Building projects of all sizes are exciting. I love how the many small details fit into fewer larger ideas to come together in creating a solution, whether it’s a dwelling, a road, a bridge, or even a whole city. Al Hamra, both as a project and a building, is in a class of its own. Even if one is not interested in architecture or skyscrapers, this building is different. It will (already has) change the skyline Kuwait City for ever. The design is simple, beautiful and unique; and it brings a new level of creativity and sophistication to our city. If that’s not enough, it also happens to be the tallest carved building, and one of tallest skyscrapers in the world.
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Some of my readers were expecting photos of the Lake District (Cumbria) by now, but my holiday was deferred a week and I ended up in London instead. The reason was an unplanned business trip for an urgent negotiation in Seoul. Work-wise the trip didn’t go as well as we had hoped; but I was glad to use the opportunity to see the place. I only spent two days there, and they were enough to leave with a very positive impression of Seoul.
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A few years ago, my wife told me how fascinating she found other people’s homes to be. She told me how she would ‘always have a quick peek’ as she walked past the houses, looking for a snapshot of the dwellwers’ lives. Anyone who likes photography will understand the concept of ‘always looking’… and ever since my wife shared this with me, I can think of nothing else as I drive/walk by an open curtain. Awful – isn’t it?
I returned from a business trip earlier this evening, and I saw our Christmas tree from outside as I pulled my car onto the drive. Our living room is on the first floor, so I took this shot from the balcony.
Inspired by Mathai’s Light Writing post, I wanted to do something that gives similar drama but with a faster shutter. I can’t get Yousef and Noor to stand still for 2 seconds – so an ordinary torch would produce a rather dull result. Then I saw that my wife had bought sparklers. I knew instantly that this would produce fun results.
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Dubai is awake again. Whilst it’s still not to the Dubai I knew before the recession, there are plenty of positive signs. I used the Sheikh Zayed road to measure the activity level on a previous trip. This time I was actually stuck in traffic on a few occasions. There are still unfinished buildings with no obvious signs of any work in progress; but roads, shops and restaurants are reasonably busy. With the summer heat, malls feel busier and I’m told hotels are taking more and more bookings for the summer.
Work-wise, some of the projects previously on hold have been dusted off and are taking shape – even if only on paper. In all my meetings, I sensed a readiness to do business again.
I hope this continues and I wish Dubai all the best.
On my flight to Dubai earlier this evening, I saw Ahmadi shortly after take-off. I’ve always liked how ‘different’ Ahmadi looks compared with the rest of Kuwait. For me it’s the hints of green and the many red roofs that give it its charm. This is the first time I see Ahmadi by night – from a height. It still has a different look about it.
Most towns in Kuwait are modern blocked areas with a co-op supermarket somewhere in the middle. It’s nice to have one area that’s not from the same cast.
This is what it says in Wikipedia:
It was also home to several thousand mostly British Ex-pats and their families from 1947 through to 1970, and possibly beyond. The original town layout was from an American pattern. Streets laid out at right angles to each other – 1st Street, 2nd Street and so on. At right angles were the avenues. The town was built on a slope facing the sea, which was about 7 miles (11 km) away. The street that ran across the top of the hill was called “main street”. It housed the upper eschelons of the KOC. It ran down the hill in order of KOC rank. Within the town was the Hubara Club – a complex of buildings with a swimming pool, meeting rooms, restaurants, squash courts, tennis courts etc. Employees of the KOC would use this club every day to meet and chat. Their children spent most of their time here. Towards the bottom of the ‘hill’ was the ‘souk’ or shopping area; banks a cinema, which is now been closed down and a few shops.
” 1848 is historically famous for the wave of revolutions that swept Europe and the world, starting in France. They significantly altered the political and philosophical landscape and had major ramifications throughout the rest of the century .”
This is what Wikipedia says about the year 1848. Well… 48 years ago, Kuwait started a new chapter in her history. Going back 18 years on the 26th, an “altered” history was changed back to the right course.
I’ve timed this post to appear at 18:48 to the 24th. At that time, I shall be on my way home in time for the holidays.
Happy Independence and Liberation Days Kuwait.
May god bless this country and everyone who calls it home.
Two days to go for the big two days in February. I’m off on a short business trip and back in time for the festivities.
For readers outside Kuwait, the above is the building of the headquarters of the AFESD. Their annual contribution is this simple but effective way of celebrating another year of independence.
I need your help with the new Kuwait Mini Guide page. It’s not much of a guide but more of a short introduction to Kuwait. I started it some time in June last year and planned to finish it in a week. Eight months on my final draft is ready.
Please comment with your recommendations for changes, additions and omissions. I want to make it useful but also keep it relatively short. I also want it to be a fair description.
Please post your comments below, on the page itself, or by email to me.
It’s been a while since I’ve been to Dubai. I will be going there a few times over the next month or two. This doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped there on the way, or the way back, from somewhere. I suppose anyone with wings has to stop there at some point.
I managed to catch a glimpse of Sh. Zayed Road from the air very early this morning. You can see Emirates Towers if you open the larger version.
I was standing in the cold trying to get the right settings on my camera; and without a tripod, I had to use a flat surface nearby to keep the camera steady. While doing all of this to get “the perfect shot”, this guy stops walking, takes out his camera, points, shoots and walks on!
When I looked at this photograph later, I really liked it.
It’s freezing, it’s raining, it’s dark and it’s a week-night. Let’s have a party!
I think all we need is an excuse and they’ve found a few and put them together at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland. This usually forgotten part of London during winter – especially at night time – came alive. Lots of fun for children aged 1 to 80… Lights, skating, rides (including a roller coaster) and many little novelty shops. The food and drink places looked good too – but we didn’t try any.
If you’re in the area, I recommend a visit.
It was a clear night and while I always try to get a window seat on the right hand side, I couldn’t check-in online for this KLM flight from Muscat. I couldn’t choose my seat and this was the result! I know it’s not the sharpest image, but I had to share this great view.
Kuwait City’s skyline is changing by the day. So many projects in a relatively small concentrated area. Many of the new buildings have a little more inspiration behind them than the old usual peach/beige cubes. My favorite is Al Hamra.
It was time to test the high ISO capability of my camera. This was taken last night shortly after take off from LHR. We were high up, it was dark and partly cloudy. The result was not perfect – but I hope you will agree it’s worth sharing.
The river Thames meandures around the Financial District in London. The dark clouds above tell a story of the financial troubles the world is facing. Hope it’s a clear day soon for all.
I love taking photographs of this truly elegant city. I’m here on business so not much free time – actually none – but I managed to walk out of the hotel after dinner this evening. The blue coulour symbolises Europe. In fact the other side of the tower even has the yellow stars. It looks very different and, I think, stads out a bit more as a result. When it glitters on the hour it looks spectacular.
France currently holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union July to December 2008.