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Getting to know Qairawan – Exploring Kuwait: An occasional series

campAs part of our occasional series exploring the various areas of Kuwait, Kuwait Times visited Qairawan to discover the main features of this area.

Qairawan is a Kuwaiti area characterized by its strategic location between the Fourth and Fifth ring roads. It is a modern area consisting of three residential blocks with 1,700 residential houses and all amenities, with a population of approximately 15,000. Qairawan is named after the historic city of Qairawan in Tunisia, a UNESCO World Heritage site founded by Arabs around 670 AD.

Qairawan is located to the west of Kuwait City, and was initially called south Doha as it is bordered to the north by Doha, to the east by Sulaibikhat, the Fifth Ring Road to the south and Doha expressway to the west. It is a small-sized area with a main cooperative society in block 2 and smaller branches in blocks 1 and 3. There are six schools, three for boys and three for girls including all levels of education from elementary to high school in the area, along with a number of private preschools.

Qairawan is a quiet but mostly cheerful area, with houses painted in bright colors and a pink mosque too! Qairawan residents are also generous, with a charity refrigerator offering breakfast meals, sweets, soda and water bottles for those in need. Nasser Hamad, who works for the Ministry of Commerce and lives in Qairawan, told Kuwait Times that despite its small size, the area has all services such as a co-operative society, clinic, schools and a police station. “What we need is an exit to the fourth ring road, because it is not very accessible,” he said.

Hisham Suleiman, a mechanical engineer, agreed with Hamad. Suleiman said the area is a peaceful one, adding the government has a lot of projects in the works here. Near the co-operative society, one can find the Heritage Village, a park with tents for families to spend their weekends.

Despite all these amenities, some Qairawan residents find the area is not happening enough for them. Umm Mubarak Al-Ghamas, who has been residing in Qairawan since 2002, said that the area is dead. “I cannot find anything special about Qairawan. We want the government to provide more services. We only have one main co-operative society and a few branches. These do not meet our needs for groceries, and we have to go to other areas to get our stuff,” she said.

Umm Mubarak wants more entertainment places like a mall and more restaurants and cafes. She is also not satisfied with the medical clinic that is closed on Fridays and Saturdays, forcing residents to go to Doha or Sabah Hospital for treatment on weekends.

Ibrahim Al-Hajri also complained of Qairawan’s lack of services. “This area has no advantages – only defects. The sole restaurant of the co-operative society serves uncooked chicken, while the home supply store stocks unwanted things. The tailor and photographer are the worst, the sweetshop has nothing good for my children, the flower shop does not have a large variety of flowers and if he does, the florist sells them at high prices. We do not even have a car insurance office. They just fixed some streets and built new roundabouts in the area, but everything is unfinished,” he fumed.

Hajri called on officials for more development in Qairawan, sarcastically suggesting they can start with the sweetshop and force the baker to come up with more sweets instead of making residents go to other areas just to buy cake!

By Faten Omar

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