Faisal Al-Mosawi defies the odds by becoming the world's fastest diver

Faisal Al-Mosawi defies the odds by becoming the world's fastest diver
Faisal Al-Mosawi diving. (Source: Guinness World Records)
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Updated 29 June 2022

Faisal Al-Mosawi defies the odds by becoming the world's fastest diver

Faisal Al-Mosawi defies the odds by becoming the world's fastest diver
  • The most important message Mosawi wishes to convey to the world is the social inclusion of disabled people

KUWAIT: Faisal Al-Mosawi, an Iraqi resident of Kuwait, was a promising football player at the Salmiya Sporting Club until a serious car accident left him paralyzed in the lower half of his body.

After a series of operations, Mosawi has accepted his disability and has defied the odds by becoming the world's fastest diver.

“Today, I am proud to say that I challenged myself and set a world record as the fastest 10-kilometer scuba diver. I am also a motivational speaker with more than 500 trainees per month,” Mosawi told the Kuwaiti Times.

“I decided two years after my accident to join university and earned a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) diploma in 2007. I continued my studies and began my bachelor’s degree in finance, which helped me get involved in social life again, but I was still feeling frustrated after I lost my dream of becoming a professional football player.“After several operations in the hope to walk again, I realized it was a big mistake to link my happiness to things that may not come back, especially since it cost me time in which I could do something more useful,” Mosawi added.

Mosawi also told Kuwaiti Times about the turning point in his life that led him to pursue an alternative career path.“Every year on my birthday, I was hoping I would be able to walk again. But every year nothing happened, which made me very disappointed,” he said.

“During one of my birthdays, I realized I wanted to change people’s lives and become an inspiration for them, especially after I heard about many disabled people who tried to commit suicide due to their frustrations in life.

“After two years, I decided to either be a new person looking for a new dream that could change my life, or forever remain a useless person, and this was my turning point in becoming a new person with new hopes and dreams.

"This changed my life in all aspects. In 2009, I decided to start learning to dive, I contacted the Swimming and Diving Center at Kuwait Science Club and obtained my first diving license from PADI (scuba diving certificate), while overcoming my fears, one of which was my phobia of the sea.

“After that I got several more diving licenses, such as an open-water license, adventure license, advanced license and night rock diver license,” he added.

After he realized his dream of diving, he decided to become the fastest diver in the world.

“In 2018, I became a Guinness World Record holder as the fastest 10km scuba diver in the world with a time of 5 hours and 24 minutes, breaking a record that was set in 2011 by a scuba diver with no disability,” he said.

Regarding diving techniques, Mosawi explained to the Kuwaiti times that wears diving gloves which he adjusts to the strength of his upper body. He said his biggest challenge was training for over five hours underwater every day.

Mosawi emphasized that the most important message he wishes to convey to the world is the social inclusion of disabled people. He hoped that his accomplishments would demonstrate to the world that people with disabilities are just as capable of success as anyone else.

“The hope that I gave to parents of disabled children makes me more persistent and determined to spread the message to the world. After the accident, doctors told my parents that it will be impossible for me to get married and have kids, but with hope and prayers, I married a special girl. I now have a beautiful daughter, and she is the most precious gift I ever got,” Mosawi said.


Was pineapple a topping too far for Domino’s in Italy?

Was pineapple a topping too far for Domino’s in Italy?
Updated 10 August 2022

Was pineapple a topping too far for Domino’s in Italy?

Was pineapple a topping too far for Domino’s in Italy?
  • The US restaurant chain has decided to take a bight of humble pie and withdraw from the birthplace of pizza

DUBAI: Mamma Mia! Did Domino’s go a topping too far when it started selling pineapple pizza pies in Italy?

Whatever the reason, the US restaurant chain has decided to take a bite of humble pie and withdraw from the birthplace of pizza.

The world’s largest pizza chain called it quits in Italy after closing the last of its 29 stores, only seven years since struggling – but failing – to win over the hearts and loyalty of locals with the American versions of the pie.

With an ambitious plan of distinguishing itself from local restaurants by providing a structured national delivery service, plus a promise to use purely Italian ingredients including “100% tomato sauce and mozzarella,” Domino’s strategy appears to have failed to satisfy the palates of Italians overly protective of their cherished national dish.

But notwithstanding the pineapple pizza, Domino’s pizza varieties suchas Mexican, cheeseburger, kickers BBQ and BBQ chicken failed to impress Italians who profess for their unending love for simple and traditional pizzas like margherita and marinara.

The American chain’s exit from Italy was met with derision on social media for even attempting to establish a foothold in the birthplace of pizza.

“Trying to open Dominos Pizza in Italy is like trying to sell snow in the North Pole,” one Twitter user said.

Domino’s ambitious expansion gameplan was seriously unhinged at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, which practically shut dine-out businesses in all of Italy, and the scaling up of home deliveries by traditional pizza makers through third party services such as Deliveroo, Just Eat Takeaway.com or Glovo.

“We attribute the issue to the significantly increased level of competition in the food delivery market with both organized chains and ‘mom & pop’ (independent) restaurants delivering food, to service and restaurants reopening post pandemic and consumers out and about with revenge spending,” the company reported in its fourth-quarter 2021 results.

Franchise holder EPizza was earlier granted protection from its creditors for 90 days as part of its bankruptcy process it filed in April, but that protection ended last month.

