Friday, February 29, 2008

Facebook, Is taking over Kuwait

I've been myspacing for very long time now & I've noticed recently that everybody is making a switch or starting up a new profile at facebook. When I finally decided to join, I was really surprised for the amount of people I already knew and found on the network there.

Half my family members were signed up, colleagues at work, school mates and much more. facebook, is definitely a great tool to keep you synced and connected with people in your life. I would say they have created the most sophisticated privacy system, which allow you to set certain people to view certain objects on your profile and much much more.

Off course, Kuwait network is quite big and currently has more than 66,000 hidden and visible users. One of facebook awesome function is the ability to get statistics about your network (top tv, top movies, music, interest, books..etc) the picture above has a really weird figure I found and marked with red. It seems like many are not sure how to spell out "traveling" and it came twice on the chart on number 9 and 10. Then, what with Troy being the first on the movies chart? Its very messed up!

UPDATE: Duplicated the same blog on Kwtblog here.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Happy national / liberation day, Kuwait

Luckily, I was off from work and I got a chance to go see the city lights and happy faces. If something I realized at this year it is that Kuwaities really know how to party and have fun.

Every radio I tune too I found some new songs & to be frank I've noticed that most these songs are so different from the past years. Although, It has been already 2 years since Sheikh Jaber passed away but in every song people still remember him. In every decoration you would see at least one thing about him, truly he was Ameer Alqolob.

Part of this year celebration, I decided to stop my car and drive my cousin behind me on a desert bike. He was handling the weapons reloading and aiming (foam) and I was planning the attack and run away strikes. It didn't end up nicely when we rolled over & I hurt few bones (huh).

Perhaps every one else noticed that this year National and Liberation days were much less activities. I remember in the past years there use to be many events and things to go check out, but I guess its fading out. I really hope next year will be better commitment and more passion invested in this holiday season. Because after all, I really enjoyed it getting attacked by a 20 teenager with foam guns was really fun...

Happy national and liberation day Kuwait,

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Linux Guru's in Kuwait (KwtLinux diary)

KwtLinux, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

Since I've started up the KwtLinux community it has been showing a very slow increase in visitors. Recently, I've done some updates to KwtLinux forums template, main page (wordpress) and added up couple new categories in the discussion board.

I've noticed that most Linux users in Kuwait are forced to work with Linux for work purposes. Well, there is few samples I've met through KwtLinux whom showing personal interest in Linux/Unix but its a fact that they are less.

In the past week I've wrote almost two very interesting blog entries on KwtLinux which perhaps you - reader - will find worth looking into the third entry was an announcement for KwtLinux group creation on facebook.

- Mounting remote folder on Linux fedora
- Alienware, power you linux
- KwtLinux on facebook

finally a mobile workshop solution, phase one

I just finished writing an awesome blog entry about the Tenba bags on KwtMac. If you are into photography & you like to keep things handy and accessible. Yet, you also want to keep your laptop around this is a solution you must look into! click here to read the full entry.

Friday, February 22, 2008

XTerra, Nissan in Babtain showroom

XTerra, Nissan, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

Today I passed by the Babtain showroom to see the new Nissan, XTerra. I got to admit Nissan did a great job releasing this model its far batter than any mid size 4x4 they designed before.

The new XTerra is designed in the US even the interior is more like an American car than japanese. If you look closely at the XTerra you feel you are looking at a Cherokee Liberty from Jeep it has almost the same shape but XTerra is much better looking.

Babtain are selling the fully loaded one at a price of 7,200KD and the mid one around 6,100KD yet I think the fully loaded is not worth the extra 1,100KD. The only difference you will get is the CD player, cruise control & 17" inch wheel rings (which looks very bad, I prefer the 15" inch). XTerra official site from US here you can surf & get more details about it,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Forgot my car window open, big mistake

With a weather like this you should lock yourself & never go out, Its day 3 and the weather is not getting any better. I've done a huge mistake yesterday when I forgot my car window open while am in office, it seemed like someone intentionally threw bags and bags of sand all over the interior.

Steering wheel, gear, AC ports, seats and every corner in the car. I don't think this mess can be cleaned up!

Well, then I went on taking more snaps from inside the car and for my brother's bike which is left outside for the past 2 weeks. I've already uploaded a set on flickr here, drive carefully Kuwait!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Weather swings

Today's weather is an exception, I had a wonderful morning & a very depressing evening. Am off to bed now but here is what I wrote about this photo. 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sharm El Sheikh, Where to stay

Delta Sharm, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

As I mentioned before if you can afford five star hotels go for it. Otherwise, there is a collection of hotels & resorts you can choose from stretching all over Sharm El Sheikh shore. The picture above is for Delta Sharm resort the service in there is horrible. The only advantage you get for being in Delta Sharm is freedom! meaning, in other hotels they won't allow you to have parties in your Chalet/room or invite friends over. Unlike Delta Sharm you can invite 10 people over, hang out & play cards in the balcony or just sleep over. Delta Sharm is not concerned about how many people inside the Chalet as long as you are paying the rent fully.

