I don't know if that is true because again, no one really knows what happens in someone's home.)

If it was me, would I be able to welcome my husband's female friend/former girlfriend in to my home?  I don't think so.  I think she must be very self-confident (or just is so far removed from him emotionally that it is all ok). I'm obviously not a threat or I never would have been invited to their home.  I doubt seriously that he has ever invited any of his other female friends (x-girlfriends) to his home. (But as his 9 year old son once told him, "Dad, your other friends love me because they love you.  "Desert Girl" loves me because she loves me for me"  That's true.  I don't suffer fools - even in small packages.)   I sincerely admire Mrs. DGy and I would love to be able to ask her about this experience later.

If it was me, would I have stayed with him for the kids?  Probably not.  I'm too selfish and too opinionated. It would take someone stronger than me.  (One infraction on his part and I would be considering ways to make his life miserable, so why stay married?)

They invited me back and I would really love to be in their company again.  I'm still feeling warm and happy over the time I shared with Desert Guy and Mrs. DGy.  I had no idea.

Like I keep saying, my life is pretty unconventional.... and I love it.  Thank you, God, for allowing me to see the same pictures from totally different perspectives.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Protests Rock Kuwait

Pay attention to this story, people.  I'm not going to elaborate or give my personal opinion.  All is not always what it appears.

Downtown Kuwait City, 6 July 2014

Kuwait Times
7 July 2014

KUWAIT: HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah yesterday stressed that all people must follow the law in order to protect the state’s constitutional institutions against any violations. He also said that citizens are not allowed to violate the judicial authority, condemning the attack on the country’s judiciary system....


Five nights of clashes have rocked the state after the arrest of prominent opposition leader Musallam Al-Barrak. The public prosecutor on Wednesday detained Barrak for 10 days pending trial on charges of insulting the judiciary and slandering the head of the supreme judicial council, Faisal Al-Marshed. Police have used tear gas and stun grenades against demonstrators, and the Interior Ministry has vowed to deal firmly with unlicensed gatherings. The ministry said police arrested a number of protesters, while opposition activists said around 25 people have been rounded up since Wednesday.

Opposition groups began a protest march later yesterday to the Palace of Justice in Kuwait City to press for the release of Barrak, whose trial is due to begin today. Demonstrators refused repeated appeals by senior police officers not to stage the procession and started to walk from outside the Grand Mosque, chanting slogans calling for “cleansing the judiciary”. After walking about 30 m, riot police in armoured vehicles fired rounds of stun grenades and tear gas at the protesters, who were holding orange flags.

Most of the demonstrators dispersed into the nearby markets of downtown Kuwait City where riot police continued to chase them out of the capital and in order to ensure they do not reach the Palace of Justice. Police had earlier closed down all roads leading to the Grand Mosque forcing protesters to park in remote areas and walk a long distance under sweltering heat coupled with high humidity.

Despite the closure, around 1,000 demonstrators managed to reach the protest area and more people were still coming in when the police intervened. Most of the protesters returned home with the exception of dozens of youth activists who continued to play a cat and mouse game with police.

The opposition earlier held a press conference in which former Assembly speaker Ahmad Al-Saadoun insisted that the opposition rallies are peaceful and will continue and called on authorities not to attack them. Meanwhile, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahd Al-Sabah was interrogated by the public prosecutor for the second time yesterday night.

The Ministry of Interior yesterday warned that it would decisively face all unlicensed rallies and marches in line with legal measures with a view to maintaining national security and stability. The ministry said in a statement it is committed to constitutional and legal constants which govern the general order in the country in line with Islamic sharia and the Kuwaiti people’s ethics. It warned that it would confront all acts of violence, rioting, burning, ransacking and assault on policemen or state and private facilities and properties. 

Regrettably, such acts are being committed regardless of appeals and calls for tranquility and reasoning out of keenness for the country’s national interests, it said.

The ministry urged all people to exercise proper conduct. It asked parents of young people who took part in such acts to explain to them the danger of such acts for them and the whole society. The ministry said in a release earlier in the day that in spite of repeated warnings, a group of people held illegal rallies in Sabah Al-Nasser yesterday evening, during which violent acts and rioting took place. The protesters blocked traffic, burned dumpsters and assaulted security forces and attacked public and private properties, it lamented.

The demonstrators also threw Molotov cocktails at the Central Prison, also burning nearby trees before fleeing the scene, said the statement, adding that police were able to arrest some of those involved. 

Policemen called on demonstrators at to stop their acts of violence that could pose a danger to families living in the area, but the groups continued to create chaos and threw rocks at the police, the ministry said. It warned it will bring all those involved in the violation of law to justice in order to safeguard Kuwait’s security. – Agencies

More Links on this story:

Telegraph, UK   
The National UAE    
And This One... 

What to wear when meeting your x-boyfriend's wife

I am extremely grateful to have been extended an invitation to share iftar with Desert Guy and his family.  I am equally grateful that his wife called to invite me.

Many of us are from non-traditional/unconventional families these days.  I seem to get glimpses into these types of families.  It's interesting.  

When I was living with DGy in the desert 2 years ago and we were dating, I knew that he was still married and he was still living under the same roof with the Mrs.  His kids knew/know me and we all like each other. DGy told me that he was still married for the kids.  Verify:  I've heard from other people including his relatives that this is true (and was true long before I met him); they basically lead separate lives under the same roof.  Who am I to judge?  I've seen a lot more unconventional marriages, so whatever.  

Anyways, he and I are still friends.  I have met his recent girlfriend (who I like a lot).  I've heard that DGy's wife knows his girlfriends' best friend.  Yeah, ok, unconventional again.  Whatever.

I have heard that DGy wife is a nice woman and that they had a love story of a marriage that at some point went wrong.  She's a lawyer, so undoubtedly, she doesn't have to stick around for financial reasons.  I'm very curious about her.  

I just know that she must be an absolute saint for staying with him.  He's a tough one.  He has a good heart, but..... much better as a friend than as a romantic prospect.  He's got a bad temper, isn't exactly faithful to any woman, and has the attention span of a gnat.  But - he is the type of man that you can count on when you really need him.

When they both called me yesterday and invited me for ftour, it totally threw me.  She was lovely on the phone, very kind and welcoming and she said that she had heard nice things about me from DGy and her children.   

The first thing in my mind was, "What do I wear?"  I'm going to have a mad rush through my closets today.  eeek.

(I'll let you know how it turns out....)