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Efforts being made to preserve Kuwaits pre-oil memory

Dr Al-Nakib traces history behind urban landscape in Kuwait

By Joana Saba
Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 23: In continuation of the Landscapes expanded series of lectures that was launched in conjunction with the Out of Britain exhibition last month, Dr. Farah AlNakib of the American University of Kuwait (AUK) delivered a lecture at the Contemporary Art Platform (CAP) entitled Destructive Development: Forgetting Kuwaits Past Through Demolition and Heritage. Dr Farah Al-Nakib is an Assistant Professor of History at the AUK, and the director of its Center for Guld Studies. She obtained her PhD. in Near and Middle Eastern History from SOAS, University of London. The lecture was a part of a working academic paper, and addressed the history of architecture and develop-

ment in Kuwait, and the implications that these hold in terms of the collective memory of the people as well as the story behind the urban landscape. The general premise was that each era of development in Kuwait came with the destruction of the previous one; these being characterized by two major development eras - the era of development that came at the advent of the discovery of oil in the 1960s, and the era that followed the liberation, beginning in the early 1990s.

Dr Al-Nakib posited that while the first era of development in the urban landscape came at the expense of the previous pre-oil landscape, with a systematic intentional destruction of this previous landscape, the second era of development came at the expense of the early-oil era which would later

be characterized as the modernist era or Kuwaiti architecture, whilst simultaneously seeking to preserve everything that remained from the pre-oil era. The period in the middle, however, was intentionally erased, as though being cut out of history. Dr Al-Nakib posited that this move was an intentional one, and correlated with the way in which Kuwait defined itself during the early-oil era, as opposed to the way it defines itself now. That is, she stated that Kuwaits modernist period beginning with the discovery of oil, gave way to a large-scale development and revamping of Kuwaits urban landscape, and called upon the expertise of foreign architects, such as the Kuwait Towers by Danish architect Malene Bjorn and the national assembly by Jorn Utzon (who designed the Sydney Opera).

Moreover, Al-Nakib stated that the period was characterized by a great sense of excitement and hope, and represented a boom in Kuwaits urbanization as well as its cosmopolitanization. As that time, Kuwait had begun to be seen as a haven for Arabs, and drew upon the expertise and influences from a large variety of different sources, not only for its architecture, but in the whole process of statebuilding that took place from that point onwards. However, along with this came a violent urge to forget all that preceded this period, and as such very little remains of the pre-oil Kuwait landscape. However, it is precisely this period of Kuwaits collective consciousness that is being destroyed with the contemporary developmental era, beginning in the early 90s. The destruction of Kuwaiti landmarks like the Old

countless others marks a gesture which negates an entire chunk of Kuwaits history, and the characterization of Kuwait at that time, with it. It is at once a denial of the ideals held by Kuwait and Kuwaitis at the time, and in turn it absolves those responsible for the failure of the Kuwaiti project as it had stood then.

It is the failure of the promise of modernity, said Dr. Al-Nakib, that was represented by Kuwait in the early-oil era, as such absolving those who failed to deliver it. Dr Farah Al-Nakib concluded stating that some small steps have been taken to preserve some of the spaces from Kuwaits modernist era, but that it would take much more to preserve the vibrancy and the memory of these spaces in Kuwaits collective memory.

Photo by Iehab Qurtal

Dr Farah Al-Nakib

Salmiyah Souk, and Al Firdous Cinema in Kuwait City amongst


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66252840, 97218607 & 99530891. There will be a special stall with henna and other accessories required for the competition at Malabar Mahotsava Mittayi Theruvu. Nov 3

IMWA Quran Competitions 2012:

