The Red Fort

The work Kuwait in Pictures, published in 1995, reports that, “Al Jahra is one of Kuwait’s oldest communities. Indeed, evidence suggests that it flourished well before the 7th century.” Located to the northwest of Kuwait City, it is one of the only oases in the country, making it an important center before modern desalination technology. Today in Al Jahra you can visit the historic Red Fort, the site of an important battle in the early 20th century which now has a modest heritage museum. In his work The Modern History of Kuwait, Abu Hakima writes that, “the battle of al-Jahra in 1920 is considered by far one of, if not the most important, events in the modern history of the sheikhdom of Kuwait.” To protect against Ikhwan raids, Sheikh Salim Al-Mubarak Al-Sabah had a new wall built around Kuwait town. Hakima continues, “soon after the completion of that wall, Salim sensed the impending danger from the Ikhwan. Salim realized that his first line of defense must not be Kuwait city, but the town of al-Jahra which was protected by a strong fort. He proceeded to that town, at the head of well-armed Kuwaiti citizens, where they were joined by additional tribal forces.” There was a siege on the Red Fort where “Salim’s strategy succeeded, and the final battle did not reach Kuwait.” The floor plan map comes from the article Socio-Spatial Analysis of Traditional Kuwaiti Houses by Omar Khattab.

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