LIFE IN KUWAIT



I was a resident of Kuwait from 1983 to 1990. I met my wife, Alison, here in 1984 and we were married in 1988. This page just gives some idea of life at the time and may be useful to anyone who is contemplating going out there now although I expect many things have changed. I have kept the pictures small but some can be clicked on to view a larger picture


This is Kuwait English School in Salwa. This building held the Infant, Junior, and Secondary departments but there was also a seperate kindergarten nearby. Most of the staff were from UK and lived in nearby flats provided by the school.


This is the local mosque in Salwa very close to the school. At first one is very aware of the calls to prayer, made by loudspeaker, at dawn, sunset, and other times.

This is the main kuwaiti cottage industry and similiar scenes are enacted in hundreds of kitchens all over the state. Of course if you have enough 'wasta' you do not need to do this as you can bring in spirit through the customs without any problem. Wine like this made from bottled grape juice, sugar, added water, and yeast takes about a week to ferment in a large bucket because of the temperature. Flash, illegally distilled spirit is available and also 'eth'(-anol) which is spirit diverted from hospitals /industrial uses etc. This needs to be mixed with a roughly equal amount of water. A few juniper berries give an authentic gin flavour



Kuwait is not in any way scenic but "The Ridge" is one place where we used to go for barbecues and lies to the north of the country on the borders with Iraq.


The towers must be Kuwait's most famous landmark. The globular shapes are water reservoirs. There is some brackish water at Jahra but most drinking water is now obtained by desalination plants with electricity as a by-product - or is it the other way round? Water towers of striking design are found in many locations. Water from the plants is pumped to the top and then distributed at pressure.


This is near Jahra which used to be a watering hole and the site of the "Red Fort". "Cocktail glass" water towers can be seen in the background.


Going south the Saudi border was only a short driving distance but we used to go the beaches near the power station at Mina Al Zoor. The desert was pretty featureless but a good backdrop for showing off my Cutlass




But even though many houses round the city are on a mains supply the water tanker is still a familiar sight



With no pubs or bars people make their own entertainment. We had a regular bridge club, not in any way serious - more gossip and chat. This is the end of the Christmas session in our flat with the winner (I think it's the booby prize) taking unfair advantage of her reindeer. Probably has Munlochy ancestry



Alison playing her annual game of 'go'.




And finally yours truly in dishdasha.

Last update 23/02/2001