Indian Muslim Welfare Association (IMWA) Kuwait is pleased to announce IMWA Quran Competitions 2012 under the Patronage of Ministry of Awqaf & Islamic Affairs, and Administration of Grand Mosque - State of Kuwaitis, which is going to be held on Saturday, 3rd of November 2012, for the students of Indian schools in Kuwait. The Students from the countries where Muslims are in minority can also participate in the competitions. The Competition comprises of Quran Recitation, Elocution Contest, Islamic Quiz and Islamic Calligraphy for students from Grade 1 to Grade 12. The venue for Competitions is AlNajat Boys School, Salmiya. The program will be as follows: 1. Quran Recitation Competition 09.00 am to 11.00 am 2. Islamic Quiz 11.00 pm to11.30 am Break for Zohar Prayers -1 1.30 am to 12.00 pm 3. Elocution Contest 12.00 pm to 01.00 pm 4. Islamic Calligraphy 01.00 pm to 02.00 pm All parents are requested to encourage their children to participate in competition and benefit from this opportunity. For further information and registration please visit our website: or call Israr Ahmed 5563 0073, Dr Naeemuddin 9797 3950, Mujeebullah 9986 1987, Manshauddin 99740083. Nov 5

IEI celebrates Engineers Day:

The Institution of Engineers (India) Kuwait Chapter is pleased to announce that like every year Engineers Day shall be celebrated on Monday, Nov 5, 2012. Apart from the Ambassador of India to the State of Kuwait, the elite Kuwaiti dignitaries, WEFO officials, President of Kuwait Society of Engineers and representatives of various Ministries, leading Consultants and Engineers from consultancy and contracting firms and industrialists shall grace this occasion. The venue for this years function is Crowne Plaza Hotel at Farwaniya Kuwait. The theme for 45th Engineers Day is Appropriate Climate Responsive Technologies for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development. The registration shall begin at 6:30 pm followed by the program starting at 7:00 pm. All members of Institution of Engineers (India) are requested to attend the Engineers Day function. Members requested to please confirm their attendance by contacting IEI office or registering thorough email to or contact Engr P. Joseph Panicker (Mob: 99413279), Engr Kannan, General Secretary (Mob: 97889157). Nov 9

Some of the graphics shown in the book.

KUFPEC committed to preserving environment

Book presents visual guide to birds in Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 23: A monument of world class bird photography that combines scientific accuracy in a largeformat, luxurious presentation, Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company (KUFPEC) proudly presents the Birds of Kuwait: A Comprehensive Visual Guide. Conceived, approved and published within 9 months, this book aspires to educate both residents of and visitors to Kuwait on the abundant wealth of bird species living in or passing through its territory. 391 species are featured in the book, with 95% of the photographs taken within the country limits, by 18 very talented and dedicated Kuwaiti or Kuwait-based amateur birdwatchers and photographers. An elaborate introduction on the countrys birding sites and general birding information precedes the species pages of the birds. The individual species plates comprise photos accompanied by a concise and precise description together with English, Scientific and Latin names as well as IUCN status for each. Very sensitive to environmental issues and aware of the threats faced by biodiversity in Kuwait, the Chairman of KUFPEC generously distributes copies of this natural history monument to all stakeholders concerned, such as public authorities and educational facilities.This book aspires to increase awareness and promote respect of the avian diversity, proactive conservation measures and improved legislative frameworks discouraging uncontrolled hunting and illegal trade, which interfere with natural processes and may lead to severe threats to the survival of some species. According to the Chairman and Managing Director of the sponsoring company, Nizar M. Al-Adsani, KUFPEC is fully committed to preserving and protecting the environment. It is with extreme honor and utter joy that KUFPEC has provided this priceless book to showcase the beauty and diversity of the birdlife that exists here in our beloved Kuwait. It is our responsibility to the community, and our personal duty to safeguard and conserve the fragile habitat that sustains both the residents and migratory birds. This book will hopefully be a valuable tool to raise public awareness of the need to protect the birds and their habitat so as to ensure they continue to visit and pass through Kuwait safely and unharmed each year.

event promises to include loads of fun, prizes and surprises. So go ahead and mark the date on your calendar. It will be an event not to be missed! For more details, email us at: For sponsorship information call 99282362. To receive regular updates on all our events, register on our website

Painting competition: Kala (Art)

