KTV2 Guide from August 1989

Post by Mark

I recently found a copy of Kuwait TV guide from August 1989 and figured I’d scan the KTV2 section and share it on the blog. For those of you who grew up in Kuwait during the 80s you’ll probably remember we had only two channels, KTV1 in Arabic and KTV2 in English. On good days we could also pick up the English Saudi channel and on rare occasions the Bahraini one. KTV2 used to only start at 6PM and then close down by midnight. Much simpler times.

1989 was a good year for TV, going through the guide I came across a lot of my old time favorites including:

Starman
Bionic Six
Charles in Charge (My childhood crush > Nicole Eggert)
Danger Bay
Simon & Simon
TV Bloopers & Practical Jokes
Silver Hawks
Miami Vice
Moonlighting

If you want to flip through the TV guide, I’ve scanned it and uploaded the pdf [Here]


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Watch Hours and Hours of Old Videos on Kuwait

Post by Mark

A YouTube user going by the name jalili99Q8 has been uploading tons of old videos on Kuwait. The videos range from music videos, interviews, shows, documentaries and more. Personally I like the documentaries similar to the ones I’ve embedded in this post. Most of the videos I’ve come across have been in Arabic, but there are a few English ones and even if they’re in Arabic, you can still flip through them since the music is usually very 70s or Miami Vice 80s which is amazing.

I’ve shared some videos below but if you want to flip through his whole channel click [Here]

Thanks Twit

Read the rest of this entry »


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History of the Behbehani House Complex

Post by Mark

The Behbehani House Complex located behind the church in Kuwait City is one of the few remaining historical buildings in that area. I never knew the history behind it but a redditor recently posted a link to a chapter from the book “Cities in Transition” that talks about the history of this beautiful complex. Here is one paragraph from that chapter:

The Behbehani House Complex is located in al-Watia area, which means “footmarks” in the local Kuwaiti dialect. The area was given this name because people used to stroll beside the sea shore along the Arabian Gulf bay leaving their footmarks on the muddy sand shore thus giving this area its common name. In the early 1940’s Yusuf Shreen Behbehani built this complex as his first major real estate project. Al-Watia area was a wild and lonely place, where few town people dared to venture. When Yusuf Behbehani bought this piece of land, half of it used to be covered by high tide seawater, so he reclaimed it and made it higher and then started to build, as Al-Rashoud 1995 has noted. This represented one of the first attempts to reclaim parts of the Arabian Gulf bay along the Kuwaiti waterfront, which now became almost common practice in most waterfront development projects.

If you’re interested in reading more about the Behbehani House Complex, then check out the full chapter [Here]

Photo by kimprint


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Kuwait by John Feeney (1974)

Post by Mark

This is a short 23 minute documentary on Kuwait that dates back to 1974. While watching it I felt there was something different about it, the soundtrack along with the framing of some of the shots made this documentary feel a bit artsy. Then near the end of the film at the 18:30 mark, it started to get a bit trippy, like a mixture of Apocalypse Now and 2001: A Space Odyssey. So once the film was over I waited for the credits to roll to see who it was directed by and turns out it was directed by a guy called John Feeney who was nominated for an Academy Award.. twice! So totally worth watching, if you don’t have the time then just forward to 18:30 of the film. [YouTube]

Film by Filmoteca Española


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Photos of When Buffalo Bill’s Came to Kuwait in 1986

Post by Mark

When I was a kid I remember visiting the Buffalo Bill’s show that (I believe) was held at the Mishref Fairgrounds. I posted about it a few years back asking if anyone remembered it and not many people did. None of my friends remember it either but, the internet is amazing sometimes and a few days ago one of the Buffalo Bill’s performers who came to Kuwait in 86 sent me a few pictures of when they were in Kuwait. He was 24 at that time and he’s still got more pictures which he’s going to send but for now here are three.

Their setup was pretty legit so I imagine they were here for some time and not just for a few shows. Kinda like when a circus would come into town. You’ll also notice a number of brands in the background including Hungry Bunny, Commercial Bank of Kuwait, Alghanim Philips (now Xcite) and KNPC.

Thanks BgC!


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1974 Attack on the Japanese Embassy in Kuwait

Post by Mark

I found the video above last week by mistake while looking for something else and here is a summary of the incident according to Wikipedia:

On 7 February 1974, Palestinian militants occupied the Japanese embassy in Kuwait City, taking the ambassador and ten others hostage. The militants’ motive was to support the Japanese Red Army members and Palestinian militants who were holding hostages on a Singaporean ferry in what is known as the Laju incident. Ultimately, the hostages were released, and the guerillas allowed to fly to Aden.

