Kuwait in 1975

Posted by Mark

A friend of mine gave me a video his parents shot back when they first arrived to Kuwait in the mid 70s. The video was shot with Super 8 film which was converted years later to VHS format and then recently digitized. The video contains a lot of different footage of Kuwait but edited down to 13 minutes so it’s not very long. Here is a breakdown of what you’ll see in the video, please note there is no sound:

0:00 Kuwait Towers still under construction. There were rumors circulating that the tower spheres were going to be in gold and when they first started adding the blue tiles people were generally disappointed it wasn’t in gold.
2:25 A drive down Fahad al Salem street
3:16 Naif palace, you can see the execution gallows through the open gate at 3:24
3:28 The old National Assembly
3:30 The Arab Planning Institute, currently where the Liberation Tower stands
3:39 Heading towards the Gulf Road
4:15 American Mission Hospital
5:05 The ice cream guy, probably the only thing that hasn’t changed in Kuwait
5:09 Seef Palace
5:14 The Gulf Road near the Dixons House. Nearly all of those old Kuwaiti houses have now been demolished.
5:48 A gas station on the Gulf Road on the beach side. This was demolished after the failed assassination attempt of Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah, who was the emir of Kuwait at the time. The car explosion had taken place near the station.
5:53 The British Embassy, the main entrance was on the Gulf Road.
6:45 The Behbahani Compound where Casper & Gambini, Starbucks and Dar al Funoon are currently located.
6:56 Almagsab Gate
7:05 Old secondary school now part of the Kuwait University campus.
7:14 Shanty towns. This is where non-Kuwaitis were staying while their paperwork to become Kuwaitis were being processed. This specific town was located in the north near where Entertainment City is currently.
8:13 Dhow building yard near the Port of Doha
10:00 A drive through Shamiya
10:34 Back to Fahad al Salem Srteet
10:50 The old KNPC building
11:23 Souk Al-Mubarakiya
12:54 The gold souk

The video above was shot by Jo and Jeff de Lange. They were also nice enough to take me through the video frame by frame and explain what I was seeing so I could share it with you. [YouTube]

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Vintage Wrestling Poster Destroyed

Posted by Mark


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.


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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From this Weeks Classifeds

Posted by Mark


Weekly roundup of some interesting items for sale in the classifieds section:

Sony DSC-QX10
Pedro’s Massive Sale
M-Audio Keystation ES61
Polaroid Land 220 Camera
Apple iPad Air 16GB (sealed)
Canon 7D with Sigma 30mm f/1.4 lens
Denon AVR4810CI 9.3-Channel Multi-Zone Home Theater

For more items on sale check out Classifieds

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Fashion Weekly Roundup

Posted by Mark

Weekly roundup from 248AM Fashion:

Nike X Roundel by London Underground
Rad Hourani Unisex Couture Collection #11
The Fashion Dose
When I Wore Sacoor Brothers
White Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver
All that is Balenciaga
Ann Demeulemeester In Book Deal With Rizzoli

For more fashion related news check out 248AM Fashion

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Deera App – Together, making Kuwait better

Posted by Mark


Deera is an iPhone app which allows you to report issues with public services. The way it works is very simple, you snap a photo of the problem, specify what the issue is along with the location and then submit it. According to a reader who emailed me about this last night, he tried it by reporting waste left on an empty plot next to his house and the next day he received a notification that the problem was fixed. I haven’t tried it yet myself but I’m going to later today.

If you want try this app you can download it from the Apple Store either by searching for Deera or by clicking [Here]

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Things to do this weekend in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
TOMORROW’S PAST / Mohammed AlKouh
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: The Killing of a Chinese Bookie

Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
TOMORROW’S PAST / Mohammed AlKouh
7Market – Rooftop Garden Event
2014 KMX Motorcross Championship

Remal Sand Sculpting Festival
TOMORROW’S PAST / Mohammed AlKouh
All Day Outing: Failaka Island Tour
Artists for K’S PATH 2014
Cinemagics Rooftop Movie: Playtime
7Market – Rooftop Garden Event
2014 KMX Motorcross Championship

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Kuwait Airways will have WiFi and GSM on flights soon

Posted by Mark


According to an article published on Interactive Travel, the new Kuwait Airways planes that will start arriving at the end of the year will allow you to use your mobile phone during flight as well as connect online via WiFi.

