With the 1990-91 Gulf War a fading memory, Kuwait is once again the prototypical Persian Gulf oil state. Walking around Kuwait City, it is hard to imagine the destruction of just a decade ago. There has been an obsessive, meticulous re-creation of the country’s pre-invasion appearance. Liberation brought new kind of openness to Kuwaiti life and for those looking for a relaxed entry into the Muslim world, Kuwait offers opportunities to wander around sound, moswues and other sandy traces of bygone Bedouin days.
May (spring) or October (autumn)-or in the early 18 th century when Kuwait was nothing more than a few tents clustered around a fort
Taking in the views of the Sief Palace from the Kuwait Towers in Kuwait City Sampling lslamic art at the Tareq Museum in Kuwait City Buying Bedouin goods at Sadu House in Kuwait City Strolling through the public gardens in Al-Ahmadi Wandering among the archaeological ruins on Failaka lsland
Read Thomas Friedman’s From Beirut to Jerusalem, an excellent read for anyone wishing to more fully understand the causes and effects of the region’s strife
Listen to Stars of Kuwait, a complete taste of Kuwaiti music
Watch Fires of Kuwait by David Dougls-shot in Kuwait after the lraqi war. lt follows a number of teams who fought to extinguish the hundreds of buring oil wells
Eat fuul-broadbean paste madewith garlic, olive oil and lemon; falafel-spiced, fried chickpea balls; khobz-Arabic flat bread; hummus-chickpea paste with garlic and lemon
Drink coffee-served Arabic-style
Gowwa (hello, informal)
The oil industry; mosques; Kuwait Towers; Bedouin culture; colourful souks; cloth weaving; museums; coffeehouses; delicious Arab food; archaeological sites; the remarkably easygoing feel of Kuwait City
The temple and archaeological ruins on the island of Failaka lsland; informal gatherings (diwaniya), usually at someone’s home, where Kuwaitis gather to chat
The problem of land and, to a lesser extent, seaborne mines has pretty well put what used to be a bustling water-sports culture in Kuwait into the deep freeze. Mines have also put an end to organized desert safaris and ‘wadi bashing’.