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Summer 2013 ISSUE 71


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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

DISPATCHES Dear Readers,

Telephone 2232 2038 Fax 2232 2040 www.bbfkuwait.com

Administration and Advertising Manager: T

Rose William 2232 2038 2232 2040

F Email business@bbfkuwait.com

It’s summertime and for most people that means it’s holiday time. But how many of you will actually stop working because you’re on holiday? Let’s be honest, at least with ourselves (because I do it too), the location changes, the hours change but most of us stay connected to the office even when we aren’t there. That’s bad . . . and it’s unfair. It’s unfair to our friends and family, who may not get the attention they deserve. It’s also unfair to our employers and colleagues, because we don’t come back as refreshed and recharged as we should. You’ll find a lot about work/life balance in this issue. We planned it this way for two reasons. First, we’re hoping you read the articles and then recognise your actions that are contrary to establishing a solid balance between your work and your life (they are not the same!). Second, we’re hoping that having recognised the problem in this very practical manner, you’ll make a conscious decision to change your behaviour. So, this summer Dispatches is giving you homework – two questiona that deserves answers. Do you work to live or do your actions show that you live to work? If you’re living to work, what are you going to do about it?

Sue

Take care,

Susan Day Editor

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

DISPATCHES Dispatches

DISPATCHES

SUMMER 2013

Contents • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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BBF Board of Directors Chairman’s Message Ambassador’s Message BBF April Meeting BBF Sector Groups UK-Kuwait National Day/Liberation Day Exhibition Gatehouse Bank Leads the Way in Product Innovation Protiviti Supports Kuwait Business Continuity Conference Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa Welcomes First Guests Protiviti Global IA Leader Highlights 10 Challenges Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hosts Bloggers and Journalists The ‘Back to Basics’ Stress Buster Work Life Balance: The Ultimate Oxymoron? Work Life Balance:Tips to reclaim control The Good, the Mad and the Saintly 10 to Get You Started Making Family Life More Fun Unlimited Holiday Time? Think You Can’t Take a Vacation? The Traditional Vacation is Dead! Is an MFA the New MBA? Lots of Small Steps for Man; At Least One Report for Dispatches? Heart of England Puzzle: British Literature Sudoku Challenge Catching Up on Your Reading Summer Fun Reading Ramadan Kareem Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah Opens New Exhibitions Verses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art Exhibition Splendid Exhibitions at Amricani Cultural Centre One World Studios Presents: “A Musical Tribute to Roald Dahl” NES Secures First and Second Place in PwC PIN2 Challenge Membership and Benefits British Embassy Information BLS Kuwait Community Groups Membership Form

6 8 10 12 14 20 24 25 26 28 29 36 37 42 44 48 50 51 54 56 58 61 64 66 67 68 69 70 72 73 74 76 78 80 84 86 90 96

Dispatches

Dispatches

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www.alghanimtravels.com

Phi Phi Island - Krabi - Lanta Island - Thailand


BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

BBF Board 2012/2013

Paul McKay

Graham Kenny

Chairman

Donald Teale

Treasurer Sector Group Coordinator

Will Myles

Director Programme/Business

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Vice Chairman

Arthur Barber

Oil & Gas Sector Group

An Swinnen

Business Women Sector Group

Labeed Abdal Director Communications

Darren Craven

Retail Sector Group

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Darren Craven

Retail Sector Group

An Swinnen

Barry Stokes

Business Women Sector Group

Director Commercial

Rose William

Chris Baker

Adminstration and Advertising Manager

Director

Rose William

Adminstration Manager and Dispatches Coordinator

SPATCHES W

inter 2012

George Mhawech George Mhawech Events Events Manager Manager

Jennifer Mas Jennifer Photographer Photographer

SheebaSheeba Pius Pius

Adminstration Ofďƒžce Assistant Assistant and Dispatches Coordinator

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

Chairman’s Message

I

would like to take this opportunity to let you know how much I have enjoyed Chairing the British Business Forum (BBF) Kuwait over the last four years. It has warmed my heart to see the business forum grow with such enthusiastic and passionate support, and I have personally enjoyed meeting and spending time with all members, guests, supporters and sponsors in our business community.

As your Chairman, I promised to work hard and build on the significant progress made in raising the BBF’s profile as the UK trade association, to go to, both at home and in the region. It has not been straightforward; it never is for any organisation driving change. I have not deviated on our strategy for growth adopted four years ago; namely to: improve

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communication and image; build better business networks, partnerships and alliances; develop trade route relationships for British interests in Kuwait and the region and to increase membership. I am pleased that we have made real progress in all strategic objectives.

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It is important that the new governing body continues to reflect on the pressures facing the organisation and to ensure, through their actions, the protection of independence, and of our mission and purpose. Independence lies at the heart of what makes the BBF distinctive, effective and necessary. I leave the Forum with sound financial performance due to increased governance and improvement in service performance; transparency in our dealings to promote ethical conduct of business and a robust set of policies and procedures that will govern future business conduct. With increased effort in relationship management, the BBF is also more highly regarded with other Middle East business groups. Our members are achieving more discussions with visiting UK ministers and senior business leaders justifying investment for our appeal and expansion. There are plans to increase further our branding and I would highly recommend that the new Board of Directors continues the work started. Setting aside our achievements, the BBF today is at a critical juncture. We are in a period where a mix of traditional and modernisation is helping to determine

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our ambitions. Events and decisions in the future will greatly influence and shape the way in which the BBF develops over the next few years. Your Forum has a solid reputation to uphold and it is important for our business community to guard and protect it. With signs of improved confidence, it is my hope that the BBF grasps the moment and identifies ways in which we can do more as ‘The Voice of British Business in Kuwait.’ Our business planning has a forward strategy. I would encourage the new Board of Directors to continue with the strategy and build on the solid foundation achieved. Finally, I express my warmest and sincere thank you for the sustained encouragement, faith and support given to the BBF Directors and Management Staff in the years that I have been at the helm. On a personal end note, your trust and goodwill provided me with immense strength, as I moved the BBF into a more fulfilling future. I extend my whole hearted appreciation and thank you all for your contribution.

With warm regards, Paul McKay


THE BRITISH EMBASSY

Message from



HE The British Ambassador

Frank Baker

A



s the thermometer begins to rise ahead of another distinctively Kuwaiti summer I would like to welcome you to the latest Dispatches magazine, which in this issue turns the spotlight onto the issue of work-life balance. Working for Her Majesty’s Diplomatic Service, my colleagues and I are fortunate enough to benefit from a first-rate support network for the increasing numbers among us who have adopted new or atypical ways of working. And it’s the organisation that benefits from this step change as well as the individual; in my view this changing culture has bred a more flexible and innovative global workforce. To continue this theme - and in a break from the norm - I thought I would reproduce for you all a version of some excellent work-life balance tips from one of my (female) counterparts based elsewhere in the FCO’s overseas network. Happy reading and I wish you all a very pleasant summer break with your families. How do you have it all? Ten top tips for juggling busy jobs with family and other commitments 1) Plan your survival: lay down some personal ground rules from the start. Work out what they are and share them with your team. That way, you all know where you stand. 2) Take a hard look at what you need to keep you grounded and centred. That could be (a) doing the school run a couple of times a week, (b) making sure you don’t miss three children’s bedtimes in a row (where possible – it’s not always) and (c) exercising at least two or three times a week. It’s different for everyone - but be honest with yourself about what you need to help you be your best.

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3) Identify your support mechanisms, and don’t be afraid to ask for help. It might be a PA. Or a colleague. Learn to get the best from them, in terms of protecting your time, and helping to prioritise competing demands. Other sources of support can be childminders, spouses, or even the Playstation or iPad. The latter, used sparingly, can be a great, occasional childminder. 4) Know your blind spots: the more self-aware you are, and conscious of what you’re likely to forget to do, the more you can manage it. If you have no emotional antennae find someone to be your mood-checker. Know your vulnerabilities, and set up a system to address them. Find two or three people who you can rely on to tell you when you are getting it wrong and listen to them. 5) Prioritise ruthlessly: this takes practice! Mastering some easy inbox management skills will help (e.g. only read an email once, skim read, identify and quickly delete emails that don’t apply to you, delegate where appropriate etc). The more

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THE BRITISH EMBASSY

organised you are, the more in control you’ll feel. That can apply equally to the rest of your life – you may need to plan when to make the packed lunches, do the washing, sort out birthday presents for the children’s parties, or the stress levels mount. 6) Flexible working is your best friend: if you have the right IT and support structures in place, working flexibly can help you take control of your life. You don’t need a rigid system but being able to work on your Blackberry or iphone anytime, anywhere, means that (mostly, not always) you can control your day, rather than the other way round. 7) Stay healthy! Sounds obvious, but we all forget it when we’re busy. Keep hydrated, eat your five fruits a day, ensure you get enough sleep and exercise, and make time to switch off completely. It will make a huge difference.

KUWAIT ENGLISH SCHOOL

8) Make time to step back and recalibrate. It’s easy to get bogged down with the day to day, so find time to take stock of the big picture, whether it’s your business, staff or personal objectives. That peripheral vision can help avoid stress building up, and help plan for the unexpected, whether it’s heading off a staffing issue before it is too late, spotting a potential problem or avoiding letting the children down when it counts. 9) When the workload seems daunting, break it down into manageable chunks. Some people write lists, or mind-map. But do what you need to do to demystify whatever is bothering you. And don’t sweat the small stuff. Remember the 80:20 rule – focus on those things that really matter. 10) It will get better. Sometimes there are times when we’re just in survival mode. But it gets easier, either because you get used to your job, the children get a bit more self-sufficient, or you just grow in confidence.

Δ˰˰˰˰˰˰˰˰˰˰ϳΰϴϠΠϧϻ΍Ζ˰˰˰˰˰˰˰ϳϮϜϟ΍Δ˰˰˰˰˰˰˰γέΪϣ

KES STUDENT HONOURED BY THE KUWAIT NATIONAL GUARD

From left to right: Mr. & Mrs. Al Ali, Sheikh Meshal Al Sabah, Mohamed Al Ali and Mr. John Sherwood

From left to right: Mr. P. Unsworth, M. Al Ali, KES Chairman Mr. M.J. Al Saddah and Mr. C. Glykys

Mohammad Al Ali a Year 10 student of KES, has earned unsurpassed honours through his formidable performances in Math. One such honour was to be welcome and awarded by the National Guard where he was welcomed by Sheikh Meshal Al Sabah, Deputy Head of the Kuwait National Guard. Recently 6 Kuwaiti students were selected to participate in a GCC Math Olympiad final held in Qatar – Mohammad being one of those selected. Mohammad’s excelling Mathematic skills earned him first place in the Kuwait team. Following this success Mohammed is now bound for Columbia, South America, where he will represent Kuwait in the International Mathematics Olympiad. These outstanding achievements bring great pride to Mohammad’s family, KES and the State of Kuwait.

Kuwait English School

Salwa area 11 street 9—Tel 2565 5 216/218-KG 2565 5208—Fax: 2562 9356 Email: keschool@kes.edu.kw—web: www.kes.edu.kw

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School Vision: To Inspire, Challenge and Encourage

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

I

Networking at BBF April Meeting

t was another full house at the April meeting of British Business Forum earlier this week. The topics under discussion, during the informal networking session, related to proposed changes to the way in which the Forum maintains good governance.

In light of the fairly significant shift in UK Government policy on supporting UK businesses outside the UK, the current Board of Directors wanted to solicit ideas from the membership on possible methods of providing a more enhanced service to visiting companies. The new policy it to make better use of the international network of British Business Groups, as discussed by the BBF Chairman Paul McKay in last month’s Dispatches, the business publication of the BBF.

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The concept is being piloted in high growth and emerging markets around the world including several in the region. Success will be a package of practical business support for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’s) that is comprehensive, compelling and coherent and delivered by businessmember organisations. This is seen as being advantageous to all parties; the SME’s will get first hand information from the members of the groups, who have practical experience of developing their

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

business in-country and in similar or complimentary industries. Whilst at the same time it will allow the British Business Groups in countries to grow in phases and eventually provide a full range of services that support new-to-market SMEs. The areas discussed included strengthening the corporate governance framework of the existing board by introducing a Nominations Committee, very much in line with the new Corporate Governance rules being introduced in Kuwait’s Banking sector from July, and changing the terms that Directors sit on the board to introduce rotation of at least 30% of the board on an annual basis, whilst ensuring that there is continuity from board to board. The British Business Forum has been operating in Kuwait for 17 years, and is an organisation which is dedicated to improving the business links between Kuwait and Great Britain. The monthly meetings are open to members and guests and cover a wide range of business topics relevant to operating in Kuwait and the region. For more information please visit the website www.bbfkuwait.com

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

A Visit to Bayt Abdullah Design and Construction Sector Group Jeff de Lange, Convener

O

n 16th March 2013, the British Business Forum (BBF) Design and Construction Sector Group were able to visit the new Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice, which is located in Sulaibikhat, opposite Ministry of Health Headquarters. This unique project is the brain child of Mrs. Margaret Al Sayer and her husband Dr. Hilal Al Sayer, who were motivated to create and establish what is the Middle East’s first children’s hospice. 14

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

The project comprises the main hospice building itself, set in landscaped gardens, together with a number of chalets where families can enjoy private time together with their child. But one of the most striking features of touring the site we found to be very exciting, is the children’s Ferris wheel and the adjoining “magic carpet” walkway in KPC Land. Within the main building, space is divided into functions, Daycare, In-patient and Respite, which in turn determined the ambiance and interior colours. Vibrant colour choices were used throughout the facility to imbue a playful and happy environment.

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Images reflecting Kuwait’s history and environment such as horses, camels, fish, dhows, and birds are used throughout the facility. Our group was given a very detailed tour by the Operations Manager of the Hospice, Mrs. Maha Coppard, which left everyone in awe of what BACH (Bayt Abdullah Children’s Hospice) is endeavouring to achieve. It is a wonderful project for which we would like to wish Dr. Hilal Al Sayer and Mrs. Al Sayer and all their staff best wishes for its future success.

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

BBF Businesswomen Celebrate Success

O

An Swinnen, Convener

n 5 March 2013 two members of our group, Mary Eckersall and Natalia Vakulenko were put in the spotlight for winning British Business Forum Business Excellence Awards at a gala dinner on 17 February. The awards were presented by the Lord Mayor of the City of London Alderman Roger Gifford. The event was sponsored by Wataniya, Gulf Bank, BECS and MENA Holdings.

Both Excellence Award Winners delivered a job talk. Mary Eckersall is the Head of the Career department at Kuwait English School and helps their students obtain places at British Universities. Mary pointed out what a pleasure it is to work with her students who are keen and dedicated. Natalia Vakulenko works for Jumbo Tour and Travel and promotes Britain as a holiday destination. She specialises in

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extreme adventure holidays for individuals, groups, school and companies. Natalia is very adventurous herself and even climbed in the Himalayas. The main speaker was An Swinnen who is the Managing Director and Owner of BECS, a British training company. BECS delivers business and management skills training and Train the Trainer courses for

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

Please come and visit our School and talk to our Management Team to discuss the requirements of your child

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

companies, organisations and universities. An has a Bachelor of Education degree and set up BECS nine years ago. With the help of friends, Brussels Export and UK Trade and Investment in Britain and the Gulf she turned her corporate training company into a success in the GCC. She talked about how she achieved this without sponsors or agents. At our 16th of April meeting, Stephanie McGehee of Apache Photography was the main speaker of the evening. Stephanie is well known in Kuwait and the GCC as photographer, Reuters photographer and as a successful businesswoman in her own right. Stephanie told us about her decision to become a photographer, how she came to Kuwait and how she set up her photography business. Stephanie shared her life story and some valuable lessons she had learnt over the years, e.g. be passionate and you will be successful, be honest, be discreet, be professional and re-invest profits into your business and self development. Christine Dunne of Red Balloon Books.com gave the members an update on the business project

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she started since joining the BBF Businesswomen sector group. The project is split into two parts. Firstly finding work placements for teenagers and young adults with special needs and secondly starting a drama group for young people with special needs. Chickenshed, a similar theatre group was created in England and Christine showed us their inspirational DVD. Christine also asked if anyone could provide a space for her theatre group in Kuwait – over to you Dispatches readers if you think that you can help with this very worthy cause! The BBF Businesswomen group has 55 members from all business backgrounds and sectors. The group provides a safe environment where business and professional women can network, generate business opportunities, exchange ideas and experiences, learn new skills, host women Speakers and find out what is happening in Kuwait and the rest of the world regarding business practice and opportunities. BBF Businesswomen provide mutual support and celebrate members’ successes at the monthly meetings.

