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Ramadan is not only a time to fast and meditate. It is also the time for various fun activities which strengthen one’s body and mind. Since Ramadan falls in summer this year, there are many more activities you can avail of. Both adults and children alike can make their Ramadan very fulfilling through Ramadan camps. Two of these are organized by the British Academy of Sports (BAS) and the Philippine Catsclaw Martial Arts Association-Kuwait.

“Though it’s basically a full-month schedule, you can enroll according to your availability. We know parents take their kids outside Kuwait during the summer, so we are flexible and design programs to accommodate everyone. So you can attend and pay only for one week or even two sessions,” said Lucian Aurelian Anisia, BAS Academy Director.

BAS organizes sports activities ranging from swimming to karate to gymnastics in the morning. “In the afternoon, a selection of bowling and ice skating will be included and we have lots and lots of fun activities,” Anisia told Kuwait Times. Free T-shirts will be distributed for those registering for the whole month. They will also receive training kits and other stuff needed for the month-long training. “This is the first time we are holding such a Ramadan camp, so we are equally excited and very much dedicated to making this event successful,” he said.

After completing the course, participants will receive a certificate and CDs with their photographs. “Sports activities are very important to everyone. It enhances physical and life quality,” Anisia opined. BAS’ mission is to make sport and physical activity fun and accessible to an increasing number of children and to increase the quality and variety of sport options for children and young people in Kuwait.

BAS takes pride in its excellent facilities and professionally qualified instructors who are mostly Europeans. BAS offers regular sporting activities from football to basketball, volleyball swimming, gymnastics, karate, tennis, Thai boxing, Zumba, roller skating, aerobics and cricket. It also organizes international sport trips, kids camps and sports competitions. “You are all welcome to our academy,” Anisia said.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Catsclaw Martial Arts Association-Kuwait, a non-affiliated, non-profit and non-political association helps individuals build self-confidence, physical fitness and mental alertness through martial arts. Master Mario Adones, the head of the Catsclaw group, said that it was founded to educate individuals on the importance of martial arts, especially in life-threatening circumstances. “We did not form this group for anything else but to motivate discipline and self-control. The association does not differentiate between members over their dialects, regions or religions. We are here to promote unity, equality and camaraderie among members,” Adones said.

The Philippine Catsclaw Martial Arts Association holds their regular activities every Friday at Al-Nasser Sporting Club from 8 am-12 noon. The group teaches various forms of self-defense techniques including Filipino modern arts – Arnis (considered as the national martial arts of the Philippines), Mano-mano (hand to hand, which incorporates punches, elbows, knees, head butts, finger strikes, locks, blocks and boxing), Sikaran (all types of Filipino martial arts kicks) and Dumog (Filipino style of grappling, trapping and joint locking).

“Filipino martial arts teaches techniques in self defense even if the opponent or enemies are holding deadly weapons. We also teach our members how to turn ordinary household items into lethal weapons to defend themselves or others,” he added. Many other organizations are also holding Ramadan camps in Kuwait – from schools to religious centers to small groups of individuals and associations.

By Ben Garcia, Staff Writer

KUWAIT: Interior Ministry Assistant Undersecretary Maj Gen Abdulfattah Al-Ali has ordered a halt on the issuance of new driving licenses to all expatriates until further notice. The only exceptions will be for household drivers on Article 20 visas.

The freeze will be in place until changes are made to current regulations for expats to obtain new driving licenses, Ali added.   Since his appointment a few months ago, Ali has led a campaign in which hundreds of expatriates have been deported without a court order for committing “grave” traffic offences such as driving without a license and jumping red lights.

Kuwaiti citizens who commit similar traffic offences can have their vehicles impounded, but only under a court order. The Interior Ministry is also revoking driving licenses of foreign students who have graduated and working housewives, tightening already strict rules for expats.  Ali has stressed that all traffic violation-related deportations are in accordance with the law. “We have filed over 70,000 traffic citations including 43,000 serious ones such as running red lights, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving on the wrong side of the road and many others,” he told reporters earlier this month.

Ali also warned last week that travel bans may be slapped against violators to force them to pay their traffic fines, especially since the amount of all fines has reached KD 24 million.

For nearly a decade, Kuwait has imposed strict conditions on the eligibility of its 2.6 million expats to drive. Most foreigners are required to hold a university degree, earn KD 400 a month and have lived legally in the country for at least two years before being able to drive legally.

