History: The Kuwait National Museum

Post by Mark

In May 1960, an international competition was held for the architectural project for this state museum to be located in the cultural district of the 1952 Master Plan. The rules of the competition organized the museum into four thematic areas: “Land of Kuwait”, which illustrated the natural geography of Kuwait; “Man of Kuwait”, which focused on the traditional Kuwaiti vernacular language; and “Kuwait of Today and Tomorrow”, which showed Kuwaiti technological advances. In addition, there was a section for temporary exhibitions.

The winner of the competition was the project of Michel Écochard, author of the Museum of Antioch and the Cité horizontale in Casablanca. Michel Écochard was also a follower of modern premises, and an important member of ATBAT-Afrique, a subsidiary group of CIAM. Écochard organized the museum into four brick buildings with a concrete roof. This allowed the visitors to choose the order of their visit to the contents of the museum. The buildings were connected by raised corridors, and a planetarium completed the whole. [Source]

AGI Architects published a very interesting article on the history of Kuwait National Museum. Sadly, the article doesn’t mention anything about the current plan, just that in 2014 it was decided to reactivate the National Museum. When I drove by the museum this past weekend, the exterior renovations look mostly done. But, I’m curious on what the current plan is and when are they expecting it to be completed. So if you have any information on this, please share it in the comments.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Local AIDS Posters circa 1990-1995

Post by Mark

Back between 1990 and 1995, the Kuwait Ministry of Health and Kuwait National AIDS Committee commissioned these posters warning people about the dangers of AIDS. I think the posters now look very kitsch and I’d love to get a hold of the originals if they are still around.

If you think these posters are cool, you can download the hi-res versions to print from the links below:
Octopus Poster
Shark Poster
Doctors Poster
Boy Scouts Poster

via @thalithuhuma

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Kuwait Waterfront Development 1978-1988

Post by Mark

While looking for old photos of Green Island I found a very interesting article on the whole waterfront development project that took place between 1978 and 1988. The Gulf Road was built on land reclaimed from the sea and part of that project was the development of the waterfront stretching 21KM from Seef Palace all the way down to where Scientific Center is today (check the map below).

As part of the waterfront project the Green Island was created and the article shares some of the backstory and design decisions related to it. The article is in PDF format and contains some pictures, so even if you don’t want to read it all you can skim through it and check out the photos. Here is a link to the [PDF]

The current state of the Green Island is very disappointing. I passed by a month or two ago and the place just looked sad and desolate. Not only that but security didn’t even want to let me in because I had a camera with me. They told me no photography was allowed, how stupid.

via Archnet

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Some 80s-90s Nostalgia

Post by Mark

I came across the Instagram account @zmn_gmil that had some videos of Kuwait from the 80s and 90s which I hadn’t seen before. I went through the account and picked out a few videos I thought were worth sharing. One is embedded above, the rest are below.

The scene with the girl and her arm down the meat grinder (below) is probably why I never stuffed my hand inside one. All those old government-sponsored awareness videos I watched as a kid on KTV really stuck with me, even until today. It’s sad people don’t have that nowadays. I’ve seen so many parents, for example, let their kids hang out of the car’s sunroof, I’m sure if they knew how dangerous that could be they wouldn’t do it anymore. Anyway, check out the rest of the videos below.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Rain of ’97

Post by Mark

If you don’t read the title you could easily think this video was shot just a couple of weeks back (skip to 2:24). [YouTube]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Retro Dungeon – Retro Gaming Specialist

Post by Mark

Yesterday I was in Rihab Complex looking for Red Dead Redemption 2 (FYI: Might be out today in Kuwait depending on customs but most likely tomorrow) when I decided to go to the retro gaming store upstairs to check out what they had. I’d posted about that store on the blog a few years ago, it was called Global Game and was just filled with old retro video game consoles. But, a couple of months back the store got a facelift, a name change and I’m assuming, a new owner.

The Global Game store is now called Retro Dungeon and looks a lot nicer and more organized than it did before. The store still specializes in vintage gaming consoles and while there I spotted a whole bunch of them including:

NeoGeo AES
NeoGeo CD
Nintendo 64
Nintendo Entertainment System
Nintendo GameBoys
Super Nintendo
Panasonic 3DO
Sakhr MSX
Sakhr MSX2
Sega Dreamcast
Sega GameGear
Sega Genesis
Sega CD
Sega Saturn
Sony PlayStation 1
Sony PlayStation 1 Dev Kit
Sony PlayStation 2
Sony PlayStation 2 Dev Kit
And more…

They also had a whole bunch of games, all nicely organized and all wrapped in plastic. The whole place looks way better than it did before but the prices are also on the high side. Somethings made sense, like KD120 for a NeoGeo AES or KD150 for the NeoGeo CD, but KD35 for Donkey Kong Country on the Super Nintendo and KD45 for Donkey Kong Country 2 just seemed over the top.