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BUSINESS NEWS

UK-Kuwait National Day and Liberation Day Exhibition

T

he British Embassy was delighted to officially open a major historical exhibition celebrating the close links between Kuwait and the United Kingdom. The exhibition is a collaborative project between the British Embassy, the British Royal Air Force Museum and the Kuwait House of National Works. 20

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BUSINESS NEWS

As part of Kuwait’s successful 50/20 celebrations in February 2011 the Kuwait House of National Works signed a partnership agreement with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum. The goal of this agreement is to engage in collaborative work that showcases the close historical links between Kuwait and the UK. The two organisations, with the co-operation of the British Embassy in Kuwait, will stage an exhibition running from 23-27 February highlighting the part played by the RAF in

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supporting and protecting Kuwait over many years. The exhibition, which will be staged at the 360 Mall, will feature a 70 year-old Spitfire fighter aircraft as its central focus. The Spitfire’s direct relationship with Kuwait can be traced back to World War 2, when donations from both the Kuwaiti and expatriate British communities paid for 10 Spitfire aircraft for the RAF’s war effort. Historical RAF photographs from

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BUSINESS NEWS

HH Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah pictured with an RAF Spitfire, May 1944

arrival of the Spitfire at Al Mubarrak Airbase, February 2013

1944 (which will be on display at the exhibition) show representatives from the RAF displaying a Spitfire in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Ambassador Baker commented: “It is of course a high priority for the British Embassy to continue to celebrate the enduring relationship between Kuwait and the UK, so we are proud to support the efforts of the RAF Museum and Kuwait House of National Works in bringing this exciting project to the Kuwaiti public at the 360 Mall. It is vital that this and future generations remember our shared history – in this case a reminder of the close ties that have bound Kuwait and the UK in defence of our nations in times of trouble. The Spitfire will of course be a magnificent centrepiece to the exhibition, representing the very best of past UK expertise. And with present-day British innovation also on display in the shape of McLaren’s cars and Foster + Partners’ architectural designs, we hope that visitors will also take away the message that Britain’s reputation for technological excellence remains as strong as ever.”

The exhibition will be a celebration of the strong political, defence and business relationships that the two states have enjoyed over many years. The Spitfire exhibit will be complemented by an accompanying business-focused exhibition showcasing present-day British companies and products, with a display by McLaren Automotive* reinforced by the successful ‘Britain is GREAT’ campaign. The exhibition will be opened on 23 February 2013 by His Excellency Frank Baker, British Ambassador; Air Vice Marshal Peter Dye, Director General of the Royal Air Force Museum; and Acting Under-Secretary for the Ministry of Information Mohammad Al-Awash. It will run for five days over the National Day and Liberation Day holidays in the main atrium at the 360 Mall, one of Kuwait’s most popular shopping centres.

#KuwaitSpitfire @ukinkuwait

*Ali Alghanim & Sons Automotive is the sole dealer of McLaren Automotive Ltd., and the exclusive importer of BMW Group in Kuwait ‫ شركة على الغامن وأوالده الوكيل احلصري واملوزّع املعتمد‬McLaren Automotive Ltd. ‫ و مجموعة‬BMW ‫في الكويت‬

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Quotations from BSK Inspection Reports March 2013

Quotations from BSK Inspection Reports March 2013


BUSINESS NEWS

Gatehouse Bank Leads the Way in Product Innovation

G

atehouse Bank (Gatehouse), a Kuwaiti-owned Shariah compliant bank based in the City of London, has launched a number of specialist and innovative new products designed specifically to add value for the benefit of its international client base.

The Bank is leading the way in developing technology and services with the launch of a new secure online access facility, called Gatehouse Bank Access Direct. The easy-touse portal allows clients to view their positions and holdings, access investment information and download statements from any location and at any time of the day or night, all on a secure platform. Launched in direct response to the needs of its clients, Gatehouse will be continuing to focus on convenience, functionality and accessibility of investment services with the roll out of additional products and banking facilities over the coming months. Mr Abdulaziz AlDuweesh, Executive Vice President and Head of Wealth Management said: “I am pleased to be bringing our clients a series of firsts for the Kuwaiti banking community. The launch of a range of new products and services, combined with the added level of assurance and client service that comes from being a London-based Shariah investment bank, is a real point of differentiation for us. It is essential that our investor clients can access their investment information with confidence, security and ease, and our investment products

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and services have all been designed to offer instant phone, email and online access.” Gatehouse is also providing specialist customer service benefits by offering clients its Access Advantage card. This is a customer care card that is issued to all investor clients, giving them access to their personalised investment information as well as key updates about the products and services offered at Gatehouse Bank. Mr AlDuweesh added: “We pride ourselves on recognising and responding to our clients very individual and distinct requirements with a highly personalised and value-added approach. The benefits of becoming a Gatehouse client have become all the more advantageous with these new levels of excellence in customer care and attention.” Gatehouse Bank is a fully Shariah compliant investment bank based in the City of London, bringing fully researched, high-quality investment assets leased by international and leading domestic tenants, and with investments under management of approximately USD 1.5 billion.

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BUSINESS NEWS

Protiviti Supports Kuwait Business Continuity Conference

P

rotiviti, a global consulting firm, was a Knowledge Partner for the Kuwait Business Continuity Conference (KBCC) held in Kuwait on 22nd and 23rd April followed by a workshop on 24th April.

The event was organized by Spatial Conferences, a leading knowledge service provider based in Kuwait. The conference created a forum wherein Business Continuity Management (“BCM�) practitioners working in different industries could come together and share their knowledge and experience on the issues and challenges faced by them; and how they solve them by leveraging various solutions, tools and technology components. Regional Managing Director of Protiviti, Senthil Kumar commented that Protiviti had supported the conference as a Knowledge Partner because of the importance of the BCM function in any organization. Many a times Business Continuity Management is considered to be more of Information Technology (IT) system recovery than developing resilience within an organization to recover business and its functions from contingent events. Senthil commented that through such conferences and events, Protiviti is endeavoring to draw the attention to the fact that BCM is relevant for all organizations across all sectors and BCM should be an important part of the overall risk management function of any organization. It is with these objectives that Protiviti has brought together BCM Leaders from various organizations to participate and share their knowledge and experience including various

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processes, standards, tools components used by them.

and

technology

Muhammad Ghazali, the BCI Forum Leader of Kuwait and the Head of BCM Services of Protiviti said that this conference brought to Kuwait leading speakers of the industry, including Ian Charters, contributing authors of The BCI Good Practice Guidelines (GPG) 2013 and expert on TC 223 Committee which published the new International BCM Standards ISO 22301 and Chris Green, Former Chairman Business Continuity Institute. Ghazali stated that having the best local and international subject matter experts at the conference brought about the best Business Continuity Management practices to Kuwait. He further said that, with the help of such conferences and experts, we intend to bring about the understanding that BCM is a vital and critical component of managing risk and should not be ignored by organization leaders. Protiviti Member Firm for the Middle East region is the market leader in providing Business Continuity Management Services in the GCC region. It has assisted a number of Banking, Telecom and Oil Sector clients in developing their resilience capabilities to prevent manage and mitigate damages arising out of contingent events.

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BUSINESS NEWS

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa Welcomes First Guests A ribbon cutting ceremony marked the day

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n Tuesday, 7 May, Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa opened its doors to welcome its very first guests as Marwan Al Ali, Jumeirah Group’s Senior Vice President for Operations Middle East, Africa and South Asia and British General Manager Mark Griffiths led the ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the soft opening of the Dubai-based hotel group’s new luxurious beachfront resort in Kuwait. 26

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BUSINESS NEWS

Warmly greeted by Mr. Griffiths and his team of Directors, Mr. and Mrs. Malallah, a Kuwaiti couple, were extremely excited to experience their first stay at the Hotel and were delighted by the surprise gift of a complimentary stay upon their next visit. Earlier in the day, Mr. Marwan Al Ali congratulated all of the Hotel’s staff for their tremendous efforts during a ribbon cutting ceremony in the lobby and said that this soft opening marked a new chapter in the life of the Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel & Spa. For his part, Mr. Griffiths thanked the entire team of around 600 employees from 33 different nationalities and urged them to pursue excellence according to Jumeirah’s culture which is built on three ‘hallmarks’. They are that all employees

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must smile and greet the guest before the guest greets them; staff must never say ‘no’ as a first response to a guest’s request and that employees must treat each other with respect and integrity. The Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa is ideally located in a secluded area with easy access to Kuwait’s Central Business District, airport and major attractions. Currently in its soft opening phase, the secluded beachfront resort features 316 rooms and suites, 80 residential suites and 12 villas, eight restaurants along with cafes and lounges, a 3 500 m2 ‘Talise Spa’, a 200-metres private beach, two swimming pools and a children’s play area. Additionally, extensive conference and banqueting facilities are available, including a showpiece 1 950 m2 ballroom.

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BUSINESS NEWS

Protiviti Global IA Leader Highlights 10 Challenges for Businesses in 2013

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egulatory changes and increased regulatory scrutiny, economic conditions and global political and economic volatility are three of the biggest challenges facing businesses in 2013 according to Bob Hirth, Senior Managing Director and Global Internal Audit Leader of Protiviti, a global consulting firm. This was highlighted by Hirth during the corporate seminar “2013 Business Challenges and How to Respond Effectively” held in Kuwait on Thursday, 18 April, 2013 at the Sheraton Kuwait Hotels & Towers. The seminar, organised by Protiviti’s member firm in Kuwait, was attended by representatives from Kuwait’s leading business community including a number of board and audit committee members, Chief Executive Officers, Chief Internal Auditors, Chief Risk officers, Chief Financial Officers and key technology managers and business leaders. Sharing Protiviti’s insight on business challenges, Hirth noted that succession challenges and the ability to attract and retain top talent, maximizing opportunities through organic growth, ensuring privacy and information security protection as some of the other challenges businesses may face. Top 10 - Major Challenges facing Businesses in 2013 Regulatory changes and increased regulatory scrutiny Economic conditions Global political and economic volatility Succession challenges and retaining top talent Maximizing opportunities through organic growth Cyber risks - ensuring privacy and information security protection Adaptation of business structure Keeping up with competitors Unforeseen crisis management event Utilizing ‘Big Data’

Hirth provided interesting observations and ideas for consideration by board/audit committee members and management. He mentioned that while 2012 saw some slow improvement in

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the overall economy and business conditions, significant uncertainty still exists ahead. However, amidst all the uncertainty lie opportunities for organizations to focus and exploit these conditions and use Governance, Risk and Compliance as weapons to combat against uncertain business situations. Summarizing Protiviti recommendations and guidelines Hirth said that the Audit Committee Agenda for the year ahead should include at a minimum compliance infrastructure, mandatory auditor rotation and ensuring that the company’s risk profile is up-to-date. He further mentioned that companies should closely monitor changes in regulations and implement changes in their business systems accordingly and board/ committee agendas should be responsive and regularly upgraded to meet the unique needs of the organization.

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BUSINESS NEWS

Jumeirah Messilah Beach Hosts Bloggers and Journalists

J

umeirah Messilah Beach Hotel and Spa, Kuwait’s idyllic resort on the Arabian Gulf, hosted its first event for influential bloggers and journalists from 21-22 May 2013 to introduce the different venues and facilities of the hotel, which is in its soft opening phase. The tours were followed by a sumptuous dinner and a raffle draw.

General Manager Mark Griffiths and his management team welcomed the bloggers and journalists to the hotel and offered detailed insights into the property and its plans for the future. “In this day and age, when the flow of information moves quickly across so many different platforms, we recognise the important role played by bloggers and journalists in both informing and influencing opinion,” Griffiths said. “It has therefore been a great pleasure to engage with our friends from the media who graciously accepted our invitation, to offer them

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our hospitality and to provide them with a genuine taste of what our hotel has to offer,” Griffiths added. “Our lines of communication are always open and I look forward to a strong working relationship with the country’s writers and reporters.” Following the tours, a specially prepared dinner was served in an exquisite setting overlooking the beach among the palm trees, with a gentle sea breeze and the sound of the fountain in the background. A raffle draw was held during the dinner with prizes including a one-night stay at the hotel.

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ADVERTORIAL

The Relationship between Kuwait and Foreign Countries

K

May Saqr Alghanem

uwait is a long well-known country for encouraging the local and the international investments and the best well-known companies in the Arab, foreign and western laws are: partnership company, Limited partnership (simple or stock partnership), Limited Company (Public and Public) the limited companies including the companies with the European and western establishment. The Kuwaiti legislator has passed a group of the basic and general basics for establishing a company that has to be provided in the contract in general including: 1. Satisfaction: must be provided for the company associates and their free consent with the conditions of the company contract. 2. Eligibility: the consent meant by the consent of the person with his full power. The eligible person according to the Kuwaiti law is meant by (civil and trade eligibility in general) 3. The purpose: the purpose of the establishment of the company or the trade activity which the company was established to fulfill provided that this purpose gets to be legal and does not harm the public order and the public manners. 4. Reason: the reason for the establishment of the company to make profits. Additionally it is important to provide the objective conditions of the establishment conditions including: 1. The principle of multi companies: in general the Kuwaiti law does not admit the one manned company, so the company is distinguished from the other institutions and trading organizations that works on the principle of the individual

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ADVERTORIAL

ownership of the trading institution. So, we can find cooperation and efforts made in the capitalized companies including good experience in order to establish the necessary objectives. The least number of associates in a partnership, limited partnership and joint stock company is two partners. As for the joint stock company of both its types including the public and the closed the legislator puts a limit of 50 partners at least to establish both companies. The legislator went out of the principle of multiple associates except for only one so the government cannot alone establish an oil company as there must be at least 50 associates as we specified before. 1. The provision of the shares can be either in bulk or cash and distribute them according to the Kuwaiti law according to the type of the company. According to the Kuwaiti law it is not legal to establish a company or make a company contract to be executed according to the Kuwaiti legislature and the type of the company as the applicable law is only the Kuwaiti law. According to the Kuwaiti laws the companies acquire their identity either by making a trade register or after the establishment of the establishment decree.

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The results for the company acquiring the identity is to: 1. There must be a name for the company in the establishment contract. 2. The company place and headquarter. According to the article no 67 of the companies law in 1991. If the company was foreign then there must be a Kuwaiti agent to make the trading activity according to the article no 24 of the trading law no 68/1980 3. Monitoring the activities of the companies: there must be surveillance on the activities of the companies foreign or national. 4. The company identity is separate from the identity of the associates and shareholders. 5. The reliability of the company in the eligibility of the works it was made for. 6. There must be someone who can represent the company in front of the law. But as the modified law according to the law of the companies there are several applications between the State of Kuwait and the other countries according to the law modified by the date 17/3/2013.

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ADVERTORIAL

The “Health & Safety Matters� symposium took place on April 17, bringing together Kuwait’s business leaders and health and safety professionals. Organized by the Australian College of Kuwait’s Corporate Training Department (ACK CT), the symposium provided an engaging exchange of experiences from international, regional and local keynote speakers.

Guest Speakers included representation from Kuwait Industries Union, National Examination Boad of Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH), Kuwait Gulf Oil Company and RRC International.

A common theme emerging from all addresses was encapsulated by Mr. Hussain Al .KDUDÂż &KDLUPDQ .XZDLW ,QGXVWULHV 8QLRQ  who called upon delegates to “make a commitment to do something and take action towards making a safer work environment in Kuwaitâ€?. Keynote speakers addressed a variety of topics. Mr. Hasan Al Aradi (Managing Director, RRC Middle East) provided an overview of health and safety practices in GCC countries highlighting the trend of extensive training provision for government inspectors.

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Dr. David Towlson (Principal External Examiner for NEBOSH) emphasized the global trend of increased awareness for health and safety standards being driven by international conventions, state based legislation and insurance requirements. As a result there is an ever-increasing need for health and VDIHW\ SHUVRQQHO WR KROG FHUWLÂżFDWLRQV IURP quality assured bodies. Eng. Abdulaziz Dashti (Kuwait Gulf Oil Company)

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ADVERTORIAL

Dr. David Towlson, Principal External Examiner NEBOSH

Mr. Abdullah Al Sharhan, Chairman Australian College of .XZDLW0U+XVVDLQ$O.KDUDÂż&KDLUPDQ.XZDLW,QGXVWULHV Union

shared the experiences and challenges in establishing a safety culture in the oil LQGXVWU\DQGQRWHGWKDWFHUWLÂżFDWLRQVIURP awarding bodies were becomin mandatory for contractor awards. Mr. Ali Mubarak (Senior Manager Corporate Training and Engineering Consultancy) concluded the symposium by highlighting the common elements of addresses which included the need for Kuwait to have access to consultancy and international training. Mr. Mubarak stated that “ACK CT is uniquely positioned to provide a range of local,regional and international FRQVXOWDQF\DVZHOODVFHUWLÂżFDWLRQVIURP a range of awarding bodies. Our newly formed strategic alliance with RRC ,QWHUQDWLRQDO RQH RI WKH 8.ÂśV OHDGLQJ international health and safety providers, enables ACK CT and Kuwait to share in 55& ,QWHUQDWLRQDOÂśV ZHDOWK RI H[SHUL enceâ€?. With an overwhelming response ACK CT has committed to holding the Health & Safety Matters Symposium again in 2014. Further Information can be found at http://www.HSMatters.com

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Ms Eman Sharkawi and Ms Maria Fernandez, British Embassy and Ms Linda Trigg, Consul Australian Embassy

Your Health and Safety Consultancy and Training Provider: Risk Assessments Safety Management Systems Training Needs Analysis Contractor Compliance Support 'HOLYHU\RI,QWHUQDWLRQDO4XDOLÂżFDWLRQV

)RUPRUH,QIRUPDWLRQSOHDVHFDOOH[W or visit www.ack.edu.kw

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ADVERTORIAL

T

Flexibility Article

he world is constantly changing. Advances in technology and demographic shifts have allowed businesses to adopt different and more flexible ways to operate. Globally, Ernst & Young has introduced initiatives and measures to ensure that the organization is prepared to meet these new ways of working.

