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KMaD Al Marefa Excuse for a Company
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Keyboard Kommando



Joined: 03 Dec 2012
Posts: 38
Location: Saudi Arabia

PostPosted: Tue Mar 11, 2014 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

veiledsentiments wrote:
Are you kidding? 700KD? (US$2500) I was paid more than that in Kuwait in 1998, granted that it wasn't MOD. It was KU, but they are certainly not a high payer.

If you have decent credentials plus some experience, you'd be better off in Oman. Pay is a bit better and it is a much better place to live and work. As I recall you have an MA (education related, but not EFL/ESL) and a few years of experience. There might even be possibilities in the UAE and Qatar.

VS


Yep, shared housing (kind of mentioned) and they sent me a ticket for the 15th, come a running. I asked them about the housing and the fact I'm flying nearly 1/2 way around the planet to work on a tourist visa. They are tap dancing around the shared housing, and saying "no problem" the tourist visa. I emailed them and told them to forget it.
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globebot



Joined: 20 Sep 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

A very wise decision, dear friend. There was a time in the Muddle East Gulf States when expats were paid a king's ransom, with all the perks you an imagine. But that was in the distant past when Egyptians and Indians were not anywhere in the mix. These gangsters, in collaboration with the local yokels, now run the show. And they are as tight assed as any camel or western banker!
I once was there, and now I'm happily long gone!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These people at the MOD in Kuwait will never increase their salary offer for EFL teachers which really is peanuts for Kuwait and only desperate backpacker EFL types will apply for work there as most likely have no where to go to save some money teaching English...... Shocked Shocked
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globebot



Joined: 20 Sep 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

A good way to end the misery that is Q8 and the other States, is for the Muddle East Gulf States to start their own shooting show. The IS are lurking nearby, and are chomping at the bit to get in there and mix it up with them. Now wouldn't that be prime time!
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globebot



Joined: 20 Sep 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Fri Sep 19, 2014 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

I could buy all the Chinese jet fuel I wanted in Q8 with one phone call to a Filipino. KSA sells more JW Scotch than any other country in the world. But many locals in the military prefer eau du cologne. Bahrain is the boudoir of the Muddle East! The Royal Guard in Oman has its own liquor stores supplying its officers! Yes, these guys are in great fighting shape! Being there opened my eyes like never before!
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2014 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Al Marefa is still out there. How unfortunate for the profession.
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globebot



Joined: 20 Sep 2013
Posts: 64

PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2015 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply Reply with quote

Can't agree with you more!
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HP275



Joined: 16 Jun 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Los Angeles/ San Diego

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

AVOID Al Marefa!!!

I have just spent a year with them. Better to avoid. Just getting to the basics:

If they fly you to Kuwait – you don’t have the job yet. You must pass a live teaching demo.


If you PASS, you will need to have these docs:

-FBI Check (2 steps)
-Diplomas
-Medical Check
-Kuwait Visa Application/ Stamps

Because…

The K Military now requires Civil IDs (Iqamas) to enter the base. All teachers must have one now.

In fact, Al Marefa terminated all staff not on Civil IDs. Their theory was that they would re-hire everyone with fresh contracts and get them Civil IDs.

Problems with this:


1. Many teachers got these papers last summer. No action was taken then by Al Marefa to get Civil IDs for those teachers. No Civil IDs, No re-imbursements of costs.



2. Team Leader and Project Manager have refused to pay any reimbursements of these costs. (Only costs incurred IN Kuwait.) Claim that such fees are not commonly reimbursed in any country. WHY NOT ASK ABOUT THIS DURING YOUR SKYPE INTERVIEW??

3. It’s Expensive. FBI – 150 USD plus State Dept. Apostille. $200
Diploma – State Apostille, processing $50
Medical Check $700-1200.
Kuwait fees ???

4. It’s time consuming.. FBI now at 12-18 weeks, plus 3-4 weeks for State Dept.
Diploma Apostille 1-2 weeks
Medical Check 3-10 days
Kuwait embassy 1 week

(16-20 weeks of paperwork processing = 3-5 months)

Americans: From start to finish it will take you 5-6 months before you are on payroll. Whether or not you need two separate trips to Kuwait for interview and entry. Previously, working on tourist visas could get you working the day after you tested in. Now their solution MAY be to have you do your medicals before you come and before you are guaranteed a job. If you don’t pass the live demo, you’re out those costs.
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HP275



Joined: 16 Jun 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Los Angeles/ San Diego

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

PART II – THE PRIZE

What is the renumeration? For what are you waiting these seven fortnights?

830 KD monthly (1KD = 3.31 USD)

-30 less transpo fee
-100 less for accommodation SHARED
700 Net renumeration ($2317 per month)


-100 let’s say you don’t want to share the apartment

600 KD

600 x 3.31 = $1,986 per month

It will take an American close to one month to pay off his visa.

They want a 16 month contract (with strict penalties for leaving early). Should you want a shorter time –

DEDUCT 30 KD per month
570 x 3.31 = $1,886 per month




Working hours Sunday – Thursday 6am-2pm (door to door), give or take. 5x45 minutes teaching daily. 1 hour of prep.

