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Dr. Sultan Al-Duweesh

Director, Kuwait National Museum

Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Al-Duaij

Acting CEO, The Scientific Center of Kuwait (TSCK)

Kuwait's rich heritage is being presented in new and innovate ways to draw in both locals and tourists.

How was your institution established and what have been its achievements?

Dr. Sultan Al-Duweesh The Kuwait National Museum has the nation’s history on display, from mammoth bones and great empires to old Kuwait. The heritage museum is like a walk into an old Kuwaiti souk, with antiques displayed. Our planetarium is unique because it presents astronomy concepts in 3D. Our archaeological halls have the gems of Kuwait’s archaeological past, and the temporary hall exhibits new discoveries. The Mohallab dhow speaks of the maritime past of Kuwait. All these areas are currently being renovated, as they were built in 1983, and most of them destroyed by the Iraqi invasion in 1990.

Abdulaziz Abdulrahman Al-Duaij The TSCK was established to promote and engage people in science and environment awareness and to be a landmark tourist attraction in the region. TSCK has truly became something unique as it has an aquarium, an IMAX cinema, and a science center all under one roof. Also the architecture is distinctive, as it has taken the rich cultural history of Kuwait and its heritage as a maritime nation into consideration, combining the traditional Kuwaiti souk, Sadu weavings, and Islamic art. From the entrance to the various attractions, there is Islamic art and ceramics that display our cultural heritage. In our dhow harbor, we have an evolution of the nation’s ships, with original wood and sails. Since our opening in 2000 we have received more than 9.5 million visitors, which is tremendous considering the population of Kuwait is just over 4 million.

What are your plans for the coming years?

SAD The National Museum is currently undergoing a major renovation, and we will soon see it as the cultural face for Kuwait, with a state-of-the-art theater and numerous museums, where Kuwait’s past will be presented in a more interactive and attractive way. We also focus on capacity building and human resources so that the new generation will be equipped to manage world-class museums with international standards. We also will continue to highlight archaeological sites, artifacts, cultural practices, and our heritage through UNESCO and other international programs and conventions. Finally, we hope to see a young generation of museum employees, visitors, and tourists who will promote and share their pride in Kuwait’s culture.

AAAD After 17 years of operations, we want to offer our visitors new attractions, interactive exhibits, and experiments. We are working on a large expansion project, with more facilities for education areas, exhibitions, and discovery centers. These plans include the construction of a dolphinarium in the future. We are aware of the two opposing views on using animals for shows, but envision developing this center for educational purposes and to explain to our visitors how we should take care of nature and to raise awareness. The IMAX cinema theater, like our aquarium and discovery center, plays a big role in science education and environmental awareness.

What are your thoughts on the development of the cultural and scientific sector of Kuwait?

SAD We have a strategic plan to strengthen the areas of the national library, culture, arts, monuments, and museums. By developing these areas for locals and expanding the cultural sector to attract tourists, we hope to see continued success and involvement with culture in Kuwait. In the archaeology sector, we have found that by hosting international archaeology seminars, we have increased the visibility of and interest in Kuwait’s archaeology as well. Just as important is to highlight the sites that are inscribed on UNESCO’s various culture lists. By adding new events to our yearly cultural calendar, such as Qurain Cultural Festival, International Book Fair, and Summer Festival, amongst others, and by having cultural exchanges with other countries, we will continue to welcome guests and culture lovers.

AAAD We will now focus on more collaboration between the scientific and cultural centers in Kuwait, which is great for our mission to engage people to understand science. Jointly, we will start with the Jaber Al-Ahmad and the Abdullah Al-Salem centers to work hand-in-hand on these objectives. The first one just opened and the second will follow, both of them complementing our mission. Kuwait needs more cultural entities and centers to complete its mission for the benefits of the public. We are a non-profit organization and our objectives are public as well. We are planning to study more about the composition of our audience, and for the development of our exhibitions, we are keen to find out more about that.



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