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The House of Mirrors

Parimita Barooah Bora Saturday, September 25, 2010
The House of Mirrors

It was five minutes to 10, when we reached the unique House of Mirrors in Qadisiya area of Kuwait. We had an appointment with the lady of the house at 10am to have a tour of the house. As we rang the bell, a very sweet beaming elderly lady in a satin laced gown opened the door to welcome us. Just like the house, the radiant smile of the lady fascinated us. She is Lidia Qattan, the creator of this unique house. Born in Italy in 1936 as Lidia Scagnolari , she became Lidia Qattan when she married the famous Kuwaiti artist Khalifa Al-Qattan in 1958. She herself is a painter, sculpture, jeweler and writer.

As we entered the house, we were astonished at the glass work in the walls, passage, doors, windows, ceiling ,furniture even kitchen cabinets etc, in short she has decorated her entire house, inside and outside with pieces of mirrors. A perfect host as she took us to the drawing room and served us cold drinks, cookies, pastries and chocolates. She took extra care of our 2year old daughter giving her juice and repeatedly asking if she needed anything. We took with us gifts which represents our culture and state ASSAM which we gifted her. After that she sat down and started her story. Fascinating, gripping and engrossing, it took us to 60’s when she started her first piece of glass work. In 1960, when her husband went abroad for his art exhibition, she felt lonely and decided to decorate the cabinet which prior to his departure her husband had completed and created with his own hands. She had some broken pieces of mirror which she used to make the cabinet shine. When her husband returned he was happy, impressed and dazzled by her work.

He inspired and encouraged her to do more. For many of us, we superstitiously belief not to keep broken mirrors at home as it suppose to bring bad luck to the family. But for Lidia a broken mirror inspired her to do something creative and set her upon the journey of a lifetime. Again once during another tour of her husband, when he was away for four days, she decorated the one wall of her drawing room with mirrors making fish, sea animals, Arabic inscription, making it look like a sea. Again after her husband’s return he just loved it and encouraged her to do it on the other walls. Thus began her journey of and transformation as she evolved into an artist into her own right and used her very own home as her canvas. Over the course of several years Lidia has painstakingly ‘bedazzled’ every inch of her home with broken mirror pieces in every shade of the rainbow. Today it is a popular tourist destination and museum with visitors taking guided tours every day.

The tour begins in the kitchen, which is called ‘My World Hall’ and features designs relevant to the mystery of science followed by a walk through ‘Planet Earth Hall’, or the living room, which is designed along the lines of our Earth and nature. Next, visitors are led to ‘Zodiac Hall’, which was Lidia’s now grown-up daughter Jalila’s bedroom, and it is covered with sparkling galaxies, planets and all the signs of the Zodiac. Visitors walk through a hallway with a dual theme. Known as both ‘Shark Hall’ and ‘Corridor of Nations’, the journey of shimmering reflected light goes on to enthrall guests with sharks and other wonders of our world. The tour climaxes with breathtaking designs featured in ‘Sea World Hall’, ‘Universe Hall’ and ‘Knowledge Hall’, which also serve as a bathroom, bedroom and library. In the room of the Universe, there are paintings on the wall done by her and the glass works on the floor of the room are all related to the universe. It begins with the beginning of the Universe, to the consciousness of people on how to spread love and peace. There is also a painting of Koran, which she has decorated with glass.

Then we take the ‘Stairs to Inspiration’. The staircase, which features gilded birds in flight, leads to the first floor that houses separate art galleries for both Lidia’s and her late husband Khalifa’s work. The first big hall is the art gallery for her husband’s paintings, next to it is a small room, where she had kept the things used by her husband while painting very nicely. There are also pictures of Khalifa done by other artist, pictures with dignitaries, certificates by associations and universities in this room. We came to know from her that her husband was a founder member of Kuwait’s National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters. Then we proceed to the next room where there are more paintings by her husband Khalifa. The small place in between the two rooms, there are paintings and jewellery done by Lidia. After that in the other rooms are Lidia’s art….paintings on different canvases, mirror work, sculptures, lamps, jewellery and candleholders.

“And now, the star of the show”, she says, leading us to a darkened chamber containing what she calls “art therapy”. With soft music in the background, it has a relaxing environment. Just as the stars of the zodiac glowed in darkness in the downstairs, similarly this room has paintings and few work of light which glow. She left us for few minutes to contemplate. The tour ends with “nucleus of the galaxy”, where she creates satellites, stars, planets on the walls and ceiling. “Look at the sky”, she says.”You see them moving”.

One is indeed fascinated and mesmerized by now. For many people it is the “House of Mirrors” but to Lidia it is the fulfillment of a dream.

Ring ahead to request a tour and you should bring a small gift in exchange for the hospitality you will no doubt receive.

Address: House of Mirrors

Qadisiya, Block 9

Street 94, House No 17

Phone Number: 22518522

Parimita
Parimita Barooah Bora is a teacher, blogger, YouTuber , artist, entrepreneur , freelance writer and mother who loves to juggle her multiple roles . She enjoys sharing experiences of life as freelance contributor to various newspapers, magazines and websites. Member of IWIK Team.
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Express your comment on this article

 
ehab
Friday, May 4, 2012
Can u pls give the exact location where is it?? pls\

priya
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
joblessness afflicts a large part of our population!

Rajeev
Monday, January 9, 2012
Relly amazing,I would like to visit this house.

fahad
Friday, January 6, 2012
can anyone tell me that entry fees is there or not?

