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Loving Kuwait

Episode #007: Adventures with Ghadah: The Cloth Souq (Souq Safat)

In this episode, Ghadah and I talk about our trip to the Cloth Souq and why it’s one of the places we love in Kuwait.

From the variety of colors and textures to the creative window displays, the Cloth Souq is a terrific place to wander around and be inspired.

In addition to the goods that are being sold there, the architecture is also something to be admired.

Built in the mid-1970s, Souq Safat (the complex that houses the different branches of the Cloth Souq), is an example of extensive in-situ concrete works. One of the main features of the market was its underground parking, which was revolutionary at that time.

My father, architect Kamal Bhuiyan, was the on-site supervisor for the architectural restoration and renovation of Souq Safat after it was damaged in the 1991 war. He shares some of his observations of the market from an architectural perspective, some of which are mentioned in the episode, along with other points that will be further explored in a future episode.

Souq al-Safat, the Safat market, was constructed in 1974. It sits at the heart of the Central Business District of Kuwait City and is an early example of extensive in-situ concrete works. It was a thriving business hub by 1990 and then it was set to fire during the peak of the invasion of Kuwait in 1991.

The main features that made it distinguishable from other structures at that time were:

(1) two basements to accommodate parking of hundreds of cars

(2) three internal courtyards around which shopping and offices were housed

(3) some half a kilometer of shopping arcade on all four sides of the market

(4) offices rented on the mezzanine and other 3 floors above.

The ground-level arcade features arches throughout its length.

notes from Kamal Bhuiyan, on-site supervisor for the restoration and renovation of Souq Safat post-1991 invasion
Ghadah and I explore the cloth souq
yards and yards of fabric – in hundreds of prints, solids, and designs
quirky patches among other embellishments found in the accessory stores in the market
whatever craft you’re involved in, you’ll most likely find materials to use at Souq Safat

Episode #006: A Chat with Fatima Juma: DISC Kuwait

In today’s episode, I chat with Fatima Juma, Operations manager of DISC Kuwait, about physiotherapy, self-care, and healing.

Fatima is a Canadian physical therapist who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada in 2002. She started her career in private practice with Daniels Kimber Physiotherapy in Saskatoon, Canada until 2009. During this timeframe she completed her Certificate in Medical Acupuncture from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2005, post graduate certifications in Medical Acupuncture from Beijing, China in 2005, the Orthopedic Division of Canada Manual & Manipulative Therapy courses from 2003-2005 & Dry needling from London, United Kingdom in 2010.  Fatima moved to Kuwait in 2009 working as a physiotherapist, then Director of a Physiotherapy and Clinical Lead at Fawzia Sultan Rehabilitation Institute until January 2018. 

Fatima has over 17 years of clinical experience which enables her to perform highly skilled biomechanical assessments & movement screen analysis to create individualized treatment regimes that involve integration of manual & manipulative therapy, Traditional Chinese Medical Acupuncture, dry needling, corrective exercises, with global and regional conditioning to restore joint mechanics and prevent further movement dysfunction.  Her traditional Chinese medical acupuncture training has also equipped her with valuable diagnostic & treatment tools for treating chronic musculoskeletal conditions where traditional physiotherapy and western medicine have fallen short.  

Here’s how you can get in touch with Fatima:
Instagram: @jumafatima & @disc_kuwait
DISC Kuwait location: Al Hamra business tower, 49th floor, Kuwait City

Fatima Juma – Operations Manager at DISC Kuwait
one of Fatima’s specialties is manipulative therapy
Fatima also specializes in medical acupuncture and dry needling
thanks for a great conversation, Fatima!

Episode #005: A Chat with Ahmad Al-Qadmani: Jiu-Jitsu in Kuwait

In today’s episode, I chat with one of Sidekick Academy’s coaches, Ahmad Al-Qadmani, about jiu-jitsu as a practice, a mindset, and a lifestyle.

Ahmad has been doing jiu-jitsu for the past 10 years. Coming from a rough background, and getting into many street fights as a kid, Ahmad wishes he had trained in martial arts at a young age as it would have helped him avoid those fights. Through jiu-jitsu, not only has he mastered hundreds of techniques, but he has also developed the interpersonal skills needed to de-escalate and even avoid confrontational situations such as those he faced when he was younger. This mindset of self-defense has developed into a philosophy that he uses in his daily life and has made him a successful person on and off the training mats.

Here’s how you can get in touch with Ahmad:
Instagram: @aalqadmani & @combate.kwt
Phone: +965 9713 4515

Coach Ahmad Al-Qadmani
no equipment necessary – you become your own weapon
competitions are a great way to test your jiu-jitsu, but don’t forget to focus on self-defense too
great conversation with Ahmad

Episode #004: A Chat with Haya Alsharhan: CrossFit Q8

In this episode, I talk to Haya Alsharhan, the women’s head coach at CrossFit Q8, about training, coaching, and living a healthy and empowered life.

Haya Alsharhan is one of the first few competitive female CrossFit athletes in her region. She is also the first female Kuwaiti coach to have earned her CrossFit Level 1 Certification to coach classes in Kuwait and has since become a Level 2 trainer.

Haya has recently become a Pregnancy and Postpartum Athleticism coach, where she hopes to further her work with pre/postnatal women. She has also created a program called MomFit. The MomFit postpartum program is a rehab/rebuilding plan to help get moms back into fitness after pregnancy. For details or to sign up, you can email Haya at or via her Instagram account (details below).

Currently juggling motherhood, a business, coaching, training, and a couple of side hustles, Haya hopes to inspire the women around her to set big goals and work hard to achieve them. Most importantly though, she wants them to enjoy their fitness journey.

Here’s how you can get in touch with Haya:

Instagram: haya_cfq8
Telephone/Whatsapp: +965 9973 2066

great conversation with Haya
Your body can stand almost anything; it’s your mind you have to convince.
Work hard. Enjoy the process. Marvel at what you can achieve.

Episode #003: Adventures with Ghadah: The Mirror House

When I set out on my quest to discover places to visit and things to do in Kuwait, I never thought it would lead me to a place like The Mirror House! My friend Ghadah and I had a great time during our visit, which we talk about in this episode.

Mirror House details
Location: Qadisiya. Block 9، House 17, Street 94.
Owner and artist: Lidia Al-Qattan
Tours by appointment only. Contact #: +965 2251 8522

a beautiful day at the Mirror House
Ghadah and I with Lidia Al-Qattan
Ghadah and I within the galaxy
Thanks for stopping by to record this episode, G!

Episode #002: Denka Happy Hour – Looking Back at 2018 and forward to 2019

One of my absolute favorite things about moving back to Kuwait is being in the same country as my best friend. We have gone to school together, traveled together, and even worked together, so it only makes sense that we record a few podcast episodes together as well. 

In today’s episode, Rania and I take a look back at 2018. We talk about resolutions and how we will be approaching 2019. 

A few things we mention in the episode are:

We hope you enjoy the episode! 

me on a Denka Lift – D.C. 1999
recording our first podcast episode together