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Telephone 2232 2038 Fax 2232 2040

Dispatches and Advertising Manager Adriaan Vickery Telephone (+965) 6775 3962 Email dispatches.advertising@

: Rose William T 2232 2038 F 2232 2040 Email

Please allow me a few minutes on my soapbox this issue. A friend of mine lost her sister to cancer recently. When we first talked about it, I told her that the silver lining (if you can call it that) was that she now had the opportunity to make time to spend with her sister and to use that time to have the conversations that are frequently left for “next time”. I learned this when my father was dying of liver cancer. I’m grateful that I chose to spend time with him instead of postponing visits until the next week or next month; I am grateful for the conversations we had. Over the years I’ve had this conversation with too many people and it always saddens me. In part because I know what they’ll be going through; in part because it seems to take a definition of finite to encourage us to check our priorities and speak from the heart. I know it’s cliché, but maybe we need a reminder. We never know when we’ll see someone for the last time. So don’t wait – if you have something to say, say it; if you need a hug, ask for it; if you have a choice between spending time with someone important to you and spending time at the office/running errands/playing X-Box, pick the person. Time is finite, please use it well..


Take care,

Susan Day Editor




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Spring 2012




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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

BBF Board of Directors Chairman’s Message Letter from the Ambassador Sector Group Reports This and That The Kuwait Oil & Gas Summit Conference The Lord Mayor’s Visit An Excellent Evening: 2011 Excellence Awards Tons of Carbon Emitted per Year Choosing Healthcare on the Global Stage Mentoring: Is It Really Effective? Lighthouse Relay Voyage Ceremony Kindling Interest in Taking the Tablets The UK’s Leading Drama School Means Business in Kuwait Navigating Kuwait David McCandless Draws Beautiful Conclusions Money Can’t Buy Happiness Spirit in Motion: London 2012 Paralympic Games BAIA Welcomes RADA to Kuwait What the Dickens! Dickens Quiz Kuwait University and Shell Establish Professional Chair New: Golden Age of Arab Sciences Exhibition Worry Beads? “Misbaha” 27 Years of Service BBF Information Dispatches Advertising Rates Membership Benefits British Embassy Information British Ladies Society Community Groups Membership Form

8 10 11 12 16 18 19 20 33 34 40 41 42 44 46 50 56 58 64 66 68 70 72 74 78 82 83 84 86 88 90 96




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BBF Board 2011/2012

Paul McKay

Arthur Barber

Chairman Events

Vice Chairman Dispatches

Chris Baker

Graham Kenny


Donald Teale Director Sector Group


General Secretary Governance, Contracts

Brian Dawes Director Strategy

Pierre Banoori

Director Membership Benefits


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Hanna Jerczynska

Lesley Watson

Director Membership

Director Press Relations

Administration Manager


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Jes Bunce

Musaed Al Najjar

Rose William

Linda Asfour


Director Commercial Activities

Adriaan Vickery

Dispatches & Advertising Manager

George Mhawech Events Manager



Chairman’s Message We all want to be leaders – don’t we? Alexander

Elections for a new Board of Directors takes place

the first and best example of a consummate leader.

period following elections is a time of new beginnings,

the Great is often cited by management theorists as At some point following his initial advance through

the region the ancient Greeks colonised ‘Ikaros’ aka Kuwait’s Failaka Island, named after the Greek island

in the Aegean Sea and the mythical hero Icarus. A brief resume of Alexander the Great’s career would go something like this: military commander of genius,

personally killed thousands of people, ordered the

deaths of hundreds of thousands more, patron of the arts and sciences, founder of great cities, conqueror of the known world and dead at 32.

If you are over 32 like me, and are pleased with your career so far, just ask yourself how many cities you

have founded, and what part of the known world you

have conquered (having a small plot of land in your

at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in June. The the time to plan, and the time to decide on direction.

A refreshed game plan and a rejuvenated leadership

team is our goal. I am under no illusion that a new term of office will present its challenges to the Forum

in delivering under its slogan and campaign ‘British Business First.’

So if you are passionate about

British business and are committed to the work of

the Forum then we would like to embrace you. In

order to be eligible to stand both as a candidate for membership of the board and to vote at the elections

a member must have joined the Forum not less than

two calendar months prior to the June AGM and have

paid membership fees in full. If you are interested in standing then we will be pleased to talk to you now.

name doesn’t count). What is less well known is

I cannot conclude my message without expressing

Imagine Alexander the Great today going to a

our activities including the sponsors for the help they

that he was an alcoholic, paranoid megalomaniac.

selection interview, “Can you give us an example of a situation where you faced a challenge, and say

my sincere gratitude to all the people who support provide throughout the year.

something about how you set about tackling it?” He would probably murder you during the interview.

Enough of history. What has all this to do with the

British Business Forum? As many of you will know,

the Forum is also on the advance; I see our relevance

as a trade association in Kuwait and the region growing in a fundamental and positive way.


Board of Directors made a commitment to develop

a new strategy revolving around our core mission

Paul McKay Chairman British Business Forum Kuwait

because we were convinced that doing pretty much

the same was not enough. We have plenty more

ahead of us and look forward to a further period of promoting British business interests in Kuwait. We

invite business leaders to join the governing board to help drive our plans forward.



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Message from HE The British Ambassador Frank Baker 

A warm welcome to the first Dispatches of what promises to be a very special year for the United Kingdom. My staff and I are about to enter a busy yet incredibly rewarding period, as we gear up for an extensive programme of events in our 2012 calendar. Ahead of the excitement that the rest of this year will bring, the weekend of February 25 saw the traditional National Day festivities here - a familiar explosion of fun, noise and national unity, all decked in the distinctive colours of the Kuwaiti flag. I expect this year to see a similar party atmosphere on the streets of London and throughout the UK, as we look forward to what promises to be a memorable year of notable events and celebrations. The image that Kuwait’s holiday weekend left me with, of a young and vibrant population unashamed to celebrate what it means to be Kuwaiti, is one I hope can be replicated in London this summer, when the UK will be at the centre of the world’s attention during the staging of the 30th Summer Olympic Games and the 14th Paralympics. The London Olympics provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our athletes to go for gold on home soil, and for thousands of spectators and millions watching worldwide to witness the drama unfold. British business is preparing itself to take advantage of this global exposure, with a series of high profile commercial networking events taking place in London alongside the Games to showcase the very best of the UK to the watching world. Although the Olympics will dominate the summer, before then we will have an equally momentous event. In June we commemorate 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, with an extended UK public holiday to mark the Diamond Jubilee. We will be having a big event at the Embassy to celebrate this occasion, in


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addition to our traditional Queen’s Birthday Party celebrations in April, which this year is timed to coincide with a special milestone: 100 days until the Olympic opening ceremony. The common strand running through this packed programme is our GREAT campaign, at the launch of which last month, in The Avenues shopping mall, I was joined by the Lord Mayor of the City of London. I hope that by now most of you will have seen evidence of this impressive campaign, which highlights iconic British achievement on the global stage. Our challenge on the commercial side - with which we enlist the help of valued partners like the British Business Forum – remains further to enhance our efforts to showcase the best Britain can offer, while continuing our support to UK companies, both established and new, in the Kuwaiti market. Kuwait has long been spoken of as a land of opportunity, and with this year likely to deliver a number of big business openings for UK companies, the time is right for British business to follow the Olympians’ example and compete for the big prizes. 2012 is all set to be a great year for the United Kingdom. In Kuwait we are looking forward to playing our part in the celebrations back home, while continuing to work to strengthen the strong bilateral ties we enjoy with our host country and which we saw strengthened so much further by the successful 50/20 campaign we ran last year. I look forward to seeing many of you at the celebratory events over the next few months.



Aviation, Travel & Hospitality Sector Group Organises BBF Tour of the Arab Organizations Headquarters Building

The BBF- Aviation, Travel & Hospitality sector group convener, Hanna Jerczynska, has taken about 30 BBF members, their family and friends for a sightseeing visit to one of the most acclaimed buildings in the Middle East - the Arab Organizations Headquarters, which attracts thousands of international visitors every year. The Arab Organizations Headquarters houses important Arab institutions, such as the Arab Fund for Social and Economic Development, OAPEC (Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries), the Inter-Arab Investment Guarantee Corporation and the Arab Maritime Petroleum Transport Company.


This spectacular building is a testament to Arab style, pan-Arab artisanship, and traditional Arab hospitality. During the 2.5-hour tour, with every opened door revealing yet another chamber, a new splendour was revealed to the BBF group. Housing many admirable arabesque designs, the atrium’s nine million piece handcrafted mashrabiya - the tallest in the world, beautiful carpets, mosaics, pearl inlayed furniture, Islamic art, and the best marble on the floor: this building is a must for everyone to see. The BBF is grateful to the hosts for making this tour possible.


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Construction Sector Group BBF Design & Construction Sector Group held its first meeting of 2012 in the Costa da Sol Hotel on 24 January 2012 at 6.00 PM, in advance of a joint meeting with the UKTI Construction and Ports Trade Missions. The meeting, convened by Jeff de Lange, spent its time sharing some of the frustrations of Kuwait paper work, particularly concerning Residence Permits and Driving Licences, before discussing and agreeing an appropriate format for our future meetings. The meeting agreed we would, in future, invite members to make a small presentation on any subject of general interest to the group, with the aim of meeting every 6 – 8 weeks or so. These meetings would be supplemented by site visits. Please note that at our previous meeting, we had agreed meetings would be hosted in turn by the membership. ESF ad_2011.pdf



It was further agreed that at our next meeting Steve Saunders from the Olive Group would make a presentation concerning the problems of unexploded ordnance (date to be fixed). Furthermore, we would plan to have two site visits between now and the end of May, with the first at the Jaber Al Ahmed Hospital (before Easter) and the second to Central Bank Project (after Easter). Following this meeting, the Sector Group joined the wider evening organised by UKTI Kuwait at which a panel comprising Jeff de Lange, Will Myles, Jack Mensema and Geoff Pollitt made a small presentation of projects in Kuwait and doing business in Kuwait to over 60 people, being the representatives of the Ports Mission, Construction Missions of UKTI, together with a wider attendance from the BBF. There was

10:02 AM



a general discussion on the issues raised by panel speakers. Will Myles spoke about the proposed metro. Jack Mensema made a detailed presentation, with photos, on the Sheik Jaber Al Ahmed Al Sabah hospital currently under construction at South Surra, which is to be the leading hospital in Kuwait with 1151 beds.

The presentation and subsequent discussion was followed by refreshments (with many thanks to British Embassy Commercial Section). The date and time for the next meeting will be announced very soon.


In association with

Clinic Entry


BBF Training & Education Sector Group The BBF Training & Education sector group met on 21 February, kindly convened and hosted by Dr Sean Toner at his home. After enjoying Sean’s usual excellent hospitality the group settled into an informal workshop and discussion on Sean’s proposal outline for a two-day shared working convention and workshop for British and Kuwaiti companies in Kuwait. The suggested theme for the convention and workshop is: Water management and its effect on the environment. This was chosen for its broad relevance to different kinds of organisations within Kuwait. Interested organisations might be KISR, MEW, KOC and all the oil and gas companies, the PMSc and also piping and sewage disposal companies. The BBF Education and Training Group’s aims and objectives include facilitating the enrichment of training and problem solving techniques for British and joint British - Kuwaiti ventures. Since the BBF is a not-for-profit organisation it is proposed to


seek sponsorship from major British and Kuwaiti organisations. (In this context the market is changing, with a more ready acceptance of sponsorship, and without the perception of loss of brand and identity.) The format would include a visiting key Speaker – an expert in water management solutions has been identified. The T&E group’s discussion focussed on duration, location, preferred date, speaker/s, the profile of participants, the projected numbers, and a projected budget. With Sean, the Training & Education group will continue to develop a concept paper for the event. Other key participants may be the BBF Oil & Gas group, with input from the BBF Events Manager. For further discussion, or to offer suggestions and support please contact the Training & Education convenor, Dr Sean Toner at or mobile: 66327130; alternatively please contact the BBF office.


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Oil & Gas Sector Group In the latest in a series of round table meetings with energy industry leaders, the Oil & Gas sector group was honoured to receive Mr. Ahmad Atallah, Chairman and Managing Director of the Shell group in Kuwait. The discussion took place at the British Embassy and ranged from global trends in the energy industry to the specific technical expertise which Shell brings to its projects in Kuwait. Shell’s history in the Middle East goes back many generations and the company has long worked with KOC to share the best practices from its global operations. Most recently the company was awarded an Enhanced Technical Service Agreement to support the development of Kuwait’s northern gas fields. Every day Kuwait has been flaring large volumes of gas associated with the production of crude oil. At the same time, increasing quantities of gas are imported in order meet demand from the petrochemicals industry, and to provide power for the country’s growing population. KOC, in cooperation with Shell and other international companies, have already reduced flaring to a minimum, bringing obvious benefits to the environment and the national economy. Now KOC, with close support from Shell, is well on the way to developing Kuwait’s recently discovered gas fields in order to increase the country’s self-sufficiency in gas supplies. Kuwait has been endowed with oil fields which are not only amongst the biggest in the World, but which are also some of the cheapest and easiest to produce. However, the new gas fields present a very different picture, and only in recent years has the technology existed to develop such difficult formations economically. Mr. Atallah described the many technical challenges which are being overcome in order to meet the nation’s appetite for natural gas. For example these very deep reservoirs create extremes of temperature and pressure which require the use of very specialised equipment and techniques.

capable of destroying pipe work and equipment. Kuwait’s gas contains a relatively high proportion of Sulphur and Shell’s expertise has been critical in ensuring that workers and equipment remain safe from its effects. Mr. Atallah also fielded members’ questions covering a spectrum of topics from the future of energy to the challenges and opportunities of the “Arab Spring”. Mr. Atallah described Shell’s research programme into renewable energy sources such as wind power and bio fuels, totalling over one billion US Dollars a year. At the same time the company is realistic about the rate at which renewable energy can be adopted: A petrol driven car purchased today will still require petrol in 20 years time; and every year many millions more cars are added to the global pool. Likewise a coal- or oil burning power station commissioned today will still need those carbon based fuels 30 or more years from now; and global demand for power is escalating year by year as emerging economies develop and become more prosperous. We all know that we are living through times of historic change in the Middle East, and it is impossible to foresee what will be the eventual outcome of the seismic shifts in the politics of the region. One thing is certain: that energy production will remain at the heart of the political debate. Mr. Atallah was an outstanding model of how the leadership of great British companies like Shell can work effectively – but impartially – in an ever shifting landscape.

