It was a whirlwind few days for 14 NYUAD students who jetted off to Kuwait for their spring break excursion. The four-day trip included visits to the Kuwait Oil Company, the Heritage Museum, the Kuwait Science Club, and nearby Failaka Island. The students also got to try some local cuisine and get a little shopping done at Mubarakiya, the oldest market in the country.
After arriving in Kuwait City, the students took a tour of the country's grand mosque, which is one of the largest in the world and can accommodate up to 11,000 worshippers. Afterward, dinner was served in Kuwait Towers, located right on the water and among the city's most recognizable landmarks.
The students also enjoyed a private tour of the Kuwait Oil Company and had the opportunity to meet some of the company's executives before heading out onto Burgan Field, the second-largest oil field in the world. "Kuwait was so much fun," said Connie Trinh, NYUAD Class of 2014. "I really enjoyed the tour of the oil field. We actually were able to step on the oil field, see how people worked, and I gained tons of new knowledge about petroleum engineering and science."
The last day of the trip included visits to various museums around the city, but none compared to the group's stop at the museum-like house of Adel al-Sadoon, Kuwait's leading astronomer. Al-Sadoon, an avid collector, has model cars, gramophones, Titanic memorabilia, various currencies, Coca-Cola products, and perfume bottles displayed throughout his home. He allowed the group to wander around and take pictures of his collections before answering their questions about the effects that Japan's recent earthquake and tsunami have had on the Earth's rotation.
The students also had time for a bit of rest, relaxation, and adventure on Failaka Island, where they took rides on a banana boat and went jet skiing. After lunch, the group took a break from the beach and toured the island by bus. Many were reverent as they observed the Gulf War devastation that has left the island much like a ghost town. The highlight of the tour was the "war museum:" an outdoor collection of rusted tanks and trunks abandoned on the island after the war.
The trip turned out to be both educational and fun. "The Kuwaitis were so friendly and open," said Trinh. "And everyone in the country spoke Arabic, so I was finally able to practice!"