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.

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Delicious olives, every one different!
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I am totally addicted to these dried pomegranate seeds, which are also called anardana:
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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?
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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:
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Look how this artist extended his painting to include the store on the right:
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Where does anyone else sell slingshots these days? I fear for the poor market cats, when young men get their hands on these.
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February 5, 2009 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Blogging, Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Public Art, Shopping | , | 4 Comments

“Mister, Take Picture!”

My friend, Q8Dutchie asked if we were truly allowed to take photos in the souks, and I answered “Carefully.” I added that if you are photographing a person, to ask, and especially if it is a woman. There is usually no problem photographing vegetables, fruits, hardware. clothing, food, etc. If I have any doubt, I ask, and if they say “no,” I don’t photograph.

Yousef, from Some Contrast answered slightly differently, saying most of the people working in the souks are not Kuwaiti, and most don’t mind a photo.

Actually, we often have the experience that when people in the souks see my camera, they say “Mister! Mister! Take photo!” (yes, they call me mister sometimes, mostly madame, but sometimes they get confused.)

Here are some recent examples:

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Have fun, Q8Dutchie!

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Friends & Friendship, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Photos, Travel | | 3 Comments