Kuwait invites students of all Indian schools to take part in Childrens Day Painting Competition to mark the birthday of our first prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Nov 9, at 02:00 pm at the Indian Community School, Khaitan. Group A: from LKG to 1st Std; medium crayon. Group B: from 2nd Std to 4th Std; medium crayon. Group C: from 5th Std to 8th Std; medium water colour. Group D: from 9th Std to 12th Std. medium water colour. Clay sculpture: for students from 7th Std to 12th Std (competition item). Open canvas painting: an opportunity for all parents, guests and visitors. For details please contact: President Kala (Art) Kuwait, Samkutty 99489078; Gen Secretary, Jaison Joseph 97959072; Program Gen Con Hassan Koya 97982935; Mukesh 97219439; Sadik 97449419, Binu 67001038. Register through web:;

AWARE celebrates Uganda Day:

As we celebrate Ugandas Golden Jubilee and Independence Anniversary, we, the Ugandan Community here in Kuwait invite you to join us at the AWARE Centre (Villa 84, Street 50, Block 3, Surra) on Nov 16 at 6 pm. We will be having a Ugandan Day where we will show case Uganda, its people, and its crafts. We will then crown it all with a Ugandan Buffet. All are welcome. For more information, call 25335260/80 or e-mail: or

Aitar Budhvar drama: Comedian

Salu Faleiro, a well-known Goan playwright and winner of several awards in Konkani One Act Play competitions, will stage his second tiatr in Kuwait entitled Aitar Budhvar. The drama will be staged on Nov 16, 2012 at Kuwait Medical Association Hall, Jabriya, starting at 4:00 pm. It will feature superstars and top cast of Konkani stage from Goa, Mangalore, Kuwait and the Middle East. Comedian Salus first tiatr Arxeant Hanslo Arxeant Roddlo, staged way back in 2006 was widely acclaimed as one of the best dramas staged in Kuwait. Watch out for more details on the drama!

CRYchess 2012: Friends of CRY Club (FOCC), Kuwait announces Nov 9, 2012 as the date of the hugely popular chess tournament for children of all ages upto high-school. All children, amateur or professional, can join/clash with other enthusiasts and support a good cause.

CRYchess 2012 will be held on Friday, Nov 9, at the Fahaheel Al-Watanieh Indian Private School (FAIPS) - DPS, Ahmadi, from 0930 - 1630 hrs. The players will be allocated groups by their age, to play in the Swiss pairing format. The lucky winners will walk away with the trophies, however certificates and medals are awarded from Child Rights & You (CRY) to all participants. Parents, accompanying the children, will also be kept informed of the CRY activities. For more details, registration forms, rules of CRYChess 2012 and participation fees, please visit or contact FOCC members. Sponsors are also

A photo of the book Birds of Kuwait. welcome to encourage the participating young chess players. The last date for receiving the registration form is 5th Nov 5. FOCC is associated with CRY which is an Indian NGO that endeavours to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children by restoring their rights, starting from prenatal stage. FOCC in its fourteenth year of presence in Kuwait, is grateful for the

cooperation and support extended by the children and parents alike, to carry on the activities for the cherished ideals of nurturing the talents of the children, predominantly among the Indian expatriate community and schools. Contact: Salmiya: 25618471, 97990162, Abu Halifa: 99364073, 66204295, Ahmadi : 99578073, Hawally: 99300257 Abbasia: 97226589. Nov 16

Indian Carnival 2012: Creative

Indians Associations Hot Stepper group proudly announces Indian Carnival 2012 with the popular Indian comedians

Krishna and Sudesh of the Comedy Circus fame along with Indian Idol 6 rockstar Poorvi Koutish and versatile singer Kaushik Despande. The event will be held on Friday, Nov 16 at the American International School, Maidan Hawally from 7 pm onwards. Having previously presented Sunidhi Chauhan, DJ Akbar Sami, DJ Aqeel Nite and various other entertaining shows under the banner of Indian Carnival and Indian Fiesta, the latest event promises to be full of laughter, music and entertainment for one and all. Hosted by Kuwaits popular anchors Nita Bhatkar and Merwyn Pereira, the

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