The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 3)

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oldkuwiat3

This is the last batch, part three of the three part series I’ve called “Old Kuwait”. All the photos below were taken during my visit to the KOC Photography Archive.


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The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 2)

Post by Mark

oldkuwait2

Here is the second part of the three part series “Old Kuwait”. All the photos below are from the KOC Photography Archive.


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The KOC Archive: Old Kuwait (Part 1)

Post by Mark

oldkuwait1

Because I can be so disorganized sometimes, I completely forgot about the photos I had gotten on my visit to The KOC Photography Archive back in 2014! I have a folder with around 175 photos of old Kuwait which I will be sharing in three parts, this is Part 1.


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25th Anniversary of 1991 Kuwaiti Oil Fires

Post by Mark

sheep

In April of 1991 following Iraqi military setting the Kuwait Oil Fields aflame, photographer Sebastião Salgado documented the environmental disaster. The New York Times featured some of his photos a few days ago which will be featured in his upcoming book, “Kuwait: Desert on Fire” which will be released by Taschen this coming August 2016. Check out his photos [Here]

If you want to purchase original prints of some his photos can you do so from [Here] but expect to pay on upwards of KD2,000 for a print.


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Kuwait Municipality Documentary

Post by Mark

In celebration of 80 years of giving back to Kuwait and it’s people, the Kuwait municipality released a video documenting the history of the municipality using archival footage of Kuwait.

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The documentary is in Arabic but contains lots of old footage and photos so its still interesting to skim through even if you don’t understand Arabic. [Vimeo]


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Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989

Post by Mark

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Yesterday evening I was invited to the launch of the book “Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989” that was held at Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in Yarmouk. I really didn’t ask any questions about the event before I went since I’ve been wanting to get my hands on the book ever since I found out about it last year. So when one of the book authors invited me to the launch, I just went no questions asked. What I didn’t know was that there was going to be a presentation by Mr. Khalid al-Essa, the former Minister of Public Works and Dr. Ibrahim al-Shaheen, the former General Director of Public Authority of Housing and former Minister of Municipal Affairs. Both those presenters were around and involved during Kuwait’s architectural rise and once their presentation was over they took part in a panel discussion.

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For those of you that have following the blog for awhile now you already know my obsession with Kuwait’s past and so I felt extremely lucky to be in attendance last night listening to the stories of how Kuwait went from mud buildings to having world renowned architects like Kenzo Tange, Jørn Utzon and I. M. Pei involved in local projects. Listening to the two of them talk last night reminded me again how truly young Kuwait is.

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The book “Modern Architecture Kuwait 1949-1989” is a combined effort by Roberto Fabbri, Sara Saragoça Soares and Ricardo Camacho. It involves over two years of investigative research as well as gorgeous photography taken by the gifted architectural photographer Nelson Garrido who travelled across Kuwait to document over 150 buildings that are featured in the book. The buildings are divided into four categories:

Specimens I – building as infrastructure: 1949-1960
Specimens II – building as national identity: 1961-1979
Specimens III – building as cityscape: 1971-1979
Specimens IV – building as programme: 1980-1989

As you can imagine, the book if fairly thick but with the amount of constant demolishing of old buildings taking place in Kuwait, its important to document as many buildings as possible before it’s too late.

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The book costs KD22 and is available on Amazon [Link] and also at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah bookshop in Yarmouk [Map]. If you have the slightest interest in architecture, design or Kuwait’s past then you should definitely get one.

This morning the architectural and design magazine Dezeen ran a piece on the book along with around 20 photos. Check it out, their article has a lot more details and the photos will give you a general idea of what to expect inside the book. Here is the [Link]


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Warriors War Breakdown

Post by Mark

bruceandjohn

This post is for the MMA fans here. A few years ago I posted a clip from Warriors War, a middleweight MMA tournament that took place in Kuwait back in 2001 and involved the likes of Matt Hughes, Bruce Buffer and Big John McCarthy. I was pretty surprised back then that I hadn’t heard of this tournament before but Ray Elbe sent me a link to an article a few days back that discusses the event in full details. Turns out it was a complete mess from an organizing stand point which should be no surprise but there was also a scheme to rig some of the fights. If you’re an MMA fan you’re going to find this enjoyable to read, check out the article [Here]


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1,001 Old Ads

Post by Mark

ads

Last month an ebook containing 1,001 vintage ads from old Kuwaiti newspapers was released by the Dawood Treasury. The ads are grouped into categories to make it easier to navigate but sadly the whole ebook is only available as an Adobe Flash based flip book. It’s difficult to navigate, it’s slow, it spends forever loading and there is no way you could download it to view it later on your iPad or laptop. It sucks that they went through all that effort to create this ebook but then to make it so inaccessible. In any case check it out [Here]

Thanks Adnan


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Salamatak (سلامتك)

Post by Mark

salamatak

Last month when I visited the GCCJPPI headquarters in Kuwait I requested a few things from them. One of the things I requested were a few episodes of the 80s show Salamatak so I could upload them onto YouTube. So last week they gave me four full episodes which I’ve uploaded onto YouTube for everyone to watch. I believe these are the only full episodes available on YouTube so check them out below for some nostalgia:


[YouTube]


[YouTube]


[YouTube]


[YouTube] (kinda NSFW)

Thanks Nawaf


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Meet Mr Kim

Post by Mark

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There is a really old Korean guy called Mr Kim that has a shop in my building and I always found him fascinating. He’s got fairly long white hair, wears white bell bottoms with funky vintage shirts and drives a very well kept classic Chevrolet Caprice. I’ve actually posted about his shop before but never about him since I didn’t really know his story. But, recently he asked me to help him set up an Instagram account and we got to talking and it turns out he’s got such an interesting and random story.

Back in 1981 Mr Kim was the General Secretary of the Boxing Federation in Korea when Sheikh Fahad Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah (the founder of the Kuwait Olympic Committee) was visiting Korea. Sheikh Fahad met with Mr Kim and offered him the position head coach of for the Kuwait National Boxing Team. Mr Kim accepted the position and came to Kuwait in 1982 and right away helped the Kuwaiti team win two bronze medals at the Asian Games that same year.

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Mr Kim continued to train the Kuwait National Boxing Team before leaving a few years later to train the Kuwaiti police and later the army. Around 88-89 he left boxing behind and partnered up with Carlton Hotel to open a Korean restaurant (which is still there). In 1990 Iraq invaded Kuwait, he was on vacation at the time but his two daughters and son were in Kuwait. His children stayed at the Carlton Hotel at first and later stayed at the home of an employee of the Korean embassy.

In 1991 Mr Kim came back to Kuwait after the invasion and got into a disagreement with the Carlton Hotel and so left the restaurant. In 1992 he opened his current shop which sells mostly hair bands and random little trinkets he brings in from Korea. His children and wife now live in Korea while he lives here alone. He’s 71 years old.

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As I’ve mentioned before his shop is really worth checking out. I’ve actually taken a bunch of friends there and everyone was always surprised at how visually intense the interior is. So pass by him if you can, his shop is located on the mezzanine floor of Anjari Complex in Salmiya [Map]. You can also check out his Instagram account [Here]


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