Technology now allows people to work remotely from various locations including; client sites, at home and from multiple offices. Teams are increasingly becoming more geographically diverse and working virtually across borders. With these technological advances comes the opportunity to reassess the way we work to make our business more productive and to achieve better engagement of our employees. Across the spectrum of our workforce at Ernst & Young, people are looking to strike a better balance between work and personal life, an issue which is no longer solely the remit of working mothers. Generation Y is looking for workplaces where they can be collaborative and able to meet the demands of their roles whilst balancing out of work interests. They want the autonomy to be able to incorporate flexibility into their schedules whilst still getting the job done. In 2010, Generation Y employees made up around 50% of all Ernst & Young employees globally and, therefore, it was the natural choice for the organization to embrace flexibility as a strategic decision. Generation X employees are also looking for some flexibility in the workplace to meet their conflicting schedules. More and more people are responsible for looking after both their children as well as elderly family members, which is double the work. In addition, we have an aging workforce that wants the flexibility to be able to work past the traditional retiring age without compromising their lifestyles. At different stages in our lives and careers, we all need to be flexible in different ways. Research shows that empowering our people to work when they want and where they want, will support retention of our talent and will help us achieve higher employee morale. It will also improve employee commitment, motivation and efficiency, while reducing absenteeism. It was therefore a strategic decision for Ernst &

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Young to promote and create an inclusive culture that embraces all our people’s differences and unique abilities to grow and develop. Flexibility has now become a vital component in creating and encouraging inclusiveness. Our ‘Working Flexibly’ initiative in Ernst & Young MENA allows us to acknowledge our people’s unique and individual flexible needs. Since its official launch in 2012, this flexible approach has helped the organization create a work environment where peers, colleagues, teams and executives can grow and develop personally and professionally at a pace that suits their individual needs and lifestyles. About the author Zaid H. Al-Hadhrami is the MENA Diversity & Inclusiveness Leader at Ernst & Young Zaid has more than 20 years of overall management experience in Oman and the USA. Zaid lead the HR team in EY Muscat for 3 years, then the Learning & Dev. for one year and recently appointed as Diversity & Inclusiveness  leader for EY MENA. He holds a BSBA with emphasis in Management & Organization Behavior (MOB)- from the University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO, USA. He graduated with Suma Cum Laude (GPA 3.97 on a 4 point scale).He also achieved the Monsanto award for best Management Student in the year 2000 at the college of business, University of Missouri – ST. Louis Zaid has experience in leading numerous government departments - worked as Deputy Director General of Administration, Finance, Technical Affairs and Training at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital (SQUH) for a number of years Skills and areas of interest: HR Strategy Design, Performance Management and Staff Evaluation Systems, Competency Based Recruiting & Interviews, HR Process Management  and Change Management,

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BEST PRACTICE

The ‘Back to Basics’ Stress Buster

S

An Swinnen

tress causes big problems in this hectic world. In the UK, doctors blame stress for most unexplained ailments, while the Kuwaitis blame the weather. All of us are aware that stress is increasingly invading our lives, especially in an economy which is suffering. So, what can be done to ensure stress does not take over our lives?

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I go back to basics. I ensure that I get to spend time with friends and family, often around a table filled with delicious food. We eat, drink, talk, laugh and relax. We have breakfast at the Marina Mall Crescent on a Saturday morning. We go to Mubarakia market and eat Arabic food with the locals, have cappuccinos at the Crowne Plaza, eat sushi at Sakura, have barbecues on the beach and in the desert.

the steep cliffs and wonder when they’ll return with their catch. A trip to my local shop usually takes hours as I bump into so many people I know. Instead of buying milk and bread I find myself sitting in a friend’s English flower garden eating fresh Brixham crab sandwiches or catching up on the news in my favourite Café Tutto just off Paignton beach. Stress? What stress?

When I go home to England I go back to basics even more: I wear jeans, trainers, a t-shirt and no make-up. I live on the English Riviera where time ticks slower than in London. I live in Agatha Christie’s world with long stretches of beach and green hills with gorgeous cottages where old ladies sip tea in the rose garden. I watch the fishermen go out from

I sometimes feel like a boxer. Luckily I have friends and family in my corner and in between rounds they dust me off, see to my wounds, talk strategy and get me ready for the next battle. When I make time for family and friends though, I can let my guard down for a while, soak up the love and relax: the perfect medicine for a stressful life!

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BEST PRACTICE

Work Life Balance: The Ultimate Oxymoron?

W

Russell Byrne

hat is it – this “Work Life Balance”? The relationship and distinction between “Work” (career and ambition) and “Life” (lifestyle, play, health, pleasure, leisure, family, spiritual development, meditation… and so on) is not a new concept. This ongoing dichotomous paradox of humanistic aspirational balance was invented in the 1800’s, promulgated again in the 1930’s, discussed in the 1940’s and popularised in the 1970’s in the United Kingdom and in 1986 in the United States. This blurred boundary is now part of our vocabulary and is generally viewed as a serious detriment and impediment to our overall wellbeing. Given, there is a ubiquity of information available on the subject of work life balance – some average to good, but most meaningless, nonsensical drivel promising quick fixes and the next big thing that will transform our lives without much effort required... blah, blah, and blah. Let’s be honest, one’s quest for Work Life Balance is an incredibly personal and reflective journey as only you can know how you think and feel, what you like and dislike, what you want and don’t want, what you will and will not accept. In order to investigate your quest and clarify your obnubilation, you really need to ask yourself the age old Socratic question: “What ought one to do?” This Socratic paradox demands an account from individuals as to why they choose one goal from another. In so doing, Socrates required each person to articulate what they considered to be good, or at least justify their course of action taken, on the basis that there exists no one truth; i.e. an unexamined life is not worth living. So, the question here is: “What should we be examining?”

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So, knowing that your quest for “work life balance” is an incredibly personal and reflective journey – one only you as an individual or as a family can experience, agree and attest to – kindly allow me to share with you some of my key personal insights and lessons that has helped me with my personal journey.

My Personal Take on Work Life Balance Admittedly, as I write this article, my wife and I are chilling in the Executive Lounge on the 31st floor at a lovely hotel overlooking the Dubai Marina and the Gulf after having indulged in some succulent French cuisine while enjoying a very “happy hour”. We’re relaxed, doing what we enjoy doing together; i.e. reading, writing, cogitating, flirting (with each other), masticating (don’t be rude), listening to smooth jazz… Oh yeah, if this ain’t work life balance then I don’t know what is ;) Yes, we’re here for a conference, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t take a moment to just chillax! Sadly, as we all know only too well, this is a rare occurrence.

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BEST PRACTICE

Over the years, I’ve learned to challenge my thinking; i.e. to philosophise, be it on a conscious or subconscious level – we all do it. I give myself the time to reflect, for self-actualisation, self-realisation – to simply ponder. What world will we leave the next generation? What good will I do? What will be my legacy? With so much war, famine, and disasters with global ramifications; will we all pull together as one, or will we be subject to our politicians and leaders whims and self-imposed values and fears? How many atrocities will be committed in the name of Idiotarianism? Will we ever be told the truth through our mediums of choice – news, papers, etc., or will we forever be fed whatever sells and gets a rise out of us? Utilitarianism, ethics, morals, virtues, values, rights, obligations, social contracts, self-interest, responsibilities, sustainable development, mutual obligation, corporate social responsibility (CSR), transparency, civil society, intergenerational equity, to be an ideologue of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ontology, teleology, countless philosophical doctrines – where does one begin? “He who asks question cannot avoid the answer”, Cameroon Proverb. Too much!?! Thought so – however, this is my very own personal rumination! From all this noise, I have been able to articulate my personal vision statement, my core belief, which I have disseminated into three core values that I espouse. This continues to be my guiding philosophy (my motivating assumptions, principles, values and tenets) which allows me to assess and balance my work and life. Allow me to elucidate…

Your Personal Vision Statement and Core Values My Vision Statement/Core Belief is; “Live my life by my choosing through personal integrity and beneficence”. My Core Values are (1) Truth; (2) Integrity; and (3) Charity. Although, I often seek answers for certain questions about truth and the word truth, I find I am more interested in the questions that can lead to knowledge of the truth; i.e. lifelong learning. “It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question.” – Découvertes. With respect to integrity, knowing what is important to me and living my actions accordingly is fundamental;

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again aimed at the discovery of some truth. Charity, in my mind, refers to giving. I personally feel very strongly about “charity”, so much so that I named my only daughter after this ideology – Charisse. My intention is to enhance the common good or improve human (altruistic) wellbeing or go towards any kind of social need – a work in progress – baby steps… Truth, Integrity and Charity are tightly held core values I embrace that underpin the dimensions of my enduring beliefs giving me purpose. They are a philosophical reflection of my moral beliefs and practices. They determine my behavioural actions; i.e. acting responsibly in difficult and / or complex situations with quality character and judgement. My Golden Rule – Treat others the way you want to be treated. After all; “character is what you are in the dark.” – Rev. Dwight Moody. My greatest arbitrators are my children. Who are yours?

Determine Your Own Personal Vision by answering the following •

What is your desire for something better?

Define your personal sense of purpose

What are your core values?

What is your evaluation of life influences?

What are resources?

Do you need a developmental process to help you get to where you desire to be?

Do you trust your intuition and skills?

Identify and document your risks and perceived risks

As your life changes and evolves, what do you need to continually refocus on?

Do you have the support of others; if so, identify them all

Add any other questions that may be relevant to YOU

your

personal

strengths

and

Should you struggle to frame your questions appropriately, perhaps the following reflective questioning may also prove useful.

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BEST PRACTICE

HOW

WHAT

How did you think / feel / act?

How did that come about?

How have you coped in the past?

How does that fit in?

WHEN

What happened?

When did it start?

Where does it happen?

Why did you do that?

What makes you think that?

When did that first occur?

What might you do differently next time?

When did you realise?

Where can we start to make a change?

Why do you think that happened?

When did you decide?

Where did it all go wrong?

When will that happen?

Where will that get you?

Why do you think they responded that way?

Where do you see yourself in…?

Why is this happening?

What was important about that? What did you learn from that?

Formulate Your Vision 1. Know Thyself (ancient Greek aphorism) – “Until you make peace with who you are, you’ll never be content with what you have.” – Doris Mortman a.

Assess your current direction and audit your momentum to achieving your vision

b.

Set targets towards your vision i.

Identify the boundaries or constraints to achieving your vision

ii.

What critical issues must addressed in your vision?

be

2. Set your vision context – your desirable future – to craft your vision, it must be conceptualised; i.e. categorise future developments in your environment which might affect your vision; list all expectations for the future in each category; determine which of these expectations is most likely to occur; and assign a probability of occurrence to each expectation. a. Develop future scenarios – having determined the expectations most likely to occur, and those with the most impact on the vision, combine the expectations into a few brief scenarios to include the range of possible futures anticipated. The

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scenarios should represent, in the aggregate, the alternative “futures” you are most likely to operate within b. Generate alternative visions – just as there are several alternative futures for your environment, there are several directions you might take in the future. The purpose of this step is to generate visions reflecting those different directions. Do not evaluate possible visions at this point, but use a relatively unconstrained approach 3. Choose your final vision – this is your decision point where selection occurs of the best possible vision for you. To do this, first look at the properties of a good vision, and what it takes for a vision to succeed, including consistency with your core values. Next, compare the visions generated with the alternative scenarios, and determine which of the possible visions will apply to the broadest range of scenarios. The final vision should be the one which: a. Best suits YOU; b. Is compatible with YOUR core values; and c. Applies to a broad range of alternative scenarios (possible futures). “I know I’m not seeing things as they are, I’m seeing things as I am.” – Laurel Lee.

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Develop Your Own Work Life Balance Profile: Make a judgement of your own life and rank it on a scale of 1 to 10. As an example: Life Balance Profile

Score

Legend

Scale

Work Life Balance

Compete Satisfaction

10

Health / Fitness

Neutral

5

Mental & Spiritual Growth

Compete Dissatisfaction

0

Career Use this example to make a judgement of your own life and rank it on a scale of 1 to 10. Then follow the 3 steps illustrated above to better your personal score.

Family, Friends, Partners

Finances Fun / Hobbies Emotional Growth Your Vision is directly relational to Your Action or Inactions. Your Vision can and will empower you to implement change. Incorporating your vision and core values into your hour-to-hour activities will lead to productive and real implementation through belief, execution, continual monitoring of progress toward your vision; and in the continual revision as changes in your personal life or environment necessitate. This is not a discrete event, but rather an ongoing process manifested in your actions, beliefs, values and goals. Picture yourself living your vision in your future. V

Valued

I

Inspirational

S

Simple

I

Individual

O

Others

N

Noble

=

A

Accountability

C

Community

T

Trust

I

Integrity

O

Ownership

N

NOW

granted – lessons learned hopefully never to be repeated. I sincerely hope that some of my key personal insights and lessons which have helped me in my personal journey (a work in progress) are of some use to you in your quest for the elusive Work Life Balance. Your personal, clearly defined vision statement should incite purpose and belief and lead to action to create the future you envisage. Good Luck and Happy Hunting! Russell Byrne is the managing director of British International, a Trading, Contracting and Educational Services Consultancy Company. Our mission is to help our clients make distinctive, lasting, and substantial long-term improvements in their performance. For more information on British International, please contact +965 2575 6110, russell@bi.edu.kw or visit www.bi.edu.kw.

I truly believe that “time wasted is a theft from God.” – Henri Frédéric Amiel. Family is enormously important to me. I cherish each and every moment I am able to spend with my Wife, Children and Family as they give me the greatest joy, happiness and contentment in my life today. There has been so much in this life that I have simply taken for

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From Origin to Excellence

BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

Best Insurance Provider in the Middle East 2013 – Global Banking & Finance For the 2nd consecutive year, Gulf Insurance Shines its light across the Middle East

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BEST PRACTICE

Work Life Balance: Tips to reclaim control

W

Mayo Clinic staff

hen your work life and personal life are out of balance, your stress level is likely to soar. Use these practical strategies to restore harmony.

There was a time when the boundaries between work and home were fairly clear. Today, however, work is likely to invade your personal life — and maintaining work-life balance is no simple task. This might be especially true if you’re concerned about losing your job due to restructuring, layoffs or other factors. Still, work-life balance isn’t out of reach. Start by evaluating your relationship to work. Then apply specific strategies to help you strike a healthier balance.

Consider the consequences of poor work-life balance: •

Fatigue. When you’re tired, your ability to work productively and think clearly might suffer — which could take a toll on your professional reputation or lead to dangerous or costly mistakes.

Lost time with friends and loved ones. If you’re working too much, you might miss important family events or milestones. This can leave you feeling left out and might harm relationships with your loved ones. It’s also difficult to nurture friendships if you’re always working.

Increased expectations. If you regularly work extra hours, you might be given more responsibility — which could lead to additional concerns and challenges.

Married to your work? Consider the cost It can be tempting to rack up hours at work, especially if you’re trying to earn a promotion or manage an ever-increasing workload — or simply keep your head above water. Sometimes overtime might even be required. If you’re spending most of your time working, though, your home life will take a hit.

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BEST PRACTICE

Strike a better work-life balance

Bolster your support system. At work, join forces with co-workers who can cover for you — and vice versa — when family conflicts arise. At home, enlist trusted friends and loved ones to pitch in with child care or household responsibilities when you need to work overtime or travel.

Nurture yourself. Eat a healthy diet, include physical activity in your daily routine and get enough sleep. Set aside time each day for an activity that you enjoy, such as practicing yoga or reading. Better yet, discover activities you can do with your partner, family or friends — such as hiking, dancing or taking cooking classes.

