Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Kuwait ranks 3rd among Middle East billionaires

The Wealth-X and UBS Billionaire Census 2013 ranked Kuwait as third in the Middle East in terms of the number of billionaires, reports Al-Nahar daily. Saudi Arabia came in first with 64 billionaires whose total wealth is estimated at $204 billion, followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 37 billionaires whose total wealth is estimated at $45 billion, Kuwait with 17 billionaires whose total wealth is estimated at $37 billion, Qatar with nine billionaires whose total wealth is around $20 billion, Lebanon with eight billionaires, Jordan with two billionaires, and then Bahrain and Yemen with one billionaire each.



It was a delightful and sunny saturday, just right for an outing in the desert. After all it is not every day one gets a chance to witness a sport or an event that is so traditionally Middle Eastern and inextricably linked with the heritage of the Arabian Peninsula. When we read about the camel race that was to be held on 14 December, we decided to go and be part of the excitement. This was not the first time we went to witness a camel race. We have visited it several times and each time we experience the same zeal and enthusiasm.  

At present the Kuwait Camel Racing Club, the only official camel racing club operating under the aegis of the Youth & Sports Foundation, organizes local events and participates in international races elsewhere in the Middle East. Last year we were lucky (thanks to my hubby Jeet who always takes the initiative) to be part of the huge crowd who were there as spectators at the 12th Annual International Camel Race which was held in Kuwait Camel Racing Club(12 Feb-16Feb'2012). It had around 500 participants where robots were the jockeys. The tiny ''riders'' powered by remote control as the camels' owners’ race alongside in their jeeps or SUV's. The robot jockeys are complete with little jockey outfits and hats, and their remote controlled whips slap away at the camels as the owners pursued one of 65 Toyota Land Cruiser prizes. The 6km race was part of a five-day tournament that had around 500 participants.  

As you enter the club, you will see photographs of past competitions on the walls. The clubhouse is a big air-conditioned structure with comfortable seating facilities. As we approached the club we saw lot of vehicles parked outside and knew that our information about the race is correct. As we entered the club we saw lot of Kuwaitis most of them owners of the racing camels and their relatives had already taken their seats. Also lots of western expats were present. The race which started at a distance of six kilometers, concluded in front of the clubhouse. One could watch the start of the race and follow it up on television monitors placed inside the clubhouse. We were seated in the club house but as the race started, hearing the vivacious and ebullient commentary we went near the track to cheer and capture the race.

The race we witnessed last Saturday was a local event but had the same fervor and passion. It was a 6km race and camels took nearly 10 minutes to complete. Two-three races are held in one day. The camel racing season begins at the end of October and continues till the end of April. It may start even later or end early if it is still hot. The season is flexible depending on the weather. It is open to the public and there is no entrance fee. There are races on Saturdays which starts at around 2pm in the afternoon. The numbers of races differ from week to week. The track is oval with a road running alongside the track. As the camels race, they are flanked by all sorts of vehicles racing alongside on the dirt road paralleling the race track.  From the stands as the camels round the final turn you see this wild melee of vehicles racing ahead to position themselves at the finish line to watch their favorite cross the line. And so we saw the camels racing towards the finish line with their owners in hot pursuit on four wheels, with the robotic jockeys cracking their whips in the last leg of the race, making a whirring sound that can be heard from the side of the race track. One can get up close for the start or the finish of the race or watch it on TV from the stadium. As the stampede of camels and SUVs approached the finish line we started snapping as much pictures as possible.

A short distance away others were enjoying a free ride on camels, which we were informed that they were racing camels that were too old to join the sport, but were now used for showing. The camels wore fantastically colorful Arabian style outfits which added sparkle to the event.

It was a delightful experience. Every year we have been visiting alone (because with small kids we don’t plan much ahead and decide on the spur of the moment) but this year few friends accompanied us.  You haven't really experienced life in the Middle East unless you have gone to the camel races. So this winter plan to visit the Kuwait Camel Racing Club and experience the original and traditional past time of Kuwait.

