A greener Salmiya? Please no!

Post by Mark

The past two weeks they’ve been digging up the street in front of my house in Salmiya (the old shopping street in Salem al Mubarek street). At first I thought they were actually reducing the size of the middle sidewalk to add more parking spots which pissed me off since I walk my dog there every morning. Then yesterday I spoke to one of the workers and he told me that wasn’t the plan, it turns out they’re going to be planting the middle sidewalk like how it is on the Gulf Road.

Usually this would be a good thing. Who wouldn’t want to live on a green street? I usually would be all pro for going green but not in this case. The street is currently just one big garbage bin. It’s completely ignored, no one is taking care of it. The streets are crumbling, most of the buildings are getting ready to be demolished, there is trash everywhere, not enough garbage bins and there is a street fight practically on a daily basis because of this billiard place next to my house. A month or two ago while walking my dog at 8AM I heard a lot of shouting and screaming. When I got closer I noticed two gangs throwing rocks at each other. One group of guys looked like Emo’s, they were standing across the street yelling and throwing rocks at another group of tubby guys standing on the other side of the street screaming back. There was a shop with a broken window because it got hit by a flying brick. This was at 8 in the morning!

I’ve lived in the exact same spot now for over 30 years and I’ve seen it turn from a trendy high end street to the dump it is now. If you check the archives you’ll find a number of posts (Here is one) where I’ve asked to be put in charge of the area so I could bring it back to life (Here is another). Currently I spend my mornings picking up broken bottles and pieces of glass so that my dog doesn’t end up getting cut. No one ever cleans up the garbage and everyone seems more than happen to just throw everything onto the floor. I’m lucky that the care taker of the building next to mine cleans up the alleyway between our two buildings or else it would just be a garbage dump.

So the idea that they’re planting grass in the middle of the sidewalk in what currently is a half deserted shopping street full of garbage just doesn’t make any sense. Whats going to happen is you’ll have all this greenery with white tissue papers and chips bags dangling off them like decorations. Instead of going green, can we go clean instead? Can someone please put me in charge of Salem Mubarek Street?


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21 comments, add your own...


  1. AR says:

    Yep – I vote for you. Take charge of the street as Mayor on Foursquare to start… G Luck..

  2. Mathai says:

    Parks and Recreation – Kuwait edition :P

  3. Mishoooo says:

    there is a huge plan for the area of old salem al-mubarak st. there will be new shopping areas, parks, cafe’s, and i also heard that it will be a no car zone

  4. Hilaliya says:

    You have a sanitation issue on the street Mark. Agree something needs to be done. But green is good.

    Every pavement in Kuwait should be lined with trees. This is a good step.

    • Mark says:

      Going green is good but as I mentioned you don’t go green and ignore all the other problems. I would think garbage pick up would be more important than green grass. Whats the use of going green if there is trash everywhere?

  5. Nobu says:

    I’m trying to get a fix on the location. Old Salmiya has three parts: From Mercedes to Sony showroom, then from there to AlGahnim Electronics, then, all the way to Interoptics and the traffic intersection. Are you talking about all of that? I thought some of these building were supposed to be demolished years ago.

    Excuse my memory. I haven’t been there in ages. But, you are right, that whole area is in desperate need of urban renewal. I would vouch for you, if you run for that position, since you seem to care a lot about it.

  6. Akbar says:

    Good post. Very soon it will all be over. Only way to save is declare this area as an heritage area. I was told Commercial was one of the first shopping complexs of Kuwait? Why wont they save it? I once took a wrong exit into this area and yes its in shambles. But the trash bins have reduced from what they were a few years ago due to the new buldings that have come around this place. Why wont someone like Al-Shaya or a private power house buy this whole area and restore it as a cool wintage area? 70years from now Mark’s kids will roam this area thanking their Grandad for his efforts…Wonder if Mark will archive 248am for ever on the internet? Anyway, I am drifting off the topic here. I think it should be restored.

  7. maud says:

    Wait there is a “tubby guys” gang!?

  8. truewords says:

    Last time I checked, Saud Sahood bought this plot a couple of years ago and I read somewhere after the land purchase that this area will cover cafes, shops, etc as Mishooo mentioned.

    I vouch for you too, Mark.

  9. jay says:

    everyone seems more than happen

  10. vampire says:

    someone is profoting from this
    that’s why

  11. Mubarak says:

    Well maybe greening up the place will help it turn around. In our district a simple, ugly intersection was turned into a green roundabout, and the schools were repainted at the same time. Now the majority of the houses on the streets have either got a facelift or have been torn down and rebuilt bigger and better.

  12. Desert Girl says:

    Who won the contract to plant trees? Kharafi?

  13. Nael says:

    Wow Mark, I can’t wait to come back and see what has changed. I was away for more than 3 years, you normally don’t see drastic changes within that short amount of time, but from your older posts about being a mayor, you made Salmiya look as if it was/is going through an extreme makeover.

  14. Kathinka says:

    Why is it Kuwait is such a dump. There is so much money in this country. Where does it go? Obviously not to beautifying the city. Are the kuwaities not proud of their city? Apparently not!! How can they live like this? The country could look so pretty. Look at Dubai and even Bahrain, Qatar and Oman. All ‘desert’ countries but still everywhere you see beautiful parks, flowerbeds etc. I am sure they get employ enough people to keep all the greenery looking good. I have not been long in Kuwait yet but feel sad to see the rubbish everywhere and the few palms in streets struggling to stay alive. Be proud of your country and do something about it’s appearance.

    • Mubarak says:

      A fractured and divided country, that has been dependent on foreigners to do almost everything can’t just up and transform into the most beautiful of nations.

      Frankly I’m happy with the problems, with enough pressure something will crack and society will be forced to change the way it operates. It’s not like the speed cameras up and appeared for no reason.

  15. Othman Al-Othman says:

    I’m probably the only Kuwaiti left in this country that keeps even his gum wrapper in his hand till he finds a trash bin…

    The mentality towards societal cleanliness is non existent here.

    • d'fined says:

      tel me about it…
      Everytime I see someone trash the street I give them a hard time. I dont understand why they can’t make a manner campain.

      In Abu Dhabi they have please dont litter at every traffic light.
      When there is wind.. Salmiyha looks like dump site.

  16. d'fined says:

    Salem Mubarack street where my office is also located is such a dump, broken bus stops, over filled and broken trash cans.
    Why this is suppose to be the best street in kuwait. The one all of us show off to our visitors. We only have to make sure it is at night so they dont see how trashy it is.

    I cant even walk my dog around our building.. as there is so much broken glass on the road. I am ashamed with peoples handling of their waste.


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