As long as you’re working, juggling the demands of career and personal life will probably be an ongoing challenge. Consider these ideas to find the work-life balance that’s best for you: •

Track your time. Pay attention to your daily tasks, including work-related and personal activities. Decide what’s necessary and what satisfies you the most. Cut or delegate activities you don’t enjoy or can’t handle — or share your concerns and possible solutions with your employer or others. Take advantage of your options. Ask your employer about flex hours, a compressed workweek, job sharing, telecommuting or other scheduling flexibility. The more control you have over your hours, the less stressed you’re likely to be. Learn to say no. Whether it’s a co-worker asking you to spearhead an extra project or your child’s teacher asking you to organize a class party, remember that it’s OK to respectfully say no. When you quit accepting tasks out of guilt or a false sense of obligation, you’ll have more time for the activities that are meaningful to you.

Leave work at work. With the technology to connect to anyone at any time from virtually anywhere, there might be no boundary between work and home — unless you create it. Make a conscious decision to separate work time from personal time. When you’re with your family, for instance, keep your laptop in your briefcase.

Manage your time. Organize household tasks efficiently, such as running errands in batches or doing a load of laundry every day, rather than saving it all for your day off. Put family events on a weekly family calendar and keep a daily to-do list. Do what needs to be done and let the rest go.

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Know when to seek professional help Everyone needs help from time to time. If your life feels too chaotic to manage and you’re spinning your wheels worrying about it, talk with a professional — such as a counselor or other mental health provider. If your employer offers an employee assistance program (EAP), take advantage of available services. Remember, striking a healthy work-life balance isn’t a one-shot deal. Creating work-life balance is a continuous process as your family, interests and work life change. Periodically examine your priorities — and make changes, if necessary — to make sure you’re keeping on track.

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BEST PRACTICE

The Good, the Mad and the Saintly: a Pageant of English Eccentricity

I

Arthur Barber.

live near a lock on the River Thames, and I was recently walking there in an attempt to regain my own life/work balance (after over 3 months in Kuwaiti desert sites without a break). The Thames Lock-Keeper was busy shepherding boats and crews up and down stream through his lock, and the river traffic included ducks and swans from time to time; I overheard a comment about “Swan Upping”.

My natural curiosity led me to do a bit of research and, one thing leading to another, I came across a job-title: the “Queen’s Swan Marker”. The Swan Marker monitors the welfare of the swans on the River Thames and temporarily moves them to safety during rowing regattas and similar events. There are many such quaint titles in Britain, some over one thousand years old, and all continuing to this day - and I eventually came across a new book about these old and eccentric roles, - “Keepers” published by Julian Calder Publishing UK. “... an extensive assembly of the great, the good, the obscure and the downright eccentric...”; reportedly,

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“Britain has more anachronistic jobs, posts and ceremonial appendages than any nation on earth”. Many of these titles are recognised internationally and still wield power; others retain only the right to parade in an ancient costume once in a while. Gilbert & Sullivan famously celebrated many in their operatic works. So for me, my review of these was entertaining and interesting, but crucially seemed to demonstrate a perfect example of work/life balance, embodying the national capability for combining the mundanity of work and English eccentricity, and yet providing gems of footnotes to our own history.

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BEST PRACTICE

Roles close to the Monarchy Roles and orders close to the monarchy include the British “Order of the Garter”; this is limited to 24 members; Prince William is the 1000th member, embodying a continuity reaching back to the Black Prince. The Garter, founded by Edward lll, is all about jousting, fair damsels, chivalry and loyalty to the Sovereign. St George is its patron and it is housed in Windsor. The equivalent Scottish order is the “Most Ancient and Most Noble Order of the Thistle” - limited to 16 members. Associated with this are the “Queen of Scots” and the “Chief of Chiefs” - both from preUnion times. All these roles are held by the present Queen. “The Lord and Lady of the Isles” was created in 1336 by Scotland’s King David II, and is currently adopted by Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall whenever they linger in the ‘stumpery’ at Balmoral, or go on to visit the Hebrides. Other quirky relics of Scottish history include a Campbell who retains the title of “Hereditary Captain of Dunstaffnage” on condition that he spends 3 nights a year in a ruined castle in Argyllshire.

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Back south in England again the Dymoke family in Lincolnshire, are hereditary “Queen’s Champions” who even now stand ready to duel with any upstart challenging the right of the Queen to reign. A Lismore family are Keepers of the ‘Bachuil More’ a sacred branch of blackthorn shaped like a hockeystick, dating from the 6th century and said to cure the plague. In return they retain the hereditary title of the “Barons of the Bachuil”. Other titles close to the monarchy include the “Clerk of the Closet”, advising on Candidates for the post of “Chaplains to the Sovereign”. And of course the “Privy Council” and the “Master of the Rolls” are still very active in British public and political life. Each year the “Queen’s Remembrancer” receives from the City of London two knives - one sharp, one blunt - and six horseshoes and 61 nails big enough to shoe a warhorse. These are the symbolic debts owed to the Crown. The rich trappings and jewels for much of the above date from historical figures like Edward the Confessor, Henry V of Agincourt, Queen Elizabeth l, several hundreds of years of the Royal Navy, and latterly the British colonial era.

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Roles of Skill Some ancient titles are based on their Keeper’s skills; the “Keeper of the Great Clock” keeps Big Ben running and also changes the time on 2000 Parliamentary clocks twice a year; the “Poet Laureate” is appointed each year as the National Poet. In 1616 the Earl of Northampton founded a hospital to care for 12 needy local ladies - to be single and aged at least 56 - “...no common beggar, harlot, scold, drunkard, haunter of taverns, inns and alehouses”, known as the “Sisters of the Hospital of the Most Holy and Undivided Trinity”.

More Pragmatic Titles Other more practical roles include the “Master of the Corporation of Trinity House”, responsible for all markers, beacons and lighthouses since Tudor times (currently held by the Duke of Edinburgh). Also the “Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports”, seated in Walmer Castle, Kent, and recently held by the Queen Mother. [Winston Churchhill also held this position from 1941 – 1965.] I especially liked the “Perpetual Warden of the Woodmen of the Ancient Forest of Arden” - ‘green’ and very topical ! And the “Lord Paramount of Holderness” still fires a gold coin on an arrow into the North Sea to appease any likely Viking or Danish invaders. Exeter Cathedral houses the “Bearer of the Dog Whipper’s Rod” who was listed in 1685 as controlling unruly dogs during the Cathedral services. The hereditary “Lord High Admiral of the Wash” was commanded in the 13th century to control all shipping and smuggling in the Wash in eastern England. Now, in the 21st century, the present Lord High Admiral (still by inheritance) owns all the land between High Water Mark and the distance that he can throw a spear. Another inheritor, the “Lord Marcher of Cemaes” still allocates local water and grazing rights in Newport, Pembrokeshire, Wales, and appoints the Mayor. Likewise, the “Royal Falconer” still exists, along with the “Royal Watermen”, and the “Hornblower of Ripon” still sounds his horn at the right time.

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Henry l created the “Chief Butler of England” title for the Lord of the Manor of Kenninghall, to wait on the monarch at Coronation banquets. No such banquet has been held since King George IV was crowned, but the present owner of the Manor, a Swedish businessman, now has the obligation should need ever arise. Also at ancient Coronations, the “Herb Strewer” used to contribute floral fragrance to mask the more earthy smells. In Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, the “Dame de Rosel” still has the duty of riding into the sea up to her stirrups to carry the visiting monarch ashore. My other favourite is the “Queen’s Guide Over Kent Sands” who uses laurel twigs to mark a path across the treacherous Kent tidal sands of Morecombe Bay, NW England. This was first documented in 1501, and is funded by the Queen. Irrelevant or Great History? There are always critics who would sweep these institutions away, as being irrelevant in the 21st century. So I leave you with this quote from Alastair Bruce, one of the book’s authors: “Britain has always been confident about its heritage. It’s only the insecure who can’t march with the past”. In my personal opinion, If England lost any of this, we’d be the poorer for it.

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10 to Get You Started

ayne State University Division of Research in Detroit, Michigan is one of the nation’s pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. The faculty leads the nation in many key research areas and their groundbreaking discoveries make a difference in the everyday lives of others around the corner and around the world, and we strive to continue making an impact by our groundbreaking research.

Recently Wayne State University created a programme related to work/life balance. They started with ten questions “to jump start you on the path to finding a perfect balance between work and the rest of your life.” They believe that the process of answering these questions will help you define who you are, who you want to be and what you need to do to do the ever elusive balance.

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1.

How would you like it to be?

Write down what the balance would be like if everything was perfect. Don’t worry about how you get it, just write. Then write down how it is now. Do you notice a contrast?! Commit yourself to taking a tiny step each day to bring you closer to the compelling picture of how you would like it to be.

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5. What are you learning? It is important to learn from what you do in order to get the balance right for you. And, to make changes based on what works and what doesn’t. If you make a ‘mistake’, don’t spend hours regretting it; spend minutes asking “What have I learned?” “How will I handle it next time?”

6. Where is your space? Make some; either in your head, or physically around you. Somewhere to reflect, perhaps on your picture of balance, or enjoy a treat, or to dream. This will remind you of your commitment to having the balance between life and work that works for you, rather than against you.

7. What might get in your way? 2.

What is important to you?

You only have one life, so what is it important that you have, or be, in your life? Space, fun, adventure, time alone, achievement, recognition? Write down the words that represent this for you, and start now to use these to guide how you work, as well as how you play.

3. Why do you have to choose to have the balance you want? Is it choosing a healthy lifestyle, but less time in the office? Is it choosing to spend money to have someone carry out the distracting and mundane tasks? Is it a choice to be more effective with the time you spend working rather than dawdling over the morning papers? Or more time dawdling over the morning papers to make sure you are more effective with the time you spend in the office?! What is it for you? Work it out and make a choice.

4. When did you last notice where you are? Let me explain…..if you want to make best use of your time, you have to be present - in what you are doing, with who you are with, and in the relationships that you have. No thinking ahead to the next thing, no regretting what came before. With some simple pre-planning, perhaps writing down a schedule, you can spend less time jumping ahead to the next thing and more time doing what you are doing….. get it? This is a key piece of the balance jigsaw.

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In working towards the balance you desire, you know there are things that might stop you, temporarily or permanently. Work out what these are, and prepare your response to these things, or people, now. Then when it does happen you will be ready for it, and armed to overcome the obstacle without thinking twice.

8. What are your limits? Tolerating things about yourself, the way people treat you or use up your time, your environment, and your possessions uses up time and energy that would be better spent else where. Set these limits selfishly to work with you towards the balance you want.

9. Who’ll support you? Someone who supports you in working towards the balance you are choosing is essential. They will remind you of your commitment, help you to get clear on your priorities and do whatever else you ask them to do to make sure you ‘walk the walk’ as well as ‘talk the talk’. Choose a coach, a partner, a friend to keep you on track and encourage you when things get tough.

10. What is stopping you? Ask yourself, what is the biggest obstacle between me and the balance between work and life that I want? Whatever it is, commit to resolving it, or you’ll regret it forever. Write down, tiny step by tiny step what you have to do to resolve it and use your supporters to get you there bit at a time.

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Making Family Life More Fun

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K, let’s be honest in today’s world, what “work/life balance” really means is finding enough time to enjoy “me time” and “family time”. How you make “me time” work is between you and your starter; Elaine St James has 100 Ways to Make Family Life Easier and More Fun. Here are 18 to get you started: 1. Eliminate Morning Madness – Create a nonhurried routine 2. Establish a Simple Bedtime Routine – Make it consistent 3. Free your Weekends for your Family – Slowly adjust your schedule to allow for weekend fun

12. Keep your Sense of Humor – Make chores fun with games and inject humor when you can

4. Take time for yourself – You need time to recharge the batteries

13. Limit the Options – Too many choices for kids can complicate things – give them 2 options to choose from and it will simplify their decision making process but still let them do it.

5. Simplify Household Routines – Have the kids help with responsibilities

14. Keep Birthdays Simple – small celebrations and simple gifts

6. Create Easy to Follow House Rules – Think of rules that help with #5 like when you are done with a dish, rinse it and put it in the dishwasher.

15. Keep a Family Calendar – Large month – by – month calendar will help keep everyone’s obligations in order.

7. Stop Trying to do it All – Prioritize what is important so you can spend the time needed to make it worthwhile to you and your family

16. Don’t Over schedule – Simplify yours and your kid’s lives by not getting them involved in too much, it can be stressful for them and burnout early.

8. Simplify your Kids Wardrobe – school clothes, play clothes and a dress-up outfit. 9. Avoid Electronic Overload – Ask yourself, “Does this device make my life easier and not lower the quality of life?” 10. Set Television Rules – How much, when and what they can watch

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11. Show your Kids How to Manage Their Own Space and Stuff – start early so you are not wiping up messes forever.

17. Encourage Quiet Time – Teach your children to appreciate solitude and time for reflection, this will give you the opportunity to do the same 18. Make dates – with your children and spouse, so everyone is getting the time they need and your relationships grow from learning about each other.

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Unlimited Holiday Time?

“Yes” says Wandisco, IBM, Netflix, Ibucon and more

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ummer is here and for many business people that means figuring out how to maximize holiday time to ensure that they get to do and see everything on their wish list. Chances are, you are one of them . . . but what if you had unlimited holiday time you could take whenever you wanted? Would that make a change in your work/life balance? Be careful how you answer because it’s a practice that’s trending in both the UK and the US. DISPATCHES S UMMER 2013

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According to fcswebsites.co.uk, “the pessimists and naysayers have said this policy would either be abused or that it’s not entirely real—that their employees feel pressured to never take off. We are assured they’re underestimating a positive work culture and are simply wrong. Through building a company on accountability, mutual respect, and teamwork, they’ve seen their unlimited vacation day policy have tremendous results for their employees’ personal development and for productivity.” fcswebsites.co.uk cites the example of Red Frog Events, a Chicago-based event planning company that gives employees the right . . . even responsibility . . . to take holidays whenever they need it. The policy has worked well for the company and they list for reasons for that success: 1. It treats employees like the adults they are. If they’re incapable of handling the responsibility that comes along with having unlimited vacation days, they’re probably incapable of handling other responsibilities too, so don’t hire them. 2. It reduces costs by not having to track vacation time. Tracking and accounting for vacation days can be cumbersome work. This policy eliminates those headaches. 3. It shows appreciation. Employees will need unexpected time off and some need more vacation than others. By giving them what they need when they need it, you show employees how much they are appreciated and they reciprocate by producing more great work. 4. It’s a great recruitment tool. They hire a mere one out of every 750 applicants at Red Frog. When you combine fantastic benefits with a positive culture, it’s noticed. 

