Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah

Beginning in the 1950s with the First Master Plan, much of “Old Kuwait” was destroyed, but the American Missionary Hospital (which was built in the early 20th century and closed in 1967) was spared. In Mobilities of Architecture, Lukask Stanek writes that, “prefigured by some forewarnings by Saba George Shiber in the 1960s, calls abounded… to preserve the little that was left of the old Kuwait. The 1981 revision of the master plan declared the Behbehani compound, the American mission, the traditional suq and part of the Sharq frontage as conservation areas. The Al-Ghanim Dasman, the Naif Palace and all historical mosques were to be preserved.” Since 2011, the old American Missionary Hospital has housed a wonderful museum as part of Dar al Athar al Islamiyyah. One of the DAI educators, Maha Alessa, has a great social media account where she posts content on the history of Kuwait. DAI is currently in the 26th Cultural Season during which they organize lectures, musical performances, workshops and more. Claudia Al-Rushoud recently gave a lecture entitled “Forty-Two Years of Documenting Kuwait,” which you can watch here. During the lecture she shared an image of a map drawn by Keith Wells in one of his works on Kuwait, which you an see below.

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