The company had $10.8 million of debt at the end of 2020, according to the latest audited annual reports.


New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings

New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings
Updated 10 August 2022

New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings

New Dubai Hindu temple goes digital with QR-coded bookings
  • The online booking system for visitors was launched with the aim to prevent crowding in the area and ensure the safety of visitors, officials said

DUBAI: A Hindu temple, set to open in Dubai later this year, will be accepting QR code-based appointment bookings for visitors, officials told national daily, Gulf News

The online booking system for visitors was launched with the aim to prevent crowding in the area and ensure the safety of visitors, officials said, adding that the temple accommodated about 1,000 people. 

“We will be opening the booking system through our existing website and a new app that will be launched by September 1,” temple trustee Raju Shroff told Gulf News. 

The temple – an extension of the Sindhi Guru Darbar temple in Bur Dubai – will open on Oct. 5, but bookings can be made starting from September. 

The 70,000-square-feet temple and community center is located in the Corridor of Tolerance in Jebel Ali that houses several churches and the Guru Nanak Darbar Gurudwara, the report added. 

Temple officials said it would be opening in two phases: the place of worship will open in October and the rest of the facilities will open by Jan. 14. 

The facilities include a 4,000 square-foot banquet hall, a multipurpose room, and a knowledge room. 

The knowledge room is open to interfaith leaders who want to organize on-site and online sessions, the officials added. The temple will also organize celebrations for Hindu festivals such as Diwali and Navratri after the official opening.


Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’

Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’
Updated 10 August 2022

Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’

Petoya Lounge is Saudi Arabia’s ‘first five-star hotel for cats’
  • Staff say the animals that stay there will be petted and exercised several times a day, and owners can check up on their furry friends by watching live streaming video using a free app
  • The hotel’s founder and owner, Houda Al-Otaibi, said that this first facility is for cats and kittens but more will open soon for other animals

RIYADH: Cat owners in Saudi Arabia can now send their beloved pets on a vacation to the Petoya Lounge in Riyadh, which describes itself as the country’s first five-star hotel for pets.

Cats and kittens can be booked into the facility for a few hours or several days. Staff say the animals will be regularly petted, eight times a day, and exercised, three times a day. Owners who are missing their furry friends can even check up on them by watching live streaming video using a free app. The facility also offers a variety of food and treatment options for its residents.

In a video about Petoya Lounge published by Reuters, a woman is shown sitting on the floor surrounded by more than seven cats, some of which eat from her hand. Kittens can also been seen jumping around on furniture and playing with wooden objects, tunnels and other toys provided for their comfort and entertainment. Several are shown being placed in small beds.

“Petoya is the first authorized five-star hotel in Saudi Arabia for pets,” said its founder and owner Houda Al-Otaibi, who appears in the video playing with a kitten, gently petting it and feeding it.

“This is our first branch, for cats, and (other) branches that will be for other animals are coming soon.”

She added that the hotel aims to be “an outlet for cats and their owners to rest and feel comfortable.”


Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy

Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy
Updated 09 August 2022

Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy

Apparent photo of Adele in Egyptian music icon’s dress sparks controversy
  • The stunning dress was purported to have previously been worn by Egyptian music icon, singer, songwriter and actress Umm Kulthum
  • The image sparked debate among Egyptian and Middle Eastern social media users

DUBAI: A photo of Adele in an elegant dress, alleged to have been worn earlier by Umm Kulthum, spread like wildfire across social media in Egypt and the Arab world on Tuesday.
On Monday and Tuesday, social media users exchanged a photo of English singer and songwriter in the dress.
The stunning dress was purported to have previously been worn by Egyptian music icon, singer, songwriter and actress Umm Kulthum.
The image sparked debate among Egyptian and Middle Eastern social media users who were split between those who believed it was true and those who said it had been faked.
According to fact check, the image turned out to have been photoshopped and the photo was published in 2017 when Adele wore the green Givenchy gown to the 2017 Grammy Awards red carpet.
A comment read: “International singer Adele wears the same dress and shoe of late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthum.”
The photoshopped image garnered thousands of likes, shares, retweets and comments, with the post proving especially popular among Egyptian users.
However, the buzz soon died down after it transpired that the Adele image had been published on Getty Agency’s website.
Al Arabiya Egypt tweeted that an Egyptian designer had modified the image of Umm Kulthum in the dress in June 2019 when he attached it to his digital CV on a specialized website for graphic designers’ resumes.
The publication then conducted an online vote asking participants whether they believed Adele did wear Umm Kulthum’s dress.
Over 3,600 users voted, with just 15 percent of respondents saying that they believed that Adele wore the late Egyptian icon’s dress.


Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition

Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition
Updated 09 August 2022

Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition

Sailing ship Shabab Oman II departs Denmark after participating in racing competition

DUBAI: Shabab Oman II, a training ship for the Royal Navy of Oman, left the port of Aalborg in Denmark after participating in the Long Dhow Racing Festival 2022, national daily Times of Oman reported. 

This was part of the ship’s sixth international voyage “Oman, the Land of Peace” to the European continent. 

The vessel won this year’s International Friendship Cup for Tall Ships in Denmark as part of the Tall Ships Races 2022, which ran from Aug. 4-7.  

This came during the announcement of the results of the Long Dhow Sailing Race, during the closing festival of the Long Sailing Race 2022 in Aalborg.