Oil and gas exist not as pure chemicals but as complex molecular cocktails. Many of the components are valuable; others, like Sulphur, can present costly challenges. Hydrogen Sulphide gas can be deadly; and Sulphur can form highly corrosive compounds


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This and That


n order to properly recognise the changing and inclusive nature of the construction sector it has been resolved that the concerned BBF interest group will, henceforth, be known as the Design and Construction Sector Group. Good news for visiting businessmen and local businesses alike! Regus – the UK office and services group has arrived in Kuwait and is situated in Mirqab. Manager Nassim – Tel 2227 1777; BBF membership benefits offered. Dispatches is not a technical or scientific magazine and has a readership with very catholic tastes. The editor has to view contributors’ articles for content, tone, language, length and suitability with an independent eye. As is oft repeated, “the editor’s decision is final!” Membership cards are essential to claiming BBF membership benefits from participating outlets. Please contact Rose if you are not in receipt of this valuable instrument. The BBF website has quietly taken on a new design and is essential for members who wish to be kept informed about BBF events and news. Are you fond of reading but find the cost of new books rather expensive? Have a look at and visit one of Kuwait’s best used bookstores. With an excellent selection and a buy back scheme, is to be recommended. The shop is situated in the Al Salam Tower opposite to the new Panasonic Building. The success of our various BBF events is oft due, in no small part, to the active support and participation


of our Ambassador Frank Baker and his wife Maria. As, all too often, events occur on a Friday, we should appreciate that it’s not a day off for everybody! The sector groups have been getting active – Aviation, Leisure & Hospitality, Training & Education, Oil & Gas, Construction have all been convened at least twice. Register your interest with the individual group convenors and keep your eye on for updates and meeting details. New membership benefits are regularly offered in between Dispatches editions. For up to date information keep an eye on Whilst the BBF Board has been active creating and developing core strategy, overseeing and promoting members events, and attending to many and various initiatives in keeping with the core objective support for the ambitions of British business in Kuwait, the next AGM approaches. As part of the natural process of change and regeneration, members may wish to consider their level of interest in contributing to the BBF by offering themselves as candidates for Board membership. Keep your eye on the website for more information about eligibility for, and, the election process. Apparently, during one of those competitions, run by who knows who, the selected UK joke of the year was “ – a site for sore eyes !”


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The Kuwait Oil & Gas Summit Conference 12 – 15 February 2012 The productive and valuable Kuwait Oil & Gas Summit Conference was aimed at highlighting Kuwait’s position as a leading hydrocarbon producer and promoter of regional cooperation and dialogue in this energy field. Attendees included leaders and senior decision makers from the regional and international oil and gas industries. With many events hosted by KPC and its subsidiaries, a full programme of presentations focused on opportunities, challenges, and the roles of innovation and collaboration in driving the development of this sector into the 21st century. Sessions included the Optimisation of Resource Potential; the delivery of Excellence through People and Best Practice; Breakthrough Technologies & Solutions; also Downstream Priorities and Opportunities; and

with Panel discussions on the Enhancement of Environmental Performance; and on Regional Cooperation. A special Workshop, Contracting Strategies & Issues for the Oil & Gas Sector, guaranteed a lively and energetic discussion, focusing on different contracting business models, risk management, legal issues and performance security, dispute resolution, insurance and termination. In addition a 2-day exhibition showcased over 18 countries’ cutting-edge technologies and innovations in the energy industries. See for more information. Visit and report by Arthur Barber

UK Ports Trade Mission Visits Kuwait

28 representatives of some of the UK’s leading port and construction companies, led by UK Trade and Investment Business Specialist John Nutt, visited Kuwait recently. The purpose of the visit was to identify potential areas of cooperation on various infrastructure projects. Over the course of their visit, the delegation met with senior officials from the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Ministry of Public Works, the Kuwait Ports Authority, and representatives of the British Business Forum. Duncan Hoyland, head of Trade and Investment at the British Embassy in


Kuwait and BBF Chairman and senior commercial officer at the Embassy Paul McKay helped guide the delegates, ensuring that they had the opportunity to maximise the value of the visit. “Clearly, our expertise is visible and we are delighted to be part of several projects [currently underway] here,” noted Hoyland. “The PM came and signed the memorandum to develop trade and we have the agreement to double trade by 2 billion Kuwaiti Dinars by 2015.” Hoyland noted the target is ambitious but believes mission such as this one will lead to the realisation of that goal.


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The Lord Mayor of the City of London


e were delighted to welcome Alderman David Wootton to address the February Members Meeting, and to respond to members questions on a variety of topics ranging from his role as Lord Mayor through to bankers bonuses. The Lord Mayor, who is ambassador for UK financial and professional services, in a prior press release, said: “The work undertaken by the British Business Forum (BBF) in Kuwait is vital to promoting the very best that the UK has to offer. “Kuwait and the UK have a long history of trade partnership: British traders first set up offices in 1793 and by 1821 the British East India Company had moved its trading post to Kuwait from Basra. Also, Kuwait Investment Authority was the first sovereign wealth fund to set up in the City nearly 60 years ago. “Our ties are strong but my – and indeed the BBF’s - business mission is to strengthen them further. I want the UK to be Kuwait’s partner of choice and double bilateral trade to £4 billion by 2015. There are over 50 British companies in Kuwait, working mainly in the oil sector, defence, construction, shipping, banking and property. There is scope for deeper and wider cooperation and I hope my visit will help support this process.” The Lord Mayor was in Kuwait as part of a wider regional visit to the Gulf including Qatar, the UAE and Saudi Arabia.


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An Excellent Evening:

2011 BBF Excellence Awards



fter a sumptuous dinner a replete and contented audience were greeted by BBF Chairman, Paul McKay, whose welcome and thanks to all included our Ambassador, Frank Baker and representatives of the evening’s sponsors: British Airways, Wataniya Telecom and the Crowne Plaza Hotel.

McKay was followed by the much anticipated post dinner speaker, the renowned international correspondent John Seargent. Seargent’s dry, sometimes laconic, tales of his time during the “Thatcher years” were a pleasant and amusing prelude to the main business of the evening: the awards ceremony. Hosting the ceremony, Graham Kenny spoke of the number and quality of nominees, which ensured that the selection panel had a difficult task, some healthy debate and plenty of deliberation before arriving at list of winners. That said,the panel is confident that the winners for 2011 not only support the criteria for the British Business Excellence Awards, but also define and represent that variety of excellence that British business representatives (the individuals in the room

and beyond), export from the UK and import to many countries and communities around the world. Kenny announced that six Certificates of Excellence would be awarded. He then announced that there were two top honours of Awards of Excellence. The first would be awarded to an organisation; the second, to an individual that had, in the opinion of the panel, achieved and encapsulated such values and excellence that others should wish to emulate. Full details on each of the awards, and the successful individuals and companies, are an important feature of this edition of Dispatches, and are intended to give appropriate recognition and a description of an evening that was all about success and achievement.

Special thanks to our sponsors:


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Certificate of Excellence: Anthony Coleby Tony Coleby qualified as an English solicitor in 1983. He spent 20 years working in the City as a banking and corporate finance lawyer and several years running his own corporate and investment law practice in Guernsey. He was appointed as General Counsel for EFAD Holding Company, a medium sized Kuwaiti investment Company in June 2006, where he advised the board of directors on its UK investment portfolio, the Aston Martin Group, Grosvenor House Apartments and KSCC. He transferred to his current employer Al Markaz Law Firm, as a partner in the corporate advisory company, where he has been head of Corporate Advisory since 1 January 2010.

financial advice, investment management, disaster prevention, automotive and others. Tony is registered with the British Embassy in Kuwait to provide assistance on a pro bono basis for any UK citizens and their families who face legal issues in this country. Out of the office, and pro bono, Tony covers many UK expatriates’ legal issues associated with affairs back in UK, and the re–drafting of the constitution of the Anglican Chaplaincy in Kuwait. Contact:

At the law firm, a top priority is Foreign Direct Investment into Kuwait. Tony has developed a small team focused on this, possibly unique, service in Kuwait. He seeks to foster SME’s from the UK, covering all aspects of regulation, ministry interface and Kuwait income tax. He has also initiated, with a Kuwait translator, a programme of progressive translation into English of the key laws and regulations (with footnotes and guidance). Tony’s work for UK companies in Kuwait covers joint ventures, distributorships, franchise arrangements, agency structures and partnerships. The client base spans infrastructure contractors of many kinds, retail franchising, special needs education services,

Certificate of Excellence: Darren Craven Focusing on work in the retail sector, in particular the people that work in that sector the award recognises Darren Craven’s efforts in taking a retail outlet through a transformation process of the major brand for food and grocery outlets in Kuwait. Few in Kuwait are unaware of The Sultan Center brand. From a background with Tesco in the UK and an intuitive understanding of the cultural differences of operating in the Middle East versus the Western market, Darren Craven has proved to be an extremely dynamic and inspirational change agent. Transforming TSC, during his tenure, he employed a leadership style that encouraged employees to endorse change



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in a very smooth and positive manner. Darren has a record of high regard and support for human assets in an organisation, which allows him to excel in bringing out the best in individuals from all ranks. Many references have said that his success was achieved through motivating people with his unique zeal and persistence of celebrating their accomplishments. His aptitude for psychologically rationalising issues helped people who worked with him raise their self-esteem, confidence and overall strengths while being self-aware of their weaknesses which were dealt with by his listening ability and empathy.

During his term as the Transformation Manager for TSC Darren and his team delivered several key change programmes in terms of business processes and organisational structure. Darren has been identified as the focal point through which that process change and success was driven. His legacy, as one citation states, is that he was responsible for significant behavioural and cultural change in the whole business and that the challenge will be to embrace further change as the business grows now Darren has left. Darren is now acting as an independent strategy consultant. Contact:

Certificate of Excellence: Rachael Gibson It is said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” but, in another context, that “Beauty can be an ugly business” – highly competitive with a large choice of providers and products available to the client. Success requires some differentiator in this very customer focused business sector. It is also true that, in times of recession and a tightening of belts, it is an industry that is very resilient, people will still want to be subjected to that special treatment or pampered occasion that makes them feel better in the world around them. Against such a background Rachael Gibson and Top to Toe very much epitomise the success of a small business enterprise.

full beauty salon at the age of 25. The business, ‘Top to Toe Hair and Beauty Studio’, situated in Taiba Mall Egaila, provides a full range of beauty services and now employs five staff (two of whom are British). The company continues to expand through organic growth, based upon British product and service choice. Ongoing improvements are supported by staff attendance at UK and international exhibitions and training seminars. Contact: 9938 9356

Five years ago this British lady arrived in Kuwait, just 21 years old. She started working as a beauty therapist for a local salon with a limited salary. Within 2 years, after learning about the local market, she began exhibiting her entrepreneurial style skills. With further professional experience and attitude she rented a room at another salon. Ambition, drive and enthusiasm, as well as reliance upon mainly British products led her to open her own

Certificate of Excellence: Richard Woods Richard Woods has worked in the transport industry for over 25 years in various senior management and director roles with some of the big multinational organisations, predominantly in the UK. He has been in Kuwait for five years now, in a position that offered very different challenges.


Initially, he began by building a management team that would transform City Group. His objective was to develop a culture originating from classic British business models, aligning corporate values under his stewardship as CEO of the group. The company has completely focused on continually improving


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standards as an organisation; ensuring the welfare of the workforce was at the forefront of the decision making process. Richard’s mantra and belief is that people are the only asset that appreciates in value whereas all other assets generally depreciate. The company believes in training, developing and retaining staff and have recently introduced a graduate training programme for local and international students to come and experience life in the bus industry.

Masterplan, which will make travelling easier, speedier and safer. Certified by the ISO standards and taking advantage of the “super brand” image, City Group is a member of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP), a platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know- how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries. Contact:

He has lead City Group to focus on customer needs, assessing supply and demand as well developing the product offering. The results speak for themselves, an increase in the number of passenger journeys from 38m in 2010 to 46m in 2011. This growth makes it a major player in the Kuwait market, with around 60% of the market share. Richard works closely with stakeholders on projects in Kuwait and believes that he is privileged to have the opportunity to give input to developing and shaping the future of public transport in Kuwait. This is accomplished by taking part in the development and implementation of the Kuwait Public Transport

Certificate of Excellence: Tom Gilmartin There are many of us who never even think about the functionality of the buildings we enter, the people behind the desk, the cleaners, security guards or the maintenance staff. They all perform their duties in many different types of buildings to create a hygienic and safe environment; this can often be taken for granted. Facilities management covers all aspects of operating and maintaining buildings, as users or customers we very rarely see what happens behind the scenes. Ecovert FM Kuwait is a UK Company which was formed in Kuwait 2008.

Tom Gilmartin arrived in Kuwait in 2009, having a single FM contract valued at KWD 132,000 with 32 staff. Through Ecovert FM Kuwait’s Vision & Values, the company has grown considerably and will soon have 700 staff providing Facilities Management services across different sectors and locations many of us visit or know such as: • Al Hamra Tower • United Tower

• Gulf University for Science & Technology • Amiri Terminal • Ajial Mall • KPC HQ

• Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice • Al Omooma Hospital

The Company ethic is one of providing quality services with commensurate price to preserve the owner’s investment. Ecovert FM has already expanded into


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Qatar with further opportunities in Oman, Jordan and KSA. To satisfy severe qualified staff shortages and to meet Kuwaitisation requirements the company is now looking to develop FM Training Academies in several countries including Kuwait, Sri Lanka and India. The company requires English speaking staff with a certain level of competency skills with a cultural understanding (not easily available in source countries or locally). Tom Gilmartin is the general manager of Ecovert FM Kuwait, an ex Royal Marine who has also represented Royal Navy and Royal Marines in rugby. After demob

in 1993 and working for MacLellan International (FM) he rose through the ranks to become general manager, Retail Division. After 10 year’s service he decided to leave and gain experience in the Middle East, joining Ecovert FM Kuwait. Unfortunately Tom was unable to personally collect his award being, at the time, in the Czech Republic supporting his daughter competing for Great Britain in the Short Track Speed Skating European Championships. In Tom’s absence Iain Stephen collected the award on his behalf. Contact:

Certificate of Excellence: RMD Kwikform steel pier forms, foundation and bridge shoring as well as slab formwork systems to projects such as Jahra Road, Interchange 12, the College of Engineering, and various petroleum projects. Three projects alone are estimated at over £4million.

RMD Kwikform is the equipment services arm of the Interserve Group, a UK Services PLC with a 2010 turnover circa £1.8Bn. The company employs around 700 salaried staff in various locations around the World. For the past year here in Kuwait, RMD Kwikform’s focus has been on the highways and infrastructure sector. The company has won a number of contracts to supply civil construction access and formwork,

RMD Kwikform ME LLC has been present in Kuwait for a number of years but are headquartered in UAE where all of their materials and systems are designed and manufactured to the most recent British Standards and Euro Norms and systems. In addition the company provide Site Assistance Technicians to train the contractor’s staff in the safe and efficient use of their technologies. In 2011 the company was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise in the category of International Trade. The company’s UK business has been heavily involved in the 2012 Olympic site projects. The company was represented by Hassan Tahrini of Danco for building materials, the sponsor within Kuwait.

