50s to 90s

Paying Tribute Fahad Al Salem Street

The old abandoned buildings on Fahad Al Salem Street near Salhiya are finally getting demolished (everything highlighted in yellow on the map). They’ve been abandoned for years and they were making the downtown area look really gritty so I’m glad things are moving forward.

I was always hoping they’d get refurbished since when you look at old photos of the street the buildings actually looked great when new. But that wasn’t going to happen and keeping the buildings as is wasn’t going to work either.

I’m not sure if that strip is as sentimental to other people as it is to me. After the 1990 invasion there weren’t that many electronic shops open but there were a bunch on that strip that were. I still remember the night my dad took me there to get my very first sound system with a CD player and then later at various points in the 90s I got a second sound system and a couple of Walkmans.

The buildings on that strip have been around since the 60s and were considered really modern back when they were built. So I went through my archives and dug up my favorite photos of the street to celebrate what was at one point in time, a bustling commercial and cultural hub for the country.

42 replies on “Paying Tribute Fahad Al Salem Street”

Late 90s I bought my PlayStation 1 from one of the electronic shops and those residentials flats were spacious and pretty. My uncle use to live there. I feel sad its getting demolished. I believe old buildings should never get demolished because there are several memories, history and adds a lot of character to a city.

Fahed Al Salem street for me was Wong & Sons, the Jashanmals and the little picture postcards you would get at the stationers showcasing it in its heyday. As a kid I would stare out into the windows of the Rolls Royce showroom round the corner of the Academic bookstore which was another delight and a treat. Have memories of making my first purchase of a suede jacket in a fancy Lebanese apparel store on a side lane.
Hotpot is another memory of Fahed Al Salem I have and so is the New Supermarket which was in a league its own for European products. I enjoyed the selection of chocolates and milk they would carry.
They say it’s best to let it go and to not latch on to the past but I say no chance 😉

Hi Ricardo. Eugene here. Read your post and the memories of Noor Al Sabha, Abu, Nakhi lake, Plumy, and the Brothers came tumbling out. I’m in Bangalore. My mum passed away a couple of years back. Hope all is well with you. Best wishes and kind regards.

My first and only Matchbox truck I won in an essay competition on Toys sponsored by Saed & Dawlat trading company which used to be inside Salhia complex. I remember the New Supermarket on Salem Mubarak well. I think it was sat right beside Sahara pharmacy. Many a Thursday afternoon I would loiter in the aisles as my mum and dad would busy with grocery shopping. Have particularly fond memories of this avuncular Lebanese gent who would be found playing backgammon with a friend near the till. He was a very kind man. Suspect he was the owner.

I remember in 1977 I ate my first WIMPY sandwich below this building.
Memories to be cherished always I am still in kuwait and some time I walk down these buildings

Hello Silverstein
The wimpy burgers were my favourite.
My dad in his old dodge dart would park outside while we wait for our order.
What nostalgic memories

I lived in Salmiya, I use to come to town as we called Kuwait City back then to play with my friends Michael and Xavier who lived in this building. We ride our bicycle around this building. Noor Sabha was a hub for a lot of people. I remember in the 80 There was talks about demolishing this building a lot of the residents were in a panic.

I remember giving Hazel P a ride on my new motorbike around Noor Sabah building. This was in 1979.

Hi Allen, how are you? Where are you? This post on Noor al Sabah really brings back memories!

Amazing place. Definately a Hallmark of Kuwait. Many Electronic shops on the ground floor and ample living space n bedrooms above. Mostly occupied by Goans families n bachelor’s too. Few Lebanese n Syrian families too lived there. Later 2010 onwards, Philipine nationals moved in. Lots of shopping memories there.

Treasured memories of a place we once called HOME for 25 years!