The racing Track

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Christmas and New Year at the Hilton Kuwait

Sunday, December 15, 2013

LKG Interview Questions Kuwait

I did hear that its tough getting admission in LKG in a reputed school in Kuwait and  I got the experience when I decided to admit my daughter in LKG.

I went to collect the LKG form with my friend on the first day itself and we were shocked to see so many parents. We had to wait for nearly 4.5 hours to get our forms. Admissions were schedule for different batches in different months. While my daughters admission date was 10 Nov’2012 , my friends son appeared on 15 Dec’2012. Another group was schedule in Jan’2013.

For admission in LKG one need to be 3 years and above as on 15th March. 

After getting the forms and having a pinch of how tough the admission will be, I started to make a list of probable questions. I asked my friends whose kids got admission last year though I could find nothing on the net. That’s the main reason for writing this post which I am sure will help anxious parents of kids that are appearing for LKG admission test in Kuwait.

This is a list I have prepared from my and my friends kids experience in the previous year. I will be updating the list after few of my other friends kids appear on Dec and Jan interview.

1)  First and foremost confidence in the student is very necessary. They are very small and some kids in such tender age feel shy or loose self-confidence when they have to speak in front of new-faces. That’s what I was worried about my daughter as she sometimes becomes very shy. But I was preparing her continuously for months and also thanx a lot to her play school teachers Bharti and Gauri that they were able to imbibe self confidence in her.

2)  Kids who wish the teachers as they enter the interview rooms impress the teachers at the very first moment and my daughter thankfully did it.

3)  They should be able to say their full names. I taught her both me and my husband’s name.

4)   The colour of the dress that they will wear on the interview day.

5)  Say “A to Z”

6)   Say numbers….some were asked to say from 1 to 10; some 1 to 20. I taught my daughter 1 to 100

7)   Recognize all the colors

8)   Recognize all the shapes

9)   Able to recite few rhymes

10)  Some were asked to solve puzzle

11)   A board with drawings and few things like cars, money, clouds etc given…they had to  put the car on the roads, monkey on trees, clouds on the sky

12)   Names of few fruits. I taught my daughter names of 10 fruits

13)   Names of few vegetables. I taught my daughter names of 10 vegetables

14)   Names of few birds. I taught my daughter names of 10 birds
15)   Names of few flowers. I taught my daughter names of 10 flowers

16)   Where does domestic animals live? Or what do you mean by domestic animals?

17)   Names of few domestic animals. I taught my daughter names of 15 domestic animals

18)   Where do wild animals live? Or What do you mean by wild animals?

19)   Names of few wild animals. I taught my daughter names of 15 wild animals

20)   Though till now I have not heard asking about different modes of transport, I did teach my daughter about them

21)   What do you see in the sky?

22)   What colour is the sky?

23)   Where do you live?

24)   A zig zag line is drawn and they are asked to walk to see if they can balance  themselves.

25)   They are asked to colour pictures. Just teach them not to move out of the border.

26)   Join the dots

27)   Join the dots and colour inside

28)   Asked to write numbers 1 to 5

29)   A circle is drawn in a page and they are asked to make a face (draw eyes, nose, mouth, ears)

30)   Recognize body parts

31) How did you come to school? (car/ plane/bus etc etc)

32) What colour is your fathers car?

33) Where do fish live? ( water / sky/ road etc etc) 

After interview with the teachers , we had to wait as there was interview with the Principal. 

I think depending on the feedback the teachers write on the form after the interview of the kids, they ask questions. We don’t get to see what’s written as we are not handed the form.
As for my daughter they asked her nothing but said that she did very well and check the Selected Candidates list on 13th

From the feedback of few parents, I have come to know that during the interview with parents

1)      Some students were asked to recite rhymes

2)      Some asked to recognize colors

3)      Advise parents to speak in English at home if the kid had problem understanding   what the teacher asked in the interview.

