My city is a soldier
After writing about Amman, I started thinking about Kuwait and how it compares. Geographically, Kuwait City is nothing like the landlocked Amman. Once upon a time Kuwait was nothing more than a few mud houses on the waterfront. As it grew, the country sprawled along the gulf. The long shoreline provides the perfect contrast for the otherwise arid desert that stretches west of the city to Saudi Arabia and Iraq.
The photo above was taken at Marina Crescent, at around 5:30 PM on 28th January 2013. This little harbour is on the edge of Salmiya, a long-established cultural and commercial hub that is about 12 KM southeast of Kuwait City. Salmiya is always buzzing with excitement. It’s noise and colors are always loud, sometimes offensive. Salmiya tries to outshine everybody, especially Kuwait City, a cluster of faint highrises attempting to fill the sky. From afar, the city is enigmatic and alluring but whenever I get closer I feel its comforting steady pulse.
Kuwait City is patient although it’s struggling to understand what we want and it’s trying to embrace the constant change we thrust upon it. It’s a place of contradictions, success and despair, a place of oversights on a multinational scale. During the summer months, the city simmers and vibrates and it holds its breath as it counts to ten, twenty, thirty, one hundred. It doesn’t explode, it waits for a bitter but soothing winter. Kuwait City does not speak, it sighs; it knows something we don’t, it waits for us to learn. And while we stumble and fall, Kuwait City is alert and vigilant, watching over its people like a soldier. Quiet, humble and resilient.