History of Diwans

The layout of an old Kuwaiti house usually comprises an open yard in the middle, surrounded by rooms and other home amenities; yet prosperous families used to build a separate yard or a room beside their house called "Diwan".

This separate yard or room is a public place where guests are received, neighbours, friends and relatives get together. During these leisurely meetings people would discuss daily events, exchange ideas, news and narrate episodes. Most of the diwans remained open whole day long to receive guests and elderly people.

The diwan is usually rectangular in shape, where seats are arranged on both sides, it sometimes, includes a guest house for those who need to stay overnight or longer in the city. Further, seats also are extended on either sides of the main door, where pedestrians may rest, or guests may enjoy the sea breeze if the diwan is located on the sea front, especially in summer time. Some of such diwans still exists along the Arabian Gulf Street, and still receive guests as it used to be in the past.


Present Diwans

Diwan plays an important role in the social, political, economic life of Kuwait. Today it has made a stunning increase. While some of them open everyday some others receive guests once or twice a week yet others open occasionally. Diwan is very similar to that of social clubs, literary, cultural, political and economic forums. Precisely, Diwan today is considered as an important civil institution with commendable role in the discussion of democratic and parliamentary affairs, to the extent of being a source and pulse for political and economic issues and sometimes providing solutions to various problems and helping in decision making on government level.



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