Whether you’re a Kuwaiti or a foreigner have lived the golden period of the country between the seventies and the late nineties, these building names will inevitably mean something to you. Salam Building, Bayt Lothan, Kuwait Airways Building, Al-Sawaber and Pearl Marzouq.
The common evoking factor of these iconic edifices is the close link to people’s mind and hearts. Plus, they’re also a testimony to the era of the cultural and social openness in Kuwait. Most of these buildings are either demolished or soon will be replaced with mega malls or other reconstruction projects. Luckily, Pearl Marzouq complex has been renovated two years ago, in order to preserve its symbolic value, which dates back to the late 1970s.
Bayt Lothan, had been an incubator to nurture talent of all kinds of arts. Salam Building on the other hand, was replaced by Al- Salam mall in Salmiya, and Bayt Lothan will follow Salam’s destiny, still, know one knows when. On the other hand, the 38-hectare complex in central Kuwait, Al-Sawaber, has been evacuated, causing many troubles for the people living in that location, because it’s part of the fourth urban plan of Kuwait due for completion in 2030.
The country’s development is a demand for equality with other nations that preceded it in modernization. But this should not be accompanied by blurring the glimpses of the past. I wonder what will remain to the future generation from the past? How will we create attachment to the historical building of Kuwait and what they mean to its people, if they’ve never visited or seen in them in the eye of wonder?