Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Mubarakiyya Souk Magic

These are not part of The Great Kuwait Market Magic Challenge. (If you haven’t voted, please go there and vote for your favorite.) These are photos I take to document what places “used to look like.” In Germany, I took photos, but twenty years later I could take the same exact photo. Most of the buildings built a couple hundred years ago are still standing – even some built three or four hundred years ago still have the same foundations (and problems with seepage, etc. )

Not so in places like Kuwait and Doha. You look away for a second and something is gone. Can anyone tell me where the Tarek Rajab Museum store has gone? Do they have a new location? It used to be in Salmiyya; the last time I took people there – it was gone. Just gone! And entire block of stores has disappeared.

So here, for posterity, are some photos I have taken of Mubarakiyya Market, because I love the quirkiness of the place and because there is some really interesting public art there. Also, because so many of my readers are in schools across the US and Europe, and they are hungry to see what different places look like.











Delicious olives, every one different!

I am totally addicted to these dried pomegranate seeds, which are also called anardana:

These portraits of two different butchers show such individuality. These are not some stylized ideographs; these portraits give the impression of being real butchers. I wonder if I could find the originals and stand them next to their portraits?


Look at these painted carpets! They lift the entire mood of this utilitarian area. Look how bright and clean this area is, easily washed down, entirely of tiles and washable surfaces:

Look how this artist extended his painting to include the store on the right:

Where does anyone else sell slingshots these days? I fear for the poor market cats, when young men get their hands on these.



February 5, 2009 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Blogging, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Public Art, Shopping | ,


  1. Interesting pictures… and very interesting tea pot!

    Comment by Ansam | February 5, 2009 | Reply

  2. The market gives downtown Kuwait some soul, Ansam. It is a treasure. Otherwise, it would be just like any other downtown in any part of the world.

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Wonderful!! I love these!! This is the first chance I’ve had to comment on your blog in a very long time since I am in Canada at the moment. (I’m the one living in China who used to live in Kuwait!)

    I was just visiting my family in Texas and I took the opportunity to scan as many of our family photos from Kuwait as I could. I’d love to share them with you, so perhaps I can email you a link to my photo storage site when I get the photos uploaded? You share so many wonderful photos (that I see through Google Reader but can’t comment on due to wordpress being blocked) and I’d like to show you mine from post-war Kuwait!

    Comment by globalgal | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  4. I would love to see them, Global Gal. Can I share them with the readers at HT&E? I remember who you are; I think of you everytime I pass the old Union Apartment building, which is now so surrounded by other tall buildings that it almost gets lost. I keep thinking to take a photo, but I am usually en route somewhere. You would be shocked to see the Kuwait of today. I am very happy you dropped by.

    Important question: Did you vote? Did you see the other photos in The Great Kuwait Market Magic Challenge? Mine are just follow up photos – the really good photos are in the challenge. 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 9, 2009 | Reply

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