I have a habit of dreaming … not your typical close your eyes kind of dreams … but more open your eyes drive your car.go to a meeting.run in the gym.hang with your friends kind of dream…
Day dreaming became a habit that at times it scares me when I get my facts mixed up … well I don’t want to go into details since this is not my topic of choice here..
One of the things I constantly “dream” about is redesigning Kuwait City… I believe this city has so much potential to be one of the most interesting cities in the region… well let me tell you about “my” city:
My city starts at the infamous Sheraton round about or what is known to us as Sahat AlSheraton … this is one of the most sought out places in the city .. it has the central city metro station… In the middle of the roundabout there is a huge sculpture (it’s so high that you can walk underneath it) It’s a beautiful piece made of stone and metal i believe.. some sort of black and white art pieces molded together .. I read on the stone floor underneath “the work of local Kuwaiti artist Flan alFlan an abstract of a man and a woman …” … I like to start my day by the coffee shop in the middle of the roundabout ..again what we call “elsaha” (Kuwait’s version of piazza or square) … I love this coffee shop in particular because the design is very unique .. very modern like a diamond coming out of the floor … well it does come out since it is also one of the underground metro exit … I believe that this architecture is the work of architects Flana & Flan …two young Kuwaiti Architects who won the competition by the government to redesign the “Sahat al Sheraton”… after my coffee (I lied … it’s actually tea with milk which is a common drink here in the city you can find it in every corner along with a piece of darabeel which is also sold in every canteen around the city) on a good weather day I exit Sahat Al sheraton passing under the old gate into the city’s Fahad AL Salem street… If you haven’t been to my city … Fahad Al Salem street is the place to be… I personally enjoy the architecture there … there are so many new towers … but what people admire most is the renovated old (70’s 80’s old) colourful buildings scattered along than street … Its known for its high-end shops and restaurants … one of my favourite restaurant is [beep] which is a gourmet sea food kitchen owned by local and International Chef Flan who also teaches at Kuwait Cooking School just few blocks from here … when you walk around the city always keep eye on the local art on the ground… my city is very well know for its love of art … every few months the government bring together local artists to do art work on its floors … my favorite is the art work of Flanah on the sewer top in front of the Madina bookstore (this is equivalent to Barnes&Nobles or Waterstones) … which reminds me …there is just few blocks from here “hay il thaqafa” … it’s the city’s cultural district … it used to be a place where they sold old indian fabrics and some electronics but its been renovated … it now has more than 20 small bookstores if your interested to read for Arab writers .. and they have many coffee shops where most of the City’s well-known writers and politicians hang out … but if you’re not into reading you can still enjoy the sculptures and art work scattered around … As you may have noticed my city doesn’t have much skyscrapers … our government instead gathered International and Local Architects to build new buildings and renovate old ones …its like a gallery of Architecture … who would’ve guessed that this unique building over there is actually the post office !… My city is very busy as you can see … specially lunch time when all the office workers and students head to the coffee shops and restaurants to grab their lunch … I am happy that I don’t have to commute since my apartment is only 2 metro stops from here … I can also take the blue bus line … I live in Bnaid algar which is at the other corner of the city … it’s also the theatre district of Kuwait … you should see this place few years ago .. what happened was they transformed this area entirely … I live in the building with the mosaic art work of spanish artist Senior Senior … just right to the theatre that plays “bye bye London” the musical …. Maybe one day I will move into the east side apartments overlooking the gulf sea … they are very chic and expensive … I also enjoy the style of some of the buildings .. they have a modernized local and traditional design … you know years ago this part used to be the sea front … but they decided to extend the city … but not in a Dubai kinda way … no they decided to make this park that extends to the house of parliament … I love this park … it does have a central park feel but you can still sense some local flavor … and you have the sea which is much better than any lakes don’t you think? In my city there is also a small football stadium …but you have to navigate your map to find it and it is best spotted at night with all the lighting… from time to time they like to host a football games there … it brings the whole place together … what I like about this stadium is that as soon as you leave the doors you can enjoy the many sport hangouts to your left and right … there’s also a grand cinema near by it has over 40 screens … You should check out this new movie … but it has an age restriction and you know they won’t let anyone underage … no matter what! …. there is a small theatre near the cultural district I told you about.. it plays independent movies for local and foreign directors… as you will begin to see that the city sparkles at night … it is indeed dressed to impress … you should also visit in Ramadan for this city is dressed in lights and decorations like no other .. which reminds me…If you are into islamic art you should check the bank district near Almubarkiya … this area is known for its Islamic designs on the sidewalks and walls … the metro station over there is designed by a well-known Arab architect … I love the contrast of the glass cubed building dressed by islamic metal art .. there is also sahat dasman .. it’s an Andalusian garden known best for its Fountain… during the spring my city is covered head to toe with flowers … imported and local and you can buy them from the many vendors on the streets … the best flower shops are in the heritage district … you have to push through the naroow sekeek (alleys) full of restaurants into the fountain area … this place also hosts some fashion exhibition for local designers … In my city you can hear the Athan (prayer call) …. and you can find a small mosque if you want to pray …. my city has a place for everyone
My city has so much to offer … some may say that it’s a busy city there are too many people… and some may say that it has a harsh weather … true.. but my city is not for the weak hearted .. it’s a city for those who enjoy life in every way… my city is one for everyone who wants it … it’s for those who appreciate its beauty and respect its uniqueness ….Well there is so much to show you but I guess you should explore it the way we explore it …. to find its hidden treasures .. its tanoors (bakeries) .. galleries.. schools.. invention/scientific centres ..exhibitions.. mosques…churches…India town..Phillipine town…theatres..magazine stands..comedy clubs.. or something I don’t even know about … and if you need help ..don’t be shy.. my people are very friendly ..