The House of Mirrors

Parimita Barooah Bora
Saturday, September 25, 2010

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 Barooah Bora is a onetime lecturer and currently she is a stay-at-home mom. Having done her post graduation in English, Education and Travel n Tourism, she taught for few years until her relocation to Kuwait. She likes to share the experiences of her life as a freelance contributor to various newspapers, magazines and websites. Now, as a freelance writer and teaching children in the evenings at home keeps her busy. Member of IWIK Team.
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Express your comment on this article

 
ehab
Posted on Friday, May 4, 2012

Can u pls give the exact location where is it?? pls\

priya
Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

joblessness afflicts a large part of our population!

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Rajeev
Posted on Monday, January 9, 2012

Relly amazing,I would like to visit this house.

fahad
Posted on Friday, January 6, 2012

can anyone tell me that entry fees is there or not?

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Asif Khan
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2011

MASHALLAH ALLAH SAVE THIS UNIQUE HOUSE LONG LIFE.allah hafiz

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Karunakaran
Posted on Tuesday, December 21, 2010

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

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Jalila Qattan
Posted on 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)

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Aslam
Posted on 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

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hussain
Posted on 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.

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QATTAN
Posted on Sunday, October 3, 2010

WHO INVITED YOU ALL LOL............

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parimita
Posted on 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
Posted on 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
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010

thanks for info. felt nice to read details.will have to visit it.

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abraham
Posted on Thursday, September 30, 2010

we are going tomorrow to the house.excited.thank u.

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sayed abbas m
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MASHALLAH ALLAH SAVE THIS UNIQUE HOUSE LONG LIFE.

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Sumi
Posted on Wednesday, September 29, 2010

your write-up's are very good.looking forward for more.map useful

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nath
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

excellent write up and thank you for sharing about this fantastic work of art.

swamy
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

have been living in kuwait for 6yrs but came to know about the house only now.thank you IIK

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kamrul
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

didnt know about such a kohinoor in kuwait,will certainly go.

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hussain
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

great info.great writing.keep up the good work.

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Parimita
Posted on 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

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rana
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

keep exploring and sharing.thanks

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Parimita
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thanx a lot Sunanda.Will try to share about such wonderful places

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dk
Posted on Tuesday, September 28, 2010

really wonderful information.didnt get to know anywhere.keep informing about such beautiful places.

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Dr Ananthalakshmi
Posted on 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.

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sunanda
Posted on 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.

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Raj
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

Thanks for this wonderful information. really wondering how you came to know about such hidden places in Kuwait?

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debo
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

beautiful and matchless house.map will be of help.

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Parimita
Posted on 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.

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gulzar
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

amazing house.have not read in other website of kuwait.good work indiansinkuwait.

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S.Sastry
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

what is the entry fee to the house?

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S.Agarwal
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

A house of mirror?interesting.have to go there

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Parimita
Posted on 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.

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muhammad
Posted on 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

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Kiran
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

graphic description.have heard about such a house for the first time

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PRANAB
Posted on Monday, September 27, 2010

didnot know about such a house in kuwait.will have to visit it

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M.Das
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thanx for the information.was looking fot it since long.link to google map wl be heplful

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Sharma
Posted on 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
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thank you for the information....was looking for it since long

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Anita
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Your narration is very good

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Parimita
Posted on 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.

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MAMONI
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thanks for the google link.Will try to visit this unique house soon.

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Madhusmita
Posted on Sunday, September 26, 2010

Nice write-up Pori. Keep writing and keep us inform about such wonderful places.

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Sonia
Posted on Saturday, September 25, 2010

Vivid description of the house...nice write up.

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Arvind
Posted on Saturday, September 25, 2010

Had been hearing about it. Thank you for the info.

Parimita
Posted on 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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