This weekend my wife and I went on a guided tour of Kuwait’s Liberation Tower. The trip was organized by Aware Center and we were lucky to get seats for the tour although we weren’t so lucky with the weather. As we approached Kuwait City it was clear that the haze was not going to clear up during our time there.
The guide took us to the third level where there’s a bridge that leads to the elevators that access the main tower. The tour would only go as high as 150 meters as there’s sensitive defense communication systems on the top levels and entry is restricted.
This is going to be a long post so click on through for more..
This museum has many names and I’ve heard it being referred to as ‘The war museum’, ‘Saddam Museum’, ‘Memorial Museum’ etc. The Kuwait House for National Works a.k.a Memorial Museum houses a grim reminder of the crimes committed the Iraqi regime during the invasion in 1990. You are greeted by a couple of surface to air (or some kind of anti-aircraft weapons) parked at the entrance and a very confusing signboard. Its like they couldn’t make up their minds on what to call the museum.
I’m coming close to the end of my museum series and the last couple of ones are probably my favorite. I read about this place in a Huffington Post article that called it a ‘hidden jewel’ so I just had to go find out for myself. Finding this place was easy since I was also in the area to visit the Maritime Museum. If you drive a little further beyond the Maritime Museum you’ll find yourself right in front of the Modern Art Museum. Location [Link]
Like the other places I visited I was the only person in the whole museum save for the security guard and a couple of cleaners and had the whole place to myself. I’m not a big fan of modern art but some of the pieces on display were really freaky (in a good way) and I’m surprised that in a conservative country like Kuwait there are so many artists with such tastes.
You may not understand what I’m talking about but imagine being alone in a silent place where you’re surrounded by monstrous sculptures that look like they might come to life any second. I didn’t take pictures of all the interesting items coz I want to you go there in person and see them for yourselves. All the pieces are clearly marked with the title and name of the creator. There are also benches laid out in every room so that you can take your time to admire the art or sketch them if you’re so inclined.
Entrance: Free Timing: Sunday to Thursday 9AM-1PM and 5PM -8PM
The Maritime museum houses artifacts from the the rich seafaring heritage of Kuwait. The displays were neatly marked with descriptions both in English and Arabic. Although the museum itself is quite small there’s a lot of interesting pieces that will take your attention. During the course of my visits this was one of the better maintained museums that I’d seen.
The museum is located opposite Souk Sharq and you can see the Booms (boats) from the main road.
Entrance is free. Timing: Monday to Thursday
8:30 to 12:30
4:30 to 8:30
Friday Morning off
The planetarium is located inside the Museum complex. You’ll find signboards leading you to it once you enter the compound. I was hoping to catch the 12PM show and got there at 11:40 but they informed me that the last show was at 11 AM. Talk about a fucking disappointment. There’s nothing much else to see there, just a few displays with model satellites and space vehicles.
Entrance is free and show timings are as shown in the picture.
For my museum tour I decided to follow the list on q8living[dot]com and each post will cover one location. To make matters easier for me I’ll just post the text exactly as on the site while the pictures will be the ones that I took.
“The National Museum (Tel : 2451195/4) is located on the Gulf Road just south of the Parliament / National Assembly downtown. It was opened in December 1957. Looted and burned by the former Iraqi regime during the invasion, the museum is now restored and has been re-opened to the public – with many, but not all, artifacts having been returned from Iraq. In 1997, Muhallab II, the replacement for (and replica of) the magnificent trading dhow from the 1930s that graced the front yard of the museum before it was burned by the former Iraqi regime, was constructed on site and is now open to visitors.”
I was the only one in the museum at the time and it felt more like a House of Horrors tour than a museum visit. Here’s a video from 360Dewan. The entrance is free and you have to surrender your Civil ID at the front desk before they allow you in. Timing: Monday to Thursday
8:30 to 12:30
4:30 to 8:30
Friday Morning off
In the coming weeks I’ll be posting about visits to the various museums in Kuwait. The ones on the list are;
Modern Art Museum
War Memorial Museum
You can see my previous posts on the Qurain Museum and Qasr Al Ahmar
The past couple of weeks have gone by at a crazy pace and I’ve missed most of the events that were scheduled during this month. Now the main attractions will happen this weekend and fortunately one of the readers on 248am.com has compiled a quick list of the main events and hopefully I’ll be at one of them.
[Here’s] my previous post about the events during this month and this is the list from Othman and the original post here;
Thursday Feb 24th
– Kuwait Towers: Special Forces show at 3:30pm followed by fireworks at 6:00pm
– Marina Crescent: 5000 doves will be released in less then 5 minutes in an attempt to break a Guinness World Record at 3:30pm
Friday Feb 25th
– Anjifa Beach: Classic Car Show at 1:00pm. they will drive on the Gulf Road starting from Anjifa Beach to Kuwait Towers. Other cars can join.
– Kuwait Towers: Big fireworks at 7:00pm. This is a must see
Saturday Feb 26th
– Subiya Road: Military Parade that will include Coalition Forces as well at 10:00am. Subiya Road starts from the end of the 4th Ring Road heading towards Jahra. It is about 25min drive
Sunday Feb 27th
– Gulf Road: Carnival Parade starting from Shaab Park on the Gulf Road (Dunno what time)
Monday Feb 28th
– Marina Mall: Water Show at Marina Mall Beach around noon
I can’t believe its been more than 2 decades since I’ve been to this place. It almost looks the same too! I remember the name was ‘Science and Natural History museum’ but now the sign reads ‘Educational Science Museum’. We got there a few minutes past 6PM so we missed the planetarium show but we did spend a half hour walking around the rest of the place.
Just past the reception area is a skeleton display hall and they’ve got all kinds of bones on display including a massive whale skeleton that I remember gawking at when I was a little kid. This thing is massive and pictures wont give you the whole impact so I took a walk-around video of the whole thing.
The sections we visited were;
Skeletons, mammals halls 1-9, aircraft and engines and finally natural science. We didn’t get a chance to see the planetarium wing as they had completed their show for the day and were asked to come back on Sunday. The first floor was off limits as it was under construction.
If you’ve been in Kuwait for a long time you’ll notice that places like Entertainment City, most public parks and museums have remained the same since the 80s and most of them are in pretty bad shape and in need of serious repair and maintenance and unfortunately this museum is too.
The Museum is located in Mirqab, near the KPTC bus depot and on the same street as ABK, KFH and the Souk. Open from 9 AM to 1PM and 4.30PM to 7.30 PM, closed on weekends.
Thanks to my friend ‘btwdlines‘ for the link. Looks like the whole month of February has something of interest to everyone. I already missed the Japanese exhibition. Based on the way my current schedule is going on I wonder if I’ll be able to attend any of them.
Kuwait Fest Homepage [link] Download the pdf list [here]