It’s Thursday night and you start asking your friends what their plans are. More often than not the answer is that there is nothing to do in Kuwait or that you have done it all before and it’s boring. Maybe you don’t have friends who want to go bowling with you. You love board games and karaoke but your friends think you’re a nerd, and opt-out.
Sabikah Alzaabi, Moodhi Alghanim and Abdulrazzak Almojalhem know exactly what you are going through. And after so many failed attempts at deciding what to do or where to go, they decided to start Shinsawi. Shinsawi, Kuwaiti for what are we going to do, is their little social project. They organize events, activities and get-togethers so that everyone can always find something to do.
Moodhi Alghanim is the creative genius behind the beautifully designed logo and website. By day she is a graphic designer and runs Studio AIO. Sabikah is an environmental engineer, giving her an edge at planning ahead and organizing. Abdulrazzak Almojalhem works in marketing, which explains why they have been able to hit the ground running regarding their social media, website and dealing with the public. Together they make a great team, as their skills and strengths complement each other.
Being an adult can be very isolating. This is even more pronounced for expats who come to a new country and find that it’s complicated and difficult to make friends outside of their workplace. Even locals and people who have been living here for years are usually limited to the people they went to high school with or family members. As a child, we could just find the most interesting kid on the playground and ask them to be our friend. Shinsawi takes away the awkwardness of introducing yourself to random strangers. Basically, they are leveling the adult playground.
The project has become so successful and popular that they almost always have to turn people away. Seating is usually limited by the available space for the different gatherings. For their game-night, more than a hundred people signed up, but the space could only accommodate twenty-two people. It was a fantastic hit. They started with family feud and ended with karaoke. By the end of the night the shyest people were grabbing the mic, excited about belting out their favorite songs.
So far, they have also hosted laser tag,go-karting, bowling, volleyball, dodgeball and an escape room. And they have more exciting ideas. There was also their awesome Anime Ramen night at Tampopo Ramen Shop. They brought in a TV screen to watch Japanese cartoons and slurped tasty noodles. It’s this kind of unexpectedness and diversity that makes people come back for more activities.
And they are doing it all for free. Whatever is being paid, is to cover costs. The team are not making any money out of it. Actually, they occasionally end up paying out of their own pockets, to cover for extra snacks or treats. This is where the sense of community spirit is takes over, as people are starting to offer their help, from bringin in extra speakers to trying to support the project however they can.
Shinsawi is committed to making sure that all events and gatherings are a safe environment for everyone involved. People who are joining in are mostly in their late twenties and are evenly split between men and women. People show up on their own and leave with newly made friends.
All of the events so far have been limited to adults over eighteen because the Shinsawi trio doesn’t believe that they are equipped to handle unaccompanied minors, but also because they think adults need the time off and need space for themselves too. There are a lot of children’s events all over Kuwait all year round. But very rarely can you find something that is just for fun for grown-ups.
However, they are joining up with the United Nations in November for a huge beach cleanup initiative. There’s no age limit on this one and the more the merrier! Bring your friends or maybe come make friends while fighting shoreline pollution. It’s just the thing that Shinsawi stands for.
The group have a running list of things they would love to do, venues to explore and activities to try. It’s a heartening and wholesome initiative. A group of friends who just wanted to have something interesting to do, and on the way, they fostered a community and invited hundreds of people to go with them.
Featured image courtesy of Shinsawi.