Excellence Award to an Individual: Michael Ferbuyt The Award of Excellence to an Individual was reserved for Michael Ferbuyt who initially arrived in Kuwait to commission and open the Royale Hayat Hospital. Subsequently, over the last four years, he has been the CEO of the Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI). The mission of Dasman Diabetes Institute is to prevent, control and mitigate the impact of diabetes and related conditions in Kuwait, and thereby improve the quality


of life in the population. The clinical facilities cover diabetes and related conditions including ophthalmic, renal, cardiology, dental, podiatry, and hypertension. DDI is recognised by the European Commission as a Centre of Excellence for Health and Technology. Since becoming the CEO of DDI, the Institute has seen tremendous growth and development in its research, training, education and health promotion programmes. Training and education programmes


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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM are provided for both healthcare professionals and the public, and include how to prevent and control diabetes with a healthy lifestyle and education. There are, currently, over 50 ongoing projects, both at local level and with international collaboration. Under his stewardship, and as recently as in the past two years, DDI has developed a major Kuwait-Scotland Health Innovation network in association with the University of Dundee and Tayside Health Authority to include: • Providing electronic connectivity for records and information linking all the Primary Care Centres • Establishing a Diabetes Registry • Clinical informatics for the management of Chronic Disease • Clinical Skills Centre for training of healthcare professionals, medical students and patients in self medication • Development of a Learning Centre which provides postgraduate studies in Diabetes Care and Education under the banner of University of Dundee • Collaborative Research Programmes

The Kuwait – Scotland collaboration is programmed to continue on a long term basis and is a fine example of Kuwait British business excellence in action. DDI is also working with University College London and a Genome Research Centre has been established at DDI, a unique facility within the Gulf. The organisation also has research programmes with Oxford University. Michael’s background is healthcare management. having worked in various countries within the Middle East, Europe and America. Prior to this, he spent significant time working within the National and Private Healthcare industries in the UK. Contact :

Excellence Award to an Organisation:

Foster + Partners

Foster + Partners, a British company has, through its unique designs, become a world leader in providing a backdrop to our lives. Influential buildings and living designs epitomise the vision of Sir Norman Foster. Here in Kuwait the current terminal at Kuwait International Airport can be described as functional but, perhaps, inefficient, and certainly has not grown with the affluence of Kuwait and its standing as a growing business economy. Earlier this year Foster + Partners announced and unveiled their design for the new terminal, the winning design from much aggressive international competition. The strategic aim is to significantly increase capacity and establish a new regional air hub in the Gulf. The Foster + Partners design matches such aims with a state of the art terminal building setting the highest levels of comfort and a new environmental benchmark for airport buildings.

Mouzhan Madji, chief executive of Foster + Partners states that the terminal will be “a new symbol of contemporary Kuwait, which resonates with its rich culture and history”. We eagerly anticipate seeing the rise of such a symbol and hope for it to be commissioned as soon as possible. The Award of Excellence to an Organisation was presented to Foster + Partner for their success in securing the Kuwait International Airport terminal and collected on behalf of the company by Morgan Fleming, partner.

The design comprises three symmetrical wings of departure gates. Each span is 1.25km and all extend from a dramatic 25m high central space. Foster + Partner have developed a master plan for the site with an initial accommodation of 13 million passengers a year potentially set to increase to 25 million and possibly 50 million with a future expansion.



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2/13/12 4:02:42 PM


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Congratulations To

HARIZ SAFWAN JOHNSON For gaining the highest mark in the world for

Cambridge IGCSE Literature (English) In the June 2011 examinations

WELL DONE! Kuwait English School

Salwa area 11 street 9—Tel 2565 5 216/218-KG 2565 5208—Fax: 2562 9356 Email:—web:

30 Years of Excellence in Education


Tons of Carbon Emitted per Year compiled by Arthur Barber


his is a list of Tons of Carbon Emitted per Year for those ‘units’ mentioned. Carbon emissions are stated as being a prime cause of global warming. The figures are as at 2010 unless otherwise stated, and are ranked from Huge to Small. In our opinion there now needs to be another global list, showing changes (reductions!) in these tonnages.

Emitted 19 tons of carbon per year – the average American (Note: 11 tons of carbon per year – the average Westerner 4 tons of carbon per year – the average world citizen!) 17 tons of carbon per year – to raise a child up to age five 16 tons of carbon – one ton of beef (= 1,100 Big Macs) 12 tons of carbon – one ton of shrimp 11 tons of carbon – a wedding for 250 guests 11 tons of carbon – one ton of pork (= 50,000 slices of bacon!) Emitted 9 tons of carbon per year – a large car (4wd, SUV) (Note: 2.5 tons of carbon per year – a medium car) 6.4 tons of carbon – one ton of chicken (= 1,400 bargain fast-food buckets!) 6 tons of carbon – one ton of salmon 2.5 tons of carbon – yourself on a ten-hour flight 1.49 tons of carbon per year – heating the average home Emitted 0.75 tons of carbon per year – your Facebook page 0.7 tons of carbon per year – a plasma screen 0.57 tons of carbon per year – just breathing! 0.18 tons of carbon per year – your laptop 0.14 tons of carbon per year – boiling a kettle 0.4 tons of carbon – being cremated 0.2 tons of carbon – being buried

And finally, 1 ton of carbon – the amount an average tree absorbs in its lifetime! Yippee! We should all go out and plant a tree. Source: David McCandless, (‘Information is Beautiful’); Reported sources include: Energy Information Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, IPCC, New York Times, UNESCO.


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Choosing Healthcare on the Global Stage


espite the global recession medical tourism is booming. In fact the sector is growing so fast that in 2012 it will be worth $100 billion (USD). Frost and Sullivan, the business research and consulting firm, recently published figures revealing that the industry caters to over three million patients worldwide each year. The Middle East is seen as one of the latent source markets of growth and it is estimated that 20 per cent of global patients worldwide are from Gulf and Arab states. Significantly, patients from UAE alone spend approximately $2 billion (USD) in healthcare travel each year.



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As a result the global market place for healthcare has



competitive as operators aim to coax patients in to

their respective countries. In the competitive global

market place the UK is fast becoming a prime medical

tourist destination. Patients looking




healthcare are attracted to the UK by the availability of





infrastructure, state-of-theart hospitals and modern healthcare facilities. The

UK’s place as a vibrant global hub in education, business,






and culture attracts the sectors across the globe

and the healthcare market is a sector where the UK’s global position is attracting many of the worlds leading medical consultants. The healthcare market in the UK

has the crucial combination

of experience, investment and global expertise that allows medical consultants to carry out highly complex,

specialised and acute work

to the highest standards and best possible clinical outcomes.

When making the decision

to travel abroad for medical



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care it is important to make an informed choice on the right country, hospital and crucially medical consultant.

The UK has a world class reputation for the delivery

looking to have treatment abroad do not make

Healthcare, has stature that extends beyond its UK

a decision based solely on price.”

borders. More consultants choose to work at BMI


be pressurised into committing to surgery

Healthcare that in any other independent hospital

because of a discount or special offer. Look for

group in the UK. More than 6,000 consultants work

a medical consultant who has a proven history

in over 70 hospitals and treatment centres around

in performing the procedure you’re interested

the UK. In London, BMI Healthcare has 15 sites that places providing world class diagnostic, surgical and

good to be true’, it generally is. In the current climate it is even more important that patients

of care and its largest private hospital provider, BMI

cater for both the domestic and international market

Do your research: If a price sounds ‘too

in and who works at a trusted hospital group. •

Talk to a past patient: Try and talk to

rehabilitative centres across a full range of acute and

people who have had the procedure that you

and medical consultant for your treatment abroad

who can help you make your decision; it is

the precise experience, expertise and appropriate

someone you trust.

chronic conditions. When selecting the best provider

are considering. Talk to your family and friends

it is important to remember that, both need to have

always good to get an honest opinion from

credentials to deliver the standard of care you deserve and expect. These qualifications are essential to

ensure that they are able to accurately perform any

Be prepared for your consultation: The consultation is your opportunity to ask

any questions you have about the procedure

tests, diagnosis and treatment for your condition in

you are interested in/considering. It might

the best possible manner. Your medical consultants

be useful to make a list in the weeks before

and hospital providers post operative services should

your appointment and bring it with you. The

also be easily accessible in terms of communication

most important thing in a consultation is to be

and interaction with you.

honest and frank with your surgeon; they need

Here Consultant Francis Lamb at BMI Bishopswood

as much information about you as possible in

consider when choosing your medical treatment

this your medical consultant can advise you as

another provider of healthcare in the UK is the best for

including the risks and pitfalls.

Hospital in London provides advice on what to

order to make an informed assessment. After

abroad. “Whether you decide BMI Healthcare or

to what the surgery or treatment would involve,

you it is important to remember and adhere to these rules before undergoing your surgery in the UK”: •

Be open-minded: It is important to bear in mind that the procedure that you enquire about

Check your surgeon’s credentials:

may not be the most suitable for you in order to

the specialist register of the General Medical

on your discussion, the surgeon will discuss

Ensure that your medical consultant is on

achieve the results that you want. Depending

Council, which ensures quality in medical

the alternatives, along with the pros and cons.

practice. Look for a surgeon who is a member

of any relevant professional bodies and that

they are a surgeon who regularly performs the type of procedure you are interested in.


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Meet the team, look round the hospital: Get an idea of where you’ll be

treated, the hospital and its facilities. Ask the surgeon if you can meet the team who will be



looking after you. It is important that you gain

you will get. Ask how many post-operative

and who’ll be caring for you.

and when they are likely to be. Make sure

a visual perspective of where you’ll be staying

See your Doctor: An important source

of advice and information can be gained

from your doctor. It is always a good idea to

talk through your plans with your doctor as they know your medical history and can talk

in general about surgery. Good surgeons will want to work closely with your doctor to ensure

visits are included within the aftercare package you’ll have the follow up appointments with the surgeon who performed your surgery. Ask

what happens if things don’t go to plan. In the event of acute complications arising postsurgery, the hospital should be able to resolve them at no extra cost.

that they know your medical history and are

For more information on the services, treatment and

having and any clinical examinations that have

0337 or visit:

kept informed about the surgery that you are

consultants at BMI Healthcare please call 0808 101

been performed. •

Take your time: Don’t

feel pressurised in to making any decisions, which



you make a booking or commit to having surgery or



Embarking on treatment abroad is not something

that should be rushed into. A good surgeon will

not take a booking on the

day of consultation and will give you a ‘cooling

off’ period so that you can thoroughly consider your options and talk to your friends and family to help you in the decision

making process. Many will offer a free second

consultation if you wish to discuss things in more depth.

• Ongoing support: Find out what kind of aftercare



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Japanese Restaurant

Think healthy... think sushi.

Starting from KD 1.250 * Terms and conditions apply

Call 24757775 Crowne Plaza | Laila Gallery | Abu Halifa | Shaab | Holiday Inn Salmiya


Mentoring: Is it really effective?


n our series on the value of mentoring and especially peer mentoring we have examined several issues. We looked at the value of traditional mentoring, where mentors are highly experienced people passing on knowledge and skills, and compared this to peer mentoring where people learn from each other in collaborative settings. I made a strong case that peer mentoring, learning from others who share your situation, has advantages in the 21st century. It is a ‘natural’ interchange since psychological research suggests we learn better from our peers than from older perhaps ‘dated people’. We also noted that this kind of interaction is dynamic in nature. Young people have absorbed new fast technologies and live in a bubble of highly accessible information and rapid skill gathering. They can and do teach each other and their elders.

Kuwait is a very good example of a country where employees come from many different countries so we have cultural and economic mix in a healthy financial

Dr Sean Toner is a Kuwait - based consultant in Education and Training. His particular interest lies in the area of Mentoring and Coaching. The above article is written specifically for Dispatches but will, like others in this series of articles, be the ground work for chapters of a book he is writing on the Power of Peer Mentoring. In a future article he will expand on what he means by peer mentoring and give several real life examples taken from his action research data.


environment where money is available to back forward looking ideas. We have a dynamic mix in this country and we can harness all our experiences and make them work. The important element in such a utopian view of learning is that there has to be a structure. Without a structure and a guideline to define a way to implement peer mentoring the knowledge and skills are lost. I see the Supermentor as the replacement for the old supervisor. The supermentor is the person who will facilitate a learning environment in a company and he or she will harness the learning opportunities within the company or organisation. Necessarily, the supermentor will be pivotal and the training and background of that person is the subject of another article. Clearly, that person will be at least as important as the director or the CEO of the organisation. HR or Human Resources is an outmoded term. My new book will suggest that “People Dynamics” is the term we should be using. Growth, power through sharing knowledge and skills, rapid and dynamic use of the information highways to suit the goals of your organisation: this is the way forward. In this short article, however, I would like to introduce another concept and leave you to reflect on it. What is the use of learning if it does not change or transform people and the organisation to be the adaptable and resilient entity that it needs to be. Much training and development now, if it happens at all, is seen as secondary to the goals of the organisation. It must become central. Peer mentoring, when it is properly implemented, must be transformational in nature, not transitional. It is not a stop gap or something which we do because it looks good. It is essential if we wish to constantly transform our people to meet the fast changing demands of the global business community.


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Lighthouse Relay Voyage Ceremony


hen leading maritime services provider Inchcape Shipping Services (ISS) sponsored the bicentenary of the building of the Bell Rock Lighthouse in February this year, the company realised it had an opportunity to do more than just celebrate 200 years of alerting mariners to the perils of the hidden Inchcape Reef off Scotland’s stormy coast, from which ISS takes its name. With this in mind the company set about creating the ISS Lighthouse Relay Voyage, a Corporate Social Responsibility initiative that would help communities in the 63 countries where ISS does business.

Now, having journeyed around Europe, the baton has reached،Kuwait. In support of the ISS Lighthouse Relay Voyage, ISS Kuwait showed its commitment to raising funds for Kuwait Association for the Care of Children in Hospital (KACCH). KACCH is a non-governmental charitable organisation registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour in 2003 to help children and their families cope with the stresses of hospitalisation. It is managed by volunteers and funded by donations from organisations, businesses, banks, schools and individuals within Kuwait. Inchcape Social Committee – Kuwait has organised a visit to the children at Amiri Hospital (KACCH). They brought some gifts to the children and had a memorable time with them.


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Kindling Interest in Taking the Tablets Ian G. Mils


he world of reading has become dominated by “The Book is Dead – Long Live the e-Book”. This in turn has many varied interpretations and there are currently in world-wide coverage two different markets typified by two particular devices.

The home user is someone who wants something almost exclusively as a replacement for the paper book. One clear advantage is the purchase of books for an e-reader is now coming below the paperback price and they are delivered almost instantly. This market is dominated by the Amazon Kindle.

The Small to Medium Business user may want something that offers more than just a book reader, it should have Internet access for services formerly associated with PC or Lap Top devices and this is the new tablet computer. This market is dominated by the Apple iPad.

Some key physical differences

Size: The Kindle fits in your coat pocket and the iPad in your briefcase or handbag Colour: Only available in the US for the Kindle Fire or colour world-wide on the iPad. Connection: WiFi connection or WiFi and 3G (free worldwide with some Kindles)


Screen: Touch screen or not Interface: Virtual or real keyboards

Some key logical considerations

Purpose: What is the primary reason for buying this device? Content: What type of library services do you need from the supplier? Location: Where and when do you expect to use the device?