I used to have a pretty large collection of gaming consoles before I sold them all off (so much regret). But now I just have my Game & Watches and my SNES left which I pop out every so often to play on.

If you’re looking for vintage games or consoles, check Retro Dungeon out. They’re in an alleyway on the top floor of Rihab Complex, and their instagram account is @retro_dungeon

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Aerial Photo of Kuwait – 1957

Post by Mark

I got the photo above over WhatsApp. It’s an aerial photo of Kuwait from 1957 and the numbers correspond to the different areas below:

1- Al Shamiya
2- Shuwaikh
3- Kaifan
4- Al Faiha
5- Al Khalidiya
6- Al Qadsia
7- Al-Dahiya
8- Nuzha

#8 is the old airport that was located in Nuzha. I actually have a bunch of pictures of that airport which I got from the KOC Archive and you can check those photos out [Here]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Every Vintage Issue of Al-Arabi Magazine for Sale!

Post by Mark

A reader is selling every single issue of the old and popular Kuwaiti magazine Al-Arabi in the classified section of the blog. The seller has 369 issues in total starting with the very first issue from 1958 all the way up till July 1990, the last issue before the invasion.

The seller is asking KD700 for the whole lot which I’m not sure is a lot or too little since it’s difficult to put a price on something like this. Someone or some organization should pick them up, digitize them and then upload them online for everyone to view.

Check out the listing [Here]

Update: A reader left a comment to let me know that Sakhr (yes THAT Sakhr) have 209 issues of Al Arabi magazine digitized and organized on their website! You can check them all out [Here]

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

The Kuwait Invasion Anniversary

Post by Mark

Every year on the anniversary of the 1990 Kuwait Invasion, I like to share some links related to the war. The last two links are new this year, check them all out below:

Free Kuwait
This is a website that focuses on the campaign that was led by Kuwaitis in exile and is loaded with photos and information.

Kuwait Invasion – The Evidence
This is a website that contains over 1,200 pictures taken right after the 1990 invasion as photographic evidence to all the destruction caused by Iraq.

Short movie: Hearts of Palm
Hearts of Palm is a short movie set in August 2nd 1990 and deals with Kuwaiti students living in Miami Florida during the Iraqi Invasion of Kuwait.

The Class of 1990
This is a short documentary about reuniting class mates years after the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

Homemade video from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait
Video clips taken by a Kuwaiti family during the Iraqi invasion

Desert Storm Photos
Photos taken by soldiers during Desert Storm.

Short Animation: Sandarah
A captivating story based on true events that took place during the 1990 Iraqi invasion.

First Account of Iraq’s Invasion of Kuwait
Interviews with various Kuwaitis that were in Kuwait during the 1990 invasion.

Iraqi Invasion Pictures
Photos of the Gulf War aftermath.

Politics of Wor
A tumblr account with some not so commonly seen photos from the Gulf War. (Warning some are graphic)

Magnum Photos
A gallery of images taken during the Gulf War by some great photographers. (Warning some are graphic)

Photos in this post are by Bruno Barbey

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Kuwait on the Muppets Show (1978)

Post by Mark

This is a random little tidbit sent in by a reader. Back in 1978, the British-Irish comedian Spike Milligan appeared on an episode of the Muppets Show sporting a t-shirt with Kuwait written on it in Arabic. You can watch a clip of that episode above (Spike pops in at around the 1-minute mark) while the story about the controversy behind is t-shirt is below:

For years, it has been said that Milligan’s shirt translated to “hashish,” and this was a sly opportunity by Milligan to sneak a drug reference into the show (hashish is a preparation of cannabis). As the story goes, no one noticed what he was doing until the episode had already aired. Is it true? It is not true.

What Milligan’s shirt translates to is “Kuwait.”
Why Kuwait? Well, Milligan was, at the time, doing the TV series Q, which was a sketch comedy show that had a different number attached to it for each season it was on the air, beginning with Q5 in 1969. Because of the similar Monty Python’s Flying Circus program, which ran from 1969-1974 (it began a few months after Milligan’s series), it would not be until 1975 that Milligan was allowed a second season/series of Q, titled Q6. Q7 followed in 1977, and in 1978, as the time of the Muppet Show taping, Milligan was doing Q8.

Q8 was, appropriately enough, nicknamed “Kuwait” because of the fact that, well, you know, Q8 sounds like Kuwait! So no, no sneaky drug references for Spike Milligan! [Source]

So random.

Thanks Dalal!

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter


If you have anything you think would be interesting to share on this blog
[Email Me]