Delta Sharm location is not bad since its only 3 KM away from Naama bay, you can pick up a taxi from the main gate & will drop you at Naama bay for 15 Egyptian pounds (2$ US Dollars).

If you are planning to stay at a better hotel then go to Marriott beach resort located in the middle of Naama bay & only 2 minutes walk distance to the beach.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Sharm El Sheikh, Scuba & sea tours

The first dive, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

There is a scuba diving center in ever corner of Sharm El Sheikh, you will be amazed of the number of packages & how organized it can be. One of the largest centers is Red Sea College which is located in the center of Naama bay. The center arrange trips to professional scuba divers to some of the best diving locations in the red sea. Including Ras Mohammed National park, Tiran, Sharks bay, Ship wrecks & many other locations.

If you are a beginner or curious you will get a nice intro dives around Naama coral reefs or even at Ras Mohammed National park. If you are looking for a best deal, then for 140 Egyptian pounds (25$ US Dollars) you can sign up for one of the boat trips from the Naama marina or through any tour guide center. This including launch (don't expect much) and transportation from and back to your hotel gate. There is mainly two most popular destination for these trips

  1. Ras Mohammed national park, Trip will start at 8AM till 5PM & will have three stops two of them will be at Ras Mohammed, which is a MUST see when you are in Sharm El Sheikh. The crystal pure water is very amazing, you can snorkel around the boat and see countless number of fish and if you swim further to the shore, the coral reef will blow your mind.
  2. Tiran Islands, It will start at same time from 8AM till 5PM & will have three stops as well. One of them will be near the Ship wreck which has amazing coral reef around it. Then, a stop at the Tiran island lagoon & back to Sharks bay shore.

In both trips launch will be served in the second stop. so, its better to grab some snacks before you get on the yacht.

Sharks bay, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

A small tips if you are going on one of these trips,

  1. Always remember your yacht name because when you get to location there is many yachts parked near each other & when swimming you can get mixed up which one is yours.
  2. Before you get on the yacht ask the guy in the yacht the destination of the yacht. There was a mix up & they put us on a yacht going to Tiran island although we signed up for Ras Mohammed national park so, be aware!
  3. If you are planning to do scuba diving. inform the guys from the center to sign you up on a boat with scuba equipment and get a master diver on the yacht with you. An intro dive should cost you 30$ US Dollars.

Over all, the Sharm El Sheikh experience was a great vacation, I really enjoyed the sea activities in all means.

Sharm El Sheikh, Dinning

Cook door, Naama bay, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

Its a great hassle when it comes to finding a decent place to dine. Naama bay is truly packed with literally hundred of restaurants & coffee shops. but, you really got to be careful with your choice..

Well, there is always the fast food choice like Cook door, McDonald's, KFC & Pizza-Hut. But, you will always want to try something different and since you are on the shores of the red sea you will definitely fancy some seafood.

Seafood, I must tell you the seafood in Sharm El Sheikh is way too expensive, its even more expensive than in your own country. Yet, there is nothing special about it, its just the same recipes every where else. If you are planning to try some seafood then let me give you some facts about the cost & best places to go. It will probably cost 400 Egyptian pounds (80$ USD) to dine for 3 persons, but always read the menu on the restaurant entrance to have an idea of rates.

Mexican bar, Its probably one of the best places we ate at. Its a bit expensive but its worth every penny specially with the nice atmosphere & neat menu. The service is a nightmare & they don't attend to you right away but once you are in Egypt you will be used to such services so don't panic.

Sharm El Sheikh, Intro

Catamaran, originally uploaded by mo_mughrabi.

The the only place I was never planning to go too. Turned out Sharm El Sheikh is truly a divers paradise, the timing & planning was rushed we had to get all the booking done within 2 days. Which is a very bad idea, you really must plan things at least one or two weeks ahead when going to Sharm El Sheikh. Because if you don’t, they will rip you off..

First thing you will notice about Sharm El Sheikh that it is completely different from any other Egyptian city. The small cute looking airport will make your day, plus you will see a very welcoming faces from officers and airport staff when arriving. The moment, you step outside the airport things will start looking different for instance be careful from airport taxis. Make sure you tell him where you are going and agree for a rate it should not be anything more than 80 Egyptian pounds (16$ USD).

Off course Sharm El Sheikh is packed with all kind of hotels you can find very cheap ones and you can go for the extremely luxurious ones. Well, picking a hotel is very important specially when it comes to location. Sharm El Sheikh center and the most alive area is Naama bay which is located 5 KM away from the airport. Unlike other areas Naama bay is extremely organized, If you decide to live near Naama bay you will have access to many things just by walking. Off course the beach is on the top of the list with its calm and crystal pure water, or the many restaurants & bars which lights up Sharm El Sheikh in the night.

Well, for us we had no option accept to stay at Delta Sharm which is 3 to 4 KM away from Naama bay and because we had to go down to Naama every day I rented a car.

In a nutshell, Sharm El Sheikh is a great destination & very affordable compared with other countries. In the upcoming entries I’ll write about Delta Sharm, renting a car in Sharm, food, activities & more other things.

Stay tuned,