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Local collectors preserve Kuwait’s heritage – Rare, unusual or historical objects * Showing at expos and local events

A collector displaying various old Kuwaiti toys.
A collector displaying various old Kuwaiti toys.

The “Expo965 Team” was founded a couple of months ago, consisting of 70 volunteer collectors and craftsmen who participate in various events. The collectors in the team collect rare items, old currencies (both coins and banknotes), stamps, old newspapers and magazines, beads, precious stones, old documents, old toys and games from the pre-oil era, parts of old Kuwaiti houses, old pearl diving tools and marine heritage, media and cinema documents and much more. The craftsmen in the team include an artist who makes accessories from electric wires, a copper sculptor, painters, calligraphers, bead makers and others.

Team goals
The Expo965 Team has many goals. “We aim to preserve Kuwaiti heritage by collecting items related to Kuwaiti history and show it to the public, so they gain knowledge about a segment of the country’s history. We also aim to bring together young talents under our umbrella. Moreover, we aim to improve the skills of the youth through their participation. All our activities are for free as we are volunteers,” Salem Al-Shimmeri, PR Director of Expo965, told Kuwait Times.

Since March this year, when the team was formed, it has participated in nine events at fairs, schools, universities and other locations. “The most significant events were the Arab Media Forum, the 1,000 projects exhibition and the first exhibition held at the parliament. These institutions invited us to participate with our collections, and we focused on items that are related to Kuwait’s history and heritage, especially at school events,” Shimmeri said.

Some of the collectors also display parts of their collections for sale. “The founder and general coordinator of the team Mohammed Kamal believed many collectors have hidden treasures that people should see and benefit from and gain information, so he came up with the idea of founding Expo965,”  added Shimmeri. “We aim to get a headquarters for our team, so we have a place to meet and make our official correspondence from. We are also looking to participate abroad and are waiting for invitations, preferably from Kuwaiti embassies abroad, especially during the national celebrations to present Kuwait’s history to the public,” he explained.

Most Important Items
“Our member collectors have many rare and interesting items. For instance, one of them has the passport of the late popular Egyptian singer Um Kalthoum, which was issued when Egypt was a kingdom. Also, another collector has a document of the late Sheikh Mubarak Al-Kabeer from the 19th century,” Shimmeri told Kuwait Times. Shimmeri collects documents related to old Kuwaiti cinema and theatre.

“I have old cinema and theatre tickets. I also have brochures related to cinema and theatre, in addition to some old magazines and newspapers that are related to important historical events including sports, politics, death of rulers, national occasions and so on,” he stated.

He called on the government to support the team, mainly by providing a building to house their collections. “We have the objects and items, but we need a place to display them. Now is the best season to participate in exhibitions, especially at schools, as summer is a dead period,” concluded Shimmeri.

New collectors are welcome to join the team and can contact it on 60414441 or 99999898, or find it on Instagram and Snapchat @Expo965.

By Nawara Fattahova

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