Kuwait's historical sites
Kuwait's historical sites reflect glimpse of ancient human history which could provide answers regarding the events that took place and may have had an impact on the course of human history. In October of each year, Kuwait's
National Council for Culture, Arts, and Letters (NCCAL) receives geological excavation teams from different countries to study historical sites in Failaka Island, Sabiya, and Kuwait Bay, with the participation of Kuwaiti experts to benefit from the international experiences in this field.
Assistant Secretary General for Antiquities and Museums Affairs in the council Shihab Al-Shihab told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that delegations from different international universities and institutes, which the council had signed agreements with, have arrived in the country to reveal new information behind the historical sites.
He noted that the teams consist of experts in architectures, medical experts, and anthropologists.
Al-Shihab said that the agreements required publishing the results of their studies. He added that the experts will hold workshops in their universities to present their students with the region's history, noting that this would be a great step to make Kuwait a tourist attraction for its rich human history.
He said that the studies may reveal a different face of Failaka Island from the one we see now, with the teams aiming to study the buildings and whole sites that sank deep under water, he explained. Revealing these sunken sites may give us an idea about the nature of the relation between Failaka, Sabiya, and Kuwait Bay he noted, while it may give clear answers as to why were the buildings mainly existing in certain parts of the island, he also added.
Al-Shihab said that the French mission is studying the location of what is commonly known as the Christian city in Failaka, while the British mission is studying the Islamic monuments in Kuwait Bay, and the Italian studying Al-Qurainiya site.
The Danish mission is also studying parts of Failaka, with new technologies that would help in better understanding the historical events and culture of these sites. He also added that a Georgian mission, will study sites belonging to the Stone Age in the island.
A Polish mission will study Islamic sites and cemeteries in the island, including the sunken sites in order to draw a map of such locations and of Kuwait Bay, he noted, adding that studying the underwater monuments will not start until next March, due to the water's cold temperatures.
The Secretary General noted that a group of experts will visit Kuwait next January to cooperate with a local team to complete the requirements of the World Heritage Center, under the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in order to add Saad and Saeeda location in Failaka to the center's final list.
The requirements of the UNESCO's agreement for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage in 1972 included that the country renovates the historical site, trains and forms a local team to take care of the site.
Al-Shihab praised the efforts of public sector organizations in cooperating with the visiting missions and supporting the council, especially Kuwait Municipality and the Ministry of Public Works.
He also praised the cooperation of different organizations in the country for paying attention to Kuwait's historical heritage, noting that they would not run any project that might destroy even the smallest part of these sites.