The Kindle Touch uses a touch sensitive screen for its interface, which is the same as the Fire. Otherwise, the screen technology of the Touch is similar to the earlier Kindle models. That is black and white E-Ink and very highly recommended for just reading text of books and other publications. The iPad is a great favourite with those already owning iPods, iPhones and linked into iTunes. The latter comment is quite significant because the “backoffice” service of either Apple (iTunes) or Amazon


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(particularly with Amazon Prime) is a make or break part of the decision.

But first some quantitative data The Kindle can come in at $77 for the basic up to $199 for the Kindle Fire. The iPad 2, you can pick up for just over $400 to a cent under $800 for the top end 64 GB model with 3G and WiFi connectivity. OK if you want just a well supported eReader for a lot of reading then do not choose the iPad or the Kindle Fire.

types of device. It’s a tough call but if you want the free 3G that comes with the black and white Kindles (that are essentially eReaders and eReaders only) and that is more important than colour then the Kindle Touch with 3G should be your choice. So what about library support? The business model from Apple and Amazon do have similarities. However, when you look at the actual library available from Amazon plus the Amazon Prime ( quote the Amazon site “With Prime, Kindle owners can now choose from thousands of books to borrow for free including over 100 current and former New York Times Bestsellers – as frequently as a book a month, with no due dates.”). This free library service comes at an annual charge for all Prime services of $79 and some of the services are US only (such as free 2 day delivery and video streaming).

This comes down to comparing the E-Ink technology (monochrome Kindles) with the backlit colour (US only remember) display of the Fire or iPad. If you might spend hours of reading (on long flights and at lay overs while Heathrow is closed due to snow) the colour display could give your eyes a hard time (Fire or any Tablet). The Kindle Fire touch screen has picked up criticism that it doesn’t function as nicely or quickly as that of the iPad or (even!?) the Kindle Touch. One “dislike” that I have for the older Kindle is that they do not all support ‘Page Numbers’ from books and you have to use “location 121 of 16077 - 2%” format. The Kindle Touch can “GoTo” a page number but (for some obscure reason) the Fire goes back to the location nnn idea, so wait for the Fire mk 2. One more cross against Fire mk 1 version. Yes, the Kindle Fire does allow Internet Access and in particular supports streaming videos but not with Free 3G; the data download would be prohibitive in costs on the original purchase. So if you are going to be watching videos (films) using the 3G interface on a regular basis the added $600 for the top end iPad is trivial. These comments seem very important to understand the difference between the two


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The UK’s Leading Drama School Means Business In Kuwait Alison Shan Price


he London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is, at 150 years old, the oldest drama school in UK. Accredited examinations, under the patronage of H.R.H. Princess Alexandra, in communication and performance are now taken by candidates in 65 countries. The drama school boasts a multitude of famous actors including Sir Donald Sinden, Donald Sutherland, Oscar winner Jim Broadbent, John Lithgrow and Dominique Cooper (the Devil’s Double).

Chosen for their practical nature, LAMDA examinations, under the patronage of H.E. Ambassador to Kuwait, were introduced into Kuwait in 2001 with the assistance of the British Embassy. 60 multi-cultural students from different schools took the first LAMDA examinations in acting and public speaking and were awarded their certificates in

A few of the many Alumni with Gold Medal Grade 8 with Distinction

Ishita Chadha INDIA

Colette Tchantcho Eleni Price CAMEROON WALES

Mushira Sabry EGYPT

front of family and friends by H.E. Ambassador Mr Richard Muir at a gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel. Over the next decade in excess of 1000 candidates successfully took LAMDA examinations in acting (the most popular of examinations), spoken English, speaking in public, Mime and musical theatre from introductory to diploma level.

Words from Alumni Mousaed Khalid, Kuwait, aged 27 Film Producer and winner of Gulf Festival Awards, ‘ When I joined LAMDA Examinations training I had no idea what impact it would have on my life. It changed my life for the better. I became a better communicator, my English became better than I ever imagined. It became my family. God bless.. Hamad Al Jenaie, Kuwait, aged 23,

Director and actor,

Surya Butterworth CANADA


Zaynab Al Nasser KUWAIT

Fiona McCulloch MALTA

Jumel Carvajel PHILIPPINES

“ LAMDA Examinations are the key word to SUCCESS. It gives you everything from Voice training to Laban, Stanislavski, Chekhov Classical, Modern Theatre and Contemporary Theatre. I have learned to control actors on stage and in films... “


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Navigating Kuwait Though it does other things too, City Group Company (CGC) is best known as the chief provider of public transportation in the emirate of Kuwait. CEO Richard Woods told John O’Hanlon how the company aspires to expand regionally City Group Company (CGC) is much more than just a bus company: it is deeply involved in a number of infrastructure, logistics and transport sectors in this small but oil-rich nation on the Persian Gulf. As part of the Boodai Group, founded in 1950 and today led by Marwan Boodai, a prominent Kuwaiti businessman, it has a thriving warehousing division that provides dry and cold store facilities to a wide range of customers in the region; and is sister company to an airline Jazeera Airways, launched in 2005. However, the bus network is the backbone of surface public transport here, and it caters for a very demanding public. The 3.5 million inhabitants of Kuwait enjoy the fifth highest per capita income in the world. CGC was listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange in 1977, and its primary objective has always been to maximise the shareholder value. This it has done by driving excellence and unstinting customer focus, says its CEO Richard Woods. The Citybus division started its route operations on 8th March 2002 and since then has been working to coax the population of the kingdom out of their cars and into public transport.The image of public transport in the Middle East needed to be raised: before the millennium it was characterised by frequent breakdowns, uncertain scheduling and a lack of comfort that was increasingly unacceptable to Kuwaitis familiar with the standards of the US and Europe. Today CGC has succeeded in establishing its leadership as Kuwait’s leading public transport operator. It operates 400 regular services across 19 routes, carried more than 46 million passengers in 2011, has become the first transportation company in the Middle East to gain ISO 9001:2008 certification and was accepted into membership Article provided by City Group

of the International Association of Public Transport (UITP) World Congress.“UITP is a fantastic platform for worldwide cooperation, business development and the sharing of know-how between its 3,400 members from 92 countries,” says Woods. The latest figures from Citybus show that 95 per cent of its scheduled services operate within the published timetable. Now, sharing the Kuwaiti market with the state-owned Kuwait Public Transportation Corporation (KPTC), CGC is currently Kuwait’s second largest public transport company, operating a fleet of 585 buses in Kuwait for scheduled and charter operations. Much of this progress has been achieved under the leadership of Woods, who was appointed CEO in 2007, having held senior positions over 25 years with leading international multimodal public transport operators including Stagecoach and Arriva. Reflecting his regional influence, he is also a member of the steering committee for setting up the new Transport Centre of Excellence for the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in Dubai. In 2011 the aftershocks of the world economic crisis began to be felt in Kuwait despite its massive oil revenues. “CGC weathered the impact of the global economic slowdown that began in 2008, with after effects that continued well into 2010,” says Woods. “Towards the end of that year, though, we began to notice a definite upturn in both the warehousing and transportation sectors, and CGC performed better than at any other time in our history.”

He takes satisfaction from the fact that competition was as stiff as ever both from the KPTC and unregulated operators running a few minibuses. Despite this, CGC has maintained its growth. “We expect the regional public transport industry to continue to grow to meet increasing demand: that is why we have introduced efficient vehicles to our fleet, specified to European standards. Our strategy is to bring a really positive customer experience to the region, making it a pleasure to travel by public transport rather than just a means of getting from A to B.” The purchase of 50 ultra-modern, air-conditioned Yutong buses from China in 2010 was a big step in raising CGC’s game, he adds. That said, reliability is just as important. A bus operator faces a number of challenges, and traffic congestion problems are severe, despite the nation’s modern and well maintained road system. Of its 3.5 million population two million are non-nationals. Speeding, lax enforcement of traffic regulations and high density traffic led to frequent and often fatal accidents on Kuwait’s roads. Kuwait has the highest per capita rate of cellphone ownership in the world and using them while driving continues to remain legal. Not surprisingly, this is found to be the cause of many accidents. For the bus operator, delivering a safe and enjoyable journey presents challenges not always within its control. “CGC has had a long and successful involvement in the development and growth of the public transport sector in Kuwait, and we are in a position to lead the improvements that really are needed. As one of the leading public transport providers, CGC is committed to maintaining worldclass service delivery targets. We aim to help increase transport efficiency in Kuwait, as well as decreasing traffic and travel time getting to and from destinations around Kuwait.”

As a major national player, CGC contributes to the Kuwait Public Transport Masterplan, which aims to address problems of congestion and provide Kuwait with transport infrastructure that reflects its status as a regional tourist hub. It has not achieved that status yet but embarking on megaprojects like the Madinat al-Hareer, a $94 billion new city aimed at bringing new sources of revenue into the country, will increase the need for a state-of-the-art public transport network such as CGC has shown itself capable of delivering. Another transformational project due to be delivered by 2016 is the Kuwait Metro, a 171 kilometre-long inner city transport system running across the city.The Metro aims to ease the increasing traffic congestion on the city roads in addition to improving the quality of life by resolving daily commuting problems. It is part of the $25 billion GCC railway project, which begins at Kuwait and runs to Muscat via Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. At first sight this might be seen as a challenge to road transport, as one effect will be to reduce bus passenger numbers. However, Woods sees it as an opportunity and is keen that CGC will play its part in the project. The Metro will have no fewer than 70 stations, and linking these with key destinations will call for close collaboration with the bus companies. Not content to dominate the domestic public transport stage, CGC also has aspirations to be a leading regional player right across the Middle East and North Africa. “We were able to negotiate $30 million worth of funding for regional expansion on very favourable terms,” says Woods. “We are on the acquisition trail, looking for operations that can help us get there.” In 2010, advised by local M&A consultants Gulfmerger, CGC acquired a 51 per cent equity interest in Jordan’s Comprehensive Multiple Transportation Company (CMTC) for $21.5 million. “The acquisition of CMTC

Article provided by City Group



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is part of CGC’s strategy to transform itself into the largest public transport company in the Middle East with a combined fleet of over 3,000 buses by 2015,” says Woods. “Our vision is to continue our regional expansion strategy either looking at commercial opportunities or gaining contracts and tenders.” Woods’ appointment in Kuwait inspired him to build a management team that would transform the organisation and develop a culture aligned to our corporate values. “We have completely focused on continually improving our standards as an organisation and the welfare of our workforce was at the forefront of our decision-making. I truly believe people are the only asset that appreciates in value, whereas all other assets generally depreciate!” Under his leadership, shareholder value has steadily increased, and CGC has increased its share of the

home market to 60 per cent. This has come about, he believes, as much through the empowerment and engagement of the workforce as by the undoubted benefits of investment in up-to-date vehicles and systems. “We believe in training, developing and retaining our staff and have recently introduced a graduate training programme for local and international students to come and experience life in the bus industry. I hope to be able to serve Kuwait for many years to come, and look forward to bearing the fruits of all our hard work with the development and implementation of the Kuwait Public Transport Masterplan, which will make travelling easier, speedier and safer,” he concludes. “I personally feel very privileged to have the opportunity to give our input in developing and shaping the future of public transport in Kuwait.”

Article provided by City Group


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Very taxing

Just how big is the UK tax gap?

TAX GAP is the difference between collected tax & the potential tax out there

CURRENT OFFICIAL FIGURE £42 Interest on UK government debt per year

£42 bn £3



Hidden economy



£5.2 Criminal attacks inc black markets

£1.3 “Ghosts” (cash workers) £1.8 “Moonlighters” (2nd jobbers)

£2.0 Contraband cigarettes & spirits

£6.3 “Failure to take reasonable care” with tax returns etc £7.4 Evasion illegal nonpayment

£7.4 Avoidance clever trickery

£1.5 Offshore havens £2.9 Corporate Tax Avoidance £1.4 Personal Tax Avoidance


selected elements

selected sub elements

not counted in the tax gap

possibly not counted


£0.8 Other offshore tricks

£1.6 Benefit system error

£3.2 Income shifting between spouses & companies £3

Domicile rule becoming a foreign resident

£1.5 Benefit fraud £2.7 Cost of winter fuel payments £3.5 UK bank earnings from overdraft fees


Capital Gains loophole


£1.8 Nat. Insurance avoidance £3

Other tax planning inheritance tax, stamp duty etc

£12 More tax avoidance by companies (quietly resolved)

New bank levy

£48 Saved in Isle of Man & Channel Islands banks by UK residents

£35 Hidden economy based on Worldbank’s estimate of UK’s shadow economy

data: source: HMRC, additional research: James Key research & design: David McCandless





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David McCandless Draws Beautiful Conclusions


great big hat tip to Arthur Barber for turning Dispatches on to David McCandless. McCandless is a former UK print journalist who’s taken a turn for the graphic. It was Chris Bilton, of Eye Weekly who wrote the headline for this piece, which when complete reads “David McCandless draws beautiful conclusions from complex datasets – thus revealing unexpected insights into our world.”

Having checked out McCandless’s website (www., we decided that Arthur is right – McCandless is cool, and Bilton is half right – McCandless draws beautiful visualisations of datasets that allow us to draw conclusions. So, Dispatches got permission to show you just how beautiful infographics can be and had a brief conversation with McCandless about his work. Dispatches: I’ve read the two line bio from the website, but I am curious as to how a “word” person (journalist) becomes a visual person? Back in 2007, I was a frantically busy working freelancer for Wired and The Guardian. Pitching stories every week; having to stay on top of loads of different subjects, tracking the development and ideas in various

fields. I was wrestling with a really d i f fi c u l t piece - about evolutionary theory and Creationism - and ended up sketching a big bubble diagram to help me understand all the different perspectives. Inside each bubble I wrote a distillation of each point of view - just so I could keep track of all the perspectives - and see how everything related. When it was done, I had this mad but interesting diagram. I looked at it and thought: “I don’t really need to write the article now.” Dispatches: How do you hope these visualisations impact the current conversation? Or do you . . . maybe that’s a better question . . .


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We’re all suffering from information overload. Designed information allows us to quickly make sense of a subject or focus on what information is important. Visualised information also allows us see patterns and connections that perhaps would otherwise be invisible.

Visualisation can open up areas of knowledge to people who would not normally be interested in those areas. Images are nice to look at. Beautiful visual displays are appealing to everyone. So beautiful information display can act as ‘Trojan horses’ to introduce new ideas or thoughts to new audiences.

In a connected world, unconnected absolute figures don’t give a complete picture. Only relative numbers, in context with other data, make any sense. They show us a truer picture. So data visualised in relationship to other data helps us see better. As Hans Rosling brilliantly puts it: “Let the dataset change your mindset.”

Dispatches: What part do shape and colour combinations play when developing a concept? For example, in The Billion Pound-O-Gram some bits are rectangular but with rounded corners and others are quite linear; and the colour palette is more subdued than the one used for The Billion Dollar Gram; is that by design or just what looked good?

Dispatches: Does that fact that visual representations are more easily understood indicate a dumbing down of society? A reduced attention span? A preference for graphic rather than text-based data? All of the above? None of the above? Visualised information is a relief from text, paragraphs and other linear media. That’s because it’s effortless to look at something, versus reading. Seeing requires little conceptual processing. So you can take in visualised information as you might a landscape. Relax. Explore it with your eyes. Drink in the information. It’s actually enjoyable. A relief.


