Vintage Wrestling Poster Destroyed

Posted by Mark

wrestlingkuwait

A few years ago I posted about a vintage wrestling poster (photo above) dating back to 1965. The poster was still stuck on a pillar on a soon to be demolished building on Fahad Al Salem street and I was hoping someone would end up saving the poster.

posterdestroyed

Since I was in the area the other day I decided to pass by and see if the poster was saved and sadly it wasn’t as you can see in the photo above. My guess is someone tried to break off the marble slab to rescue the poster but ended up accidentally breaking the slab in half. Sucks.


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The Kuwait Embassy in Japan

Posted by Mark

kenzo

A completely random but interesting fact, I recently found out the beautifully designed Kuwait Embassy in Japan (pictured above) was designed by the same legendary architect behind the original Kuwait Airport, Kenzo Tange. The building was built in 1966, 13 years before the Kuwait Airport.

via @kashkool_kw

Note: If you click the original Kuwait Airport link you can see photos of how the Kuwait Airport originally looked like.

kuwaitairport


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Beautiful old photos of Ahmadi

Posted by Mark

ahmadi

Found these photos in the @alahmadi_town instagram account. The one above is my favorite because of the fact it looks like it was taken in a small American town.


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Tickle Tickle Kuwait

Posted by Mark

26 maart Kiele kiele Koeweit (1974) from Vandaag Voorheen on Vimeo.

I found the video above on Vimeo and it looked interesting since it was from 1974 and had something to do about Kuwait. But, I couldn’t understand anything since it was in Dutch so I sent the video to a friend of mine in Holland and asked him what it was about. This is what he emailed me back:

Haha… this is a funny carnival song from early 1974 about the oil-crisis of 1973. It’s because of this song the Dutch found out about the existence of Kuwait. The 4 guys were famous in the 70s because of their political cabaret show on television; Farce Majeure.

In 1973 Kuwait boycotted the US and Holland for their support of Israel in the 1973 War (Ramadan War). Because of the fear of running out of oil, Prime Minister Den Uyl took the decision to introduce the ‘oil-bon’. A maximum supply of oil for each person every month. Another measure was that cars were not allowed to drive on Sundays. Only doctors, firemen, police and others who could prove that it was absolutely necessary to use their car on Sunday were exempt. But those exceptions were only a few and basically it was a nice time in my youth, being able to roller skate and cycle on the empty highways.

The song is a simple carnival song. Kuwait, Kuwait, tickle, tickle, Kuwait, tickle, tickle Kuwait and so on.. Just funny, no offensive lyrics whatsoever. In the clip you see the official agent (honorair consul) of Kuwait in The Netherlands at that era, Mahmoud Rabbani. A nice person who earned a lot of respect from the Dutch people because of his approach. When he receives the 45″ single in the clip, he thanks the members of the group and add to this the memorable words;

‘Critisism is a good, as long as it’s brought with a sense of humor.’

Yeah, times have changed… :(

At first Kuwait was angry about the song and threatened with more diplomatic sanctions. They blamed the performers of the song for adding even more fuel to the fire. But, as you noticed, Mahmoud Rabbani acted wisely and became popular in Holland. Unfortunately not that much in Kuwait… but that’s another story.

A very interesting story, one I hadn’t heard about before.

Thanks Marcel


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To Sell A War – Gulf War Propaganda

Posted by Mark

An interesting feature from 1992 on the propaganda that helped gain American public support for the Gulf War. It’s around 30 minutes long but worth watching. [YouTube]


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Vintage Al-Babtain Photos

Posted by Mark

babtain0

Al-Babtain are currently the car dealers for Infiniti, Nissan and Renault among others and I managed to get my hands on some old photos of the dealership. There are three photos, one if their first showroom in Kuwait, the other photo is of their first spare parts shop and the final one is of the interior of their showroom in 1980.

If you have any old photos of Kuwait [Let me know]

Thanks Abdulrahman


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Vintage Arabic Comics

Posted by Mark

comics

Q8books found a bunch of vintage Arabic comic books in a pile of donated books and are trying to figure out their value. The conditions of the books range from around a 5/10 to maybe an 8 or 9/10. Does anyone know how to go about finding how much they’re worth? The books are:

Superman 6 (1984 reprint)
Superman 58 (1981)
Superman 63 (1982)
Superman 64 (1983)
Batman 13 (1977)
Batman 15 (1979)
Flash 4 (1973)
Lulu 16 (1980)


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R.I.P. Tchantcho Augustin

Posted by Mark

tchantcho

Last month my old karate coach, Tchantcho Augustin passed away. I’m not sure how many of you know Tchantcho but he was my karate coach back in the mid 80s when he used to give lessons at the now demolished Hilton Hotel on the Gulf Road. Up until recently he was the PE teacher at Le Lycée Français and the karate coach at The Little Gym. He was always super nice and he was really loved by everyone. I used to run into him randomly at Sultan Center every now and then and he’d always remember who I was. He taught a lot of children in Kuwait and he will be terribly missed. May he rest in peace.

The picture above was taken around 1985, I’m the white boy in the front row middle.


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Flashback: Gazelle Club

Posted by Mark

gazelle1

Gazelle Club was THE club in Kuwait back in the 60s and up until the 1990 Gulf War. I went there only a few times back in the 80s and so have very faint memories of the place. I actually remember only two things, one was a large trampoline I used to play on, and two a very disturbing incident where a kid fell off the swimming pool slide, hit his head on the floor and later passed away. Gazelle Club was located in Fintas and got destroyed by the Iraqis during the 1990 invasion. I never understood why it was never rebuilt again.

gazelle2

The photos below are ones I found from a bunch of sources (all listed below) and show Gazelle Club during it’s greatest days as well as the current state of the club.

via @gharabally, @amerhilal, Kuwait-History and Gazelle Club on Facebook


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The Pen Specialist

Posted by Mark

pen1

Thursday night I passed by the Souk Al-Mubarakiya Festival for the second time to meet up with a friend and while taking a shortcut to avoid the crowds I ended up passing by a very unique pen store. It didn’t look like much from the outside but something caught my eye and I ended up walking in.

pen2

The store, not very big maybe 3×4 meters was just covered wall to wall with displays filled with pens and just two brands, Parker and Shaeffer. I was in awe, the displays were filled with a lot of intricate items, like they’ve been gathering up over the years and I had so many questions but the shop keeper was with a customer so I waited overhearing the conversation. The shop keeper was telling the customer how the Parker pen he was buying was made in the USA and was from the last series that was produced in the States back in 1984.

pen3

Once the customer left I started talking to the shop keeper who was called Gomes. According to Gomes the store originally opened back in the 50s but he had been working at the store since he came to Kuwait in 1977. It used to be located in a different part of the souk but that building had gotten demolished and they had moved into the current store in 1988. The store still contained a lot of old stock or in other words, vintage pens. Gomes had taken it upon himself to display some of the most vintage pens in the display cases with little hand written notes (in a beautiful handwriting I must say) about the pens. Over the years he’s also collected trinkets from here and there and he kept adding them to the display cases and now they’re all full of random objects that add so much character to the store.

I told him how much I loved the store and how I had been coming to the souk since I was a kid but how I never m
noticed the store even though it was on the main road. I didn’t buy anything since I was on my way to meet up with my friend but I did promise him I would come back. If anyone is interested in visiting the store it’s located across from the Green Land vegetarian restaurant in Souk Al-Mubarakiya. They’re open from 8AM to 1PM and then again from 4PM to 9PM and the store is called Al-Muneefi. Here is the approximate location on [Google Maps]


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