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In a recent Financial Times article, Rhymer Rigby spoke with Evernote CEO Phil Libin. Evernote has also dropped restricted holiday time and has even stopped tracking the number of days taken by employees. Rigby asked how the employees responded to the change. Libin explained that the average number of days taken off a year “may even have dropped a little, but as we don’t track it, we don’t know,” he says. “I do know however, that no one has ever taken advantage of it. Theoretically, you could get a superman who does a year’s work in two weeks, and then takes 50 weeks off,” he says. “But work shouldn’t be like that. It should be about feeling part of something.” Apparently most employees agree with Libin. A recent CareerBuilder study of almost 6,000 workers found that “12% of participants say they feel guilty that they’re not at work while they’re on vacation. Of the majority of workers planning some time away from work, three in 10 aim to take the office with them on vacation. Thirty percent reported they will contact work on their time off, up from 25% in 2010.” It seems the concept unlimited time off hasn’t reduced workplaces to chaotic anarchies. Instead, it’s created more efficiency, at least according to Dharmesh Shah, cofounder and CTO of Hubspot. Lydia Dishman interviewed Shah for an article on the impact unlimited holidays for FastCompany magazine. Shan noted that Hubspot doesn’t track anyone’s time off, so it’s hard to know if the policy makes people more or less wary of taking vacation. “One thing we are pretty sure about is that it’s a less stressful way to manage it,” he says. Rather

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than hoard days for times when they really need it, then scramble to take days at the end of the year (or fight for extra pay for time not taken), Shah says Hubspot’s open, unlimited vacation policy makes all of these problems go away. “Employees take the vacation when they need it and we don’t have a spike of vacations at specific points of time,” he explains. According to Dishman, GoHealthInsurance. com also implemented an unlimited vacation policy. With a business model similar to Priceline, the company recorded a 200% increase in growth this year. “Michael Mahoney, vice president of Consumer Marketing and seven-year veteran of GoHealthInsurance.com, says it actually was a deciding factor when he took the job. “I think it really helps instill in new employees the same values we had during the first years at our company,” he says. Mahoney contends employees schedule vacation more strategically based on their workload. “When you consider when you can best take vacation as opposed to when you must, you end up able to take time off without affecting performance.” This often means people are actually on the clock more than ever. Shah admits that he works from home “a lot,” often putting in odd hours: “Until about 2 a.m. every night, and just about every weekend.” Laura Fitton, founder of the Twitter app store Oneforty, which was acquired by Hubspot, was actually using a day off for emergency childcare during her interview with Dishman - hardly a day at the beach. Dishman also spoke with the 17-year-old Motley Fool, a multimedia financial-services company on a related subject: “The Fool’s Errand”. According to spokesperson “Alison Southwick, it’s a monthly ritual where, at a meeting of all 250 employees, one name is drawn from a hat. That person must take off two consecutive weeks sometime in the ensuing month. Southwick says it’s purpose is twofold. ‘First, it helps make sure that people ARE taking time off, clearing their heads, and recharging their batteries. Second, it helps us fight against single points of failure within the company. When you suddenly take two weeks off, you need to make sure that other people around you understand what you do so that the company

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doesn’t come to a screeching halt if you’re gone,’ she explains. But, mostly, it is fun. ‘Imagine being told you must take two weeks off right away. It’s two weeks to do whatever you want: tackle a life-long dream, learn something new, or just relax at home,’” Southwick says. In the FastCompany article, The Motley Fool’s Head “People Fool” Lee Burbage asserts, “The idea of vacation days is a flawed concept from the start. Fools have the freedom to plan their lives how it works best. We trust them to understand the demands of their role and plan accordingly. If you have a big deadline or target date for a project, then you probably know that would be a good day to be at the office.” Mahoney agrees. Unlimited vacation fosters productivity and loyalty because it favors results over input. “We don’t judge employees based on the number of lines of code they write, but instead on the impact their innovative ideas have on our users,” he says. “If we trust employees to make the right decisions with the time they spend at work in pursuit of our aggressive goals, we can trust them to make responsible decisions about when they choose to take time off of work.” Professor of organisational psychology at Lancaster University Management School Cary Cooper, quoted by Rigby in the FT article, says an unlimited holiday policy can backfire if handled poorly. “I like it, but it could be divisive if it’s not open to everyone,” he says. “You also need to ensure that people agree the holiday with those they work with so they don’t affect their performance and productivity. The company also has to mean it. You see a lot of organisations that say you have the right to work flexibly, but it rarely happens in practice.” This may be why Evernote went one step further when it discovered that many employees were not taking enough time off: it offered an incentive for staff to take a break. Libin noted “We said, ‘go somewhere interesting for at least a week and we’ll give you $1,000 of spending money’,” Mr Libin explains. “Just to show we really do want you to take vacations.” Happy holidays . . . really.

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Think You Can’t Take a Vacation? The sound business reasons you really should

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Patty Azzarello

atty Azzarello is the author of Rise: 3 Practical Steps for Advancing Your Career, Standing Out as a Leader, and Liking Your Life. In this article, written for FastCompany magazine, Azzarello points out what good HR people have always known: you are better at your job when you’re happy to be there.

Now that it’s summer, it’s a good time to remind yourself that you should go on a vacation--and not feel guilty about it. Here are 10 reasons why the business is better off without you for awhile: 1. Going on a vacation shows you are competent. It is proof that you are good at your job because you

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can manage and plan enough to free up some time in your schedule--and not leave a festering mess in your absence. Not being able to take a vacation for years shows that you and your team are so out of control that you can’t even be gone for a week.

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processes a chance to chew on things while you are in a good (or at least different) mood, you’ll think new thoughts. You will solve problems you might not solve if you stay fully engaged at all times.

2. No one is impressed if you don’t. Bragging that you have not had a vacation in years or that you have maxed out on vacation days is not scoring points with anyone. If you think your company or your team see it as a super-keen work-ethic, and admires you for it--they don’t.

7. You will prioritize better. Stepping away helps make it clear that some of the things that you thought were vitally important before your vacation don’t actually need to get done after all. When you step away, the difference becomes more clear. The most strategic things re-assert themselves and all the clutter drops several notches in volume.

3. Your team is motivated. When you show by example that you support and allow people to have a life, they will be more motivated to contribute. As long as you don’t send them email every day while you are “on vacation”! Set the expectation you will be generally out of touch. If you can’t stand to let go entirely, arrange 1-2 scheduled check-in points, but don’t just go somewhere else and keep working.

8. You let other people be “important.” If you refuse to leave ever, you are sending the message that you are the only important person. Giving others the chance to be in charge, make decisions, speak on your behalf and solve problems sends the message that you have confidence in your team. This builds your credibility with your team, your peers, and your management more than pretending that the business can’t live without you for a moment. (Which doesn’t really build your credibility at all.)

4. Your team gets more productive. When you go away, you give your team a break from doing and worrying about all the things you throw in their way when they are trying to get their work done. After about 2 weeks, they will miss you and need you again, but in the mean time, their productivity will actually go up.

9. Your company benefits. Your company prefers people who enjoy their life because they have more positive energy for their work. They are more effective and more productive. People who have interests outside of work also deal with pressures and disappointments in the workplace with more resilience and confidence.

5. Being unavailable helps people develop. Being unreachable for periods of time is actually a very effective technique for developing people. It forces them to step up. If they think they can reach you at all times, they will never bother to think bigger, learn, and take risks--they’ll just ask you. Just be careful not to un-do everything they did in your absence just because it was different than the way you would have done it.

10. You need a break, whether you know it or not!

6. You will be more productive. If you step away from the day to day chaos and give your back-of-mind

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Finally, if something comes up in your business that you really can’t avoid handling personally, and you need to cancel your vacation, reschedule another one while you are canceling. This will minimize resentment and disappointment, give you something to look forward to--and ensure you don’t get too full of your self-importance, and go too long without a vacation. Source: www.fastcompany.com

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The Traditional Vacation is Dead!

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ccording to a recent Good Technology survey, 57 percent of respondents checked work emails on family outings. If there’s any surprise in this finding it’s that the number is so low. Anecdotal evidence, watching people poolside or on picnic blankets in the park or at the theatre with children, suggests that something around 80% would be more accurate. 56

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While I’d love to turn off my email for two weeks, avoiding Twitter and Facebook messages in the process, the reality is that as an entrepreneur I am consistently fueled by the possibility of new opportunities. This means I need to be connected, but I don’t need to be connected every hour of the day. I can rely on help from my team, but they can’t possibly understand the context of every single digital message. Bestselling author, TV host, speaker, and strategist Amber Mac offers these three tips for working smarter when you’re away, so you can stay on top of your business without ticking your family off (or putting your kids in danger, for that matter). 1. Set email expectations (and exceed them if necessary).  During a Work Flow interview with Danah Boyd, she spoke about informing her colleagues about any upcoming holidays months before she even stepped foot out of the office. She takes this one step further and programs her email so any message she receives while on vacation bounce back to the recipient--which she aptly calls an email sabbatical. The latter of these actions might be too extreme for many entrepreneurs, but there is value in the first step insofar as setting expectations for the people in your work circles. Once you’re on holiday a simple auto-reply with details about how soon anyone can expect a response is a great idea, but also include detailed contact information for people on every level of business you do so you can better delegate without lifting a finger. 2. Block your business time.  It’s become fairly custom in my family that when we’re

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on holiday I work for a couple of hours in the morning (when I’m most productive) and I don’t check back into my work life until some point at the end of the day. This makes it easy to deal with my business in a condensed period of time, which often means writing articles and doing client work, and then I can focus on my vacation for the bulk of the day. If we’re at the beach or playground, this means my phone is tucked away in my bag and I’m focusing on family fun (and family safety, of course). 3. Disconnect entirely. It’s amazing how relaxed you will feel if you disconnect entirely for a day or two. This is a good thing to do at the start and end of your vacation. Aside from the total focus on your family, this can also be good for business. Think of this as a prolonged “creative pause,” a term coined in the 1960s to define “the time interval which begins when the thinker interrupts conscious preoccupation with an unsolved problem, and ends when the solution to the problem unexpectedly appears in consciousness.” There are a number of studies that indicate that vacation isn’t a surefire way to eliminate stress. In fact, it can sometimes mean that a worker returns to the office more stressed, which has been my experience if I don’t engage for short periods of work time now and again to keep up with my work flow. Perhaps, more than anything, we just need a new word. Vacation is in fact a fallacy since the term means, “a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity.” I dare say that the traditional vacation is dead, thanks to today’s digital times. So now it’s up to us to figure out how to enjoy time off while still being somewhat on.

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Is an MFA the New MBA?

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s high school graduates head off to university and university graduates debate whether to go for a grad degree or a job, parents and their graduates are trying to select fields of study that will help ensure success. Steven Tepper, associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt University and Research Director of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), has a suggestion that will surprise most students and parents: to succeed in business get a Masters of Fine Arts. 58

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generation workers with the skills required for success? This challenge is even greater when you factor in the nature of today’s flexible and contingent labor market. Consider this: Today’s contingent economy has people moving constantly from one job to another, one type of work to another, one industry to a different industry. In fact, on average, a person between the ages of 25 and 45 will hold 11 different jobs in their lifetime. Thirty percent of us will work in more than 15 different jobs over the course of our careers.

Tepper begins his article, posted on www. fastcompany.com, by noting that “companies all across America are starting to see a critical talent gap as older employees retire. Art students may not have all the traditional skills, but they have the most important one: creativity.” And while Tepper concentrates on the US, he does note that a study of some 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries consider the most important skill for successfully navigating our uncertain world is creativity. An estimated 10,000 Baby Boomers will turn 65 every day for at least the next 17 years, according to data from the Pew Research Center. And while many of them might choose to work beyond the traditional retirement age of 65, leaders everywhere are facing the same daunting issue: A great tsunami of Baby Boomer retirement is coming. Though it’s likely to reshape the workplace for years to come, many organizations say they aren’t prepared for such an unprecedented brain drain. The projections of younger workers entering the workforce are even more shocking. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 10 years between 2010 to 2020, the number of workers between the ages of 16 to 54 will decrease by about 1 million--while the number of workers over the age of 54 will increase by more than 11 million. Statistics as bracing as those have many organizations redoubling their efforts at retaining older workers. But as a leader, your biggest human capital challenge is this: Where will you find enough next-

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Organizations far and wide--perhaps even yours-will compete intensely for workers who are adaptable, resourceful, and can quickly learn and apply new skills to a variety of challenges. Where can you find such workers? One answer runs counter to much conventional wisdom: Ask an artist. Artists know the world of adaptability and resourcefulness very well. In fact, according to an annual survey tracking the career trajectories of more than 65,000 artists from hundreds of arts schools, the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP), close to 60 percent of arts graduates hold more than two jobs at once, and approximately 20 percent have more than three. What’s more, regardless of whether they work in the arts or in other businesses, more then threequarters of arts graduates say that critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to work with others are skills they both learned in school and use on a regular basis in their current work. Arts graduates are plucky and understand how to use their creative skills in a variety of settings. It’s common today to debate the comparative merits and economic value of various college majors, but those of us who track issues and trends around the nation’s creative economy contend that much of the comparisons miss the mark in important and fundamental ways. But don’t just take me at my word: No less a force in global business than IBM found, in a global study of more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries, that the most important skill for successfully navigating our increasingly complex, volatile, and uncertain world is none other than creativity.

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Is art school the next B-school? Hardly, though artists often possess the skills and temperament that business leaders regularly say are in short supply: creativity, resiliency, flexibility, high tolerance for risk and ambiguity, as well as the courage to fail. Here’s what business leaders might consider in tapping talent from the creative economy: •

Integrate arts on the job

The arts are not just a hobby. Employees trained in the arts can draw on their creative talents and apply what they might do naturally in the studio or while recording music or making a film to the types of puzzles they deal with every day. Arts-trained employees won’t leave their creativity at the doorstep when they join our firms or organizations. Ask them to explicitly think about puzzles using their artistic hat/lens. Invite a local theater group to work with employees on improvisation exercises to free up their creative juices. Research has shown that when people engage in improv they later generate more creative ideas to a range of issues and challenges. •

Fail more often

Encourage employees and students to take more risks and to stretch their creativity. Give them space and permission to fail. Figure out how to incorporate critical feedback into an ongoing process of improvement and innovation. Ask an artist to come in and run a “critical feedback” workshop for employees. Or someone with design experience to help people think about “rapid prototyping” as a way to audition new ideas. Artists understand that you need to fail often in order to succeed. •

Sit with ambiguity

Employees in a lot of settings should become more comfortable with ambiguity. In my classes, students writhe in pain when I give them an ambiguous assignment. They naturally want to know exactly what they need to do to get the desired grade. Not only do we as teachers and employers need to be comfortable giving work assignments where we build in ambiguity, but we need to help those we mentor learn how to begin a process or a task without knowing what the outcome will be. Again, having an artist facilitate a workshop where a

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creative task is emergent, shifting, and where new information requires adjustments and negotiation, would be a great first step. The U.S. graduates more than 130,000 visual and performing arts graduates every year. Like virtually every other college major, close to one-half of all these graduates will end up working in professions largely unrelated to their degree. These arts graduates walk among us; many find their way into our businesses; some are sitting next to us in board meetings. And many others have started their own businesses to rave reviews. More often than not, arts graduates are invisible to us when we search for new talent. But based on the SNAAP research findings, one of the largest surveys ever conducted of college graduates, these former art students have many of the skills and habits necessary to navigate a circuitous career--including the constant reinvention and “retooling” necessary for any environment that values innovation. Many people see artists as shamans, dreamers, outsiders, and rebels. In reality, the artist is a builder, an engineer, a research analyst, a human relations expert, a project manager, a communications specialist, and a salesman. The artist is all of those and more--combined with the imagination of an inventor and the courage of an explorer. Not a bad set of talents for any business challenged to innovate in a world of volatility, uncertainty, and change.

Posted 28 March 2013 on www.fastcompany.com/3007541/ mfa-new-mba

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Lots of Small Steps for Man; At Least One Report for Dispatches?

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t’s hot here in Kuwait in the summer, no question - so hot in fact that we suffer just walking from the car to the house, even if the walk is short. Commiserating about this with a bunch of Brits and inevitably someone will talk about how wonderful it is to walk back home in the UK. They’ll speak poetically about the hills and the green and the wildflowers ...

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VisitBritain has outlined eight walks - ranging in duration from 81 km over 4 days to 217 km over 9 days. The routes are easy to follow, with varying degrees of difficulty that should offer challenging yet achievable options for every age and fitness level. You can find tons of details about each walk at www.visitbritain.com. And, if healthy air, beautiful scenery, the chance to get back to nature aren’t incentive enough, Dispatches invites anyone who completes even one leg of a walk to send us your story (with pictures). We’ll share it with all our readers so they can understand what all that poetry is about!

Dorset Heritage Trail walking itinerary This 4-day walk covers 81 km – from Win Green to Dorchester, with stops in Chettle, Hambledon Hill, Stourpaine, Milton Abbey, Cerne Abbas, and Stratton along the way. This tailor-made trail winds its way through the best of rural Dorset, through mature woodland, over

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Celtic and Roman hill forts and into a succession of quiet, rural English villages. Wildlife is abundant on the trail, which is also ideal for tree-lovers. This trail also includes parts of the Wessex Ridgeway and the Jubilee trail.

Speyside Way walking itinerary Starting in Buckie, with stops in Fochabers, Craigellancie, Dufftown, Ballindalloch, Grantown, and Boat of Garten before ending in Aviemore, this is a 6 day, 111 km walk in Scotland. This fine long distance route follows the valley of the River Spey from Buckie on the Moray Firth Coast of Scotland to Aviemore in the foothills of the Cairngorms. The Speyside Way includes a ‘spur’ to Dufftown, the whiskey capital of the world. As you walk the Speyside Way, you’ll pass everything from fishing harbours to farmland.

Jurassic Coast walking itinerary The World Heritage Jurassic Coast is England’s first natural World Heritage Site - a walker’s

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paradise covering kilometres of stunning coastline. Stretching from Exmouth in Devon to Stutland in Dorset, the Jurassic Coast will take you on a fossil-rich journey covering nearly 200 million years of natural history. During the 4-day, 125 km walk, you will pass through Exmouth, Budleigh Salterton, Ladram Bay (Sidmouth), Seaton, Lyme Regis, Golden Cap, Chesil Beach (West Bay), Abbotsbury, Osmington White Horse, Durdle Door & Lulworth Cove, Swanage, Old Harry, and, finally Studland Bay.

Glyndwr’s Way National Trail walking itinerary Over 9 days on The Glyndwr’s Way National Trail you will cover 217 km and visit Knighton, Felindre, Abbeycwmhir, Llanidloes, Aberhosan, Machynlleth, Llanbrynmair, Llanwddyn, and Meifod before finishing up in Welshpool. The Glyndwr’s Way National Trail is named after Owain Glyndwr, the famous Welsh Warrior/Statesman who fought a campaign for an independent Welsh nation in the early 15th century. The route starts on the English border, making its way through tremendous scenery to Machynlleth, where Owain Glyndwr held his parliament in 1404 and then on.