Information and design have to be in harmony in a visualisation. If one gets out of proportion, it breaks. I usually sketch the first draft on paper, playing around with approaches. Then move into a digital schematic. Then refine. Often it’s quite a torturous process. Many of my images have gone through 20 or 30 “BRITAIN PREPARES FOR 65000 DEATHS FROM SWINE FLU”


INTENSITY (No of stories)














Story (worldwide deaths) Killer Wasps (1000)

Mobile Phones & Tumours (0)

Asteroid Collision (0)

Mad Cow Disease (204)

SARS (774)

Killer Wifi (0)

Austism Vaccinations (0)

Millenium Bug (0)

Violent Video Games (Unknown)

Bird Flu (262)

Swine Flu (702)

Mountains Out of Molehills A timeline of global media scare stories.

David McCandless



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drafts. Sometimes you get to the end and realise it doesn’t work. Or it’s been over-worked. Or it’s just not that interesting. I am a rampant perfectionist and have regularly sacrificed a good design that became too ‘spaghetti’ or too ‘ultra-conceptual’ to work. Dispatches: Does the concept come from the perspective of an artist or an accountant? Do you feel like you’re creating art or a better presentation of data? I’m definitely a designer. Not an artist. I’m trying to convey a single concept, view, function, solution. Rather than an artist who leaves their work open to interpretation. That doesn’t sound very glamorous does it? I guess a designer is a technician of sorts. As is a journalist. Dispatches: From what I’ve seen, you rarely draw conclusions (there’s no summary paragraph). Do you feel it’s unnecessary or are you leaving the conclusion process to the viewer?

£102 NHS

£440 US Defence Budget

£18 Iraq & Afghanistan MoD total spend

I’m out not to visualise facts, but the *relationships* between facts. I love how data visualisation, or more specifically the broader ‘information visualisation’, can lead to greater awareness, better ways to understand wider or larger patterns, and seeing the world from new or different or unexpected angles. Dispatches: What is the business application for this tool? Structuring data visually, turning information into images, helps us better see and understand the connections, patterns and relationships between ideas, facts, statistics. If you go one step further, you can design that visualised information so that it tells a story, or zooms in on only what is important or interesting. That ability to ‘see’ structured data in different ways and engage it with different enquiries, explore patterns and relationships has got to be good for business insight. McCandless recently set up the Information Is Beautiful studio to work with clients on visualising their own data. To get in touch with the team, email projects@

£1892 Iraq War estimated total

£24 Tax Credits

£13 NHS IT project

Fraud £1 £9 2012

£42 UK

£104 Total cost of Trident

£37 China

$11 Russia

£25 France

£63 Overseas development aid given by major Western nations

£19 Russia

£88 African debt to the West

£5 UK

£59 Tesco Revenue

£38 Halve poverty in developing nations

£37 Iraq War predicted cost in 2003

£458 OPEC revenue

Tesco Profits £3

£63 State pensions

£183 Amount given to charity by Americans

Given by Britons

£120 Google market value

£21 Nintendo

£45 UK police budget



£22 Global video games market

£17 UK’s richest man Lakshmi Mittal losses 2009


£56 Nationalisation of banks: Lloyds, RBS, HBOS

£48 Nationalisation of banks: Northern Rock, Bradford & Bingley

OPEC climate £2 change fund £122 United Arab Emirates GDP

£37 Dubai World debts

£18 The UN’s budget


£400 Asset purchasing and lending

£503 Global pharmaceutical market

£13 Save the Amazon £6 Hollywood

£900 Credit Crisis government bailouts

£175 UK Budget deficit

£30 Interest on government Credit Crisis borrowing


£24 Bill Gates net worth

£21 £8 £10 Child Tobacco Uneaten support tax food

£30 City bonuses 2006-09




£12 Erectile Dysfunction

£4 Antidepressants

David McCandless

Free gifts to doctors

International Clinic International Clinic International Clinic

Excellence In Health Care Excellence In Health Care Excellence In Health Care



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Money Can’t Buy Happiness . . .


ut it sure can make being unhappy a lot more comfortable: so goes the punch line. For the purposes of this article, we need to replace “unhappy” with “retired.” Let’s be honest, at some point we all want to retire and while retirement looks different to everyone the biggest hindrance to having the retirement of our dreams is money . . . or the lack thereof.

Prudential plc, the leading life and pensions provider in the UK, has set up an online retirement calculator specifically for retirement in the UK at guides_tools/calcs/. (There are many similar tools for the US, but this is the only one discovered that is exclusively for the UK.) The retirement calculator is a tool to help you discover what retirement income you’re on track to have, how that compares to what you’d like to have and, of course, what you can do about it. Please understand, we are not advocating any company or any investment product, merely bringing an extremely helpful tool to your attention. When thinking about retirement, there are many things you want to include in your budgeting. If your mortgage won’t be paid off by the time you retire, that could be a major expense. Don’t forget utilities, groceries, and entertainment. Transportation costs, including replacing cars, and healthcare and insurance costs tend to increase as you get older. Do you want/need to provide financial support for children or grandchildren? Travel is a common goal for retirees, include that in your budget. Be realistic in your budgeting. If you’re used to travelling business class and staying in 4 star hotels or better, use those figures. If you tend to eat out 3 – 4 nights per week, count that in. Like anything, the better the data in, the better the data out. Here that means the more realistic your income and expenses figures are, the more accurate (and valuable) the assessment of your retirement standing will be. Therefore, there are some bits of information you’ll want to have at your fingertips when you start using the retirement calculator. This includes:


• Total annual income • Expenses (big items like taxes and mortgages; small items like food, entertainment, etc.) • State pension • Personal pensions • Company pensions • Previous pensions • Property (current value of your property) • Savings and investments Using the calculator will take about 20 minutes, once you have pulled all the necessary information together. Do keep in mind that, even with the best, most accurate data, this is just a tool and the results are reasonable guidelines. They will give you an idea of how you stand. In addition to the retirement calculator, there are other steps you can take to prepare for retirement. The earlier you start the better, but here are some tips for those 55 and older. 55 – 60 Check how much you’ve both saved. Look at your pension statements and gather together all information on your other savings and investments. Calculate your total savings and check that what you’ve got will provide you with the income you think you’ll need when you do come to retire.


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Consider annuity options. An annuity bought with your pension fund provides a guaranteed income for the rest of your life. Do you want an income for your partner too? Do you want an income that grows during your retirement? The choices can seem bewildering but now is the time to do your research, together. Check your National Insurance contributions. To Gary Moran get your full State Pension you Director need to have paid Membership 30 full years of National Insurance contributions. You can ‘buy’ additional years if you need to top up your contributions to ensure you receive your full State Pension. [Editor’s note: This may have changed/be changing as a result of the current economic situation and the government’s efforts to address the issue.]

So, while money can’t buy happiness, it can help provide for a happy retirement. Play with the retirement calculator, take a serious look at your expectations for retirement, and think about the tips above. This will give you the opportunity to take whatever action is necessary to have the retirement of your dreams.

Geoff Webster General Secretary

60 – 65 Discuss when to buy your annuity. You can buy your annuity any time up until your 77th birthday (although the rules may change in the future). Discuss Stephen Jones Business the timing between you and then shop around for theRelations Director annuity most suitable for your needs. This is also known as the open market option.


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Spirit in Motion


pirit in Motion is the official motto of the Paralympic Games. This is evident in the athletes on the field and in the people who support the effort, like Sir Philip Craven, International Paralympic Committee President.

In a recent address, Sir Philip speculated that 2012 “could be the biggest ever year for Paralympic sport.” He supported his theory based on the numbers: over the 11 days of competition, 4,200 athletes will compete in 20 sports. He also speculated that it would be a good year for the Great Britain Paralympic team. “We have had some tremendous recent Games in Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004, and then arguably the greatest Games ever in Beijing four years ago, but London has learnt from all these experiences. It is the home of Paralympic sport; it’s where it all started at Stoke Mandeville back in the late forties, so the Games are coming home.” For those not au fait with the history of the Paralympics, the first dedicated competition was organised in 1948 by Dr Ludwig Guttmann, a physician at the Stoke Mandeville hospital for World War II soldiers with spinal cord injuries. He organised a wheelchair archery competition at the hospital, with competitors coming from sports clubs and other hospitals on the same day as the Opening Ceremony of the 1948 Olympic Games (held in London). Four years later, as more sports were added, athletes from Holland joined in and the international Paralympic Movement was born. Today, the Paralympics are elite sport events for athletes with a disability. The competition has grown


dramatically since its first days. The first official Paralympic Games held in conjunction with the Olympics were held in Rome in 1960. That year 400 athletes from 23 countries competed for gold medals; 10 times that number will compete in London 2012. “The level of competition and the standards have never been higher. The number of countries that want to be top dog is incredible. I am not sure if anyone will knock China off the top of the medal table in London, but there are a lot of countries going to have a go,” concluded Sir Philip. That sounds a lot like Spirit in Motion.


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Who Are You

Rooting For?


hile it’s easy to cheer for the national team, competition can be more fun when you know the players. Gareth A. Davies, a sports journalist for The Telegraph, looked at the athletes participating in the London 2012 Paralympic Games and picked a host of athletes to watch. You can read the complete article on The Telegraph’s website (, but here’s a few names and events you should keep your eye on if you’re looking for gold.

Wheelchair athletics Wheelchair racing has always been considered the blue ribbon event of the athletics competition in the Olympic/Paralympic stadiums at recent Games. London’s David Weir arguably the world’s leading all-round wheelchair racer, will be defending the Paralympic titles at 1,500m and 5,000m. On the last day of the Games, Weir also intends to race in the marathon, which passes London’s iconic venues.

Jonnie Peacock

David Weir


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Multi-disability athletics There are athletic events in wheelchair, amputee, partially sighted, intellectual disability and cerebral palsy classifications in the Olympic Stadium. Watch out for Jonnie Peacock, the 18-year-old amputee sprinter from Cambridge, who competes in the same event as Oscar Pistorius. Earlier this year, Peacock was mentored by Pistorius at the BT Paralympic World Cup in Manchester. “It was an honour to race against him,” said the teenager. “Oscar has set the benchmark for all of us.” Peacock races in one of the most competitive 100m at the Paralympic Games, in an event which includes single-amputee Americans Marlon Shirley and Jerome Singleton in a powerful field.

Track cycling Track cycling remains one of the most compelling events at the Paralympic Games. In Sarah Storey, GB have a multiple gold medallist at the Games in both swimming and cycling. The Manchester cyclist, born without a fully formed hand, could make the same impact as Oscar Pistorius in London, as she attempts to be selected for both Olympic and Paralympic Games. She has already represented GB at major able-bodied events and at the Commonwealth Games in India last year. Great Britain dominated at the Velodrome in Beijing, winning 14 gold medals.

Adaptive rowing Adaptive rowing is included in the Paralympic Games for the second time. GB’s formidable Tom Aggar, a Sarah Storey


Nigel Murray

Peter Norfolk

gold medallist in the single sculls in Beijing, has never been beaten in competition. The 27-year-old former rugby player who intended to join the Royal Marines, broke his back in an accident as a university undergraduate and has not looked back since joining the GB rowing squad, which trains in a fully inclusive set-up with their Olympic counterparts.

Wheelchair tennis Britain’s Peter Norfolk is known as “the quadfather” for his imperious ability on court. Winner of the individual gold medal in Athens and Beijing, he has a win-loss record which only Esther Vergeer, the Dutch female wheelchair tennis player, can rival. In the past decade the 50 year-old has enjoyed huge success on the world tennis circuit; he has 235 wins and 28 losses to his name, amassed five Grand Slam singles titles and 19 major singles titles. His quest for a third consecutive Paralympic gold medal in London next year will make him a major focus for the world’s media.

Boccia Britain’s Nigel Murray, the world No 1, is an individual gold medallist (Sydney) and team gold medallist (Beijing) in the sport for athletes with cerebral palsy. The sport, described by 47-year-old Murray as “a cross between bowls and petanque”, could be one of the revelations of the Games, with the arena a combination of intense, studious moves and the occasional outburst of rippling applause from the gallery. In Beijing, every seat in the spectator galleries was taken.

Tom Aggar


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London 2012 Paralympic Games Schedule



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BAIA welcomes RADA to Kuwait


he British Academy of International Arts (BAIA) was honoured to welcome Ms Nona Sheppard, Associate Director and Head of the Audition Panel at The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), to the BSK campus for a bespoke drama-based weekend workshop with students aged 12 to young adult. RADA has built an outstanding reputation as a world renowned centre of excellence for those with a passion for theatre. Established in 1904, it was granted the Royal Charter in 1920 and was opened by the late Queen Mother then known as the Duchess of York. Alumni include many of the greats of the British theatrical establishment including John Gielgud, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall, Glenda Jackson and John Hurt to name but a few. One of the many things which are distinctive to RADA is the extraordinary level of personalisation throughout their training programmes and this was evident in the character and ability of Ms Sheppard. A highly skilled actor, director, writer and teacher she made a formidable impression on everyone who met her during her visit to Kuwait and


right from the introduction she had the youngest and least experienced student eating out of the palm of her hand as she motivated them to reach inside themselves and achieve new levels of performance. Her plays for young people have received several awards and have been seen all over Europe and North America. Ms Sheppard had been set the brief by BAIA’s Head of the Faculty of Theatre, Ms Kamara Gray, to introduce the students to the concept of audition and how to transpose a script from the page to the stage. RADA registers 28 students per year from


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4,000 applicants into its 3 year BA in Acting course. Admission is based on suitability and success at audition. To have the head of the audition panel present in Kuwait was a wonderful opportunity for BAIA to learn at first hand how to prepare for success. As part of the BAIA theatre programme the students are aware of the dance, acting and music aspects for auditions and the need for excellence in all three to be accepted for many of the leading roles on the modern stage. Expensive lavish productions and diminishing budgets has meant for smaller ensemble groups being employed by many of the large UK theatres and actors must be prepared to move from principal to ensemble roles at very short notice. The competition for major parts in any production is keener than ever and by participating in a workshop by RADA who specialise in vocational training for actors, stage managers, directors, designers and technical stage craft, the BAIA students were opened up to a whole new world of skills and experience. This BAIA sponsored workshop was a rare chance to train with a world class Theatre expert and was not to be missed. This intensive workshop ran for 15 hours from Thursday evening until Saturday afternoon and consisted of a highly intensive masterclass related to Improvisation, Movement, Textwork, Voice, Character Work and Acting Technique. It gave the students the chance to experience the kind of training RADA students go through every day. During the final presentation when parents were invited to observe, (which ran over by an hour such was the highly charged enthusiasm between audience and performers), Ms Sheppard illustrated the Acting Technique of how to prepare the body to be responsive and the voice to be supported for performances. Students were encouraged to cultivate a playfulness within themselves and a dynamic co-operation between their fellow BAIA members and the audience. Physicality in Character was developed through various types of movements based on the Laban, Suzuki and Viewpoints stance. Through text analysis students learned how to create an imagined world. Voice work centred on a series of vocal exercises which work on breath, resonance and range. Ms Sheppard is presently involved in the state of the art Acting Academy at the new Lir Theatre in Dublin


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which was been opened to house the Bachelor in Acting Course in Trinity College. She is also the Director of an intensive two month Shakespeare course for top US actors who need immersion in the work of the Bard if they are to progress to the London stage. During the BAIA workshop the students were introduced to classical text and the work of Shakespeare. Ms Sheppard referred to him as the beat poet. Her advice to the students was If you find yourself bamboozled by Shakespeare’s visceral and vibrant language, try concentrating on the rhythm. Concentrate on something we know and love, rhythm. This will help banish the fear of performing which many people have when it comes to Shakespeare. One of the parents commented at the end of the final session I can’t say enough about how much the parents and students at BAIA enjoyed the workshop. It was immensely amusing to watch the students imitate each other during the demonstration for the parents. It was amusing but also eye opening to see how well our young people were able to grasp the essence of a person and then had the confidence to act that understanding out. Ms Sheppard was able to create an atmosphere where the students felt safe enough with each other and confident in themselves to be able to open themselves in such a way. I think we recognise that it takes a special person to bring that out in people and we are grateful to her for having spent this special time with us. The students each received a signed RADA certificate of participation from Ms Sheppard and they will treasure this passport to professional theatre for the rest of their lives. Ms Sheppard was high in her praise of the skills and talents shown by the BAIA company and expressed the wish to continue to develop links through follow on courses in London. One participant has already enrolled for a RADA summer course in London and plans for a BAIA trip in October are well advanced. BAIA is pleased to celebrate HM the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee by inviting The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art to Kuwait.



