50s to 90s Kuwait Photography

Photos of the First Flood – Kuwait, 1934

Last week I was given access to the Tarek Rajab Museums’ private photography archive, and over the coming weeks I’ll be sharing my favorite finds. But, since it’s raining today I figured I’d share the first batch of photos taken after “The First Flood”.

I posted about the first flood back in September, but the photo I had found then was low resolution. That’s why I was pretty surprised to come across three high resolution photos in the Tarek Rajab Museum’s archive.

In Kuwait, the year 1934 is sometimes called Sanat Al Haddamah (the year of destruction) since torrential rains caused a lot of destruction to the old town of Kuwait.

Within only an hour, Kuwait witnessed unprecedented torrential rains that reached 300mm and caused raging floods and waters that swept away a third of the mud houses in Kuwait.

These three photos show the aftermath of the flood.

Photography Promoted

Promoted: AAB World Certified Used Cameras & Lenses

AAB World, my favorite photography store, recently opened a new store called AAB World Marketplace that specializes in selling certified used cameras and lenses, new old stock products, as well as open box items.

I passed by the store last week to check it out and they had a pretty large selection of cameras and items on display. The used cameras and lenses are carefully selected and rigorously tested before being put up for sale. They also have little notecards in front of them with a description on the condition which I thought was pretty cool.

Their “new old stock” products on the other hand are brand-new items that have just been in their inventory for an extended period of time. They’re being sold at discounted prices and could be very useful for people with old cameras or drones.

Finally, their open box items are products that were part of their showroom displays or maybe items that had their packaging damaged during shipping or customs checks.

With the opening of their marketplace shop, AAB World now also have a permanent trade-in service. You can bring your photography gear and their team will evaluate your items on the spot. If you agree to the evaluation, they will offer you a voucher which you can redeem at their stores.

The trade-in items are what they end up offering as “Certified Used” at the AAB World Marketplace and each item goes through rigorous checks and comes with a 3-month warranty.

The AAB World Marketplace is open daily from 10AM to 10PM except on Fridays when they open at 2PM. They’re located in the basement of Symphony Mall in Salmiya in place of where their old service center was. Their Instagram account is @marketplace.aab

People Photography

Moff Gideon at the Kuwait Towers

Giancarlo Esposito, the actor who played Gus on Breaking Bad and Moff Gideon on The Mandalorian was in Kuwait this past weekend for the comic festival. While here he ended up visiting the Kuwait Towers and he took some cool fun shots which he ended up posting on his instagram account. Check them all out here.


What’s the Camera?

A while back I came across a very cool photo of the late Amir Sheikh Sabah taken on a boat sometime back in the 80s. What caught my attention was the camera he was holding in his hands. Sheikh Sabah was known to love simplicity and steered away from extravagance so I was very curious to know what kind of camera he was using at that time. I asked a friend of mine (@diam89) whose also camera obsessed to help me find the camera and after a bit of investigating she did!

Turns out the camera in his hand was a Canon AF35ML compact point-and-shoot. A pretty simple but very capable camera that was released in 1981 and cost around 100KD back then. It had a very bright fixed 40mm f/1.9 lens and the camera was completely automatic making it very easy to use.

I ended up finding a very clean one on eBay for around 35KD and bought it so I could use it. I’m now currently shooting some black and white film with the camera with plans to develop it at @vo.thedarkroom once I’m done.

If you’re looking to get into film photography and are looking for a camera to get, this is a good option with a nice little story behind it. You can find a bunch on eBay with starting prices of around 15KD.


35mm Films at Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters are selling 35mm films for those of you who are looking. I can’t tell if they’re reasonably priced or not because the prices in the market keep fluctuating depending on availability and where you’re getting them from (@qomrahfilm is cheaper for example). But, one advantage Urban Outfitters has is that they’re conveniently located at The Avenues.

They have three types of films available:
Kodak Gold (ISO 200) – KD5.750
Ilford HP5 Plus (ISO 400) – KD7.500
Kodak UltraMax (ISO 400) – KD7.500

But they also had a 3-piece pack of Kodak Gold they’re selling for KD16 (so KD5.333 per piece).

50s to 90s Photography

Phone box on the side of a dirt road

I’m in love with this photo taken by Ian Caldwell of a random phone box on the side of a dirt road somewhere in the north of Kuwait. He took this photo sometime in the last 60s early 70s and if you look carefully you can see a couple of bedouin tents in the background.

