Mubarkiya, the authentic hub of Kuwait

Mubarakiya is one of the oldest markets and the most famous tourist destinations in the City of Kuwait. It’s a haven for souvenir seekers, foodies and street photographers. Personally, I go there when I feel stressed and overwhelmed by the pseudo city life. Usually, I set off my trip by visiting Umm Talal at Booth No.1 in Souq Al-Hareem. She always has some tales to share. Then, I stop at Beit Ahmad cafe and gift shop to enjoy an over priced traditional hot beverage or dessert with all pleasure, just because I truly like it there!

The US IVLP for Journalists and Other News Updates

There is a lot to tell you after a break from writing, dating to recent changes in my life. First, I had to come with a career shifting decision and resign from Kuwait Times newspaper. Then in May, I joined the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP); the Edward R. Marrow program for journalists; research and investigation, presented by the US Department of State and organized by the World Learning Organization.

Non-Native Plants in The Dock

Sometimes you cross by a truck with a large tree is on its way to an incinerator, or some trees that are over decades old are being demolished and left next to a dump.  Sad scenes that may sometimes make you furious, wondering what the guilt of that tree that has been sent to retire in such an agitated manner. Perhaps the one who planted it was not sufficiently cognizant of the problems of planting it.

Gargoor, The Surviving Fishing Trap From The Past

There, in a vast land at the end of Fahaheel, the air carries between its aromas, the feel of the sea. The sun is near the sunken, and It’s time for the fishermen to return to their homes.  Before that, you see them gearing up their fishing kits for another day. Thousands of huge fish traps, most of them are neatly set in a way that attracts attention of transients.

Fahaheel Cemetery

Cemeteries are sacred in all parts of the earth, and for any faith to which the dead belong. Once you enter a graveyard, the dead will impose respect. Hence, you’d walk among them in reverence and caution, without putting a foot except on empty pathways. Even after the weather has obscured the features of the tombs, its prestige holds up in the face of time.  I went to a cemetery once to visit my mother and father at Sulaibikhat. But it was the first time I could take pictures of a closed burial ground in the country.

The Disappearing Iconic Buildings of Kuwait

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.

Ornamental aquaculture in Kuwait

When you enter Bassam Al-Azmi’s farm in Wafra, you will see a pond with large Japanese koi fish swimming gracefully. The pond is surrounded by a beautiful wooden enclosure designed by him. The farm specializes in cucumbers and ornamental aquaculture, and you have cut across the fields to reach the fish farm. The Azmi farm is unique in Kuwait in the cultivation of ornamental fish.

Sabeel Water Fountains

You will not die out of thirst in Kuwait. Whether you take the air on your feet or drive your car, free drinking water is distributed to all neighborhoods of Kuwait and its urban areas, which are called in Arabic, Maa’a Sabeel, i.e. the road drinking fountain. What is interesting is that water fountains are covered with large sculptures so that walkers can see them remotely.

An interview with Shinigami Sensei author Hisham Najem

Japanese manga and anime have a wide following in Kuwait and the region. One young Kuwaiti writer however has taken his interest in the popular graphic storytelling to a personal level by writing his own manga series, Shinigami Sensei. Published in a series format twice weekly online, Shinigami Sensei combines 27 year old Kuwaiti writer Hisham Najem’s storyline with Indonesian-based artist Hanna Philip’s drawings for a unique and distinctly ‘Japanese’ manga narrative.

The Visual Art of Advertising in Ramadan

On the streets of Kuwait, sidewalks that are supposed to be pedestrianized are crowded by billboards. Some of these are annoying to the extent that we marvel about the fictitious amount of money spent on these campaigns. Some of them make you sympathize with the advertising company due to the money wasted on a bad design. You wish you were personally consulted to offer some advice.

In Ramadan, advertisers compete over advertising spaces in Kuwait. Everyone is trying to add the spirit of Ramadan to their products, from cars to antacids. However, graphic design specialists realize that growth in innovation has not been impressive in the last five years, with advertisers continuing to commit the same technical and designing mistakes, which reflect a lack of knowledge of the visual aspect.

St. Solo Photography Exhibition on Street Life in England

As a journalist for Kuwait Times that covers culture and society, I am impressed by the tenacity of the rising art scene in Kuwait and by the growing spread of culture, artistic events, social gatherings and lectures, collective and personal exhibitions ñ including many that are not supported by official bodies. I admire the courage and dedication of those who dare to show their work, to make their passions come alive. And I am inspired by them to do the same for myself. To accomplish something that has meaning and interest for me personally.