Asif Khan
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
MASHALLAH ALLAH SAVE THIS UNIQUE HOUSE LONG LIFE.allah hafiz

Karunakaran
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
sir, fix a day with the owner for visiting this house. it will be worth to see this one definitely.

A.baskaran

Jalila Qattan
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Kindly note our website link to the House of Mirrors (or Mirror House) is the following:

www.qattanart.com (click on Mirror House, Location)

Visiting only by appointment.

Admission fees : Weekdays KD2.500/Visitor (minimum 2 persons). Weekends & Holidays KD5/Visitor (min 2 prsn)

Aslam
Monday, October 18, 2010
Very good house and this very good strugle inform about this house to all GOD bless on house owner give them long healthy life and happenes

hussain
Sunday, October 3, 2010
This is a house where you will go to see a unique art and not to eat. So you need not think of taking sandwiches or any food. For eating plan out to go to a food joint.

QATTAN
Sunday, October 3, 2010
WHO INVITED YOU ALL LOL............

parimita
Sunday, October 3, 2010
She is an excellent host.I am sure she will provide cold drinks/juice, pastry, choclates,cookies(that's what she offered us)....what more can you ask for from an unkonwn person??

So DON'T FORGET to take a small gift in exchange for the hospitality you will no doubt receive.

Renny Mathew
Sunday, October 3, 2010
I am planning to visit the house on tuesday. Just wanted to know if she provides food or else will have to take sandwiches.

Taher Ezzi
Thursday, September 30, 2010
thanks for info. felt nice to read details.will have to visit it.

abraham
Thursday, September 30, 2010
we are going tomorrow to the house.excited.thank u.

sayed abbas m
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
MASHALLAH ALLAH SAVE THIS UNIQUE HOUSE LONG LIFE.

Sumi
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
your write-up's are very good.looking forward for more.map useful

nath
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
excellent write up and thank you for sharing about this fantastic work of art.

swamy
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
have been living in kuwait for 6yrs but came to know about the house only now.thank you IIK

kamrul
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
didnt know about such a kohinoor in kuwait,will certainly go.

hussain
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
great info.great writing.keep up the good work.

Parimita
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
We read about it in lonely planet.dont know why but you dont get to know about this unique house in the many websites that are there, that give information about places to visit in kuwait

rana
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
keep exploring and sharing.thanks

Parimita
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Thanx a lot Sunanda.Will try to share about such wonderful places

dk
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
really wonderful information.didnt get to know anywhere.keep informing about such beautiful places.

Dr Ananthalakshmi
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Yeah... We too have visited this house in the year 2008 along with our friends. I found this information in Google search about important places to see in Kuwait. I found this address, immediately called her up and requested for an appointment. She is an amazing lady.. Breath taking art work.

sunanda
Monday, September 27, 2010
Wow!!amazing art by a simple woman..this is a real time example of the amazing feats the human mind can traverse.And from your writing, i could visualuze the place..your writing has this power to make things real just infront of my eyes, even though i m far away..good job, dear..keep it up.keep writing.

Raj
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thanks for this wonderful information. really wondering how you came to know about such hidden places in Kuwait?

debo
Monday, September 27, 2010
beautiful and matchless house.map will be of help.


Parimita
Monday, September 27, 2010
There is NO entry fee.

But you should take a small gift in exchange for the hospitality you will no doubt receive.


gulzar
Monday, September 27, 2010
amazing house.have not read in other website of kuwait.good work indiansinkuwait.

S.Sastry
Monday, September 27, 2010
what is the entry fee to the house?

S.Agarwal
Monday, September 27, 2010
A house of mirror?interesting.have to go there

Parimita
Monday, September 27, 2010
Thanx everyone for the encouraging comments.

Qadisiya is a nice Kuwaiti area...you can plan your weekend marketing in the co-operative of the area, which is not very far from the "House of Mirrors".Its a big one and we enjoyed the experience.

muhammad
Monday, September 27, 2010
really nice historical place..which iz difficult to find here in kwt...but the main thing whoz find out this..they are the main hero,s

tnx

God give more oppertunity like this to inform the poeple..

your sincere

muhammad islamabad

Kiran
Monday, September 27, 2010
graphic description.have heard about such a house for the first time

PRANAB
Monday, September 27, 2010
didnot know about such a house in kuwait.will have to visit it

M.Das
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thanx for the information.was looking fot it since long.link to google map wl be heplful

Sharma
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Nice of you to share about this unique house and also thank you for the google map link.Keep writing about such wonderful places in Kuwait.

Surekha
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thank you for the information....was looking for it since long

Anita
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Your narration is very good

Parimita
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thanx Madhusmita. Kuwait is certainly not on the itinerary of most international travellers but it has some really nice unique places to see and enjoy.

MAMONI
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Thanks for the google link.Will try to visit this unique house soon.

Madhusmita
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Nice write-up Pori. Keep writing and keep us inform about such wonderful places.

Sonia
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Vivid description of the house...nice write up.

Arvind
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Had been hearing about it. Thank you for the info.

Parimita
Saturday, September 25, 2010
We didnot face any problem finding the house. It was our first visit to the house and also to the area. Anyway you can check the google map before you make a visit to this unique house.
Here's the link:
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&q=Al+Qadisiya+
Rd,+Qadsiya,+Kuwait,+Al+Asimah,+Kuwait&sll=29.350748,47.785504&sspn=0.60927,1.229095&ie=UTF8
&cd=1&geocode=FXvjvwEdNX3cAg&split=0&hq=&hnear=Al+Qadisiya+
Rd,+Qadsiya,+Kuwait,+Al+Asimah,+Kuwait&z=16

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