Cotswold Way walking itinerary The Cotswold Way National Trail runs between the city of Bath and the town of Chipping Campden, with stops in Wotton under Edge, Uley, Painswick, Prestbury, and Winchcombe. The trail runs for most of its length on the Cotswold escarpment and is renowned for its stunning views over the Severn Vale, the Forest of Dean, the Malverns and on a clear day - Wales! The itinerary says you’ll cover the 161 km is just 7 days; you might want to allow for a more lazy pace to really enjoy the views.

Great Glen Way walking itinerary 117 km in 6 days, from Fort William through Gairlochy, Fort Augustus, Altsigh, and Drumnadrochit to Inverness, that’s the challenge of the Great Glen Way. The Way was opened in 2002 by H.R.H Prince Andrew, Earl of Inverness. It runs more romantically, from Ben Nevis (Britain’s highest peak) to Loch Ness. There are spectacular views and historical natural heritage to be discovered all along the way and the trail is suitable for walkers of most abilities.

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Wye Valley walking itinerary The Wye Valley Walk allows eight days to cover 218 km, following the beautiful river valley from Chepstow in Monmouthshire to Rhayader in Powys, criss-crossing the border between England and Wales . The Wye and its banks are a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) from source to mouth, and between Chepstow and Hereford the walk passes through the heart of the Wye Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Hadrian’s Wall Path walking itinerary If you love Roman history, this is the walk for you. The Hadrian’s Wall Path National Trail is an unbroken 135 km trail stretching the length of this World Heritage Site from Wallsend in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west. The trail takes you past some of the best Roman forts and museums England has to offer. It passes through some of Britain’s most beautiful countryside, and through the vibrant cities of Newcastle and Carlisle. Stops in Heddon-on-the-Wall, Humshaugh, Carrawburgh, Hexham, Brampton, Walton, and Burgh by Sands are also included on the 6 day itinerary.

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Heart of England

K, the preceding pages outlined eight of the UK’s best walks (according to VisitBritain). But those of you who consider walking from one side of The Avenues to the other a long walk, even the 81 km, four-day Dorset Heritage Trail walk is probably out of the question. VisitBritain knows that you’re still an explorer at heart and proposes this three day “Heart of England” car itinerary.

During the three-day trip you will travel from Oxford to Avebury, covering a total distance of 456.7 km, hundreds of years of history and some of the most spectacular scenery you’ve ever enjoyed. Oxford to Avebury offers everything quintessentially English: towering cathedrals, charming villages, traditional architecture, golden meadows and of course delightful little tea rooms. This short excursion will fulfil your travel wish list and take you right into the heart of England. You can plan the fine details of your trip – accommodation, meals, attraction visits – using the

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VisitBritain Journey Planner (on www.visitbritain. com), so all you have to do is pack up and hit the road!

Day 1: Oxford - Woodstock - Stratford Oxford - Woodstock: 4.8 km  Woodstock - Stratford:  81 km  Totals for Day:  85.8 km

Oxford From Heathrow, head north-west to the glorious medieval city of Oxford – by far one of England’s most picturesque towns. Soaring spires, magnificent

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designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in England and Wales. The Cotswolds are characterised by rolling hills and picturesque villages made up of distinctive stone cottages. There are many villages to stop off at. Why not take a scenic stroll around Stow-on-the-Wold or Cirencester and learn all about the timeless English tradition of ‘afternoon tea’? Tewkesbury Abbey, Hidcote Manor Gardens and the Westonbirt Arboretum should also be on your “must see” list.

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churches and historic buildings fill the streets. Home to the most famous university in the world, Oxford is absolutely teeming with things to see and do. Some of the “must sees” are the Ashmolean Museum, the University of Oxford Botanic Garden, and Christ Church Cathedral.

Woodstock Drive on towards Stratford-upon-Avon and if you’ve got time, stop off at Blenheim Palace near Woodstock. This is the birthplace of Winston Churchill and houses a fascinating exhibition on his life. The house is stuffed with priceless treasures and the park was landscaped by Capability Brown.

Stratford The next stop is Stratford-upon-Avon, an exquisite riverside town with scenic walks and a welcoming atmosphere. If you’re a fan of the Bard, don’t miss Shakespeare’s birthplace, where you can discover what life was like in Shakespeare’s Stratford. Why not take in a performance at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre to really get you in the mood? There’s a wonderful butterfly farm and peaceful boat rides on the Avon.

Day 2: Stratford - Cotswolds - Bath Stratford - Cotswolds:  33.6 km  Cotswolds - Bath:  85.5 km Totals for Day:  119.1 km

The Cotswolds Head south and you’ll find yourself travelling through the glorious Cotswolds countryside - the largest

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The regency spa town of Bath is one of the most important sites of Roman antiquities in Europe, famous for its perfectly preserved Roman baths, exquisite Georgian architecture and endless cultural events. With its exceptional wealth of attractions, Bath is a fascinating town begging to be explored. Here you have to park your car, for Bath is a great town for walking. Don’t miss the Jane Austen Centre, No 1 Royal Crescent, and the Bath Abbey.

Day 3: Bath - Windsor - Avebury Bath - Windsor:  149.6 km  Windsor - Avebury:  102.2 km  Totals for Day:  251.8 km

Windsor The Royal Borough of Windsor is intimately connected to the Royal Family. Windsor Castle is the Queen’s favourite residence and has been home to the Sovereign for over 900 years. It is the largest inhabited castle in England and within the complex there are numerous interesting visitor attractions. If you’re travelling with young kids, LEGOLAND is right around the corner, so you should plan to spend some time there as well.

Avebury Your final destination is Avebury, home to some of the most important prehistoric monuments in the world, including the largest stone circle in Europe. There are literally hundreds of sites to discover, and the unique atmosphere in the mysterious village of Avebury will captivate and intrigue you. EDITOR’S NOTE: The itinerary for day three is illogical to me, but I’ll accept that may be because I love Windsor. If I were driving I’d go from Bath to Avebury and end in Windsor, rather than Bath to Windsor and then back to Avebury.

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British Literature How well do you know Britain’s great books and authors? This is a “find a word” with a twist: you have to know the answer to the clue before you can find the word. Good luck! 1 Author buried in Winchester Cathedral 2 PG Wodehouse characters 3 British Poets 4 British Authors 5 Word Book Title

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Sudoku Challenge Sudoku puzzles come in all shapes and sizes these days. Here you have a classical Sudoku (numbers 1 – 9), a Monster Sudoku (which uses the numbers 0 – 9 AND the letters A – F) and a Squiggly Sudoku (still the numbers 1 – 9, but they go in shapes NOT boxes). Regardless of the format, the rules are the same: no repeating numbers/letters in a line (up and down AND across) or a “box” and you must use all the appropriate numbers/letters. Good luck!

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Solution: 1 Author buried in Winchester Cathedral (Austen) 2 PG Wodehouse characters (Wooster, Jeeves) 3 British Poets (Wyatt, Shakespeare, Browning) 4 British Authors (Dickens, Carroll, Orwell, Tolkien) 5 Word Book Title (The Lord of the Rings) UMMER 2013

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(c) Daily Sudoku Ltd 2013. All rights reserved.

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Catching Up on Your Reading

ummer reading is one of the real pleasures of the season. For a change, there’s time for leisurely reading. If your idea of beach reading tends towards business, here are three books you might enjoy (with introductions from the publisher unless otherwise noted). Intuition Pumps Daniel Dennett Thinking is hard - yet barely a waking moment passes when we’re not labouring away at it. A few of us may be natural geniuses, able to work through the toughest tangles in an instant; others, blessed with reserves of willpower, stay the course in the dogged pursuit of truth. Then there’s the rest of us. Not prodigies and a little bit lazy, but still aspiring to understand the world and our place in it. What can we do? In Intuition Pumps, Daniel Dennett, one of the world’s most original and provocative thinkers, takes us on a profound, illuminating and highly entertaining philosophical journey. He reveals a collection of his favourite thinking tools, or ‘intuition pumps’, that he and others have developed for addressing life’s most fundamental questions. Along with new discussions of familiar moves - Occam’s Razor, reductio ad absurdum - Dennett offers cognitive tools built for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, consciousness and free will. In his genial style, Dennett guides readers around the pitfalls in arguments, and reveals easier ways to better understand the world around us and our place in it. Winning Without Losing: 66 strategies for succeeding in business while living a happy and balanced life  Martin Bjergegaard and Jordan Milne Whatever your job is, chances are you find it hard to switch off. Today, we work longer hours, at weekends, at home and on the move – while the office is only ever a click away via smartphones and the Internet. But as much as we assume that this is the price of success, it doesn’t have to be this way. Martin Bjergegaard and

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Jordan Milne are here to show you how to build your business into something big, sustainable and widely recognised – and still lead a happy, whole and balanced life. In sixty-six short insights, they reveal strategies and methods which will allow you to combine professional success with putting friends, family and happiness first. Their Efficiency Boosters will increase your effectiveness, while you’ll learn all about how to avoid Time and Energy Wasters and build a New Mindset that gives you to optimism and enthusiasm needed to succeed. So wave goodbye to guiltily checking your emails on a date, or getting home when your children are already in bed – this is your route to winning on every level. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead Sheryl Sandberg Facebook COO Sandberg examines the dearth of women in major leadership positions, and what women can do to solve the problem, in this provocative tome. While acknowledging that women have made great strides in the business world, she posits that they still have a long way to go and lays out a plan for women to get there. “I have written this book to encourage women to dream big, forge a path through the obstacles, and achieve their full potential,” she explains. The author’s counsel—gleaned from her own experiences— includes suggestions for increasing self-confidence, particularly in the business world; understanding the role of mentors and how to identify them; building emotional relationships at work; not focusing on being liked; juggling marriage and children with a demanding job; and the importance of taking risks. “Hard work and results should be recognized by others, but when they aren’t, advocating for oneself becomes necessary,” Sandberg opines. A new generation of women will learn from Sandberg’s experiences, and those of her own generation will be inspired by this thoughtful and practical book. [Review by Publishers Weekly]

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Summer Fun Reading

hether you’re off to somewhere exotic or just going home for the summer, the right book choices can take you anywhere . . . to a small town in North Carolina, to classic Rome, to Jazz Age Long Island, for example. Have a wonderful trip . . .

Joyland Stephen King Set in a small-town North Carolina amusement park in 1973, Joyland tells the story of the summer in which college student Devin Jones comes to work as a carny and confronts the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and the ways both will change his life forever. “Joyland is a breathtaking, beautiful, heartbreaking book,” said Charles Ardai, Edgar- and Shamus Award-winning editor of Hard Case Crime.  “It’s a whodunit, it’s a carny novel, it’s a story about growing up and growing old, and about those who don’t get to do either because death comes for them before their time.  Even the most hardboiled readers will find themselves moved. When I finished it, I sent a note saying, ‘Goddamn it, Steve, you made me cry.” Inferno Dan Brown In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno. Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

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Barnes & Noble writes: We were first introduced to Harvard professor/independent investigator Robert Langdon in Angels & Demons in 2000. Three years later, he totally ensnared our attention in the international mega-bestseller The Da Vinci Code. Since then, he was materialized only once, in 2009’s The Lost Symbol. Now he returns to race to uncover hidden messages deeply concealed in Dante Alighieri’s masterpiece Inferno. This is no mere scholarly romp or pedant exercise: The fate of the world lies in the balance. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby should find a new audience this summer, as people see the latest movie version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic and are inspired to read the book. Written in 1925, the story follows a characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer of 1922. The story primarily concerns the young and mysterious millionaire Jay Gatsby and his quixotic passion for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan. Broader themes explored include decadence, idealism, resistance to change, social upheaval, and excess, creating a portrait of the Jazz Age that has been described as a cautionary tale regarding the American Dream. First published in April 1925, The Great Gatsby received mixed reviews and sold poorly; in its first year, the book only sold 20,000 copies. Today, The Great Gatsby is widely considered to be a literary classic and is consistently ranked among the greatest works of American literature.

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Ramadan Kareem

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f you are here over the summer you have the opportunity to participate in one of Islam’s great observances: Ramadan. Ramadan will start on or about 8 July and continue for 29 – 30 days (depending on the moon); Eid al Fitr is the celebration that immediately follows Ramadan.

During Ramadan business runs on different hours and ministries and government offices work reduced hours. Also, hospitality will NOT include tea or coffee or anything else before Iftar. There is no eating, drinking, smoking, or chewing gum in public in the hours between sun up and sun down. But what, exactly, is Ramadan? explains:

Istafiah Is’harc

In the Qu’ran, the month of Ramadan is described as, ‘that in which the Qu’ran was revealed as a guidance for people’. The ayah [verse] goes on to explain who should fast, and who is allowed to not fast. Allah, Glorious and Exalted is He, then explains that: “Allah desires ease for you and he does not desire hardship for you, and (He desires) that you complete the prescribed period (of the Fast) and magnify Allah for His Guidance to you; that you may be grateful.” (Quran 2:185) Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar when all Muslims - with a few exceptions - have to fast during the hours of daylight. The first day of the fast is authorised by the Amir who has authenticated a sighting of the new moon. This is a very important moment when people often gather outside with great excitement. Each person hopes to be the first to see it. The lunar month can be 29 or 30 days long, so they look for the new moon on the 29th day

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of Sha’ban, which is the month before Ramadan. If on the first evening the Amir is not satisfied that the new moon has been seen, Ramadan will begin on the following evening. Once everyone knows that the month of Ramadan has started, they begin preperations. Early in the morning, each family gets up before dawn to eat a meal [suhur]. It is dark and sometimes it is very difficult to get up, so parents try to encourage the children so that they don’t miss their suhur or breakfast.  After eating on the first morning, they then resolve on their intention to fast that month ‘for the sake of Allah (SWT)’, and each day people similarly renew their intention to fast that day. From this moment their fast begins. They then perform their Fajr prayers. During the day they must not eat, drink, have sexual relations or smoke. Even more important - they must try not to get angry or think bad thoughts, because this would also cancel out any good things they might receive from Allah (SWT) through fasting. Many people find that because they are fasting they lose their tempers more quickly. So one of the first things that the fast teaches is self-control and patience. The moment to break fast arrives as soon as the sun sets. Those who are fasting gather together and usually break their fast with a date and a glass

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of water. Sometimes they might have other snacks as well. The meal that you break fast with is called iftar. The ritual of breaking the fast with dates is said to go back to the time when Prophet ‘Isa - Jesus (as) was a baby, when he and his parents were fleeing to Egypt. On the journey they had nothing to eat. The first food that they were able to find was dates. So the baby ‘Isa (as) broke his fast with dates. Later, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) also broke his fast with dates and in this way it became a custom. After their Maghreb prayers, they sit down to eat a proper meal. When fasting it is very important to eat healthy food so that you will have strength to fast the next day. Sometimes people cook enormous meals and this can mean throwing food away if it is not all eaten. Food should never be wasted - especially during Ramadan. The Prophet (PBUH) also advised that it is better never to eat too much.  After their meal, many Muslims go to the Mosque to do the Tarawih prayers after the night prayers called ‘Isha. Tarawih are special prayers which are done every night at the Mosque, only during Ramadan. Sometimes people do them at home. During the prayers, many people will try to complete the reading of the whole Qu’ran at least once in that month. For the 29 or 30 days of the fast, Muslims will repeat this routine each day. A few people are excused from fasting. Children under the age of puberty - though many start fasting much younger [to participate in the excitement of Ramadan of their own free will ! Subhan’Allah!]. They usually start by fasting just half a day. As they grow older they fast for longer periods, until they are able to complete the whole month. Women who have their periods or who have just given birth do not fast. If they are pregnant or breast-feeding they do not have to fast if they fear for the baby’s health. The sick, the old and the traveller, are also excused from fasting. In all cases when people are not able to fast, they have to fast the number of days they have missed, at some other time. If they are not able to do this because of bad health, for instance, they must feed a poor person for the same number of days. This is only if they can afford it. This article has been taken from the book titled “Islam and its festivals” by Istafiah Is’harc.

