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Title: Reconstructing Ahmadi’s Memories: An Interpretive Study on the Narratives Shaping and Redefining the Oil Town of Ahmadi
Authors: Dana M. Alhasan 
Supervisor: Dr. Mohammad Al-Jassar
Keywords: Narratives Shaping : Ahmadi
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher:  Kuwait university - college of graduate studies
Abstract: Following the independence of Kuwait and the growth of the nationalist Arab spirit, the oil company town of Ahmadi underwent drastic socio-economic changes. In its prior state, the town was managed by and catered to the closed community of the Kuwait Oil Company, resulting in a highly stratified urban plan and distinct social groups. Over the following years, much of the town’s architecture slowly declined, from the closure of the striking Ahmadi Cinema to the deterioration of the East Ahmadi Market, built in Kuwait’s period of modernity. In 2009, a media-driven protest over the planned demolition of the East Ahmadi Market sparked the interest of key figures within government circles, who banded together to preserve the historic structure, in an effort to highlight the not-so-distant memory of the city. This study examines the effect of collective remembrance on the ongoing preservation and rehabilitation of the East Ahmadi Market, an effort spearheaded by the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters, the current government body responsible for the safeguarding of modern heritage. While Ahmadi’s residents lament the market’s crumbling legacy, a critical question remains: Whose memory is being preserved? The locals’, or is it a constructed figment rooted in the socio-political interests of the nation at large? In using socio-ethnographic methods, this study argues that the constructed narrative of the town does not fully represent its contemporary context. It also highlights the multiple communities and their shared memory that is at risk of erasure once the East Ahmadi Market ceases to exist. These findings help unravel the intentions surrounding the preservation of the historic buildings, and contributes to the ongoing discourse of cultural memory and heritage conservation in the region.
Appears in Programs:1610 Architecture

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