What the Dickens!


harles Dickens was born 200 years ago on the 7th February1812. In his 58 years of life he produced a great number of novels, stories, letters and newspaper articles. He began his literary career by serialising stories in ‘periodicals’ under his pen name, Boz. The London audience eagerly awaited each ensuing episode with great anticipation. His career spanned the reigns of four monarchs: George III and IV, William IV and from 1837, that of Queen Victoria The span of his life was marked by the industrial revolution, the consequent migration to the cities and the resultant squalor for so many on the bottom rung of the social ladder. Under his own name he published Pickwick Papers, The Old Curiosity Shop, Hard Times, David Copperfield, but to name a few, stories that were based on his observations of true people and situations. His accounts of humourous and often violent events brought about an awareness of the social situation in Victorian England. 66


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To join the global celebrations of his birthday, the British Embassy, the Creative Writers’ Workshop, and 14 actors ranging in age from 7 to 67 years old performing 40 costumed Dickensian characters, presented WHAT the DICKENS! on 10 February in true Victorian music-hall style (with a little help from multi-media...) The full enthusiastic adult audience entered a darkened atrium lit only by candles and the amber glow from the iron fireplace, to the melodious music of Lionel Bart’s Consider Yourself played on the piano by musical director Harriet Bushman wearing a large hat, and greeted by cries of welcome from Dickensian characters A bellow went out from The Artful Dodger ‘ Ladees and gentlemin, take yor seats for owr very own songbird singing OOMpaapaa, Miz Julie Stonestreet! ‘ Cheers and tankard tapping accompanied the first raucous song of the evening. Story-tellers, be-decked in evening suits took to the balcony steps, shared at times by Ghosts of the Christmas Present and Past and the Judge of Oliver Twist, to deliver in true Dickensian style, the authors’ words. On the wall between them was


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projected accompanying cartoons. Below, on a small stage adorned by two ornate wooden screens, a pot plant and a stuffed chair, the excerpts of three of Dickens most famous novels Great Expectations, Christmas Carol and Oliver Twist were acted around the audience in rapid succession in the following 80 minutes bringing the dark and humourous passages of literature to life. The renditions of Lionel Bart’s most famous songs, I Shall Scream Mr Bumble, Boy for Sale and Reviewing the Situation from Oliver! the musical of Oliver Twist were met with resounding cheers from the audience. The evening culminated in a star- lit Victorian supper and the cutting of the birthday cake. Produced by Sean Toner and Heather McCarrick and directed by Alison Shan Price, What the Dickens! raised £1000 for the Rainbow Trust charity for terminally ill children. Dates for your diary: The actors of What the Dickens! will be joining the casts of the ONE WORLD Production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on 15 &16 March and the BBF Event to mark ‘The 100 years Anniversary of the Sinking of R.M.S. Titanic’ on 13 April.



How Well Do You Know Your Dickens?


ou’ve read the books. You’ve seen the movies. Maybe you saw the play. You can’t have missed all the anniversary articles. But . . . how well do you know your Dickens? Match the quotation in column A with the book in column B

Column A It was the best of times, it was the worst of times In the year 1775 there stood upon the borders of Epping Forest . . . London, Michaelmas Term lately over, and the Lord Chancellor sitting in Lincoln. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station . . . My father’s family name being Pirrip,and my Christian name being Philip . . . Now what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but facts. Thirty years ago Marseilles lay burning in the sun, one day. An Ancient English Cathedral Tower? Night is generally my time for walking. Among other public buildings in a certain town . . .

Barnaby Rudge

Column B

Oliver Twist The Mystery of Edwin Drood Tale of Two Cities Great Expectations The Old Curiosity Shop Bleak House Hard Times Little Dorritt David Copperfield

Match the character(s) in column A with the book in column B Mr. Fezziwig Sairey Gamp Captain Cuttle Wackford Squeers Mssrs Dodson and Fogg Mr. Quilp Mrs. Pardiggle and Mrs. Jellyby Mr. Sowerberry and Noah Claypole Mr. Gradgrind Grip

Hard Times Oliver Twist Martin Chuzzlewit Barnaby Rudge Hard Times The Old Curiosity Shop A Christmas Carol Bleak House Pickwick Papers Dombey and Son

You will find the answers on the BBF website.



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Kuwait University and Shell establish a Professorial Chair: A Shell initiative to contribute to Kuwait’s expanding Gas Industry


uwait University and Shell signed a sponsorship agreement on 11 January 2012 to establish a new Professorial Chair in Gas at the university’s College of Engineering and Petroleum. The new chair, to be known as the “Shell Natural Gas Chair” will focus on the development of a research and teaching programme for the safe and efficient management of the natural gas fields in Kuwait. This agreement is the fruit of a long coordination effort between Shell and Kuwait University Chairman of Petroleum Engineering Department, Dr. Ali Akbar, who initiated its conceptual basis. The signing ceremony was formalised in the presence of Prof. Abdullatif Al-Bader, President of Kuwait University, Mr. Ahmad Atallah, Chairman of Shell Companies in Kuwait, Prof. Hasan Al-Sanad, Vice President for Research, Prof. Husain Al-Kaiat, Dean of Engineering, Dr. Ali Akbar, Chairman of Petroleum Engineering Department, and many other representatives from Shell Companies in Kuwait and the College of Engineering and Petroleum.


Speaking of the occasion, Prof. Abdullatif Al-Bader, President, Kuwait University, mentioned that Kuwait University added a significant new international dimension to its scientific programmes by launching the Research Chair programme during 2010, providing basis for attracting world renowned scientists and international experts who could strengthen the institutional scientific foundations through their expertise, experience and caliber. Today, Kuwait


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University makes a strategic new beginning in this direction, by entering into a valued partnership with Shell, laying practical grounds for the “Shell Natural Gas Chair” at Kuwait University, to energise scientific research in the sphere of sustainable energy and strengthen institutional potential and capabilities in the natural gas field through advanced research, training and knowledge-sharing. “I anticipate a new generation of Kuwaiti engineers, nurtured in a scientific environment, developing specialised skills in the field of natural gas, and assuming key roles in developing and advancing the local gas industry, which is a vital energy resource for the State of Kuwait. With “Shell Natural Gas Chair”, we take our first step in this direction, and express our sincere thanks to Shell for providing our students and researchers with opportunities for raising the spectrum of scientific research in this critical area at Kuwait University.” Ahmad Atallah, Chairman of Shell Companies in Kuwait said: “This new initiative is part of our ongoing partnership with Kuwait University and in line with our commitment to supporting Kuwait lay the foundations for a sustainable energy future. Natural gas is a


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critical resource for Kuwait; hence the successful and efficient exploitation of this major resource depends heavily on the use of advanced technology and skilled engineers. “The Shell Natural Gas Chair will establish a specialised research programme in Natural Gas, and will provide a learning platform for young engineers to gain valuable background and knowledge needed to continue the future development and growth of this important industry in Kuwait. Shell is committed to helping the next generation of Kuwaiti engineers to tackle natural gas-related challenges professionally, so that they are equipped with the right skills when they enter the business world.” Shell’s contribution over three years aims at establishing an academic and research programme in Natural Gas Studies. The “Shell Natural Gas Chair” is intended to develop and sustain an internationally recognised research programme in Natural Gas Studies, while overseeing the long-term development and delivery of related academic goals at Kuwait University, and its wide recognition in the Gulf region and beyond.



NEW: Golden Age of Arab Sciences Opens at Amricani Cultural Centre


he Institut du Monde Arabe’s exhibition ‘Golden Age of Arab Sciences’ began its three month stay at the Amricani Cultural Centre on 14 March. Organised with support from Total and the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI), the exhibition highlights scientific developments in the Islamic world from the 8th to the 15th centuries.

‘Golden Age of Arab Sciences’ features work done in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, physics, cartography, optics, and more. Scientists and inventors discussed in the multi-media exhibition include Ibn al-Haytham, al-Biruni, Ibn Sina, alKhwarizmi and al-Idrisi.

exploration has long been a part of that culture and this exhibition, ‘Golden Age of Arab Sciences’ is a fantastic tool for sharing this aspect of our past.” The Amricani Cultural Centre is located on the Gulf Road, next to the National Assembly buildings and CANVAS 7 in front of the Evangelical Church Compound. In addition to ‘Golden Age of Arab Sciences’, the centre also includes the ‘Treasury of the World: Jewelled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals’ exhibition and a multi-media presentation entitled ‘Story of Amricani’, which introduces a bit of Kuwait’s early history in the context of the RCA’s American Mission Hospitals.


“We are very excited to be hosting this exhibition,” said DAI director Abdulkareem Al-Ghadban. “The Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s primary objective has always been to promote awareness of and appreciation for the arts and culture of the Islamic world. Scientific

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����� ��� ������� ���� �������� ���������� ����� ����� ��� ������� ������� ������� ������ �� ����� ���� ������ ��� ���� .������ ��������� ���� ��� ������� �� ������� ������� �������� ��� ���� ��� �� �� ������� ���� �� ������ ��� �� ���� �������� ��� � ��� ����� .(1543-1473) ���������

What are the practical applications of Arab astronomy? Arab astronomy developed two major orientations. The first aimed to resolve concrete problems. Thus, many instruments were improved (astrolabes, sundials) or invented (universal astrolabes, astrolabic quadrants) with the intention of determining the time, of taking measurements in the sky or on earth. It was also concerned with finding solutions for the orientation of mosques, for the times of the five daily prayers, and for the visibility of the crescent moon. And in terms of theory? As for the theoretical aspects, they mainly concerned the verification and correction of the parameters inherited from the Greeks, the critique of Ptolemy’s planetary models, the discussion of the problem of the rotation of the Earth around its axis, and the production of hundreds of astronomical tables for multiple uses. Certain Arab contributions to astronomy reached Europe through translations or even directly, and were used up to the time of Copernicus (1473–1543).

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Cylindrical sundial

�������� ��� ������� Astronomers making measurements with various instruments in the observatory founded by Suleyman the Magnificient in 1557, near Istanbul

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Planispheric astrolabe mounted and demounted

Astrolabe quadrant

↓ Utilisation astrolabe

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↓ Utilisation astrolabe

Vitrine astronomy 1

The opening hours are: Monday through Thursday 9-7; Friday and Saturday from 2-7. Classroom visits may be scheduled as early at 8 AM. For more information or to schedule a school visit, email: info@darmuseum.






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Tailored Solutions • Global Expertise Spring 2012



Peter Seller


y dilemma was ‘what on earth can I buy for a Kuwaiti?’ It could just as easily have been ‘what to buy?’ for almost anyone who has been here a while; because we all tend to treat ourselves to gadgets, jewellery and knick-knacks. So… what do you buy for someone who appears to have everything?



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and family alike. The Misbaha - the perfect gift and I knew the perfect person for the best advice in town and where to find him. The entrance to the car park of Souk Al Dowlia, is on the corner of the small road that runs behind the Al Muthana complex in the city and always has spaces in the evening. Just off the centre area with the small Arabic restaurant, among a number of misbaha shops, is Dar Al Masabeeh – House of Misbaah or Misbah House – but it is the man, rather than the shop, that is the discovery of a lifetime.

I wanted my gift to impress. It had to be something that would be personal without being too personal, and something that would never be far from the eyes (or mind) much of the time. I needed something that could be seen or shown off - not too small as to appear stingy; not too expensive as to give the wrong impression; and it really needed to be something that would be kept rather than accepted with gratitude, (Like an expensive watch or pen) and promptly passed on to any one of the many grandchildren. It had to be something that was relatively expensive, because my gift was to say ‘thank you’, ‘you’re special’, ‘you are my friend’ and – most important of all – ‘remember me’. So what I needed was an item that is common to the Arab culture; subtly expensive and in constant use.

Abdulla Jafar sits in his small shop most evenings with a relaxed, homely smile; surrounded by rows of Misbahas of all colours and sizes; many of which are every type and shape of amber you could hope to see. As one of a small elite in the world of misbaha collectors, Abdulla has two passions in life outside his lovely family, and they are Misbahas and Amber (actually it’s mainly Misbahas made from Amber) but despite his modest opinion of his knowledge and skill, he is one of the gurus. This man knows his Misbahas and he is one of the most able experts in amber you will ever hope to meet. Abdulla gained his knowledge over years of collecting; learning the hard way by being occasionally swindled and now is happy to help many of the new generation of young collectors that visit his shop to buy, to sell or to gain valuable information and advice from a master collector. If you are lucky enough to find him when he is free to talk, he can take you away into a world of history and craftsmanship that I, for one, had never associated with the simple string of beads.

Well; what do you see forever in the hands of almost every Arabic male, being absent mindedly twiddled, rubbed, clicked, swung and being constantly played with, almost as a subconscious action? Worry beads! - what else? Worry beads - the real name for which is the ‘Misbaha’ - and they come in a myriad shapes, colours and sizes; are made from cheap plastic to materials of massive value and I don’t know a Kuwaiti that doesn’t have one in his pocket or in his hand. They are twiddled, clicked, swung around the fingers, and they are often compared and admired by friends


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It’s likely that the Misbaha originated in India - as did many things - probably as a set of stones, seeds or beads that were used in religious devotions. Adopted in Arabia, the beads ended up strung together and adapted for religious use in Islam, which is where the numbers of beads were set. Most commonly the Misbaha has 33 or 99 beads - with another three beads on the ‘tassel” end - which would be used to repeat the 99 names for Allah, or for a series of 33 repetitions of religious text. This is why one sees the beads being clicked through the fingers as the prayers are counted off. It sounds a bit like the rosary, which coincidently arrived as a part of the Catholic religious trappings around the 14th century so it’s also quite likely that the idea of the rosary was a gift from Saladin along with the drubbing he gave the Crusaders. Like many items that have their origins in religion, the beauty of the piece, over time, becomes more than just an abacus for religious use; it becomes a piece of art; a display of skill and beauty, and occasionally, a subtle declaration of wealth. So what makes a ‘good’ misbaha over the thousands that hang in so many stalls in the traditional souks of Kuwait? Craftsmanship and attention to detail is a big part of it according to my mentor. Still governed by the traditional numbers - never less than 33 and never more than 99, they come in 45, 51, 67. They’re always divisible by three or a prime number, and always an odd number so that when the beads hang straight down, there are two equal sides with one bead at the bottom. They come from all over the world, although mainly where the Ottoman Empire once reigned, and some of the best work today comes from Turkey.


