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Amer Al-Hunaidi, a well-known businessman, has dedicated part of his time, effort, and money to serve his country culturally and artistically by allocating a large space in the Shuwaikh building to display the artworks of famous artists, local and international, and his last adventure, and perhaps the most successful, so far, was the exhibition “Alexander the Great in Kuwait”, which is still receiving visitors, prompting him to extend his offer for three months, and to think about moving it to other Gulf cities.
CAP exhibition titled Alexander the Great in Kuwait is just a name developed to arouse curiosity and open discussions about the history of Failaka Island, which was settled by the soldiers of Alexander the Great, and established the first building in the history of Kuwait, and Alexander ordered (356 BC – 323 BC) to call it ‘Ikaria’ or ‘Icarus,’ according to approved ancient historical documents.
Al-Hunaidi did, what an art-loving person is supposed to do, through the exhibition, opening a real dialogue between two cultures, ancient and contemporary Kuwaiti, Arab and Greek. He also displayed 70 works of art on Alexander the Great by international artist Makis Warlamis (1942-2016) on loan from the Austrian Art Museum.
The exhibition was held under the auspices of the Greek Ambassador to Kuwait, Dr. Konstantinos Pepirigos and was attended by ministers from Greece and Kuwait. Project manager Paul Trochopoulos had a clear contribution to the success of the idea.
The relatively heavy and continuous attendance to the exhibition demonstrated the extent of the local community’s thirst for such cultural activities, and the need to pay attention to our history and sites and benefit from tourism from Failaka Island, its antiquities and potentials, which were neglected for a long time, in a sad way indeed, for half a century and the government did not stop talking about developing it and making it a base or a spearhead of transforming Kuwait into a global tourist destination!
On the other hand, the Saudi tourism authorities spent $ 20 billion to develop the “Al-Ula” project, or Madain Saleh, which is an archaeological site close to Madina, and on the road linking the south of the Arabian Peninsula with Mesopotamia and the Levant, and from there to the Ottoman Sultanate on the one hand, and Egypt, on the other hand.
Despite the fame of the place and the beauty of its antiquities, it was neglected for many years, but it has now become a tourist destination, throughout the year, competing with all other tourist sites in the region, including its antiquities and great potential, especially since it was mentioned, with its old name “Hujar”, and it was mentioned in dozens of ancient historical and religious books, being the home of the people of Thamud, and the Prophet Saleh.
Al-Ula is 500 km away from the historical Jordanian city of Petra, and it is located on the Hijaz railway line, which was destroyed by the Arab Revolution forces, under the command of Lawrence, during the First World War, at the height of the Arab revolution, and all the facilities of the historical station were recently restored, with an extension of about half a kilometer.
Saudi Arabia also agreed with the largest hotel group in Europe to build and operate the Al-Ula tourist resort, which today has become a wonderful tourist destination, and will inevitably contribute to the revitalization of that region and the improvement of the lives of its residents, and the creation of a large financial resource for the state, away from oil.
The neighbors are moving with a delightful acceleration, and we are moving with a sad slowness.
By Ahmad alsarraf