Grandma and her boys

Monday, 21 July 2008

Kuwait trip

Well, I did it, I flew to Kuwait last Tuesday on Al Jazeera Airways the Kuwaiti cheap airline...must be the only "cheapo" with leather seats the size of business class...such comfort, it is ashame it is only an hour and a half flight.

I arrived more or less on time and took ages to obtain a what's changed, any one who has lived in Kuwait will ask.

Kathi was there to meet me and off we went on a 3 day tour of kuwait.
Doing a complete full circle we drove around the city and back to her house on afternoon 1.....
Oh! dear it was so sad to see the way the city has been left in the after math of the Kuwait / Iraq war. There were buildings that were damaged that are still awaiting demolition, bomb sites that are over grown a little by weed but still show where the damage was caused. Areas that already had been cleared, a lot of the Beautiful villas on the Corniche were gone, I guess demolished because of damage.

Most of the goverment buildings I remember were still standing also the Kuwait towers they have built a "fun park" around the base area of the towers, the beach clubs were still there but a little worse for wear.
I did not see any of the old hotels although they are there, Sheraton or Holiday Inn, or Hilton... there is a new Hilton on the road out towards Fhaheel...which is now all built along, so Fhaheel and Fintas are now part of the city. They have built some great Malls...but the souqs are still there...okay cleaned up a bit..but still the old souq as we knew it.

Day 2 saw us at the commercial souk, which is mainly fabric, I was very restraint, as most of the fabric was available in why buy and carry back.
We toured around the area towards Jahbriya, but it was so built up that I could not get my bearings at all, I worked out a few land marks and could see the general direction our house would have been in, the roads no longer go in the same direction as the sand roads did before.
Eric's old office block was still there and looked just the same. I asked about Alsorra School that Kathryn and Iain attened but Kathi had not heard of it, there were a great many others there including an American and a few British ones, so it could have been absorbed by one of them of course.
Day 3 more touring around plus shopping and then to the souq in Fhaheel where I bought an Abya and head scarf....will be interesting when I wear it in NZ.....but must admit it looks very smart and has a crystal bead pattern down the front and back and sleeve cuffs. It is also very comfortable when it is on.
The other striking difference is the cars, gone are the flashy cars, lots are driving
around in 10 / 15 year old cars........the war has left many ordinary Kuwaiti's very strapped for cash as they lost everything .
They have built a Liberation Tower in the City, and are working towards cleaning up the city, you can see the building going on everywhere,
I am not sure it will ever be the same place again though. It seems to have lost something, may be the vibrance it had see so many check points and guns around ( although there always was guns before) now they have implacements outside of embassies with large mounted machine guns.
The British embassy is in the same place but now tightly protected ...beside it is a large open bomb looked so sad.

So all in all I am so pleased I made the effort to go and see the country again.

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