The discerning collector will look for the material used for the bead, its origin, age, its originality in size and shape, and the workmanship. The rarer or more unique the material the more valuable the misbaha and this cadre of avid collectors trawl the world for unique materials that they can have made into a misbaha. This includes Bakelite, bone, and teeth and tusks of almost any animal and one of the rarest antiques is turtle back. Abdulla showed me the blocks of raw amber that will be cut into squares; then turned into beads - he even has a whale tooth awaiting the right buyer. Apparently there is even a danger where antique items, that are valuable and rare in their own right, can end up turned down into misbaha beads. Then the material and the shape and size of the bead come into play. Like many of the skills, so common in the past, the craft has less and less artisans making the misbaha, as machines can turn them out by the thousand; but still today the best misbaha beads are turned by hand and, where possible, from the same piece, whether it is stone, bone, ivory or amber to maintain a uniformity of colour or pattern. To me they all look pretty much the same; but to the trained eye - assisted by a micrometer - the hand turned beads vary by fractions of a millimetre, where the machined ones are perfect every time. The shape of the beads vary subtly, as well; from spherical, to variations of oval or cylindrical, but always symmetrical. The shapes have names like ‘round’, ‘box’, ‘corn’, ‘olive’ and ‘barrel’. It then becomes a masterpiece of replication. The head of the long piece that hold the strings - the methena or minaret (like the mosque) - will be turned or carved in the same shape as the beads on the string. The


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dividers will often be miniatures of the methena, or part of it, and then - just to prove the immense skill involved - these parts will fit into each other if held together. As I write, I fear that it is boring in words, but it is absolutely fascinating to see all this demonstrated on a misbaha of delicate - almost white - amber. There is so much more that you just need to see and hear for yourself. The shapes, the sizes, the workmanship - it’s just too much for one article. We haven’t touched the amazing array of colours that are all amber -that’s a story by itself, and one that is worth the read - but maybe next issue. Needless to say that my gift was received with real appreciation, and I often see it being passed from hand to hand around the diwaniya; always admired, often envied and occasionally made offers for. I hear the details of the amber and the craftsmanship being given with great confidence and expertise and I know that, for once, I got it right.


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27 Years of Service: Mohammed Moochikal Jacqueline Lewinton


iving the expat life in the Gulf means that finding someone who has worked for one organisation for nearly 30 years is uncommon; especially given the tendency to move from one job to another. Mohammed Moochikal, however, is one of the few to do this, having worked as the British School of Kuwait’s loyal caretaker for 27 years. Before he retired to India, I had the opportunity to talk to him about his time at BSK, shedding light upon its early days including its many moves, his experience during the invasion and occupation of Kuwait in 1990 - 91 and why he had stayed on with the school for so long.



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Mohammed began working for the company in 1984 when it was then known as The Sunshine School. At the fresh age of 21, this was his first working experience and he was not sure of what to expect from the great big desert that he viewed Kuwait as then. The school was situated in Salwa, Area 7, which was its second premises since its start in 1978 and in these early days there were 200-300 students with the school catering to children from Kindergarten to Year 4. He tells me that the children were wonderful and that they as well as all the staff members made him feel at ease in his new surroundings instantly. His variety of jobs, which included being a store keeper, electrician and security guard, kept him enjoyably busy. When asked whether juggling all these jobs was difficult he laughs. While they kept him busy he would never label it as “difficult.” How could he when he felt so at home working at The Sunshine School? Without question, he managed to leave a lasting impression on students, staff and parents a-like. The school soon grew and flourished, becoming a second-home to 400-500 students and ultimately moving to a new premise where it occupied two buildings. As expats, we know how complicated the process of moving house can be with the careful thought and planning that goes into it - moving school is an even harder job. Nevertheless Mohammed tells me it was not “impossible” and soon I believed him, especially given the vital role he played in the move. As caretaker and head of maintenance, he supervised the movement of belongings, ensuring they were safe and placed in their respected classrooms and year groups. To do this Mohammed used a skill he had obtained from his many posts; the ability to remember where each piece of furniture belonged. Therefore setting up the classrooms occurred swiftly and efficiently, words synonymous with Mohammed and his work. In the summer of 1990, Mohammed’s life working at the school would change with the invasion of Kuwait. He distinctly recalls when it began, with Iraqi soldiers crossing Kuwait’s borders two days after his return from his yearly summer holiday to India. Initially, he met with no dangerous encounters or big problems while looking after the school and everything seemed to run smoothly. Yet, Mohammed’s everyday life would soon become affected by the invasion.


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The drastic hike in food prices and the difficulty in venturing out and into the city became too much to handle, forcing Mohammed to leave Kuwait. His journey back home was immensely tricky. He had to travel through Iraq and Jordan, sleeping on the cold sands of Jordan’s borders for a week. The border was overflowing with thousands of other escapees as it was the only safe way out of Kuwait. After 17days of tiresome travel, he finally reached his family in India. His unrelenting loyalty for the school overshadowed his escape to safety, with his time away from Kuwait filled with constant worries over the school’s condition. Yet, nothing could have prepared him for the state he found the school in upon his return. He was shocked to find the school’s main door smashed through, shattered windows and, most surprising of all, the disarray in many rooms including the accountancy area and uniform shop. Of the clean up, he says the HARDEST part was removing the black stains on the walls. The stains had come from the burning oilfields and winds transported the oil across Kuwait, allowing it to cling onto surfaces. Even Mohammed’s clothing was not spared; becoming blotted black by the end of his security shifts while standing outside the school. The dedication he portrays for the school during these difficult times serves to create admiration for Mohammed, admiration that grows with every experience he relays. The Sunshine School soon recovered and in 1993 it moved to a new location (its existing premises in Salwa, Area 1, Street 1, Block 214) because of the continuously growing number of students. The school also changed its name to The British School of Kuwait. With this move, Mohammed’s job changed and was diverted towards security and safety. Mohammed thinks it was his duty to keep the school safe as he knows the role it can play as a secondhome for many students. “My life is here” and he knows so are many others’. Until he left, Mohammed continued to watchfully maintain the school’s security, most notably at his regular post at the school’s main back gate where students, parents and staff often recognise and greet him. Being one of the many students who recognise him, it is incredible to think that Mohammed has stayed



working for the school for a whopping 27 years which accounts for his whole working life to date. But Mohammed brushes the years aside, saying they flew by with help from his wonderful co-workers and his supportive family, attributing them as the factors which fuelled his love for his work leading to the accumulation of another year at BSK and another and another… With over half of his life spent with BSK, I had to ask what his best memory is and what he would miss the most? His best memory he says would undoubtedly be his time working with the school’s director Madame Vera Al-Mutawa. She was a fundamental part of BSK’s growth since its start and so Mohammed would often work with her. The constant smile on her face is an unforgettable image for Mohammed. He will miss a lot of things, most prominently the people at BSK who have made his time worthwhile such as Madame Vera and the teachers as well as his


co-workers and more importantly the students who have always kept him busy. It is sad to see such a familiar face leave BSK, more than ever after having learnt of Mohammed’s important role in its history. But Mohammed is not sad to leave, as the school will always be his home. He intends to start a business with his family upon returning to India and I am sure that the students and staff of BSK share my heartfelt goodbye and wellwishes to Mohammed, BSK’s longest serving staff member.


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British Business Forum 2011-2012 Membership and Membership Renewals The time of year is with us again: Time to join or renew your membership in the British Business Forum (BBF). For current members: We hope you will have found value, not only in your business activities, but also in the social activities that have been arranged by the Forum and that you have been able to broaden the scope of your operations as a result. If there is any change in previously submitted form (20102011), please take a moment to complete/update the attached 2011-2012 application, which along with your 45KD membership fee can be given either to any Board Members or dropped in at BBF office (attached map). The coming year promises to be an exciting one and we believe that your continuing support will cause us to grow and become stronger. If you are a member who has reached the end of their tenure in Kuwait we

wish you well, wherever you go and would thank you for all your support during your time here. Please let me know if you wish to be removed from the mailing list. For potential members: As you’ve surely discover just from flipping through this magazine, the BBF is an active group of professionals working – directly or indirectly with British businesses here in Kuwait, in the region, and beyond. Please join us for a meeting to see for yourself how the BBF can enhance both your professional life and your social life. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any queries or require any information regarding the BBF and its activities.

Rose William BBF Administration Manager P: +965 2232 2038 F: +965 2232 2040 Email:

DISPATCHES ADVERTISING RATES From JuneADVERTISING 2011 to June 2012 DISPATCHES RATES From June 2011 to June 2012 Front Gatefold

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perPage 4 insertions, paid Inside,Cost Double Cost per in advance, attracts a discount of 10% KD 600 Cost per 4 insertion KD2400 insertion Spread or Advertorial Right Hand side facing page Ad. Cost KD. 25/- Extra to the above rates Cost per 4 insertions, advance, attracts discount Additional artwork paid designin and adjustments chargedafrom KD. 35/-of 10% Right Hand side facing page Ad. Cost KD. 25/- Extra to the above rates Additional artwork design charged from KD. 35/- contact: To place advertising or editorial in an and issueadjustments of Dispatches magazine, please

Adriaan Vickery Tel 6775 3962 Rose William Tel 6684 1114contact: (Direct) To place advertising or editorial in (Direct) an issue or of Dispatches magazine, please Email: Adriaan Vickery Tel 3962 (Direct) or Rose William Tel 6684 1114 (Direct) Email:


Membership Benefits 2011-2012 with Valid BBF Membership Card

Valid through end of June 2012 (unless otherwise stated)


s a member of the BBF you enjoy discounts on many exciting goods and services. We encourage you to patronise these friends of the BBF who are going that extra step to serve you. 10G Technologies

Caesars & Satchi Restaurants

10% discount on all restaurants and take away.

10% on all IBM servers, Storage, Tape Libraries 5% on all Microsoft licences

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Inchcape Shipping Services Worldwide Movers

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10% discount on all Beauty Services

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Consular Section Applications for full validity passports for British Nationals are no longer processed at the British Embassy, Kuwait. All passport applications from Kuwait are processed and printed centrally in the Passport Processing Centre in Dusseldorf, where you need to send your application. These changes have been implemented throughout the Gulf and are part of a global initiative to streamline and modernise the UK’s overseas passport operation. The UK remains one of the few countries printing passports in Embassies and Consulates abroad. This is expensive to do and is less secure as we have to transport blank passports around the world. Our aim is to reduce the cost of running the operation, while improving security and maintaining a high standard of customer service. How long does this service take? You should allow up to 4 weeks to submit your application before travelling. Dusseldorf aim to process straightforward applications within 10 working days upon receipt of the correct documentation and payment. Applications for first time applicants may take longer. Please ensure you allow extra time for delivery at both ends of the process. If you need to travel for urgent reasons, please contact the Consular Section here at the British Embassy, Kuwait on 22594358. Full details are on the British Embassy website: www.ukinkuwait. The Consular Section Public Counter hours are 08:30 – 10:30, Sunday – Thursday.



If we can’t find you ---- We can’t help you Register with us If you are a British national, and travelling or living abroad, or planning to do so, use our LOCATE service to tell us. Our embassy and crisis staff can then give you better assistance in an emergency such as a tsunami or terrorist attack. We are encouraging all British nationals travelling and living abroad to register with us on LOCATE at: locateportal/ …. even for short trips. More than 50 improvements have been introduced to enhance the performance of LOCATE – the FCO registration and crisis management system. These improvements include: • • •

Being able to register on LOCATE without needing to input your passport details. Clearer labelling to make the public site easier for customers to use and understand. LOCATE will now send auto email reminders to the email address provided by the registrant in the trip details as well as to the email address used to create the registration account. If you don’t receive the account verification email after first registering you can return to the main LOCATE page and click on a link “Never Received Your Confirmation Message?”. Once you’ve entered your user ID, you will be faced with a simple logic puzzle. This meets FCO I&TD concerns about automatic spam bombarding the website and allows visually impaired people to complete the puzzle (Facebook and Google style logic puzzles do not meet FCO standards).

These changes should make LOCATE easier to use. These improvements were introduced as a direct result of feedback from LOCATE users and customers across the network. FCO has heard your concerns about the reliability and functionality of LOCATE and have been working hard to introduce the changes you want to see.

How to contact British Embassy Kuwait - Consular Section: Tel: 22594355/57/58 Fax: 22594359


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Visa Section: During the last financial year (1 April 2010 – 31 March 2011), UKBA Kuwait processed over 57,000 visa applications. Numbers continue to rise, year on year, proving that the United Kingdom is the destination of choice for tourism, business and higher education for those living in Kuwait. UKBA Kuwait continues to process visa applications very effectively with around 95% of all applications processed within 2 working days. Paul Dryden, the Entry Clearance Manager says, ‘Our staff in the section consistently meet the Customer Service Agreement set by the UK government where over 90% of all straightforward applications are processed within 24 hours of receipt within the Embassy, this is a phenomenal achievement considering the numbers that are lodged during the busy summer season’. As an ongoing process to improve the overall service, UKBA Kuwait and VFS Global, introduced mandatory online appointments from 10 April 2011. Paul explains ‘During the summer season we become the victim of our own success and the visa application centre (VAC) sometimes becomes overcrowded with delays for our customers. To ensure that this does not happen again this summer or in the future, we have introduced mandatory online appointments for all applicants. This ensures that all applicants are given a specific appointment time during the day which will reduce bottlenecks at certain times. If an applicant does arrive at the VAC without an appointment they will be offered an appointment slot at a later date or they may use our Premium lounge but will be required to pay an additional charge. Between 14 May and 23 July the VAC will open 6 days a week (Friday closed) to ensure customers can lodge their application at their convenience; the opening hours are 09:30 till 16:30 (Sunday to Thursday) and 10:00 till 16:00 (Saturdays). Please ensure that you apply at least 10 working days prior to your journey to avoid any disappointment. For more details please access the VFS Global website at www. VFS Global Kuwait also has a number of Visit Britain products on sale at their VAC. These include items such as Heathrow Express tickets, Oyster cards (multi transport ticket for London) and various tickets for major tourist attractions throughout the UK. They are competitively priced and are available to visa applicants and non visa applicants during opening hours.


