Barayeh Salem

According to this article, Barayeh Salem opened in 2018. There are various murals along it. Many of them reference Kuwaiti media, including this mural of the first feature film to be produced in the country: بس يابحر or Bas Ya Bahr, released in 1972. It’s title in English is “The Cruel Sea” (although the literal translation would be, “stop it, sea!”). Directed and funded by Khalid Al Siddiq, the story centers around pearl diving, which dominated Kuwait’s economy before oil. According to the podcast Tea with Culture, al Siddiq was driven to make the film because the world only associated Kuwait (and the Gulf region more generally) with extreme wealth. When he was at a film festival to show his 1965 documentary The Falcon, journalists only asked him about the types of cars and other luxuries people had in Kuwait. Al Siddiq did not want the history of struggle and poverty to be erased and forgotten. You can watch the film on YouTube.

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