12 January 2014
Kuwait Towers’ Scandal
Waleed Jassim Al-Jassim
“Dad, when can we visit Kuwait Towers?” This has probably become the most frequently asked question by children nowadays, especially whenever a parent drives past the Kuwait Towers. It is an embarrassing question that parents have been unable to answer since 2011 and might as well remain so forever! My two kids have been asking to visit Kuwait Towers for years now, but I am still unable to realise their wish of visiting and exploring this famous Kuwaiti edifice! It would have been much easier if they had asked for a bike, a new mobile phone or a computer game.
The same applies for asking to visit the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben or the Leaning Tower of Pisa despite the high cost I might have to pay. It is much easier than driving your car, parking it underneath the Towers and taking your kids up this beautiful Kuwaiti landmark.
According to what I read in Wikipedia, the idea of building Kuwait Towers began in 1963 and was revived in 1968 and its construction began in 1975 to be finished four years later in 1979, when they officially opened. Building the towers was a simple idea from a very unusual insight such as that of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah. When Kuwait needed to build huge water reservoirs to replace the old ugly metal ones, he had an idea of building reservoir towers to hold two million gallons of water, and at the same time, be a beautiful cultural landmark of Kuwait that beats the ugliness of all the world’s water reservoirs.
Though building them from scratch took only four years, such a beautiful unique landmark has been closed for four years now, awaiting a decision to be repaired. The Towers have been closed to the public since 2011, depriving both kids and adults of the joy of visiting them merely because we are unable to make decisive decisions and opting to annoy the judiciary with each and every petty grievance and complaints of corruption. How can we adults explain our incapability to make decisions concerning this edifice? How can we explain our clear corruption? How will they ever comprehend our negligence of the Towers and forgetting to fill them with water, as recommended in their design, for twenty years following the Iraqi invasion, which wore them out and they need repairs now? How can we explain that even when repairs were needed, we failed to do so for four or five years, which is more that the initial construction period when we had less technologically developed construction equipment and materials? Now we cannot even repair them and threw the responsibility of doing so on the judiciary as if we are getting rid of it! No, gentlemen.
Kuwait Towers’ destiny is your responsibility no matter how much you deny it. You have to know that what is happening is a scandal and history will never forgive you for it. — Translated by Kuwait Times from Al-Watan
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I wanted to take a visitor to Kuwait to the Towers - and then forgot that they are still closed. The last I heard about the construction was that there was a tender out for an event company to propose an opening event. Gee, I thought that meant that they were ready to open. My bad.
It is sad that they are closed now. It didn't take them long to re-open after the Iraqi destruction caused in 91 (because I visited there in 1993 when I first came to Kuwait). They were damaged during the Gulf War, but the Allied Forces were adamant about not allowing them to be destroyed. The Towers were proud symbols of the country.
(None of the photos are mine.)