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Icons of the Khaleeji past: Darb Al-Zalag

Updated : Friday, 12 October 2018, 10:00:31 AM
Commemorated by Saudi artist
By Editorial Staff
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KUWAIT CITY(IAMINKUWAIT): A Saudi artist has turned the walls of his motel into a canvas for his brush and black paint. Believing that art should be both beautiful and meaningful, he took it upon himself to paint scenes of a very popular classic Kuwaiti TV show “Darb Al-Zalag”, which is the Khaleeji equivalent of “Seinfeld” in the US. He is a determined artist “addicted” – as he described it – to the cozy and comedic world of Darb Al-Zalag, and believes it to be more than just a regular TV hit.

The show aired its first episode in 1977, and its depiction of the Arabian Gulf’s transformation from mud houses and wooden ships to air-conditioned offices and modern vehicles won viewers’ love and appreciation. The superb writing by its director Hamdi Farid only mirrored what was happening exactly in Kuwaiti households during the surge of wealth that started to overwhelm their traditions and psyches. Illiterate parents with educated sons jumping into philanthropy, trying different occupations and messing it all up because of their frustration of how overly complicated the government made everything – it was hilarious!

The show’s main protagonist was played by Abdulhussain Abdulredha, who was a superstar in the entire Arab peninsula. The series is still an Internet hit today, because we miss the days that were “Darb Al-Zalag”. (Darb Al-Zalag can be loosely translated to mean ‘the slippery road or path’).

The awe and wonder of luxury we had; the simplicity of how people once lived! People from various GCC countries who were born in the 1980s and 1990s, prior to this rush of Internet and “smart” everything technologies, still to this day feel the same kind of funny awkwardness between our humble way of life and this forced modernity.

Arif Al-Bahrani, the Saudi artist, wanted to capture just this! He knew that the best show that expressed such a concept was Darb Al-Zalag. This is who we really are without our sudden, temporary wealth.

Courtesy  :  Kuwait Times

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