Click for the original article: Kuwait’s Best Events and Festivals in Summer 2014
Kuwait, as with many burgeoning oil rich countries in the Middle East, has undergone an explosion in contemporary culture in recent decades and has a summer events calendar packed with art exhibitions, festivals, music performances and more. Although the heat and the Ramadan holiday make Kuwait an ideal poolside destination, the country also has plenty to offer for culture and art enthusiasts. Here are some unmissable Kuwaiti events this summer.
Culture | Eid el-Fitr
One of the most significant and joyful days in Kuwait is certainly Eid el-Fitr, which marks the end of the 30-day feast known as Ramadan. This religious day is also a national holiday in the country, when people proudly display their traditional customs. The general excitement is felt not only in each household but also throughout the cities of Kuwait. Charity, present-giving and grandiose culinary fiesta are the main parts of the day in Kuwait, preceded by the acclaimed Ramadan and Eid Trade Exhibition. Should you visit the country on 28 July, you’ll experience a true taste of Kuwait.
Event takes place across Kuwait
Art | Dar Al Funoon Gallery Kuwait
Until 26 July June
Acclaimed contemporary gallery Dar Al Funoon’s, current display is a solo exhibition of Kuwaiti artist and teacher Ibrahim Al Attiyah. The artist gained international recognition through his main artistic focus on calligraphy, children book illustrations and portraits. The host gallery is one of the major contemporary venues in Kuwait, whose primary objective is to raise awareness of the local modern art scene. Since its foundation in 1994, the gallery has welcomed established local artists using a wide array of media, as well as continuously encouraging emerging artists to find new ways of expression.
Art | 6th Summer Art Salon
From June 17th
Kuwait, having one of the liveliest gallery scenes in the Gulf, boasts numerous exciting venues, one of which is Boushahri Gallery. The Gallery was founded by the local sculptor Jawad Boushahri in 1982 with the aim of encouraging local artists to promote fine art in Kuwait. The Gallery has a pre-annually approved agenda and hosts ten artists in each season. Exhibiting artists range from emerging to well-established names as well as local and international figures. This summer the Gallery is home to the 6th Summer Art Salon, which lines up a rich list of artists and artworks
Art | House of Mirrors
In the Qadisiya residential quartier of Kuwait City stands a unique house that epitomises art right down to its last brick. Owner and designer Lidid al-Qattan, who has Italian origins, has long been Kuwait’s prominent artist; she used an accidently broken mirror as inspiration to create a house that is now referred to as the House of Mirrors. She welcomes visitors to her house, upon prior appointment. While visiting the House of Mirrors guests receive a two hour multidisciplinary guide through the history, creation, and obstacles of the art complex, along with the story of each rooms. The house hides further art treasures by displaying the masterpieces of Lidid and her former husband Khalifa al-Qattan. The house consists of 77 tons of mirror mosaics and 102 tons of white cement, decorating the walls and furniture with astronomical and Arabic inspired adornments. An exclusive art-in-action visit while in Kuwait.
Architecture | Kuwait Grand Mosque
Being the world’s 7th largest mosque, the Al-Masjid Al-Kabir, or Grand Mosque, is definitely worth visiting. Though prior appointment is needed, once there, visitors can expect an hour and half, free, informative guided tour that introduces this historically and spiritually rich landmark building. The Mosque can host up to 10,000 men and 950 women for prayers, and includes an Islamic Library under its exceptionally designed halls. It was opened in 1986 and has been recently refurbished and newly decorated; yet the complete architecture and structure preserves the traditional Islamic characteristics and make it a must-see cultural venue for all architecture-lovers.
Grand Mosque, Arabian Gulf St, Kuwait City, Kuwait, +965 2298 0800
Art | Sadu House
A passageway between past and present, Sadu House is one of the most visited venues in Kuwait. An old Kuwaiti house from the 1930s, today it is a cultural centre with a wide range of activities, from workshops, lectures, children’s programmes and textile designer exhibitions, all aiming to preserve Kuwaiti weaving traditions. Al-sadu, where the name of the centre derives from, is a term referring to the original weaving process and, therefore, today faithfully captures the House’s objectives of preserving, promoting, educating, and revitalizing. As part of the Kuwaiti identity, Sadu House attempts to fuse modernity and heritage since its inception in 1978. This unique textile-art venue is adjacent to the National Museum and also offers a traditional cafeteria with handmade authentically patterned interior design.
Sadu House, Arabian Gulf Road, Safat, Kuwait, +965 224 323 95
Food | Kuwait Towers
One of the most scenic views for dining is offered by the tallest of the Kuwait Towers. The Horizon Signature Restaurant sits 82m above sea level, serving up delicious Asian and international buffet cuisine. No need to look for the best spots, the restaurant’s rotating system will make sure that each guest enjoys a stunning 360° view of Kuwait’s downtown area and the Arabian Gulf. The Towers symbolise the country’s pride, and since their inauguration in 1979 have stand as iconic landmarks of Kuwait. With the remarkably unique design, planned by the Swedish architect duo of Sune Lindström and Malene Björn, and the outer decoration that displays over 55,000 colourful Chinese steel panels, the Towers justly earned international attention and have won several architecture awards.
Culture | Amricani Cultural Centre
No trip to Kuwait city can be complete without visiting the leading venue of Islamic art, theAmricani Cultural Centre. The building that once served as hospital in the 1930s was transformed to a cultural hub in 2011. Since then the Amricani Cultural Centre has taken on an active role in the display and promotion of Islamic art. Its current agenda includes a recent debut of their new film Mystic Journey to the Ancient East, as well as three distinctive exhibitions: Splendors of the Ancient East: Antiquities from the al-Sabah Collection and Story of Amricani and Verses from the Holy Qur’an on Works of Art. All of the exhibitions are extraordinary in their own right and display a rich collection of rare art pieces and manuscripts from the Islamic art and cultural life.
By Virág Gulyás