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Monthly Archives: February 2006

This is Kuwait’s Pompei…. The houses and neighbourhoods are as they were left in 1990 after the invasion. We drove around to get a feel of what life used to be like here (this was amazingly my first visit) and many had signs of the invasion (some of the bullet holes may have been caused by training after liberation as the island was a military area for a long time).

Failaka is now under many studies and some companies have full plans of what its future should look like. I have personally seen plans that a friend has been working on to build a whole touristic village in Greek style. It will have the largest (and most proffessional) health spa in the Middle East as well as hotels, restaurants and shopping malls. I hope to see it materialise before long…. Talking and drawing is easy!

Update 15 02 2008: The plans are cancelled and the company has pulled out of the project because of lack of cooperation.

 
We went to Failaka for my son’s birthday…. This was taken somewhere on the island. I love how the road just ends. The uniterrupted view to the desert is a welcome change to the usual electricity lines, power stations and oil installations.

I hope they do something decent with this gem of an island.

This is the only place where Kuwait can boast a real history.  The rest of the country struggles to date itself back to pre 1700AD. I am so pleased and thankful that I finally managed to get here and take this shot.

Ikaros is the old name of Failaka Island, approximately 20 km off the coast of Kuwait City.

Archaeological investigations revealed the existence of ruins from the Delmon Civilization nearly 2000 B.C. The Island was an active Commercial Station between today’s Bahrain and Mesopotamia. It was first colonized by the Ancient Greeks in the Fourth century BC by a Greek Admiral in the army of Alexander the Great.

There are two theories about the origin of the name. Some believe it came from an island off the Greek coast where the mythical Icarus was buried, and which had a similar shape to Failaka. Others believe it was named so due to its severe heat and the inevitable belief that it was close to the sun. Anyone who spends one summer in Kuwait would only believe the latter!

This has been one of the most popular photographs of my collection on Flickr. The natural pose and interesting lighting/reflection have created, albeit by a bit of luck, one of my all-time favourites.