Wonder what becomes of the strip once it is mowed down. Hope they don’t replace it with yet another commercial complex with offices. It will be a good spot for a golf driving range or a small park with art works and water features

Its very nostalgic for me as I lived there with my parents for about 45 years. This building was very famous during the old times with the electronic shops on both sides and a buzzing street. A lot of pleasant memories of Kuwait. The huge building housed many expatriates who made their fortunes. Prayers go to my deceased parents who were instrumental in hiring a flat over there overlooking the city. The buildings came to a dilapidated condition after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Pride to have stayed in Anwar Al Sabah buildings. God bless Kuwait. Long live India 🇮🇳 Kuwait 🇰🇼 friendship. Kudos to Kuwait

Though it was very old Bldg. it was in the Heart of City Kuwait.
in 1993-1995 I was staying as Paying Guest in that Building, it was very convenient for all purpose. in my 31 years Service in Kuwait I love the Country it was Bread and Butter to me & Fly.
Allah Almighty Bless this Country & Protect that Country and the Citizens of Kuwait & All Expatriates.

Sadly, the reputation of Fahed Al Salem street took a beating somewhere in the late 70s- early 80s when men in their Chevys and Cadillacs began cruising the street on Sunday evenings and people started soliciting. It was no longer the hubbub of high street shopping whose compass shifted to Salem Mubarak Street- Kuwait’s Champs Élysées.

I never really had much attachment to this place, and considering how abandoned and decrypt it was, I’m glad they’re tearing it down. It’s a shame nobody went there to take any last photos of the place or explored the area or the apartments, or even found some buried treasure there. However, I do think there’s a flickr album somewhere with photos taken in 2015.

Remember the one time there was a dreadful bomb explosion that ripped a hole in Hotel Phoenicia, off Fahed Al Salem. That was a terrifying time. Unlike its namesake Phoenicia in Beirut, Hotel Phoenicia in Kuwait was a shady place – a hangout mostly, for men and women of the night or so they say.

Although have lived in Fahaheel during my younger days, have a been to this area a few times with my parents. This used to be THE place to roam in Kuwait city.
I know a few friends who used to live in this building and am sure they will feel bit sad that the building is finally going to be demolished.
Just keep the memories alive.

This was my favorite spot when I first landed in kuwait in late 70s. Wimpy was the joint i loved so much due to my obvious reasons❤️🥰. We the “Burning Desire” 🎸used to practise music in one of the third floor apartments in the first building adjacent to the old police station. Fondly remember my great friends Alan, Joe, Rina, Lata, including their parents, Jason with his sister, late Vincy the drummer of Burning Desire and his family. The building i love to have close to my heart with amazing memories. Even after departing kuwait, I used to pay a visit and walk around those buildings next to Salhiya Complex and click photos on every visit to kuwait. 😔 sad to see its getting demolished. Lots, lots of gorgeous memories which will be cherished till the end. 🤔

Hey Anil.
That was Home for us and our dear friends. We were blessed to be in that place for so many years having taken it brand new when it was constructed. We were on the 2nd Floor-Flat 21. Jason being 1 door to the right down the corridor opposite Pillai Uncle and LathaKrishnan. Sweet memories. Thank God.

Hi Anil

Yes, it was indeed our home along with being home to many of our dear friends. I do cherish growing up there and have many many fond memories 😀

Farhad Salem was main city Square back then. Jashenmals for high-end brands. UTC for common people, wide choice electronics shops I brought my first camera Sony from one of those shops, and omega watch from the coner shop just opposite to Noor Sabha building. Now all shopping charm has taken away from Fahad Salem Street by Salmiyah Center and the malls. Noor Sabha building at present state created bad look at once upon a time main City Square. I hope new developments will bring back what Fahad Salem Street has lost over the years…

Lived in Kuwait and in the building opposite Noor Sabah all my life until the sad Iraq war with Kuwait. Memories i will never forget. Crossing those roads as children, numerous shops for shopping, yes too the electronic shops, Wimpy, KFC etc Memories. During the war time around 12 war tanks moved on our roads which was once full of car traffic. And the lively fountain at the end of the Noor Sabah buildings. Remembering my friends Sheba and Egyptian friend Niveen. Out of touch , hoping youll r in the best of health. Shall never forget Kuwait my childhood country. And all the 4 Sheikh’s Jaber, Sabah, Saad, Fahad my favourites. God bless Kuwait, its people and all expatriates living there. And to all the people who once lived in and around the Noor Sabah buildings cheers to memories. God bless you all.

