Sketching Kuwait – Souq Mubarakiyah

This was just before Ramadan.So, many areas were filled with glittery decorations !

Just before it gets too hot I wanted to go on a sketching trip to Souq Mubarakiyah. Something I have had on my mind for a while. Then earlier in March this little place called Bait Ahmed popped on my Instagram feed and I was taken by its charm and old time vibes. Decided then that we will pop in one morning for breakfast and so we did. As soon as I was there I knew I would have to go back again alone and sketch it. Hence, the trip to Sketching Souq Mubarakiyah was in order.

But first Kishek Sheikh Mubarak

So on the morning of my dedicated day of sketching at Souq Mubarakiyah and on the path to Bait Ahmed I passed by Kishek Sheikh Mubarak. Couldn’t resist but stop to sketch it first. Though I did do one wonky sketch few years back. Every time I pass by this Kishek. I am inclined to stop and sketch it again and I know that I will be back for another sketch from a different angle sometime in future! This little gem amidst Souq Mubarakiyah is now serving as a museum. The bit that spoke to me the most was the stories of all the people and purposes this building held over the years. At some point it was a photographers studio and there are photographs of people taken by him during that period. While sketching, an old man came to me with a big smile and asked me what I was doing. Then just added nonchalantly. Don’t forget the flag! He was right. Though I did do both flags at the front. I forgot the one on the top. Now every time I look at my sketch. I remember his smiling face and our little encounter.

Bait Ahmed

After sketching the Kishek it was time to go to Bait Ahmed for a hearty breakfast and a quiet long sketching session. Sitting at Bait Ahmed reminded me of mornings in Amman. The tables and chairs reminiscent of old style coffee places in Levant countries surrounded by abundance of beautiful greenery and colourful plants. Just to make it bit more special they did have two birds chirping in the background to the soundtrack of Fairouz singing. The ambiance it self called for a slow meditative pace of sketching. I was truly in the flow.

While sketching I was approached once more by a lovely lady who joined me for a quick chat asking about my work. Then by a waiter who kindly asked to take a picture. Up until now I haven’t been approached a lot here in Kuwait while sketching. Unlike when sketching abroad, where lots of people stop to look, ask and exchange a conversation. It made me happy to see that things are picking up and people are stopping to engage. That’s the beauty of any creative endeavor. It connects us even when we are strangers. In those snippets in time and place and then we are no longer strangers.