Close Up On Kuwait – 1962

Post by Mark

This has to be the greatest find yet, a documentary on Kuwait filmed in 1962. Embedding of the video has been disabled so to watch it you need to click [Here]

The Oil industry in Arab country of Kuwait, Middle East. Film made in 1962, directed by Rodney Giesler.

A young Kuwaiti man visits a typical idyllic English village. The village is Shere in Surrey. Shots of old timber framed houses. He speaks to camera. Another man outside the rear entrance of the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank. Another Kuwaiti man talks seated at an outdoor café in London. They both speak to camera.

Film then switches to Kuwait. Point of view from car of busy Kuwait streets. Construction site and builders. The desert. Gas or oil terminal. Oil tankers. Docks. Arab man with headdress rides in the back of a lorry. Travelling shot of crowded street with American cars. Arab businessman in his office, talks on telephone. Various shops, selling electrical goods, chairs. Shopper plays an accordion. Some stylish modernist buildings. Two men drink from cola bottles. Large American car with fins pulls out and nearly crashes with another (seen from the rear). The ruler of Kuwait at a military parade. Various scenes of doctors, dentists, opticians at work. Small children rushing into school, mainly local but some white children as well. Bottle delivery man helps two schoolboys climb a wall. Children have lessons. School meal. Bakery. Deaf children have lessons at a special school. Little girl learns to speak. Young man writes with a special Braille typewriter. He also reads Braille. The airport, foreign skilled workers arrive, get off Kuwaiti Airlines aircraft. Oil well. Christian church for westerners. Woman in horn rimmed spectacles sits under a hair dryer. Lives of foreigners. Locals learn skills from foreign workers. Pilot lesson. University scenes with students.

Oil industry. Arab men have discussion in a boardroom. Cars drive through a sandstorm. Natural gas. Fresh water plant and delivery lorries being loaded. Delivery to Bedouins. Government experimental farm on land reclaimed from desert. Growing crops, dairy cows. Mosque, man calls to prayer. Grievance settling – men meet with the ruler in an office. Law court. Aerial view of Kuwait city and docks. Busy street scenes. Shots of various people walking in the street. Children play in a school playground.

The documentary is 26 minutes long but really worth it. I love the voice over and music, reminds me of the old Tex Avery cartoons.
Once again, to watch this documentary click [Here]

Thanks Hamad!


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17 comments, add your own...


  1. TweeZ says:

    When you ask anybody from the older generations how was Kuwait before? This is your answer.

    One can see that the government has done a lot for its people. I think people should appreciate the things we take for granted.

    Now if only the new development plan gets 100% done, then we should be able to see another video just like this one if not better. Inshalla

    • 3azeez says:

      “One can see that the government has done a lot for its people. I think people should appreciate the things we take for granted.”

      This is Kuwait, this is not Muhammad bin Rashed. We, the Kuwaitis, are the government and the parliament that built Kuwait. Unfortunately, somewhere between all the development efforts we had some rotten apples that ruined the whole basket. The cost is high and we will witness it very soon.

  2. q8racing says:

    another reminder of how we live in a luxury since the independent.i hope everybody apperciate it .

  3. zaydoun says:

    The second man in the clip is my late father!!!!

  4. KS says:

    that was great.. thanks for sharing.. hope there’s more like that somewhere

  5. Think says:

    It’s kind of sad watching this video. Back then if you asked someone to imagine Kuwait in 2010, they would picture a Muslim Switzerland. But what do we have instead? LOL…

  6. Mark says:

    Zaydoun, did you know about this documentary and that he was in it?

  7. themanfromjapan says:

    wow. thats really interesting. still a building site. I know kuwait wants to develop in its own way.its just sad to see it overtaken by the emirates and qatar.

  8. N says:

    Ah old is gold

  9. A. F. says:

    Ah, it looked like it was going to be so civilized. wallah 7asafah

  10. zaydoun says:

    Mark… no I had no idea, and I’ve never seen it before. As you can see I inherited his love of music :-)

  11. Mark says:

    Man that’s amazing, must have been a cool surprise for you.

  12. gunsmoke says:

    Great video.

  13. TroyW says:

    Freakin’ awesome – I love, love, LOVE it.

    @ Mark – at the 7min mark, is that the house you featured a few weeks back?

    Good to know that chaotic streets aren’t a totally new phenomenom… ;)

  14. rad-dude81 says:

    Ask the Kuwaitis who lived in these years (60s & 70s) and they will tell you that it was the golden era of Kuwait. We used to be the first in the Gulf in everything (tv, radio, arts, cinema, franchises, education, sport, democracy, medic, etc.). Thing went downhill in the 80s :(.

    Sure, Kuwaitis who lived in the pre-oil era will tell you that things were even better before the modern era (60s onward), because of the close knit society back then. We still have a lot to thank for but we also have a lot to improve.

  15. Robert Dewar says:

    My Film Archive company loaded the film onto Youtube and I’m happy Mark picked it up and it’s proved so popular in Kuwait.
    We will be expanding our Youtube presence, so keep checking for more films of the area.
    If a significant number of people are interested, videos may be made available for sale


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