I just went ahead and typed out the 1,994 word preface of “The Kuwait Urbanization” book so you guys could read it. That’s four pages of size 12 font I just typed out manually so please READ IT. It’s pretty fascinating and shows the amount of passion and love the author had for the work he was doing for Kuwait. If there are any mistakes just ignore them, I haven’t typed this much or so fast since my touch typing class back in university.
The Kuwait Urbanization
This book has been in-the-making since I assumed my planning post with the erstwhile Public Works Department, now the Kuwait Ministry of Public works, on June 15, 1960. As the thorny planning path was traversed, it became clearer by the day that the planning of Kuwait, certainly not a routine or every-day occurrence on the Arab urban scene, should be documented not only for its intrinsic value and parables but, also, for the extrinsic value such as study-documentation harbored for future Arab desert planning, for the Arab World at large and for planning-architectural circles in general.
The field was virgin, never having been plowed before. I started to prepare the maps, photographs, sketches, facts and reports that, in my opinion, highlighted and characterized the phenomenal urbanization of Kuwait This work is therefore the result of documenting the buildup of Kuwait, with special reference to my four years as the planning consultant of Kuwait together with my reflections about the pre-1960 era of buildup and relating all this, weever possible, to the general climate of planning in the Arab World as well as to universal planning concepts and contemporary planning developments.
An important reason that induced me to undertake this study is the provision of a record – a documentation – of the many plans, photographs, aerials and schemes which often, no sooner are they realized (or cancelled), would cease to have a trace. Considering the liberal amounts of money Kuwait expended for the preparation of all types of studies and projects, I felt it was a loss not to have a partial record of it and, therefore, strong justification for such a compilation existed, especially as a reference to the Kuwaiti students attending universities abroad and who should, on returning to Kuwait, be able to find background material about their fast-evolved city. In mind, also, were the many new officials assuming responsible posts in Kuwait, as well as those to be appointed in the future, who will need reference material in their work. My difficult experience collecting and preparing the illustrative material in this book, even though I had knowledge of and access to nearly all official, semi-official and private sources, is proof that such a documentation, belated and rather piecemeal is, nevertheless, essential.
The first time I discussed the planning of Kuwait was in a monograph entitled “Probings, Problems, Planning” dated March, 1961. The 149-page monograph contained fifty articles I had published in English and/or Arabic in various newspapers and magazines in Lebanon treating the subject of Arab city planning and architecture in general. Of the fifty articles, fifteen dealt with Kuwait. Over one thousand copies of the monograph were distributed and those circulated in Kuwait created enough general interest to encourage me to prepare another monograph which consisted of all the Kuwait articles I had written until then. The 102-page monograph, containing thirty articles and entitled “Kuwait the Unique: Abstractions and Blueprints” was, and its explanatory sub-title stated, “A compilation of articles written at random, inspired from scenes and unseens in Kuwait, reproduced here to form a unity and perform a service to comprehensive city and regional planning in Kuwait.”
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