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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21 comments, add your own...


  1. Ipsom says:

    Sometimes the most plain and ordinary looking folks are the most interesting.

  2. Just says:

    You must be kidding me !! I got goose bumps reading this. I remember this shop so well.

  3. Judith says:

    I like the sign in his shop, a beautiful example of Arabic-ish.

    There must be many of this kind of interesting stories in Kuwait; you should consider collecting them and make a glossy picture/story book. Assuming anyone else but me would be interested in such a book of course.

  4. G says:

    I love Mr Kim Car, I used to call him the Korean Mafia Boss – Kuwait branch, looks an interesting person with his white suite, he lives in the building in front of me.

  5. Gargoyle says:

    His children and wife now live in Korean while he lives here alone. He’s 71 years old.

    Korea*

  6. Adam says:

    Everyone has a story. you should feature a person every month. Its the people that make kuwait.

    • think says:

      That would actually be an awesome project- The Humans of Kuwait (like the Humans of New York). There are countless unique stories of people here that are hidden away in part due to the rigid social structure we have.

    • MousePotato says:

      +1 That’s really cool!

  7. Carol says:

    I’m so glad to read this post. Mr. Kim sure deserves this exposure as he sells good quality hair accessories for kids. The stuff is Made in Korea.

  8. Just says:

    It would be interesting to know if he would still mentor in boxing.

  9. Sean says:

    Props, excellent article.

  10. Lshadow says:

    Honestly, why is he still here?

    Not to be rude, I mean this as nice as possible shouldn’t he go back to Korea with his family and enjoy life?

    He’s selling stuff that no one would really buy in Kuwait…

  11. AFK says:

    Is this your idea about helping him with his Instagram account!!!
    What the heck does that mean “anjery Korean dress12kd 2year Kuwait salmiya anjery korean shop” ?????

  12. Abdullah Saad says:

    i have heard parts of this story from him when he comes pays rent in my father’s office. he is a good guy and i like his 70’s outfits with bright colors :D

  13. Shruti says:

    I love these kind of stories. Each of them have such a vivid and random line up of events. And even when we know nothing about them, we fee like we can relate to their story.


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