A few years ago, a good deal of the citizens abandoned the Al-Sawaber Complex in the heart of the city following the collapse of some buildings. The evacuated apartments wore the look of a ghost town and Kuwait City became the only capital city in the world where the citizens did not live, except for the government offices and other commercial establishments that close their doors at night. Add to this the large spaces which over the years have collected dust.
The failure of the only horizontal residential project in the history of Kuwait and in one of the prime areas of Kuwait did not happen by chance, perhaps it was done deliberately. Many influential parties, owners of private housing land did not like the vertical housing system and therefore abandoned the project to its current fate.
The collapse of the buildings happened following a dispute between the residents and the concerned parties for carrying out the necessary maintenance. In its current stage the project is a complete failure and unfit for housing.
What happened in Al-Sawaber and at the airport and in Al-Sabah Medical City and Adan Hospital, and dozens of other large projects will inevitably occur in the building of Jaber Hospital and the University of Sabah Salem or Shaddadiya and others.
More than a month ago, I accepted the invitation from Professor Qutaiba Rizouki, the Director of the University of Sabah Al Salem Project, to pay a visit to the university and get a closer look at what they are doing after I wrote an article criticizing the delay in the completion of the project, its huge and unprecedented cost in the world.
My visit to the project showed it is more distinctive and bigger than I had imagined, and that it fits the description of the ‘University City’ because of its size, distinguished buildings and multiple facilities. I am impressed by all the efforts that have been exerted to complete the project on time. In short I can describe this as a race against time.
Anwar Al-Ibrahim played a vital role to explain the advantages of the project and showing its creativity, and how the costs increased after the application of the law of separation of the sexes, so that we have two universities instead of one.
I was also very pleased to see Engineer Dari’a Hussein Makki and her team and the efforts they have exerted in choosing the furniture for the project, keeping in mind not to overspend the state money. This made me feel that the issue is in the hands of trustworthy people and the project will be a model that will make everyone proud.
I left the project, deliberately delayed writing about my impressions of it because of what I felt and I imagined the future of this edifice and the fate of all these huge efforts and huge funds spent when the City is handed to the flaccid management of Kuwait University which has little experience in managing such complex project, and the possibility that it would turn into another Sawaber or at best a backward educational area with dilapidated facilities.
I changed my mind in writing about my impressions of Sabah Al Salem University after reading about the government’s intention to assign the management and facilities to a specialized international company and leaving the academic management to Kuwait University.
This desire is due to the size of the huge project and its high-tech technologies. Thanks for those who have agreed to the resolution and saved the project from inevitable failure.
SOURCE : ARABTIMES