4)      If your child wants to play outside in a rainy day what will you do and why?

5)      If the husband is not there (out of Kuwait) for official reason then will be asked why  husband is not there.

6)      Ask the child where the father is?

7)      If you have kids with wide age  difference then will be asked how you handle both

8) If you had not send your kid to a playschool, they ask the reason behind it

These are just few questions that I got from few parents. Lot more questions I am sure were asked.

 Readers are requested to add more questions if you had faced the LKG interview, which will help concerned and worried parents.



Anonymous said...
Hi Parimita,

Very useful info. But my personal opinion is that interview questions are quite tough, considering the fact that they have kept the age limit as only 3 by March 15th. At this tender age, expecting all this from the kids is little too much taxing. Yes, sure, these days, we moms also tend to start teaching to the kids very early...good, if they learn, but this should not become the evaluation process.

btw, when (month / year) was your daughter born? My kid will be turning 3 shortly, but am little confused if I have to put him in school this year or next, though he meets the age criteria of DPS.
PARIMITA said...

My daughter is just 4 years and last year my condition was same as yours.
As a teacher myself, I felt it will be too taxing on her if I had admitted her last year. And as rules(in India) a kid should be 6 years when She/ He will be in 1st standard. So I decided to admit her this year and she will be 6 years old when she will be in her 1st standard.
As for the interview questions,I don't think they are that tough (though some questions are tough for a 3year old) but if you check LKG interview questions of Delhi, NCR or Mumbai region more tougher questions are asked.
Anonymous said...
Hi..Thanks. Has your daughter completed 4 years. In that case, is she continuing in playschool itself? How long has she been attending playschool?

Sorry for too many questions..but I am getting concerned. By nature, my son becomes totally silent when he goes outside. He simply doesn't respond to anyone, even if they are well known to us and we keep meeting them often. I don't know how to make him come over it. Any suggestions?

PARIMITA said...
Yes my daughter just completed 4 years. She is still attending her playschool as the DPS new session will start from April.

She has been attending playschool for the last 1 year.I personally feel all kids should attend playschool before their LKG admissions because it helps them to build self confidence and adjust with other kids.

My daughter too is very shy but with people whom she meets for the first time. But you will be shocked how she interacts with kids/ elders whom she meets everyday. That's why I was concerned as to how she will perform on her DPS interview day.

You must be having kids in the building who attends DPS or any of your friends kids whom your son knows well.Try to explain to him that if he answers smartly he too can attend the big school.
We have nearly 25 kids in our building who attends DPS and few of my friends kids who are 2-3 yrs older then my daughter who attends DPS. My daughter is fascinated by their dress, big bus, trolley bag's...n always cries when she sees them in the dress and wants to go to the big school. I always explained her that she has to be smart and brave,answer smartly in the interview, wish the teachers as soon as she enters and that me or my husband will not be allowed to go with her during the interview. I have been saying all these for few months and must be it was clear in her mind.Also I am very thankful to her playschool teachers.

Try to take your son out to Kuwait Magic/ Ajial Mall kids area. When he will see lot of other kids playing he too will gain the confidence to play.Is he attending any playschool? If not admit him to a playschool. You will see the change yourself. Also appreciate him whenever he do something good and this will help him to build self confidence.

Anonymous said...
Thank you all for your reply. Dear pb, ur site was really helpfull. I prepared my son all the questions you mentioned in your site. He got admission in dps. Once again thank you for your efforts.
PARIMITA said...
Subhashini said...
Hi Anonymous,

Firstly, congrats on your son's admission. Could you please update also on the questions your son was asked. My son's interview is in Jan and would like to know your experience as well.
Anonymous said...
Thanks for useful informations, it was very helpful for me to put a plan for my son , but I would like to ask which play school u advise ? U know good one?
PARIMITA said...
It will depend on the area where you stay? There are lot of good play schools but to send a small kid to a far playschool ,i feel is not a good idea.
which area are you searching ??