(This job will give you time to go to afternoon programs, etc. )

FEW HOLIDAYS – Both major religious holidays are two days only off. In previous years it was 2 weeks. If the students complain and you get two weeks off, you won’t know about it until the week before. (=no time to plan a trip anywhere)

1 week off at Xmas/New Year’s. Annual summer leave is an accrued 42 days.
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HP275



Joined: 16 Jun 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Los Angeles/ San Diego

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

EXAMPLE SCENARIO

You get a Skype interview with an Egyptian recruiter. In July. They like you. You agree to work for them. You got a job! Or so you think…

You start the process by getting your fingerprints for the FBI done. July 10. They will be ready on Sept 30. Then you send to the office at the State Dept. You get a visa November 1.

YOU GET ALL THE PAPERWORK DONE, GO TO KUWAIT AND FIND OUT YOU DON’T PASS THE INTERVIEW.


NO REIMBURSEMENT OF VISA COSTS. You’re out $1,500. You have no job. Your medical check will expire soon. Your FBI check will expire in 2 months. You must do these again for the next employer.

EXAMPLE SCENARIO #2

If you DO pass, then you spend the next three months playing catch-up with your monthly leftover $1,400:


NOVEMBER PAY – use to reimburse self for visa costs.
DEC. PAY pay back for ½ of AUG/SEP/OCT living costs
JAN PAY pay back for ½ of AUG/SEP/OCT living costs
F,M,A,M,J save 7000
Summer pay 2500 (comprised of less service time b/c you didn’t work Aug – Oct)
Save 9500. ($5000 after summer trip)

SO NOW YOU HAVE $5,000 AND START THE SECOND SCHOOL YEAR. (SEP ’16)

EXAMPLE SCENARIO #3

You pass the interview. But instead of going home, they put you in the apartment and spend 3 months getting you a few hours a week at other schools.





HAD YOU GONE TO CHINA YOU’D HAVE SAVED $1,000/MONTH $13,000
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HP275



Joined: 16 Jun 2015
Posts: 4
Location: Los Angeles/ San Diego

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 6:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BUT THAT’S NOT ALL, FOLKS!!!

WORKING CONDITIONS

Team Leader and Project Manager have proven to be quite incompetent at their jobs. When you need something or have a problem, they (especially Dr. Team Leader) are dismissive and unhelpful.

They colluded to take deductions from salary that was basically a payback of the extra, generous 7 days of personal time that was gifted to us by the company. (As a result of hurt feelings that some teachers felt after being passed over for good teacher awards.)

They claimed that this was a fair deduction because those (who decided to leave upon being terminated) COST the company money as a result of their leaving after being terminated and that those teachers should pay to recruit new teachers.


After the ensuing outrage, they returned that money. Dr. Team Leader insisted that he thought it wasn’t fair but had promoted it as fair previously.

Project Manager often took deductions from salary for petty revenge. This was in the form of apartment fees, forcing teachers to pay back their air ticket payments, sick days that had previously been paid, etc.

Neither Team Leader (who will call to recruit you) nor Project Manager (who will handle your visa stuff) were all that competent at their jobs. These are the two and ONLY two people between you and your salary. They are petty, vengeful, egotistical idiots that hide away from the emails you send or turn off their phones when you call. Team Leader went so far as to call a staff meeting and NOT SHOW UP!


Team Leader refuses to talk to you about salary issues, but wants to be cc’d on every email you send to the Project Manager. Then he calls others into his office to talk about…. SALARY.

I could go on, about how they promised medical reimbursements but only gave half. How they told us to go to a clinic that had been shuttered for months. About how I worked every day in January, but had 3 days deducted because I arrived into town on the 3rd (1/1 holiday, 2-3 weekend). How there was no banquet this year, but there was last year. How they paid me, by check, 17 minutes before the bank closed across town, on the day I was supposed to fly. And withheld 200 KD for an apartment deposit on the last day.

If you work here, you’ll regret it. You may read earlier on in this or the other thread that this job was good for those who wanted to get a few thousand dollars and move on. Well, those days are over. You can't work here on a tourist passport any more. Here is the way it really is. BE WARNED!!
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EFL Educator



Joined: 17 Jul 2013
Posts: 620

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All of this comes as no surprise...it is called the New World Order for EFL teachers in Kuwait....penalizing qualified native speaking EFL teachers who simply want to make a living but have to pass so many hurdles just to get a job! Shocked
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CVN-76



Joined: 28 Mar 2014
Posts: 167

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This site is a source of (negative) info on Al Marefa, and it's good some teachers have taken the time to tell all about it. But there are other sources out there on the net devoted to telling all to avoid this employer. FB is one such place. But although there are pages on FB that have been up for years, every so often a person who didn't take heed comes here to reaffirm what some have said at those sources all along. When going to work for an employer, especially one in the Middle East, research, research, research. The truth is out there.
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