Public Affairs

AUK Library Hosts Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali for Book Discussion on ‘400 Years of Kuwait’

11th Apr 2022 | by the Department of PR & Marketing

As part of the University’s weeklong commemoration of Kuwait’s National and Liberation Days, The American University of Kuwait (AUK) hosted philanthropist, entrepreneur, and author Sheikha Intisar Salem Al-Ali and Ms. Rokaya Ali Hussain, for a discussion of their book, 400 Years of Kuwait. Organized by the AUK library and moderated by Dr. Hesham Al-Awadi, AUK professor of political science, the authors delved into their experiences in preparing the book and the importance of documenting history in a way that resonates with younger generations.

400 Years of Kuwait, which was published in 2019, comprises hundreds of pictures, documents, and visual sources spanning the reigns of Kuwaiti rulers from HH Sabah I in the 1700s to the late Amir HH Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. Sheikha Intisar affirmed Dr. Al-Awadi's observation that the book focused on popular and social history instead of an exclusive look at official political or military history, highlighting how this focus makes the book a unique entry in the ever-growing collection of national history publications. Brief chronological snippets fill the book, marking items like the first general budget as well as early cinema tickets—capturing the wide spectrum of significant national events and cultural milestones that collectively make up a history of the people and a nation.

This particular focus grew out of Sheikha Intisar’s desire to engage young people, including her own daughters, with their history in a more dynamic way than traditional approaches. With 5 years of research in various archives and private collections around the country, and with a preference for the power of stories over dates, the authors stressed how national pride is bolstered by an improved knowledge of history. In the case of Kuwait’s past, the authors found their research revealed an enduring perseverance over adversity and a recurring commitment to progress, which they hoped would inspire future readers.

Sheikha Intisar also shared personal anecdotes on her own upbringing and perception of the changing social climate, drawing on her interest in positive psychology to share advice with university students, inviting them to pursue their passions and strengths as best as they can, no matter the circumstances. This emphasis on positive experiences, she suggested, could lead to lasting contributions to national heritage. Dr. Al-Awadi also pointed out that the AUK library is an ideal place for anyone looking to acquaint themselves with history or any other subjects, thanks to the excellent resources and repositories of knowledge available to students and scholars alike.
The speakers closed the discussion by fielding several questions from the engaged attendees. In addition, the authors related their pride in presenting the book to the late Amir Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, the present Amir Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, and other notable dignitaries. Members of the AUK community then gathered for a book signing and discussions of the event.
 Images from the event

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