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Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah New Exhibitions Officially Opened

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nder The Patronage of HH the Amir Sheikh Sabah alAhmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, HE Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, President of National Council for Culture, Arts & Letters Sheikh Salman Sabah al-Salem al-Humoud al-Sabah officially opened four new exhibitions at the Amricani Cultural Centre on 2 April 2013. The exhibitions, Verses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art, Splendors from the Ancient East: Antiquities from The al-Sabah Collection, Splendors Loaned from the Lands of Antiquities, and Splendors Loaned from the Kuwait National Museum, attracted scholars, art historians and guests from Kuwait, the region and the art world. Speaking at the opening, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah (DAI) director general Sheikha Hussah Sabah alSalem al-Sabah thanked both the Minister and NCCAL director-general Ali Yoha for their enthusiastic support for the DAI and the new exhibitions. She noted that the international arts community was well represented at the Amricani event, but the participation and encouragement of the Kuwait government and the local community, also well represented, was especially appreciated. The list of international visitors is lengthy and included HE Sheikha Mai bint Mohammad al-Khalifa, Bahrain Minister of Culture, the first woman archaeologist in the Gulf, Bahrain’s Sheikha Haya bint Ali al-Khalifa, Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmad al-Khalifa, director of the International Heritage Centre in Bahrain. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was well represented by Dr Ahmad al-Zaila’i, member of the Shura Council, and Dr Sa’ad al-Rashid, representing the Saudi Arabian Minister of Heritage HRH Prince Sultan

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bin Salman al-Saud. A stellar delegation from the Islamic Republic of Iran was led by HE Mohammad al-Hussaini, Minister of Irshad (Information) and included other senior officials from the Iranian government. Important guests from Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman also joined those gathered for the opening. International museums were well represented at the opening ceremony. Museum-related guests included the director of the National Museum of Iraq Dr Amira Edan al-Dhahab, a delegation from the Hellenic Republic’s Ministry of Culture and the Benaki Museum, and a score of museum representatives from the United States, Great Britain, France and Japan. “The artefacts in these exhibitions should not be regarded as just documentary evidence of times long past,” said Sheikha Hussah. “They are ‘alive’ today and have the capacity to surprise and delight you; to inspire your admiration and awe. ...I invite you to the Amricani Cultural Centre to enjoy all that.”

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Verses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art Exhibition at Amricani Cultural Centre

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erses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art, a new exhibition at the Amricani Cultural Centre, celebrates the art related to the Holy Qur’an. Through a series of objects, presented in chronological order starting in the 1st century AH/7th century CE, visitors have the opportunity to explore the many ways Qur’anic verses have been incorporated in very special works of art. Qur’an folios, from a simple early 2nd century AH/8th century CE parchment folio in Hijazi script from the Arabian Peninsula to an elegant 9th century AH/15th century CE from China to a beautiful Deccan glazed cotton scroll inscribed with the Qur’an from the same period, pages from the Qur’an dominate the exhibition. Also included are an inscribed emerald and objects in ceramic, wood and metal. “’The Al-Dhikr al-Maknun fi ‘Alam al-Funun, Verses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art’, exhibition is the embodiment [of The al-Sabah Collection coowner Sheikh] Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah’s original passion, his first love – art from the Islamic world,” explained Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah director general and co-owner of The al-Sabah Collection. The exhibitions are open Monday – Thursday and Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM and Friday 2 PM – 7 PM. The museum is closed on Sunday. For more information, visit the website at www.darmuseum.org.kw.

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KUWAIT LIVING

Splendid Exhibitions at Amricani Cultural Centre

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he Amricani Cultural Centre in downtown Kuwait City is hosting two truly splendid exhibitions, Splendors of the Ancient East: Antiquities in The alSabah Collection, and Splendors Loaned from the Kuwait National Museum. The exhibitions present objects from the 4th millennium BCE to the 7th century CE. 74

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KUWAIT LIVING

Splendors of the Ancient East: Antiquities in The alSabah Collection, with more than 100 objects, is a groundbreaking exhibition that is attracting scholars from around the world. Included in the art from the Bronze Age to the 7th century CE are many notable “onlys” and “largests”. For example, the first object – a sculpture of a man from 2900 – 2700 BCE, probably for a pagan temple - is three times larger than the next biggest comparable sculpture; the fifth object is the only known gold cylinder seal from the mid-3rd millennium BCE; the sixth object, also from the Bronze Age, is a sculpture of a Markhor goat with a speiss (iron, copper, arsenic) body – it is the only Bronze Age object that includes an iron alloy! A second exhibition of pre-Islamic objects can be found in dedicated space adjacent to the Verses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art exhibition. It features highlights of the Kuwait National Museum’s Pre-Islamic artefacts, most excavated on site on Failaka Island. The objects, including a Dilman Seal and beautiful pre-Hellenistic and Hellenistic sculptures, help viewers appreciate the rich history of ancient Kuwait.

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When concluding her speech at the opening of the exhibitions, Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah director general and co-owner of The al-Sabah Collection Sheikha Hussah Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah asked what the gathering of the artefacts tell us. She then answered her own question, saying: Most will certainly evoke, in us, an intellectual desire to learn, to study, to understand, and, of course, to enjoy the experience. These objects are not dumb, they have voices and yesterday in the conference we were advised by the contributors of the catalogue to listen to these voices – voices that have been silent for more than 5000 years. These artefacts should not be regarded as just documentary evidence of times long past. They are ‘alive’ today and have the capacity to surprise and delight you; to inspire your admiration and awe. ...I invite you to enjoy all that. The exhibitions will be open Monday – Thursday and Saturday 10 AM – 7 PM and Friday 2 PM – 7 PM. The museum is closed on Sunday. For more information, visit the website at www.darmuseum.org.kw.

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KUWAIT LIVING

One World Studios Presents: “A Musical Tribute To Roald Dahl” For three days in April, the Performing Arts Centre at The English School Kuwait was packed with people, all there to enjoy One World Studios production of “A Musical Tribute to Roald Dahl.” The story highlighted Dahl’s book Matilda, while weaving in references to other works that Dahl fans of all ages recognised and applauded. Roald Dahl, who died in 1990, is the author of such celebrated books as James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr Fox, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. In addition to the Kuwait tribute, Matilda is enjoying new-found fame as a full-blown musical, currently running in London’s West End and on Broadway.

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

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KUWAIT LIVING

NES Secures First and Second Place in PwC PIN2 Challenge Sponsored by Zain, NBK and Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial, PwC’s 6 month PIN² Challenge concludes in Kuwait.

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wC, the world’s leading professional services firm, announced (27th March) the winners of the PIN2 Challenge at an awards ceremony held at the Chamber of Commerce. The PIN2 Challenge was a business plan competition driven by PwC and sponsored by Zain, National Bank of Kuwait (NBK), Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co., Wharton Club of the Middle East, and 4 Films Printing Group Company.

Over a period of three days, participating teams presented great ideas and well developed business plans to a panel of judges comprised of five senior executives from the sponsoring organizations. The PIN² Challenge kick-started in October 2012 targeting high school students in Kuwait and inviting them to develop plans that address issues of sustainability, technology, design and governance with mentorship from the sponsoring organizations. Over the course of six months, the PIN² Challenge attracted 13 teams, comprised of 100 students with

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three teams taking part from the New English School (NES). The top three winners of the PIN² Challenge were: 1. The Global Youth Initiative team was awarded first place for its Youth Community and Sports Center (YCSC). The idea of the project is to set up a youth community and sports center. The proposed center is intended to give teenagers an afterschool outlet where they can spend their time engaged in various social, athletic and communal activities.

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KUWAIT LIVING

2. The Little Entrepreneurs team was awarded second place for its Recycle Kuwait business idea. The idea of the project is to set up a business that will produce basic accessories and furniture items from recycled and reused materials. The project’s business model is founded upon raising awareness about reusing and recycling materials and reaching out to the community for their supply of materials. The team intends on sourcing materials from consumers and turning them into creatively iconic household items. 3. The AAT Corporation team was awarded third place for its Green It business idea. The idea of the project is to set up a consultancy firm that will focus on helping hospitals, schools and the owners of buildings become green and energy efficient. The focus is on ensuring these buildings implement energy efficient technologies and designs that will allow them to become LEED certified. On this occasion, Fouad Douglas, Country Senior Partner of PwC Kuwait office and the Chair Judge of the competition said, “The students demonstrated strong entrepreneurial mindsets and tackled key business issues analytically and creatively. It was impressive to see that most teams addressed the issue of sustainability directly and had a strong understanding of the main business challenges of today and tomorrows world. “At PwC, we encourage our own talent to grow, develop and lead their own projects; either when catering to clients or seeing-through a corporate social responsibility initiative like this one. Through this initiative we hope to continue building future leaders with an entrepreneurial spirit to excel in their professional lives.” The inaugural year of the PIN² Challenge has provided students with an unforgettable and valuable experience by developing their analytical and problem-solving skills, communication and team spirit. Students worked in diverse teams incorporating challenges relevant to the prevailing social, economic, and technological environment, which allowed them to develop and grow. The students also developed strong relationships with their mentors that will continue even after the competition has ended. These relationships helped give the students new perspectives on how to tackle business issues in addition to giving them insight on their future aspirations for their careers. This will continue to be an integral part of the PIN2 Challenge as it expands its reach in Kuwait and the Middle East region.

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Omar Al Omar, Zain Kuwait’s Chief Executive Officer states that, “Zain’s participation in this program positively demonstrates Zain’s commitment to support the youth, who have the skills and creative abilities to contribute to the growth of society. Focusing on the development of entrepreneurial talents and capacity building, Zain’s participation in the PIN2 Challenge plays a pivotal role in the betterment of society, whereby implementing the basic values of human development as part of Zain’s long term CSR and strategic objectives.” Emad Al Ablani, NBK Deputy General Manager, Human Resources Group, said “NBK is dedicated towards supporting young people and empowering them towards achieving their goals. NBK’s sponsorship to the PIN² Challenge comes as part of our continuous efforts to develop and support young talents. NBK is elated with the outcome of the program and looks forward to seeing the participants moving into key leadership roles in the near future.” Faisal Al-Mutawa, Ali Abdulwahab Al Mutawa Commercial Co., Chairman and Managing Director said: “We’ve repeatedly witnessed how entrepreneurs and the private sector, as a whole, continue to have an active role in the advancement of societies across the world, especially when they exist in an environment that supports and champions innovation, competition, and achievement. We were keen on supporting PwC’s PIN² Challenge in Kuwait for those very reasons, and we were happy to see students engaged in the challenge, competing side by side with their fellow students. “Now that the initiative has successfully concluded, we thank PwC for giving us the opportunity to inspire and mentor these students, and the chance to build the seeds of business literacy skills that are required for them to succeed in the future.” “We congratulate all the winning teams and everyone who has worked extremely hard in the last six months to present compelling innovative ideas. We urge them to continue to challenge themselves in these fields and to continue to work hard to reach their maximum potential.” Fouad Douglas added “The PIN² Challenge has been great experience for students, sponsors, and PwC alike. PwC and the sponsors hope to expand this competition in Kuwait in order to encourage such collaborative partnerships and give back to the community in which we operate by inspiring the youth and developing future talent.”

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

Membership Benefits 2012-2013 with Valid BBF Membership Card

As 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. Alyaseen Co. for Bath Sanitary Ware 10% discount on bath sanitary ware and plumbing services Al Rai (behind Carrefour/the Avenues) Tel: 66194682 www.alyaseenco.com

Ann Digital Media Concept 5% discount on photography Tel: 90921117

Avanti Palace Restaurant

15% discount on all restaurants - Salmiya Tel: 25747146

BD Wealth Management

25% off Will Writing 5% off motor own damage insurance 5% off medical insurance 5% off travel insurance FREE personal financial assessment Tel: 25755785

Caesars & Satchi Restaurants

10% discount on all restaurants and take away. Not available at confectionery outlets. Salmiya 25733044 City 22431100 Indian 22411711 Fahaheel 23920343 Farwaniya 24738777 Hawally 22616191/2 Jahra 24577320/8 Fahaheel (Satchi) 23912137/9 City (Satchi) 22476591/2 Dakshin (Jleeb) 24319191 Cinamon (Farwaniya) 24728899

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The Convention Center & Royal Suites 20% discount in all restaurants

Tel: 24610033

IBIS Salmiya & Sharq

Discount offer (to members & friends, family, colleagues & clients when booked by members)

10% discount on rooms on published rates

15% discount on food & beverage in all outlets

Tel: 25734247

Inchcape Shipping Services Worldwide Movers

10% discount on packing and removals for any domestic moves within Kuwait. Tel: 22434752

Jumbo Travel

Personal Travel of all BBF members Official Travel Group Travel Group of Teachers travelling for a short period Customized holiday breaks as per requirements Student Group travel (educational or leisure) BBF members can contact various Jumbo Travel offices:

Head Office (Opp. Municipal Park, Fahad Al Salem St., Kuwait City) Tel: 1801234 Avenues Branch (Opp. Carrefour, Avenues Mall) Tel: 22597277 / 78 Fahaheel Branch (Al Anood Complex, Fahaheel) Tel: 23922501 / 02 E-mail: holidays@jumbotravels.com

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

Kuwait Medical Center - Salmiya Branch

15% off on all dental treatments performed by Dr. Linda Asfour Kuwait Medical Center - Salmiya Branch - Surgical and cosmetic dentistry - Root canal treatment - Periodontal treatment and surgery (Treatment of gum diseases) - Crowns and bridges - Ceramic crowns and veneers - Implants (Branemark, ITI System). - Wisdom teeth operation - Children’s dentistry Tel: 25759044/45/46

London Limo

Individual Members 10% Corporate Members 15% Tel: 60005466

Swiss-Belhotel Plaza Kuwait 20% discount on dining for •

Al Dallah & Arirang Korean Restaurant

Invoice including drinks

Shisha is not discounted

Taal Restaurant

10% discount on dining Tel: 24342439

Top to Toe Hair & Beauty Salon

10% discount on all Beauty Services (excluding hair) Offer cannot be used in conjunction with any other seasonal promotion Tel: 99389356

DINING DISCOUNT: Enjoy 25% discount on food bill and 20% discount on beverage from 1 up to 15 persons. Your dining discounts are valid for breakfast, lunch and dinner upon presentation of your membership card at the following restaurants: Crowne Plaza Kuwait (Farwaniya) Holiday Inn Kuwait (Salmiya) Al Noukhaza - Seafood Restaurant Ayam Zaman -Lebanese Restaurant Ayam Zaman - Lebanese Restaurant L’Aroma Café Al Ahmadi - International Buffet Tang Chao – Chinese Restaurant Rib Eye - Steak House Rib Eye - Steak House Sakura - Japanese Restaurant Al Diwan – International Buffet Shabestan – Iranian Restaurant Sakura – Japanese Restaurant Abu Halifa Complex (Mangaf) Laila Gallery (Salmiya) Al Noukhaza Seafood Restaurant Sakura Express – Japanese Sakura Xpress–Japanese Zone Restaurant (Shaab Park) Holiday Inn Downtown Al-Noukhaza-Seafood Restaurant Downtown - Buffet Ayam Zaman Restaurant Il Centro - Italian Sakura Japanese Restaurant Layalaki – Lebanese restaurant Shabestan - Iranian Restaurant Viaggio Italian Restaurant 360° Mall Shabestan Iranian Restaurant Sakura – SOON TO OPEN • You are also entitled to 15% discount on your food bill (drinks not included) for maximum of 15 persons in all Ruby Tuesday outlets (Sharq, Salmiya, Abu Halifa, 360° mall and Zone) and Peppes Pizza (Salmiya, Abu Halifa, and 360° mall). • Your card also entitles to 33% discount on all home delivery and take away orders at Crowne Plaza Kuwait restaurants. Terms and Conditions: • Your card is personal and cannot be transferred. • Only one card may be used per table. • The card cannot be used with any other promotional vouchers. • Card is not valid for room service, banqueting and special promotions or events as determined by the hotel and participating outlets. • Separate checks on the same table or during the same visit is not allowed. • For lost/damage card, a fee of 10 KWD will be charged to issue new card. We issue lost card only once and cannot be re-issued.

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

British Business Forum 2012-2013 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 (20112012), please take a moment to complete/update the attached 2012-2013 application, which along with your KD 45 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

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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: business@bbfkuwait.com

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BRITISH BUSINESS FORUM

E-mail: rose.william@bbfkuwait.com

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THE BRITISH EMBASSY

BRITISH EMBASSY CONSULAR SERVICES IN KUWAIT

We welcome British nationals newly-arriving in Kuwait! This notice is to introduce ourselves and remind the British community of the support we can provide to British Nationals abroad. Below is a list of the kind of consular services we can (and cannot) provide: What kind of help we can provide…

We offer help which is appropriate to the individual circumstances of each case, including: • issuing Emergency Travel Documents; • providing information about transferring funds; • providing appropriate help if you have suffered rape or serious assault, are a victim of other crime, or are in hospital; • helping people with mental illness; • providing details of local lawyers, interpreters, doctors and funeral directors; • helping persons in detention, including doing all we properly can to contact you within 24 hours of being told that you have been detained; • offering support and help in a range of other cases, such as child abductions, death of relatives overseas, missing people and kidnapping; • advising and helping British nationals in need in cases of terrorism, civil disturbances, natural disasters or other crises. UK law says we have to charge for some services. We display the current fees and the standards of service you can expect.

However we cannot...

