Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Very Strange Weather in Qatar and Kuwait

As I was writing a post, I noticed – Holy Cow! It’s 113°F / 45°C in Doha. Checking Kuwait, Holy Moly, it’s 115°F / 46°C. That is Holy Smokes Hot, that is hot hot hot, right?

Picture 1

Thirty seconds later, I look – and my little weatherunderground sticker says it’s “only” 106.9 °F / 41°C in Doha, and “only” 106.9°F / 41°C in Kuwait.

How amazing is that – the temperatures dropping so fast, in BOTH Kuwait and Doha, within seconds?

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Qatar, Social Issues, Statistics, Weather | 7 Comments

Transporting Pets in and out of Kuwait

Moving can be overwhelming, but the worst part can be worrying about how to get your pet in or out of the country you are going to/ leaving.


If you are coming or going to Kuwait – you are in luck. There is a wonderful woman, an animal lover and supporter of the Animal Friends League in Kuwait, who provides pet importation and exportation services, Pet Passage. She walks you through what you need in terms of paperwork, and helps you get the documents you must have to bring your pet in or take it out.

Pet Passage
Tel: +965 6697-5644

If you are calling from another country, yes, the phone number is correct; Kuwait phone numbers have one more number than most other countries.

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Moving, Pets, Travel | 3 Comments

The Kitty Ritz Pet Hotel in Kuwait

I’ve been wanting to tell you about a wonderful place we found in Kuwait, the Kitty Ritz.

IMG_0513 (this is a photo from the KittyRitz website)

The Qatari Cat stayed at the Kitty Ritz for three weeks last December. Located on the top floor of a building in Salmiyya (and yes, it’s walk up all the way), the Kitty Ritz has separate “rooms” for each cat with a bed, cat dishes and cat litter box. You can bring your cat’s favorite blanket, favorite toy and even food, although they will provide your cat’s favorite food if it is available in Kuwait.

They have cat social play, where cats who are good with other cats can mingle and play outside the cage for a while. If you cat is not so good with other cats, he can be outside later, with no other cats.

The cost was reasonable, not cheap, but not so expensive we wouldn’t keep him there.

We weren’t really sure how The Qatari Cat would do. He is spoiled. He is an only cat. He is pampered. We weren’t sure how he would handle being around a lot of other cats, strange noises, strange smells. It’s kind of like sending your child off to kindergarten. You have to drop off, say a cheery “bye bye!” turn your back and LEAVE before you lose your courage, or worse – start crying.

One of the things we loved was that they sent us photos of The Qatari Cat. Now the truth was, The Qatari Cat was not a happy camper. In the first photo they sent us, he was in his cat “room” looking totally fuming mad, like “go away and LEAVE ME ALONE!”

In the second photo, sent a few days later, he is having a bath, and he is mad as hell. You might think this is tragic, but actually, it was hysterically funny. We knew he had survived, we hoped the people bathing him had survived, and we knew he wasn’t bored.

By the third week, there were photos of him out with the other cats. He was adjusting.

When we picked him up, he was all sweet-smelling and clean, and oh-so-happy to see us.

The Kitty Ritz has some of the happiest, healthiest looking cats I have ever seen staying in a cat hotel. It is nice and warm, the people truly like cats and are sweet with them, and it smells CLEAN. We knew they took good care of him, and we knew he had a good time. For the Qatari Cat – he might look angry, but the very worst thing is being bored and lonely. The Kitty Ritz was just the place he needed to be.

You can find them online, fill out their simple questionaire, and send it to them as an attachment via e-mail.


June 11, 2009 Posted by | Customer Service, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Pets, Travel | 2 Comments

Peninsula Editor Responds to Qatar’s Advisory Council

From today’s Peninsula:

Advisory Council’s opinion surprising
Web posted at: 6/11/2009 6:45:39
Source ::: THE PENINSULA/ BY Khalid Abdul Rahim Al Sayed

Khalid Abdul Rahim Al Sayed
The Emir, His Highness, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, declared the media free in the country in 1995 and with the launch of Al Jazeera, we have shown the world that Qatar is a country which allows different opinions to be heard.

We were, therefore, quite surprised by the outcome of a debate in the Advisory Council on Monday, which called for stringent punishment to be given to Qatar-based journalists who write against the ruler, national security, religion and the Constitution.

First of all, all the above subjects are already protected by the Qatari Law. Second, we must remember that there is a provision in the Qatari Constitution which allows its revision at a future date by the next generation. We have a saying in Arabic which roughly translates into English as ‘one generation cannot control another’. By raising this debate, the Advisory Council has made a generalised conclusion without addressing the issue directly.

We find it strange that the Advisory Council, made up of Qatari nationals, has this kind of opinion when His Highness The Emir has given us the freedom to voice our opinion on issues freely and in a fair manner.

We are concerned as a Qatari newspaper that if these restrictions are imposed on Qatari journalists, they will be afraid to report news and events as they see them. Needless to say, the impact on foreign scribes here would be too deterring.

I am an avid reader of local newspapers. None of them has ever written anything objectionable against the four subjects referred to in the Advisory Council debate. The Advisory Council, I am afraid, has failed to address the issue of irresponsible journalism. Other nations will find it strange that a country which advocates media freedom through the establishment of Al Jazeera will condone such practice. If there is any misuse, it shouldn’t be generalised. Doing this would soil Qatar’s image in the world.

Given this backdrop, we urge the authorities concerned in Qatar to come up with a new Media Law that would protect the freedom of our journalists, especially as the old press legislation was enforced years ago, in 1979.

Khalid Abdul Rahim Al Sayed is the Editor-in-Chief of The Peninsula

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Doha, ExPat Life, Free Speech, Interconnected, Kuwait, News, Political Issues, Qatar, Social Issues | 4 Comments

Irresponsible Journalism in Qatar

This is from yesterday’s Peninsula, a Doha newspaper

Advisory panel wants curbs on irresponsible journalism
Web posted at: 6/10/2009 3:35:56
Source ::: The PENINSULA / By Mohammed Saeed

DOHA: A debate in the Advisory Council on irresponsible media on Monday has called for stringent punishment for Qatar-based journalists who write against the ruler, national security, religion and the Constitution.

A key member, Nasser Rahid Al Kaabi, taking part in the discussion, said there was the need to include TV channels, radio stations and the Internet in the laws that regulate the media in the country.

Some 24 members of the Council requested the House to debate the issue of irresponsible media.

It was pointed out during discussions that there were some journalists in the country who were misusing press freedom and dedicating their writings to undermine national interest.

The debate called for applying the laws strictly to punish erring scribes. Law Number 38 of 2005 and Law Number 8 of 1979 carried provisions to take erring journalists to task, it was pointed out.

Al Kaabi called for the laws to be amended and said the six-month prison term and minimum fine slab of QR3,000 for erring journalists prescribed be raised.

He said the jail term should be raised to a year and the fine should not be less than QR300,000. Qatar’s social and religious values must be preserved at any cost, the debate noted. THE PENINSULA

June 11, 2009 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Free Speech, News, Qatar | Leave a comment