On my last day in Kuwait, we visited the Al Hashemi II dhow which stands proudly on the waterline below the Radison SAS hotel. Although the Maritime Museum was closed for a conference, we were able to wander over the dhow and take photographs. It is a truly impressive structure. You will get lots of information about the building of the dhow, and its two sister ships, through the web link at the top of the blog.
This is the view from the top deck towards the stern. The dhow reminds me strongly of the galleons of Elizabethan times, and is the sort of image that comes to mind for pirate ships in old stories, and the vessel in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by CS Lewis, an old favourite of mine and one of the Chronicles of Narnia – a wonderful series of children’s books that I read and re-read even now! I didn’t know that there was a film version of the book until very recently, so will have to watch it now!
The wheel which you can just see on the left foreground here is huge – larger than me and I’m 5′ 8″. It might help you to get an idea of the scale of the vessel. There are men working on the deck caulking on the mid-deck to the right.
I couldn’t get my images of the ballroom, which is located in the belly of the boat, to do justice to the space, so I hope you will find images on the hotel website which will compensate. However, these are the doors leading from the lobby into the ballroom and to me they have an Egyptian feel to them. Beautiful and elegant.
Well, that’s all I had time for. I hope to go back one day, if I’m invited, and would encourage you to visit if ever you are in that part of the world. I had a wonderful time and met some wonderful women. The Kuwait Textile Art Association is a diverse group of people and very welcoming.