 

 By Hanan Al-Saadoun

KUWAIT: The Ahmadi governorate municipality carried out a campaign to remove abandoned cars lying in the streets and those exhibited for sale in the Ahmadi Industrial Area. The campaign was carried out with the assistance of the Ministry of Interior at the instructions of the director, Engineer Fahad Dughaim Al-Otaibi. The campaign resulted in the removal of 42 vehicles abandoned or exhibited for sale from the streets and areas falling in the industrial area. Al-Otaibi said that the campaign was conducted successfully and was accomplished sooner than expected because of the preplanning and fruitful cooperation with the governorate’s security men headed by Brig. Matooq Al-Aslawi and Fahaheel area commander Colonel Rashid Al-Nomas

By Hanan Al-Saadoun

Kuwait: Search is on for a man accused of sexually assaulting an underage girl in Salwa on Saturday. In her statement to the police, the 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl said that her friend, a 20-year-old Palestinian national, raped her in her room after he came over to visit at dawn. The man reportedly sneaked into the house on an invitation from the girl. She added that the man escaped after she screamed for help. She then told her father about what had happened before the two headed to the area’s police station to report the case. Investigations were on.

KUWAIT: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) called on travelers to cooperate with authorities operating at Kuwait International Airport to allow them to provide best service during the holy month of Ramadan and the travel season. Travelers should check validity of their passports and visas and must arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of departure time, Director of Operations’ Department at Kuwait International Airport Essam Al-Zamel said yesterday. In the statement, he stressed importance of complying with weights and sizes of luggage allowed and not to carry prohibited and hazardous substances such as compressed gas, solvents, explosives, fireworks, flammable materials and oxidizing, magnetic and toxic substances.

The DGCA is ready to receive suggestions and observations through the airport comptroller office located at the departure lounge, Al-Zamel noted. On administrating flight operations during the summer, the Operation Deptartment Director said that extra flights are running during this season and the holy month of Ramadan, expecting the percentage of travelers before Ramadan to reach 25 and 75 percent at the end of it. The operation department has formed teams to provide assistance to ensure smooth flow of traffic, regulate passengers entry, follow up on departure and arrival of flights without delay, Al-Zamel noted, adding that during this season, the most sought destinations are to Beirut, Dubai, Istanbul, Jeddah and Alexandria. —-KUNA

KUWAIT CITY: Ahmadi securitymen arrested 80 individuals from a market in Mahboula area during a security campaign that Ahmadi Security Directorate launched in coordination with the Ahmadi Municipality and under the supervision of Ahmadi Security Director Brigadier Matouq Al-Aslawi.


According to security sources, 15 officers in civilian clothes initially observed the market where fruits, vegetables, fish, clothes, perfumes, military uniforms and electronics were being sold. After noticing a number of violations, they summoned ten patrol officers to the market. They arrested 35 shop owners; one among them was selling military uniforms. They also arrested 45 individuals who were unable to present their identification documents during checking. All arrested individuals were referred to the concerned authorities for necessary legal action against them. Ahmadi Municipality confiscated the clothes, vegetables and other items that were being illegally sold.

Ahmadi Security Directorate affirmed that they will continue to launch such security campaigns in all areas within the governorate in coordination with all departments affiliated to the Public Security sector and other authorities.

In this week’s online survey, Arab Times asked voters their opinion on how the ongoing police checks be made more humane and expatriate-friendly.

Two points won the most votes. 32 percent said that authorities must release a list of clearly stated do’s and don’ts to be observed by expatriates. Speaking to the Arab Times, respondents said that they are not sure of what to keep and what to avoid, as the list of violations are growing by the day by word of mouth.
The latest in the list of the big No’s are Net phones. “We knew that VOIP calls were banned, but even applications like Viber and Whatsapp seem to be prohibited now. This is causing a lot of confusion.”
Others were complaining about the traffic checks. “We are not sure of what are the things that are liable to fine.” There were loose stories of motorists getting a ticket because their car windows were not working. 

Another 32 percent of the voters condemned the random raids at apartments. “We are living in fear with our families. We have children, and we don’t want cops to be coming into our houses at night and checking every nook and corner for illegal maids or bachelors sharing the flat.

All the respondents believed that the police had no authority to search a flat without a warrant. “We think that it is still the law, and we don’t know how the policemen are searching houses randomly.”

Respondents said it looks like the policemen have been given secret orders to carry on such searches as issuing a warrant for every dubious flat could be practically impossible. “We know it’s fine balancing act to do; however, there’s no justification for harassing innocent, law-abiding expatriates for a few residence violators.”

Fourteen percent of the voters felt that expatriates must be given the right to complain against policemen who cross their limits. However, many respondents noted that this is easier said than done. “This right is already there. But the problem lies in their application.”

Many respondents felt that they distrust the authorities to act on their complaints, and a sizeable number even feared that they might get victimized in the bargain. “We don’t have the courage to complain against a policeman.’

Some people stressed on the need for a higher authority that is set up exclusively to defend the rights and interests of expatriates. “Such a body would infuse confidence in us to complain against excesses committed by policemen.”

About 13 percent of the voters suggested the need for capturing every police operation on camera to ensure that everything is fair and square. “This is the norm in most developed countries. When there’s video footage which can be provided as evidence in court, the officers will be more conscious of their responsibilities and limits.”

Eight percent said that vehicles with proper drafters (registration cards), which is proof that the vehicle have passed the fitness test, must not be subject to further tests, such as smoke detection and so forth.

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