The Green windows of Failaka’s Heritage Village

Green windows in Failaka’s Heritage houses

I visited Failaka Island in Kuwait sometime during one Eid celebrations.I think I have been to almost all of Kuwait so one time, out of boredom, we booked our trip for Catamaran under Heritage tours to visit Failaka island. I love island hopping and beach getaways but a trip to Failaka is totally off-beaten.

Heritage houses circa 1950.

Well,if you don’t know, Failaka is an island , 20km off the coast of Kuwait city.Before the war, people used to live there.This island was totally deserted by its inhabitants since the Gulf conflict and when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.It literally looks like a ghost town, totally different from the skycrapers of the Kuwait skyline as you approach the city. If you are into war relics, desert life and archeology, Failaka might give you a pleasant experience.Of course, seeing the wild camels and eating inside a traditional tent is also a treat!

One of the memorable sights I have seen in Failaka was visiting the Heritage Houses with green windows  and doors as well.In Failaka Heritage Village, there are 40 Heritage houses. Visitors who wanted to spend a day or more here can rent these houses which can accommodate 5-15 guests.

The architecture is totally different, mostly made of timber, wood and rough finish. It’s the green windows that really captures my attention since it is so simple, really a cultural heritage.Heritage house is the typical Kuwaiti traditional house, it is the norm of dwelling for local Kuwaitis since 1950’s. These vacation rental houses can’t be considered as hotel or even star awarded due to their very heritage nature.They are periodically enhanced and restored by skilled craftsmen to retain its character.

Green windows, a unique architecture feature in Kuwait’s Heritage house.

The traditional houses are the only genuine article in Kuwait and also GCC countries. They are all set into the village streets (Fereej) , all the streets and houses having their own names.Look at the shadow cast from these windows, totally enchanting.In the hot, humid summer months, the sight of green windows and doors can give a refreshing look.

Green vine, green windows 

Notice also that in Kuwait, the use of grills (or bars) in windows is very typical. When I saw this, I felt like I am behind bars, making you feel like a prisoner.These type of windows are called “double casement”which opens from the middle.Totally closed, maybe for functional use because of the climate.

Heritage house built in 1950’s.

When life was slower and simpler, these type of houses gives warmth and comfort to the locals.Placed against an earth tone wall finish, it looks like a breath of life.

Green windows in the Heritage house in Failaka, Kuwait

I would recommend to visit this place if you are in K-town. It may not be a super attraction, but it is really a place where the past speaks louder than the sights. The war-torn almost barren landscape, the rusty war tanks, the bullet shots in every wall, and the memories of the war is actually the air you breathe.

Green color is the color of life, a symbol of renewal, of nature . Just like these windows that reminds me that out from a gloomy past, the future could still be bright, that life in Failaka can still be safe.

Also,want to know why you should not miss the sunset in Failaka?Read more Here.

How do you feel when visiting war-torn places? How was your experience?


This post is inspired by this week’s DP Photo Challenge :It IS Easy Being Green!

9 thoughts on “The Green windows of Failaka’s Heritage Village

  1. Wow how interesting! It looks like an interesting and quaint place. Green windows are quite unique and the architecture you mentioned too.. Didn’t know Kuwait had islands 🙂 Thanks for sharing! I visited Mostar, a city in Bosnia & Herzegovina last year and I saw many houses with bullet holes, as the war there was as recent as the 90s. I felt a bit surreal, as the place was otherwise absolutely beautiful, so it was hard to picture the place when the war was taking place 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I did not know you could actually stay on Falaika! I’ve never been anywhere in the world quite like Falaika… you can actually feel the weight of the history rippling through the foundations of the buildings. As always, great pics!


  3. Yes its not the kind of a place that would Wow any tourist, but it has the memoirs you can really see and feel on each rubble and broken debris.
    I wonder how would it look after 10 years..
    Thanks Panda! Always appreciate your meaningful comments!


  4. Yes’s a ghost town, the remains from the Gulf war and when Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait.
    It has lots of history there, but then its not the kind of place for everyone.
    At least you can have a beautiful sunset there.
    Thank you always for your lovely comments!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes Michelle,Thank you as always!
    I have visited so many war torn places and this one is no different. Walking through the ruins and the old tanks and seeing bullet shots is not a happy sight..add to the fact that even the residents in Failaka never returned–they start their new life somewhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can not imagine,as I have seen a war torn place, in real life-but the pictures of the beautiful building now empty-well i just hope all is well for the folks that were robbed of their home land-heart breaking so that i can hardly bear it.


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