Necessity is the Mother of Invention
It was a dark and stormy night (This was Kuwait however, which meant that the storm was a sandstorm.) The millennium was three years away from completion, and the Internet was still synonymous with the blaring sound of a modem connecting (for our younger leaders, think of a cat being repeatedly kicked). Students were fundamentally the same as they are today though; they needed someone to help them navigate the tricky waters of the local economy so they could save their spending money to blow at the end of the week. That is where our heroes come into the scene.
From behind glasses that gleamed in the glow of a computer screen, a light bulb lit above the head of a young man. “Where can I get a good deal for a crocodile skin wallet to keep all this extra cash,” he asked himself plotting conveniently as he typed away cleverly at the computer. “What if I had something at the tip of my fingers that would keep me updated on the best deals in town? Something that brought the offers to me, rather than make me search them out.” If this was a movie the camera would have panned away from him now and faded out.
Looking to New Horizons
bazaar had been born, and it had fallen into the hands of students all across the city; it was saving money left and right, primarily because it was free but also because it spread the word about good deals far and wide. Its distribution was solidly established and its distribution was tied to Kuwait University’s newspaper, Afaq.
Juggling the magazine and one thousand and one other commitments continued for a few years, until it became increasingly untenable; the magazine began to trickle beyond the borders of the University, and because it was an instant success, demand for it grew and so did the pressure to deliver.
A decision would have to be made on whether it would remain a part time affair, a romance with an idea that would remain confined within the bounds of its creator’s limitations, or if it would be allowed to blossom and grow to its full potential.
Leap of Faith
You are now sitting there reading this magazine, maybe in digital format, maybe in their exceptionally well printed hard copies (thanks guys!), so the ending of the story might have been given away, but there was a tricky moment when our heroes had to leap away from the relative safety of their employment, and invest their full time and effort into this [ad]venture.
A call to arms was sent out, and the greats of publishing across the desert hailed it. The team refined, improved and reinvigorated the magazine with content and more content. Its flame powered a newfound locomotive power that hurled bazaar through Kuwait, spreading its brand and going where no magazine had gone before.
Beyond the boundaries of the university, the magazine flexed its muscles and pushed its limits, and unlike the dinosaurs, adapted to the new environment.
Adapt and Evolve
We grew together. bazaar was launched at the same time many of you started studying in university, and we left its borders side by side. You took the magazine with you, and became part of the story of its growth. Many of you were not students any more, your needs changed and they made sure to change with them. Sophisticated as you are, you did not make it easy, they reached out to the world, and forged through fire and brimstone… wait, got carried away there. They reached across the four corners of the globe and brought together a team from all walks of life to mirror your broad spectrum.
Each and every one of you is a driver in bazaar’s growth, and your dynamism is what motivates them to keep on pushing for the best offers, and to draw the best writers, photographers and literary talent to their pages. Music, entertainment, the ins and outs of Kuwait, the Middle East and beyond, where to be and what to do are all integral parts of the team’s monthly product, but so is your personal well being and health because if something were to happen to you, who would read all of their articles about music, entertainment and the ins and outs of Kuwait?
Where Shall We Have Lunch?
The more vigilant of their readers might have noticed a glaring omission in the article that supposedly explores some of the highlights of the Magazine on the occasion of its two hundredth birthday. We still haven’t talked about food.
Douglas Adams, in his Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, outlined the three main phases of civilizational development, going from the “how can we eat” phase all the way through to the “where shall we have lunch” phase.
Fortunately, it was not a dark and stormy night. In fact, it was a rather pleasant afternoon, thankfully because everybody had had enough sand. Working hard, the team pondered thoughtfully and carefully the delicate situation before them. The wrong choice would spell doom, and would foment a regular discord among them. “What will it be?” asked someone impatiently, piercing through the uncomfortable silence.
“We’ve tried everything. Surely there must be something else.”
“There is nothing that we know of and have not tried,” came the weary response.
“Burgers it is then,” came a resigned sigh.
“No.” It was a firm statement. It brokered no disagreement. “Bring me a dining guide. I will find something.”
“There is no dining guide. At least nothing for this year.”
An angry stare. “That’s it then. I am going to make my own Dining Guide. With Blackjack and h…. no wait just the dining guide. For now.”
That conversation was in 2003, and this year, the eleventh issue of bazaar’s annual dining and delivery guide is now available all across Kuwait in print and digital format.
The Adventure Continues
This is the first issue of the New Year, and with it come tidings of adventures to experience, places to explore, and dishes to eat, so use their pages to get a head start on the fun, and have a great one!
Happy new year from the bazaar team!