What interested me the most was the Japanese embassy building shown in the film above, is it still around? Where is that? It kinda seems like its near the graveyard behind Salhiya but I don’t recall seeing this building before.


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Close-up On Kuwait (1960s)

Post by Mark

I could swear I had seen and posted the video above before but turns out the structure of the film as well as some of the footage and dialogue is shared with another video I had posted a few years ago. The video above on the other hand was uploaded by the archive website Periscope Film last week and is actually pretty good quality for a film from the 60s.

If you’re into old stuff like this then make sure you browse through the “50s to 90s” category on my blog [Here]

Thanks H.J.O


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Kuwait Circa 1980

Post by Mark

1980

Usually I tend to find and share photos of Kuwait from the early days like the 50s and 60s but recently I came across a whole bunch of photos of Kuwait taken in 1980. What I find fascinating with these specific photos is that Kuwait usually tends to look really great in the really old photos I share but in these Kuwait just looks really gritty. I think the early 80s were a transitional period between old and new and based on the photos it’s as if all the beautiful old buildings were just starting to fall apart.

Photos taken from the MIT Libraries


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The Souk Al-Manakh Stock Bubble and Collapse

Post by Mark

manakh

The height of the society-wide insanity occurred when eight speculators, known as “the Cavaliers,” floated a total of $55 billion in postdated checks, seemingly in an attempt to corner the market. The most prolific check writer among the Cavaliers was Jassim al-Mutawa, a Passport Office employee in his early-twenties, who managed to pass off $14 billion all by himself. Sloppy accounting on the part of his brother and partner, Najeeb al-Mutawa, caused Jassim to become a staggering $3.4 billion overdrawn.

A really fascinating article on Souk Al-Manakh in the early 80s. The numbers quoted in the article are insane! I had always been curious about what happened and how it all happened so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. [Link]

Also, here are some photos of the Souk Al-Manakh building taken in the early 80s via the MIT Libraries.

Thanks faahqueimmanutjawb


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History of the Kuwait National Museum

Post by Mark

kna

An invited competition was launched in 1960 for the construction of a museum in Kuwait City. Michel Ecochard won this project while his work was flourishing, especially in Lebanon. However, between the time of the project and its realisation, a long waiting period elapses. Michel Ecochard expressed doubts about the likelihood of this project being completed at all.

The Museum programme was based around several themes, including areas devoted to the oceans and to the field of culture, another to the oil industry, and a botanical garden. The first section relates to culture and administration; a space dedicated to archaeology, art, ethnography and folk traditions. Offices and storage areas extend into an outdoor exhibition area, with spaces reserved for temporary exhibitions and an auditorium. A separate building is reserved for displays on the theme of “Kuwait, today and tomorrow”, a dome-like structure, connected by a walkway to the main building. One can also gain access from the garden. A space with a high ceiling is able to house the machinery of oil chemistry; the second part of the second storey addresses the scientific and industrial applications of oil, and is covered by a dome structure that stands out from the rest. The main entrance is located between the two buildings.

It is interesting to note that the section of the Museum part devoted to traditional life partially recreates the organisation of the so-called traditional city, with a market for traditional crafts such as tanning, jewellery-making, pottery, weaving, and fishing. Buildings organised around a central patio reproduce forms of traditional habitat. In the area destined to house the zoological and botanical garden, an itinerary encouraging strolling, with the first floor transparent, is provided via ramps and walkways connecting the floors, allowing a view of the botanic garden and a large aquarium. The strength of the architectural design comes from the fact that each section is both independent and connected to everything else, both in the interior and exterior areas.

The architecture is resolutely modern with the use of concrete pillars and beams. The rhythmic façades are punctuated by areas with small rectangles made from work blocks. The architecture has been designed in response to the climate to avoid both the sun and sandstorms. It should be noted that the sun-shade was conceived as a way to create a microclimate and a variation of light according to the coverage needs. The idea is to create protection through a flat roof made of open, light, metal, a “microclimate” in which the museum and its immediate surroundings can function independently of the outside temperature. This is a huge shelter that is 28m high, with widely spaced pillars.

The museum was looted and burned during the 1990 Iraq invasion and it remained in that state until very recently. The museum is now currently under renovation.

museum

All the images and text above were taken from Archnet [Link] They also have a scan of an interesting publication relating to the museum which you can read [Here]

In 2014 I visited the museum and took photos of the inside before renovation work had started, you can check those out [Here]

knaold

The picture above is of the previous Kuwait National Museum. It was also destroyed during the 1990 Iraq invasion.


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