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British Ladies Society Kuwait


ife continues to be full and varied for our multi-national and diverse membership within the BLS. We are looking forward to the end of the winter months which have been exceptionally cool this year and onto Spring with fresh vigour. We are delighted that The Avenues has agreed to be our main sponsor and look forward to a close working relationship over the coming year. For a full listing of all our partnerships and sponsors, please visit our website .

Since our biggest and best ever Christmas Bazaar in late November we have also included more than 200 of our members in our annual Christmas Dinner and party where we all enjoyed special gifts from


Father Christmas, table prizes and some fabulous raffle prizes donated by local organisations for us to support Ruqayah Abdulwahab AlQatami Breast Cancer Foundation and Help For Heroes.


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January’s dinner made a change from routine where we invited our gentlemen guests and shook off our post-Christmas lethargy with a fun general knowledge quiz where teams pitted wits against each other to avoid winning that great British tradition, the wooden spoon! The same month saw the grand opening of Bayt Abdullah that the BLS supported since 2006 and it was so rewarding for our membership to see their donations come to fruition in such a positive way. We were also very fortunate to have Marita Phillips, author and songwriter visit us for a question and answer session about her life and works. January finished off with a pampering session Girls Night Out where our ladies enjoyed mani/pedis and BCL treatments courtesy of N-Bar in Salmiya. Another grand opening took place in February – Operation Hope’s new building housing Esther’s Attic for pre-loved clothes and goods - and it was delightful to see the results of the BLS fundraising efforts from 2008 and 2010 take shape in such a positive way in the local community. In February we also hosted a highlight of the Kuwait Social Calendar, the BLS Valentines Ball, where 250 guests enjoyed the gardens of the British Embassy, fabulous food, Latin dancing, live music, sheesha and the fabulous Fizz Whizz, a speciality of our caterers, the Regency Hotel. The theme of romance


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was clearly in the air with an abundance of gifts for the ladies and for the gentlemen that included flowers, bow ties and free vouchers. Once again, our sponsors The Avenues and Amec, plus local businesses, restaurants, hotels and retailers made this a special night where we could fulfil our goals of bringing people together in friendship and fun, exchange cultures and raise funds for charity. The BLS has a printed handbook which is famous for providing invaluable information on how to get the most out of your life in Kuwait which is provided within the membership fee (which has remained the same for five years). However, even if you cannot join us as a member, you can still purchase this great guide and gripping read. Our website at www.theblskuwait. com has additional tips and info to help you on your way. The BLS ladies very much hope to be able to welcome you either into our Society as a member (every nationality is most welcome) or as a guest at one of our many activities and events in the very near future! tel: 6665 0381 email:



Community Groups Kuwait Scorpions Welcome to the Kuwait Scorpions, the oldest rugby football club in the Gulf. We were established in the late 1940’s after the Kuwait Oil Company and the British Army played the region’s first ever recorded rugby fixture. In 2010 the club reverted to its original name of ‘Scorpions’ and no longer uses ‘Nomads’ as its name. Today the Scorpions have over 200 playing members of all ages from more than 18 different countries including Kuwait, Iran, Lebanon and Egypt. In addition there are many hundreds of supporting members in Kuwait and throughout the world. The Scorpions is now the biggest expatriate organisation in the country and association with the Club provides wide-spread exposure both here and throughout the Gulf region.

Jon Law Chairman Qais AlDoub Vice Chairman Steve Allan Club Captain

Ahmadi Music Group The Ahmadi Music Group is a choral group which rehearses and performs at the New English School, Jabriya. The Group sings a wide variety of music and encourages small group and solo performances as well. AMG usually performs two concerts a year; one in December and the other in May. A wide variety of nationalities have been attracted to sing with the Group, which has a very professional approach to singing, but makes sure that being part of the choir is fun for everybody. If you have an interest in choral singing and would like to find out more about the Group, and what it does, please visit our website where you will find up to date contacts and information.

mail: E Web:


Kuwait Saracens It is our mission to continue to preserve the spirit of rugby and to promote and develop the game of rugby at all levels in Kuwait society. We ensure that: • Training is structured, progressive, and presented by coaches that are qualified for the age groups they coach. • Our players have access to the best possible training equipment and the most up to date coaching methods. • All players can learn, practice and play in a safe environment. • All our teams have the opportunity to travel and play enough competitive matches to enable them to continue to develop their skills. • We provide training for age groups from 5 – 19 years old. All coaches are IRB certified.


K’S PATH K’S PATH (Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) is a local non-profit volunteer-based organisation committed to animal welfare and habitat conservation, founded by Ayeshah Al Humaidhi in 2005. K’S PATH’s open-door shelter in Wafra, primarily set up for adoption and surrender of companion animals, provides sanctuary for indigenous and smuggled wildlife, abandoned and abused farm animals and injured migratory birds. K’S PATH works to stop illegal wildlife trade and conducts a marine conservation programme, a humane animal control/TNR programme, and a school/university education program. K’S PATH depends entirely on community donations and private sponsorships, and organises annual fundraisers. Please get in touch to know how you can help: adopt an animal, volunteer, donate, sponsor or other partnerships.

Email: Web: Blog: Facebook: ‘K’S PATH’ Twitter : @K’S PATH Tel: (+965) 6700 1622 DISPATCHES S

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Kuwait Caledonians The Kuwait Caledonians is a group interested in promoting and celebrating Scottish culture and heritage while at the same time raising money for both Scottish and local charities here in Kuwait. All who wish to support these goals are encouraged to become members. We hold regular informal social gatherings (Ceilidhs) to celebrate all things Scottish, a rather more formal event to mark our National Day, St. Andrew’s (30 November), and a black-tie occasion to celebrate the birth (25 January 1759) and honour the memory of Scotland’s national poet, Rabbie Burns. Other events often on the annual agenda are a Highland Games and a Treasure Hunt. Members will receive early notification of and be given favoured access to forthcoming events. All proceeds go to charity.

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s 17th Cultural Season, organised in conjunction with the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, got underway on 26 September 2011. Virtually every Monday night at 1900, the Maidan Cultural Centre opens its doors to gifted lecturers and talented performers. The Friends of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) plays an important role in the growth of the DAI. As a “Friend”, you will be part of a success story that you help maintain – a success story that is recognised internationally and appreciated locally.

Zeinab Tel: 2563 6528 Email:

David Boyd (Membership Secretary) Tel: 9745 7981 Faye Ashton (General Secretary) Tel: 6515 4734 Email :

Kuwait Irish Society The Kuwait Irish Society is a non profit organisation whose aim is to promote and celebrate Irish culture, craic and sport in Kuwait. We seek a multicultural membership from all walks of life and of any nationality. The society organises and runs several events throughout the year culminating in the celebration of St Patrick’s Day in March. Through all of our activities the Irish Society tries to raise as much money as possible for charitable causes in Ireland and here in Kuwait. Becoming a member of the society is free and easy and we give our members priority notice of any of our activities. For more information about any of our upcoming events, cultural experiences and membership please contact us at:


DAI Music Circle For the third season, people interested in music should take note of the DAI music programme. This season, every Wednesday night is set aside for the DAI Music Circle. The concerts are held at the alMaidan Cultural Centre in Maidan-Hawalli and are open to everyone.

Helena D’Souza Tel: 2240 0992, ext 19 Email:

Anzik Are you an Australian or New Zealand woman in Kuwait? ANZIK is an information group of women here that started on a small scale last year. If you would like to hear about our monthly get-togethers (no committees!), please email: us at


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The BLS Kuwait (British Ladies Society) The BLS is one of the busiest and most popular societies in Kuwait, run by women for women and families. We meet for friendship and support, and run fund raising activities for charities in UK and Kuwait. We organise over 20 events or activities each month: coffee mornings, library sessions, mothers and toddlers club, children’s music group, evening events, book clubs, and excursions to places of interest. We’re also a network for women seeking work: members find employment or voluntary work through connections made at the BLS. Membership is KD 30 including free Kuwait Information Guide, free Christmas dinner and free diary. Members get discounts at over 60 organisations, restaurants, coffee shops, retail outlets, health clubs, beauty salons, and more. The BLS Kuwait Information Guide is for sale at KD 5. Sale profits go to our two charities, chosen annually by our members: in 2011 / 2012 we are supporting Ruqayah Alqatami Breast Cancer Foundation in Kuwait and Help for Heroes in the UK.

Tel: +965 6665 0381 Email: Web:

Kuwait Singers Girl Guiding The Kuwait Singers is a mixed voice (SATB) is choir British Guides in Foreign Countries (BGIFC) partof of over fifty singers made up of people from all walks the Guide Association, Girlguiding UK, offering girls of life who share a lovepart of singing. We programme are always the opportunity of taking in the Guide willing living to welcome members. Whatever youra whilst Whilst our units maintain previous experience you are guaranteed a membership of at least 50% British girls, wevery do warm reception! We perform all kinds of music from welcome all girls who wish to join, subject to places. classical and opera to light pop and songs from the shows, with the aim of producing as professional a performance as possible, whilst still ensuring it is


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fun for singers and audience. The Kuwait Singers present two performances a year; a seasonal concert All our uniformed leaders are trained volunteers. in December and a more varied one in May. We also BGIFC Kuwait District currently comprises 5 units: perform at several other venues on a less formal 1 Rainbow Unit (5-7yrs) 2 Brownie Units (7-10 yrs) 1 basis. Rehearsals are held at Atakamul International Guide Unit (10-14 yrs) and 1 Senior Section Unit (14 School, Sabah Al-Salem on Sundays from 7.30and over). Girlguiding is a registered charity. If you 9.30pm. For more information: are interested in finding out more about Guiding in Mike Kempster, Musical Director Kuwait, or wish to help as a leader or parent, please contact : Tel : 66683770

Amanda Wheldon Email : District Commissioner Tel : 66405350 Email:

PAWS - Protecting Animal Welfare Society We are an active group of local and international volunteers committed to protecting animal welfare in Kuwait. PAWS runs Kuwait’s first officially licensed animal shelter. The educational mission of our society is to promote responsible pet ownership and to advance the humane treatment of all animals. Our work is supported entirely through the donations of our members and supporters. Through the generous hearts and hands of people here in Kuwait, we can ensure that animals who come into our care will receive veterinary treatment, care and shelter, while we seek to place pets in caring homes. Join us online as a member and support our work at the shelter. Visitors and prospective pet parents are very welcome! For further information about the organisation, please contact:

Tel : 99440089 Email : Web :



Kuwait Mantas The Kuwait Mantas is an overseas branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BS-AC). Divers trained by any organisation are welcome to join the club and enjoy the corals and fish found in the warm waters of the Gulf. Dives are organised on our own boat every weekend and occasionally we camp out on one of the islands. We organise socials during the week. There are training courses for beginners. For more information contact:

Mike Dalton Tel: 9960 4865 Web:

KBFSA KBFSA has started life as a website initially to connect ex-pat Brits with a passion for the beautiful game! The site will be maintaining a register of Brit football supporters so that they can arrange to meet up to watch live TV matches especially World Cup Qualifiers etc and share their mutual enthusiasm together. We are hoping to set up a regular meeting night and then hope to set up a calendar of events such as quiz nights, video evenings and of course live match nights! Please register with the website so that we can contact you as soon as possible and get KBFSA off the ground.


Kuwait Writers Workshop The Kuwait Writers workshop meets most Saturday evenings in the working year, taking turns to host in each others homes. Members who are native or virtually nativespeakers of English, critique each others’ writing in progress. We concentrate only on creative writing eg poetry, short story, drama plays, travelogue etc. Group has met since 1993. Several members have published over the years.

Tel: 6632 7130 Email:


KTAA - Kuwait Textile Arts Association Kuwait Textile Arts Association is a multi cultural, not for profit organisation based at Sadu House. The Association aims to nurture and promote the art and craft of textiles and fibre arts and to facilitate sharing and exchanging of ideas, knowledge and skills in Kuwait and the Gulf region. Membership is open and meetings are held at 19:00 at Sadu House, on the Arabian Gulf Street. Members also enjoy a programme of demonstrations, workshops, stitch and quilting groups, a textile library and international cultural tours. KTAA sponsor an annual exhibition of members textile work and a children’s textile arts day. For further information, please contact:

Kathy Hendrickson Tel: 9715 2637 Email: or

Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association The Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association (KOSA) meets on the first Sunday of each month from October to June - 7:30 PM at the BLS Library in Rumaithiya for social gatherings and sailing talks on specific topics. KOSA offers social sailings and fortnightly races as well as the opportunity to sail further afield at Bahrain and Dubai Regattas. KOSA also offer tuition and training course for beginners and experienced sailors alike. KOSA welcomes visitors and anyone with an interest in sailing in a friendly relaxed club atmosphere.

Web: Email: Yahoo Group: group/kosa-group/ Commodore Ross Ferguson - 9732 3359


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Children’s Art Workshop

Expat Mums Kuwait Expat Mums of Kuwait is a group of English speaking

expat mums from more than 25 countries who gather regularly for weekly coffee catch ups, mums only dinners, playgroups and more. For more information visit the


The Amricani Cultural Centre is hosting the Children’s Art Workshop programme designed to introduce children between the ages of 6 and 12 to the art and culture of the Islamic world. Classes are held in the Workshop at the Amricani Cultural Centre on Saturday mornings, from 9:30. The classes for 8 – 12 year olds last 2 hours; the classes for 6 – 8 year olds last 90 minutes; and the combined classes for 6 – 12 year olds last 2 hours. MARCH

17 Mughal Jewellery Project (ages 6 – 8) 24 Mughal Jewellery Project (ages 8 – 12) 31 Intro to Inventions and Science in the Islamic world (ages 6 – 12)

Bright Horizons Toastmasters Club Toastmaster’s International helps you develop your



7 Expert Opinion: special class on carpets led by visiting expert Samir Rebeiz (ages 8 – 12) 14 Inventions and Science project (ages 8 – 12) 21 Inventions and Science (ages 6 – 8) 28 Arts of the Book in the Islamic World (ages 8 – 12)

For more information


public speaking skills, giving you more confidence professionally and personally.

Bright Horizons

Toastmaster ‘s sessions are held at Better Books in


5 Stories into Plays (ages 8 – 12) 12 Stories into Plays (ages 6 – 12) 19 Play Preparation (ages 6 – 12)

26 Play Preparation and Presentation (ages 6 – 12)

Kuwait Little League Baseball

For more information or to sign up your children,


Kuwait Little League Baseball is a volunteer organisation that fields 25 teams for children between the ages of 5 and 17 – no experience required. The season runs from October to April and volunteer

coaches, scorekeepers and umpires are always needed.

For more information or to volunteer or sign up your child visit

Web: Email:


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Q8 Bridge Club We are constantly on the lookout for people who enjoy a good game of Bridge. We meet Sundays and Tuesdays at 8 PM at the Sea Club in Ras Salmiya. We are a small and very friendly club of English speakers and will make you feel most welcome. For more information:

Web: Email:



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S Email: Email: Enquiries: 66841114 Email: Enquiries: rose.william@bbfk 66841114 pring 2012

Email: Enquiries: 66841114

Dispatches Magazine March 2012  

Dispatches Magazine