50s to 90s Photography

Kuwait Towers Under Construction

I came across this photo taken by Tor Eigeland of the Kuwait Towers under construction sometime in the 70s. What I found interesting about it is that it’s the only image I’ve ever seen of the towers at night while still under construction.


Kuwait at Night Taken from the Space Station

Photo of Kuwait at night taken by an astronaut from onboard the International Space Station with a NIKON D5 and a 400mm lens on May 6, 2023.

via Reddit


I Found a Wall

Yesterday while driving around futoor time, I randomly came across the largest wall I think I’ve ever come across. It was huge, really tall, and super long. Right away I saw an opportunity to take a photo so turned around and headed toward the wall.

I really have no idea why this wall is there. It’s not connected to any other structure, it’s just a wall.

If you’re looking for an interesting backdrop for your shoot and want to check this place out, here is the location on Google Maps.


The New and Huge AAB World Store

AAB World which was already considered the largest photography and videography store in Kuwait now has a new and much larger location. The new location is still in the basement of Symphony Mall but is now located across from their previous store. The new store looks like it’s 6+ times larger than their previous store which was starting to feel cramped because of the large variety of equipment and accessories they were selling.

Thinking about it now, I don’t recall ever going to a photography store larger than the new AAB World. It’s so big they have a full podcast setup, a video broadcasting setup and an area dedicated to workshops and events. The majority of the cameras and equipment are also all on display for you to fiddle with and try.

I don’t need to tell you to visit AAB World if you’re looking to get a new camera or podcasting equipment since you most likely already know about them, but if you haven’t seen their new store then you should give them a visit because it really is impressive. @aabworld


The Largest Dark Room in the Middle East is Opening in Kuwait

I recently got back into shooting with 35mm film so the timing of this is pretty perfect. VO (I still have no idea what they do) are opening what they’re calling the largest photography dark room in the Middle East. The dark room will contain eight enlargers (6 for 35mm film, 2 for 120mm film) and will be a collaborative space for anyone interested in exploring and experimenting with this old art form.

If you don’t know how to develop photos that’s ok because they have a Darkroom 101 workshop that costs 30KD and will teach you the process. Developing your own photo costs 5KD (including the chemicals) and printing your own images starts at 1.2KD per photo.

The dark room is opening on January 10th and you can get more information by visiting their Instagram @vo.thedarkroom or their website


Photography Initiative: Speculative Horizons

Speculative Horizons is a new collaboration between Kuwait and Australia that will feature contemporary Australian and Kuwaiti photography. The collaboration will be launched in 2023 with an exhibition and symposium focusing on still and moving imagery in Kuwait City. The symposium will provide an opportunity for Kuwait-based image-makers to showcase their work and the opportunity to have their imagery curated by renowned Australian curators and connect with international artists.

The inaugural event will explore ideas associated with ‘Land’ and ‘People’ and the interconnectedness between space/place and inhabitation/culture.

Theme: ‘Land’ and ‘People’

Submit: 12 photographs at screen size (1200 pixels on longest length at 150 dpi)

Deadline: 20th October 2022

Submit to: [email protected] via GoogleDrive

Successful applicants will be notified on the 1st of November 2022 and have their work exhibited at CAP in the month of February 2023. For more details or to sign up, visit


Another 35mm Film Store

If you’re still having difficulty finding 35mm film, here is another store that is selling them, Qomrah. Seems to be only an Instagram account but they have a selection of different films to pick from although most seem to be sold out at the moment. Probably someone who bought a few rolls while on vacation and decided to sell them. I think they’re expensive and you’ll find them cheaper if you go to photography studios in low-income neighborhoods. But, if you don’t want to put in the effort, this is another alternative. @qomrahfilm


Apple Shares iPhone Image from Kuwait for World Photography Day

To celebrate World Photography Day, Apple shared some of the most impressive photographs from their #shotoniPhone campaign from around the world and one of those photos was by local photographer Rashed Alajmi (@irashedc). The photo was taken in the Salmi Desert and uses a long exposure to capture the milky way. Rashed posted the photo on his account back in October so I assume that’s when it was taken. To see the rest of the photos Apple shared from around the world, check out this article on

Thanks Raoul


A Cultural Journey – Abdullah AlSayer

A friend of mine recently took part in the launch of the new Leica M11 camera. Seven photographers were chosen by Leica from around the world to get their hands on the camera ahead of its release so they can capture photos with it. Abdullah was one of the photographers selected and he’s now featured on their main page.

All of the photos taken by the seven photographers are available to view on online including Abdullah’s which you can check by clicking here.

If you want to follow him on Instagram, it’s @byalsayer