The airline has ordered five A330s and seven A320s, all of which will be line fitted with Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir. The first A320 and first A330 will be delivered in December 2014 and May 2015.

If this actually happens I might start flying Kuwait Airways again. [Link]

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American Football: Kuwait vs Korea

Posted by Mark


The Kuwait National American Football team is currently in Korea to play against the Korean American Football team in a Asian qualifier game for the IFAF Seniors World Championship Sweden 2015.

The Kuwait Gridiron Football Federation was founded in 2010, has no official league and has minimal international experience. On the other hand, the Korean American Football Association was founded in 1946, has a 21 college team league, and was ranked 5th in the IFAF World Championships Japan 2007.

The match is taking place on April 12th and to keep up to date with the Kuwait team news follow them on Facebook [Here]

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Virtual Tour of the Sand Sculptures

Posted by Mark


If you haven’t visited the Remal Sand Sculpting Festival yet you can now take a tour of it without having to leave your house. A reader called Alex has created a virtual tour of the festival and you can check it out by visiting this [Link]

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A Photographic Journey Inside Qasr Al Salam

Posted by Mark


I love exploring abandoned buildings and from all the abandoned places in Kuwait the one I’ve always wanted to explore was Qasr Al Salam. Its the holy grail of abandoned buildings and the only one I could never get the guts to jump over the fence and explore (luckily I didn’t cuz it turns out there are two guards). After trying to get legal access to the site for what seems like forever, I finally got the approval thanks to Al-Diwan Al-Amiri.

Qasr Al Salam was a guest house that was built back in the 60s and hosted high-ranking visitors. Supposedly the first guest to stay at the palace was the Shah of Iran but I couldn’t find any source online to back that up. Actually, I could find very little information at all on the palace online. I know that Princess Diana and Prince Charles stayed at the palace back in 1989, but I can’t find the date it was built, who the architect was or even pictures. I’ve literally only found a handful of photos of the palace pre-1990 and nothing else. During the 1990 Gulf War the palace was destroyed and it never got restored and has remained abandoned for 24 years. That is until now.

Now some good news, unlike the rumors that have been circulating, the palace will NOT be getting demolished. Instead, the palace is going to be restored to its former glory and be turned into a museum. I saw 3D renderings of how the palace will look like when completed and it’s going to look very similar to the original with some minor facelifting here and there and addition of a new wing or two. The bad news is I can’t share the 3D renderings just yet since I’m still working on trying to convince them to allow me to post them here but right now I can’t.


Whats even more interesting is whats going on right next door at the old flag square. The site is currently under major construction and I also got to see renderings of the project and I was just awestruck. There are four very angular buildings being built, an opera house, a music center, a theatre and a library. The buildings will be made out of titanium shells and will have no pillars at all on the inside. The landscaping around the project is also going to be nothing like anything in Kuwait as well and the best part is they’re expecting to have it all done and completed in just 18 months. Thats a timeframe fit for Dubai. I’m trying to get permission to share the drawings and renderings of this project as well and hopefully I will be able to by next week.


After getting briefed on the projects above I was taken to the Salam Palace to explore and take photos. The palace even though completely destroyed still had so much beauty left in it. The famous large chandelier that used to hang from the ceiling in the main hall had been dismantled and removed so I didn’t get to see it sadly. But a lot of the original mosaic, wallpaper, carpets and marble floor were still in place. One thing that struck me was the amount of colors used inside the palace and all very tastefully. There was a lot of colored glass everywhere and the mosaic in the main hall was a beautiful metallic purple color. There was a lot of carpeting everywhere but in places where the carpet was removed you could see the beautifully preserved marble floor underneath. It seems at one point in time the palace must have gotten a makeover and a lot of the marble floors were covered up in carpet. I took a lot of photos and I’ve shared them below. I honestly could easily have spent a day in there trying to document every single corner of the place but sadly I didn’t have the luxury of time on my side. I hope you enjoy the photos below and I’ll try my best to get permission to post the renderings next week.

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