Fahed Al Salem will always have a pull for practising and born again Roman Catholics as it is so conveniently located for attending Sunday and Friday church service. We used to take the Gulf road into town every Thursday and give our custom to Caesar’s patisserie for our weekly fill of pastries, chicken rolls and patties.

My mother’s second uncle was in Kuwait between 1949 and 1985. His wife would regale my mother and her sisters as kids back home, with stories of life and living in Kuwait. We now recognise some of these were half baked stories if not non truths so that the rest of the clan would not also migrate to Kuwait for work. These stories were then passed on to me by my parents and none of us has really a complete sense of how much of it was true.
However what we found fascinating was that there were mud houses to be found everywhere in Kuwait and creepy crawlies were ubiquitous. Most houses would have live in dancing girls brought in from Basra and that the postman would himself deliver the mail to your home address. Apparently, sorcery and witch craft was quite common back in the day in Kuwait and illusions and ghostly apparitions were par for the course for life in Kuwait

they’re weird but i think this post was shared in some sort of group and people from that group are replying here. I have an old post about ahmadi and tons of old people leaving comments under it similar to this and reconnecting with other people they knew back when they were kids in the 50s and 60s.

We are still skirting the issue. Who the Dickens was Fahad Al Salem to have the entire artery named after him ? 🤔🤔

So the story goes Fahed Al Salem was a thrifty merchant who once went on business to Iraq whereupon he found out at Baghdad airport the taxi ride to his destination would set him back a couple of grand so he decides to take the next flight back to Kuwait. End of Story

My parents moved to this new place called Noor Al Sabah/Anwar Al Sabah on Fahed Al Salem Street in the 60’s. It was known for its Shops in Electronics, Saree House, Super Market, Wimpy’s Burgers, Miramar Shoe Shop and many other shops with clothes materials and so on. The other shops nearby were Old UTC, Saaed & Daulat, Sethi Bros., Jashanmal, Adidas Sportsman shop, Kuwait Airways Building, Hotel Phoenicia, Hotel Carlton, The General Post Office, Rolls Royce Show Room, and close by The Family Book Shop and so on. This Street Fahed Al Salem will be known in history for its richness and for it’s Traffic that passed through it on eight roads with it’s Traffic Lights going to Murgab, Malia, Darwaza Abdul Razak, Salem Al Mubarak Street and the Sea Front, Filled with many Good Memories of this Place Fahed Al l Salem Street – Kuwait City. Truly feel Nostalgic about it !

Fahed Al Salem has long since ceased being the hubbub of high street retail and commercial activity, as we know it today. Think somewhere along the way the bus depot near the GPO together with tacky signages by the likes of Joy Alukkas. Malabar diamonds and the other establishments in Souk Al Watya denigrated the whole precinct giving it a territorial myopic feel.
The area around Safat Square though, was interesting. I remember there used to be an umbrella market on the lines of a car boot sale during the Jordanian Palestinian epoch of Kuwait’s history

My first memories as a child started here at Noor al sabah. Lived here with my parents and brother. Memories of wonderful neighbors and friends all cherished memories within the walls of this beautiful gigantic building. Will miss you truly noor al sabah home .sujatha warrier lajuwanthi purswani valerie and Valencia Reena Fred Luke ,Andrew and Susan nobbay Asha and Kishan. Varsha Jaya. Aubrey. This was our Noornal.saba family. God Bless you all

My father, Ali Raad, owned Al-Shaab Pharmacy in 70’s to early 80’s. It was next door to EgyptAir and Jashanmal. Precious memories there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *