The people of Kuwait City have a large task in trying to articulate their culture to tourists simply passing through. A culture that goes back for millennia, and a culture comprised from many unique parts, it’s not easy to boil it down into manageable chunks. Fortunately, this Herculean effort has been taken head on, and various parts of this fascinating culture have manifested themselves within the walls of Kuwait City’s integral handful of museums.
wooden box for Quran

This wooden box for Quran, at the National Museum of Kuwait, dates from 1344 AD.

The best place to being is the National Museum of Kuwait. Parceled out into four pieces, you’ll interact with elements of Kuwaiti history, culture, and archeology. The first part is the Kuwait Heritage Museum. As you stroll through the exhibits, you’ll see a testament to generations of Kuwaiti people who dared to brave the harsh environs and establish a permanent society. With plenty of mock ups of every day life and ancient every day artifacts, you’ll glean genuine insight into the beginnings of the Kuwaiti people. The next portion is the Archeological Museum. Brimming with artifacts from prehistoric all the way to Hellenistic, you’ll find pottery, jewlery, seals, carved wooden doors, and so much more. On sight there is also a recently upgraded planetarium and a huge ship out front, the Boom Al-Muhallab. Each is a part of the Kuwait of yesterday and the direction Kuwait is going, a perfect foundation to understanding this great society.
Natural History Museum

The museum holds within everything connected to science – from ancient fossils to computers.

The next stop on the Kuwait City museum tour would be the Science and Natural History Museum. With a mission dedicated to the scientific pursuits of the Kuwaiti people as well as the natural history of the region, this Musuem located on Abdullah Al-Mubarak Street is a varied mix of fossils and computers and everything in between. One of the most magnificent exhibits is an eight meter whale skeleton, but there are departments dedicated to everything from Russian space pursuits to birds. All encompassing and so much about Kuwait as it is the entire world, the Sceince and Natural History Museum contains a microcosm of our planet right in downtown Kuwait City.
Kuwait Museum of Modern Art

Kuwait’s modern art depicts traditional features, as well as new art trends.

For a change of pace, a slice of the more forward direction of Kuwait City, a stop at the Museum of Modern Art is a breath of fresh air. With no real Internet presence, and a somewhat hidden entrance, this gallery is almost like a secret. Once inside, all the majesty and love of art is revealed. With hundreds of paintings focused on local and region artists, there is modern paintings and sculptures galore. The building itself is one of the few of its age left standing in the city. The building received considerable damage during the Iraq invasion, and there is a pictorial showing the long and arduous reclamation. What the gallery lacks in atmosphere it more than makes up for with determination. Art is everywhere, the intent is palpable, and the imagination of the many artists flows through the building, and that is all that really matters.

Kuwait City is every bit the vacation destination it’s made out to be. With fun for the whole family, beaches to spare, and even better hotels in Kuwait, it could be easy to overlook the abiding core of this country’s identity. Indulge in all of the above, and be sure and dig into the many museums of Kuwait City as well. It’s always fun to be in a place, but it adds something special when you see where they have been before, and more importantly, where they are going.

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