• get you out of prison, prevent the local authorities from deporting you after your prison sentence, or interfere in criminal or civil court proceedings; • help you enter a country if, for example, you do not have a visa or your passport is not valid - we cannot interfere in another country’s immigration policy or procedures; • give you legal advice, investigate crimes or carry out searches for missing people – we can give you details of people who may be able to help you in these cases, such as Englishspeaking lawyers; • get you better treatment in hospital or prison than is given to locals; • pay any bills or give you money – only in very exceptional circumstances we may lend you small sums of money from public funds, which you will have to pay back; • make travel arrangements for you, or find you work or accommodation; • make business arrangements on your behalf; • in some circumstances, there may be limits to the assistance we can provide in a crisis – please take your own sensible precautions. To make an appointment with the Embassy’s Consular Section, please visit our website at www.ukinkuwait.fco.gov.uk

Follow us on: www.facebook.com/ukinkuwait www.twitter.com/ukinkuwait Consular Section British Embassy Kuwait Tel: 00965 2259 4355/7/8 Fax: 00965 2259 4359 www.ukinkuwait.fco.gov.uk

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Consular Registration

We currently have two methods; you are welcome to register on both.

Consular Warden Network

The Consular Warden Network gives you the opportunity to contact someone in your area that can give you advice on the practical side of living in Kuwait, as well as pass on Embassy Notices issued by the Consular Section in Kuwait. If you would like to be contacted by a Warden please send an e-mail to consularenquirieskuwait@fco.gov.uk with your name, telephone number, residential area and dependent’s details (if applicable), and we will pass on your information to the Warden.

Registering with us If you’re a UK national living or travelling abroad, using the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) LOCATE service to register your contact details will allow our staff to get in touch if there is a crisis where you are. Our online registration service LOCATE is for all British nationals to tell us about your travel and/or residence outside the United Kingdom - whether short trips or long-term stays. Please use it to tell us where you are travelling to or where you live. If there is a crisis where you are, British consular staff can contact you to help and can let family and friends know that you are safe. It takes only a few minutes to register your overseas contact details and travel plans online. There is no need to contact us directly. If you are resident in Kuwait, you may register a trip for a year at a time unless you prefer to add any short trips you may make to other countries during the course of the year. • When you enter your trips, please note that the system assumes you are based in the UK. A “trip” can be a long weekend in Paris, 2 weeks in Cyprus or a few years (or more) living/working in Kuwait. • The system asks if the “trip” is for less than 90 days or at least 90 days - the arrival and departure dates must correspond to the 90 days question. Accompanying family members should be entered in the separate section marked for this. • In order to keep records accurate and up-to-date, “trips” cannot be more than a year at a time. So if you register now, put in the dates of your “trip” as of tomorrow till next year (let’s say tomorrow is 9 June 2011 till 31 May 2012). Please remember to update your details the next year. Facebook/ Web-page You may also follow us on Facebook or on our web-site where we post our latest Embassy Notices: www.facebook.com/ukinkuwait www.ukinkuwait.fco.gov.uk

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THE BRITISH EMBASSY

Visa Section: During the last financial year (1st April 2011 - 31st March 2012) the Kuwait visa section processed over 68,000 applications for visas. Numbers continue to rise, year on year, demonstrating that the UK is the destination of choice for tourism, business and higher education for the residents of Kuwait. UKBA Kuwait is an extremely efficient visa operation, processing high numbers of visa applications and consistently meeting the UK government Customer Service Agreements. Mrs Sarah Kirkhope, the Entry Clearance Manager, says “we have had a very busy summer and Autumn in Kuwait, and I have been impressed by the hard work of the visa team; the applications from Students to study in the UK have been processed quickly and we hope all the students who have started their courses in the UK do well and enjoy the experience�. Applications are made for UK visas at the application centre run by VFS Global on behalf of UKBA. The application centre is located at UK visa application Centre 4B 1st Floor Al Banwan Building Al Qibla Area Ali Al Salem Street (Opposite the Central Bank of Kuwait) Kuwait City Appointments to submit visa applications are made online; visa applicants who arrive at the VAC without an appointment, or who arrive late for their scheduled appointment, will be offered an appointment slot at a later date or they may use the Premium Lounge Service and will be required to pay an additional charge. The Visa Application Centre also offers Primetime appointments for visa applicants who prefer to apply for their visa outside the usual working day, and is currently offering appointments on Saturdays between 11:30 - 14:30, and from 14:30 - 16:30 on weekdays; an extra charge to book a Primetime appointment is payable. The opening hours of the Visa Application Centre are 09:30 - 16:30 from Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 - 14:30 on Saturdays, and closed on Fridays. A Priority Visa service is available throughout the Gulf, and visa applicants can use this service to have their visa application processed ahead of others. All Kuwait nationals and residents may apply for this service in any category of visa application, an extra charge is payable. For more information on appointments and the services available please visit the VFS Global website at www.vfs-uk-kw.com. Applications for UK visas should be submitted a minimum of fifteen working days before the date of travel, especially during the busy seasons for travel, such as national holidays. If a visa is needed quickly, especially at busy times, we recommend the Priority Visa Service is used. Students going to the UK in order to follow a course of Higher Education need to ensure they read the Rules and guidance carefully and make sure all the required documents are submitted with their visa application. Applications should be made in good time to ensure the visa can be issued before the start of the course. Guidance for students is available at http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/ visas-immigration/studying/ This year we have issued over 2800 visas to residents of Kuwait who intend to go and study in the UK. VFS Global Kuwait also has a number of Visit Britain products available for sale at the VAC, including tickets to major tourist attractions throughout the UK; please enquire during your visit if you would like to purchase any of these items. We hope that our visitors from Kuwait enjoy the time they spend in the UK.

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

BLS Report

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s is the case of many social organisations in Kuwait, the BLS runs from September to July, which means that we are fast approaching the final meeting of our 20th Anniversary year. Photo credit: Bubyan Photo Co. T: 25718340

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W elcome to The Convention Center & Royal Suites H otel in K uw ait, your comfort is our top priority. W e have created the perfect environment to meet all your needs. It is in the heart of the K uw ait Free Trade Zone in Shuw aikh, just a 10 minute drive from K uw ait In International Airport, 6 minute international airport 6 minutes to drive

Summer Promotion 38 KD Per Night With Breakfast‌ All You Have to Do is Call Or SMS: +965 65900572 – 65900608 Offers are subject to change and availability. Rates may vary by arrival date and limited to room types.


COMMUNITY GROUPS

The highlight of our celebrations of the founding of the Society was a typically British Garden Party in the grounds of the British Embassy where it all began in 1993. Ladies enjoyed a high tea from the Regency Hotel, complete with cake stands and scones with strawberry jam and cream. If the day hadn’t been so warm and sunny we could have mistaken it for a garden in Britain. This very special celebration was the culmination of a year of preparation. All the founding members were contacted and invited to participate either by attending or by sending in testimonials and memories of their time in Kuwait and with the BLS. Mrs. Wendy Beddison, who still resides in Kuwait, was the first to talk about how the BLS got started and her experience as the very first President. With a small group of just 37 Ladies, they began what has now grown into a thriving Society of over 300. Mrs. Maria Pilar Fernandez the current Patron of the BLS and wife of HM Ambassador Mr. Frank Baker continued the story of the very beginning

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of the BLS. “…from the early beginnings, with half a dozen ladies around the dining table of the Residence, the Society has grown into a diverse and successful group. Indeed the success of the BLS proves the adage laid down by Margaret Thatcher- If you want something said ask a man – if you want something done ask a woman.” She continued by paying tribute to all the past Presidents stating that they can all be very proud of the role they have played. The British Ladies Society has proudly continued the tradition of having a Patron, who is traditionally the wife of the Ambassador, with the exception of Mr. Michael Aaron in 2009-10, the first and only man to fill the role, so far. Mrs. Huda Al Zahem read out a message sent to us from our very first Patron, Mrs. Arlene Fullerton. She spoke of the trauma and aftermath of the invasion and how the BLS helped to help rebuild confidence, support those who had been affected, and try to get things back to normal. She continued

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

“… the legacy of the BLS has been to unite British Women living in Kuwait, create lasting friendships, support newcomers in need of fellowship and enrich the experience of British women living in Kuwait, not only amongst themselves but in involvement in Kuwaiti life and in contribution to a number of charities.” I, as the current President of the BLS, gave tribute to the original members and went on to say that the “core values and activities have remained very similar over these 20 years. Reading the messages from various long-standing members, one can feel the continuous thread from Arlene to Maria. Although the focus was on Patrons and Presidents, we mustn’t forget they are supported by a fantastic group of Volunteers that give up much more time than they ever imagined running the Society and organising events. The Garden Party was not the only event that took place since the last edition of Dispatches, there was also a dinner cruise on a Dhow, a Bingo night

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with Fish & Chips, a visit to the National Assembly, and a trip to the Oil Fields. Although there are some activities that held over the summer break, the BLS will back up to speed in September to extend the hand of friendship, to participate in cultural and social activities support charitable causes, and to become better acquainted with the customs and culture of Kuwait. Finally in the last Dispatches article for the year, I would like to thank all the local businesses that have supported the BLS over the years. This year we are very grateful for the generous sponsorship of “Al Mullah Exchange”, “The Avenues”, and “AMEC”, throughout the year, and for the many individual sponsors who provide donations and raffle prizes for individual events. If you want to know more about the activities of the British Ladies Society, please visit our website www.theblskuwait.com, or contact me directly at president@theblskuwait.com or on +965 9721 1460.

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

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 widespread exposure both here and throughout the Gulf region.

Jon Law Chairman jon@bd-wm.com Qais AlDoub Vice Chairman casealdoub@yahoo.com Steve Allan Club Captain s_allan@yahoo.co.uk

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.

Email: Info@q8saracens.com

K’S PATH 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: info@ahmadimusicgroup.com E Web: www.ahmadimusicgroup.com

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K’S PATH (Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat) is a local non-profit volunteerbased 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: info@kspath.org/angelique@kspath.org Web: www.kspath.org Blog: www.kspath.wordpress.com Facebook: ‘K’S PATH’ Twitter : @K’S PATH Tel: (+965) 6700 1622 DISPATCHES S UMMER 2013


COMMUNITY GROUPS

Operation HOPE Kuwait (OH)

Kuwait Little Theatre Kuwait Little Theatre (KLT) is an amateur dramatic society supported by the Kuwait Oil Company. Established in 1948 and has staged productions over 60 annual seasons. Membership is open to all who are willing to work towards the society’s objective of providing a variety of events for the enjoyment of those interested in theatre.

Web: www.theklt.com

Kuwait Netball Association If you are interested in playing netball then come and join us on a Tuesday night at The English School, Salmiya. We have 2 leagues that run weekly and cater for all abilities, aged 17+, from 6.30pm ‘till 8pm. For more info contact:

Laura McDermid (97786485) Sarah Allison (66962993) Email: kuwaitnetball@live.com

Game for Volleyball Come join us! We play twice a week. Both males and females are welcome. If you are interested, email us at Email: q8volleyball@live.com and we will tell you the place and time.

Meetup Meetup is a group established for socialising and helping Western like-minded expats in Kuwait. The goal is to meet new people, share experiences and ideas and explore Kuwait. For more information visit:

Web: www.meetup.com/ExpatsinKuwait

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Operation HOPE- Kuwait (OH) is a mission of mercy, founded in late 2005, humanitarian re- lief primarily to expatriate laborers in Kuwait in a manner that restores their God-given dignity. Our purpose is to alleviate despair and bring hope to third country national laborers and do- mestic workers whenever possible. We also help equip every embassy shelter operating in Kuwait with clothing, non perishable foods, toiletries etc. To volunteer a few hours of your time, or donate gently used clothing or house- hold items, or to make a financial contribution, do email us at:

mail: hope@ohkuwait.org E www.ohkuwait.org

Play Volleyball in Kuwait We are a group of people playing volleyball once a week. For more information, visit us on Facebook:

Play-Volleyball-in Kuwait/2172882650329

Field Hockey in Kuwait Hockey has been played by our passionate bunch for almost 20 years at the Ahmadi, KOC grounds. We have league tournaments every Friday and training sessions during the week at 7:30. For more information call:

Tel: 97292757

Kuwait Harps GAA Club Kuwait Harps GAA Club Gaelic (Irish) football is a fun sport which is essentially a mixture of soccer and basketball. The club trains on Fridays with both ladies and men’s teams. All new players to the sport are very welcome! Futher information:

Web: www.kuwaitharpsgaa.com or like us on facebook. Tel: 65639761 or kuwaitharpsgaa@gmail.com

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

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.

Sheena Alcock (Membership Secretary) Tel: 6606 2301 Roger Alcock - Tel: 6614 0714 Email : kuwaitcaledonians@gmail.com

Q8BBall Q8BBall runs training and competition for basketball players between the ages of 12 and 18. They also have a team in the Desert Hoops Adult League. They are also organising a Senior team.

For more information: Coach T on 9712 8884 or visit the Facebook page Q8BBall.

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah Cultural Season 19 will offer participants more opportunities to gather information about Islamic art and culture than ever before. The Monday night series offers films, music, theatre, and a host of scholars eager to share their knowledge and insight with the audience. Lecture subjects range from the aggressive, Ottoman arms, to the pastoral, Islamic gardens as depicted in carpets. The music programme is truly international, with performers coming from Europe, North America and Asia. While the theatre remains a surprise, the films offer an exciting look at Islamic art and a whimsical journey through Kuwait.

Zeinab Tel: 2563 6528 Email: membership@darmuseum.org.kw

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: info@paws-kuwait.org Web: www.paws-kuwait.org

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

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: info@theblskuwait.com Web: www.theblskuwait.com

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

Anzak.group@gmail.com //groups.google.com/group/anzak-group

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DAI Music Circle Wednesday nights at al-Maidan Cultural Centre are alive with music, thanks to the efforts of the DAI Music Circle (DMC) and local musicians. The programme is on hiatus until September, when it will return bigger and better than ever.

Harvey Pincis Tel: 2563 6528 Email: information@darmuseum.org.kw

Girl Guiding British Guides in Foreign Countries (BGIFC) is part of the Guide Association, Girlguiding UK, offering girls the opportunity of taking part in the Guide programme whilst living abroad. Whilst our units maintain a membership of at least 50% British girls, we do welcome all girls who wish to join, subject to places. All our uniformed leaders are trained volunteers. BGIFC Kuwait District currently comprises 5 units: 1 Rainbow Unit (5-7yrs) 2 Brownie Units (7-10 yrs) 1 Guide Unit (10-14 yrs) and 1 Senior Section Unit (14 and over). Girlguiding is a registered charity. If you are interested in finding out more about Guiding in Kuwait, or wish to help as a leader or parent, please contact:

Amanda Wheldon District Commissioner Tel : 66405350 Email: ajwmjk@yahoo.co.uk

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

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:

Email: info@kuwaitmantas.com Web: www.kuwaitmantas.com

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:

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.

Web: www.kbfsa.co.uk

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: tonerssq8@hotmail.com

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Email: wovenpieces@yahoo.com or presidentktaa@yahoo.com saduweaving@gmail.com

Kuwait Offshore Sailing Association We are a mixed group of expats and Kuwaitis that like sailing and want to promote sailing in Kuwait. We sail every weekend at the Fahaheel Seaclub. Everybody is welcome, whether you are a keen sailor or you want to try it for the first time. We do mile builder sessions mornings and afternoons of Friday and Saturday. If you are of the competitive kind, we race every other Friday in the mornings. Several times per year we organize overnight sailing to one of the islands in Kuwait and weekend trips to sail in one of the GCC countries. Please contact us by email at sail-kosa@live.com for more information or to book for the next sailing session. We are waiting for you!

Website: Google website. https://sites. google.com/site/kosasailingweb/home Find us on facebook on KOSA-Kuwait sailing Find us on Linked-in: KOSA-Sailing Kuwait

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COMMUNITY GROUPS

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

Web: www.expatmumskwi.com

Bright Horizons Toastmasters Club Toastmaster’s International helps you develop your public speaking skills, giving you more confidence professionally and personally. Bright Horizons Toastmaster ‘s sessions are held at Better Books in Salmiya.

Children’s Art Workshop 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. The workshop is closed for the summer and will reopen in late September For more information or to sign up your children,

Email: amricanikids@darmuseum.org.kw

For more information

Email: brighthorizonstmi@yahoo.co.in

Kuwait Little League Baseball 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: www.q8ll.org Email: q8llbaseball@gmail.com

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: http://q8bc.blogspot.com Email: boukhrissamia@gmail.com

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DISPATCHES

S Email: rose.william@bbfkuwait.com Email: Enquiries: 66841114 rose.william@bbfkuwait.com Email: Enquiries: rose.william@bbfk 66841114 UMMER 2013

Email: rose.william@bbfkuwait.com Enquiries: 66841114


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