The Al Qeiblyah School for Domestic Science, in the Qeiblyah district, was originally the house of Al Sayyed Khalaf Al Naquib. It was converted into a girls’ school, it has three entrances: the main entrance occupies the northeast facade; the other two are on the southwest facade. The entrances lead to two courtyards, each with an upper storey.
The foundation of the house was built of sea bricks. Doors and windows were made of teak wood, an expensive material, which was often used in the houses of the rich. The shandal beams was also used for ceilings, imported from India and East Africa, were three meters length and 10 centimeters diameter. It consists of parallel beams covered by Bascheel, a layer of bamboo, then a layer of Bawari or woven mats, covered with a 20 cm layer of mud mixed with straw. Finally, all this was covered with dust, in order to provide insulation from humidity. Red brick was used for courtyards as it is stronger, capable to absorb water and to resist heat. However, mud was also used as a building material, which led to its collapse in 1945, after significant rainfall.
It is worth to be mentioned, this house later on had been converted into a school for girls (education school for woman). This name remained till the schooling year 1949/1950, then the education department called it (Al Qeiblyah School), attributed to its location in Al Qeiblyah quarter.
The Qeiblyah School is listed as a historic building under the supervision of the National Council of Culture, Arts and Letters, which implemented a rehabilitation program for the building which included coating the walls with cement, restoration of the design above the main entrance, and closing the liwans in the northwest facade with glass sheets. Inner courtyards were also covered by unbreakable plycarbonate insulating sheets, which allow natural light in the building. Finally, the roof of the building was supported by metal trusses (I-Beam).
The NCCAL reopened the building after the rehabilitation effort was in 2001, celebrating Kuwait as the capital of Arab culture. The building is considered one of the cultural centers under NCCAL authority. It is the headquarters of the antiquities and museum department, the engineering department as well as other cultural departments.
First published in Men's Passion issue #34 October 2011