al-2ajaar




I kept seeing the same blue poster on lamp-posts at roundabouts. Eventually, I asked Theyab what it said. "It's an advert for rooms to rent and al-2ajaar for each one," he explained.

Renting seems to be the future, even in Kuwait where currently families own their bayt. The shift from ownership to having shuqaq with 2ajaar leaves me feeling a bit wistful.

One of the most first things I noticed during my first visit to Kuwait was the huge family bayuut which at first I mistook for office blocks. Perhaps in fifty years' time they'll still be standing in their square and multi-coloured glory, but sectioned off and rented to groups of strangers.

Theyab often tells me about his childhood bayt, its beautiful courtyard and uniquely shaped rooms. One day, I asked if we might visit it. So off we drove to Jabriyah, only to see that al-bayt had been bulldozed and replaced with a towering block of shuqaq.

I was horrified, but Theyab was laughing. I asked him what was so funny - after all, his childhood memories had literally been erased. He pointed at the impossibly narrow street flanking the house and said, "one reason we moved is that there's no room for the five of us siblings to have cars. And now look - there must be 22 new shuqaq in this building, and still maakuu mukaan 7ag mawaaqif!"


Arabic
Pronounced?
English

أجار
2ajaar
a rent
الأجار
al-2ajaar
the rent
بيت
bayt
a house
بيوت
bayuut
houses
شقة
shuqqah
an apartment
شقق
shuqaq
apartments
ماكو مكان حق مواقف
maakuu mukaan 7ag mawaaqif
There’s no place for parking