50s to 90s Information Interesting

1958 Al-Othman Mosque Restoration Project

We have the habit of demolishing old structures instead of restoring them in Kuwait, so when I found out the old Al-Othman Mosque in Hawalli was being restored, I reached out to the team working on it asking if I could write about it.

The mosque restoration is being spearheaded by Eng. Adnan Al-Othman and sponsored by the Abdullah Abdulatif Al-Othman Charitable Trust. Adnan’s father is the one who built the mosque so he’s very familiar with it.

Al-Othman Mosque was established in 1958 and later opened for public use in 1961. It was one of the first grand mosques to be built in Kuwait, and also the first to have a dome, making it an important landmark.

Since its opening over 60 years ago, many changes were made to the mosque, some permanent, but most were thankfully superficial. The mosque originally had a colorful design that was unique for the time, but over the years it got repainted a monotone beige and white blending it into it’s Hawally surroundings. The interior which was covered with intricate decorations and script were also all covered with white paint erasing a lot of what made the mosque so unique and special.

The restoration team dug up as many photos and videos of the original mosque as they could find, so that they could better understand all the changes that were made over time. They also started the process of removing structures that weren’t there originally, like metal shading over the courtyard and an extension to the mezzanine floor. Additionally, they began stripping the paint from both the interior and exterior of the building, revealing some of the old decorative art and colors (samples above).

The restoration team’s plan is to restore the mosque as close as possible to its original state. They’re deep into the restoration process now, but they don’t have a clear timeline for completion since the work must be slow and careful. Once this project is finished, I hope more people will realize and appreciate the importance of preserving old Kuwait.

7 replies on “1958 Al-Othman Mosque Restoration Project”

Thanks Mark for sharing. Have so many memories commemorating Eid prayers at this mosque in the early 80s.

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