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Traditional kitchen ventilation methods in historic Kuwait

Different ventilation systems and methods used in traditional Kuwaiti houses. — KUNA Photos

KUWAIT: As it’s commonly known, the kitchen is one of the most important spaces in any household especially in the olden days public restaurants were not as plentiful.

But with all the “huffing and puffing”, Kuwaiti housewives needed a way to ventilate their precious domain and that was done either through “al-sisar” which is basically a Kuwaiti word given to your “good ol'” chimney or “al-katiba”, a ventilation window/hole.

Researcher Saleh Al-Methn said that al-sisar was built over the kitchen at a height of around one meter, adding that it was usually made out of rocks found near the coast.

Constructing al-sisar depended on the financial abilities of house owners, said Al-Methn, revealing that sometimes kitchens only had a simple hole or window for ventilation which was commonly known as al-katiba.

The Kuwaiti researcher pointed out that these ventilation methods differed from “al-bakdir”, a Persian word for air-cooling method used in old Kuwait. – Kuna

By Sheikha Al-Lougani

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