We often refer to the 3 Es when describing the mission of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah: education, entertainment and enlightenment. Notice which comes first – education. From the time Sheikh Nasser Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah brought the first piece of the collection to Sheikha Hussa’s introduction of the DAI Cultural Season more than a quarter century ago, a key priority has been educating the people at home and abroad on the art and culture of the Islamic world. After a year of virtual programming, we are happy to continue this practice. Below you will find information on programmes available this season.
DAI docents are trained volunteers who commit to learning more than just a guide’s script and to sharing their knowledge with visitors to the Amricani Cultural Centre. During our last Cultural Season, DAI docents completed the necessary training before hosting school groups, international VIPs, journalists, social organisations, and thousands of individuals who came to discover the treasures to be found in the cultural centre.
Docents are an integral part of the DAI, both as learners and teachers. All docents complete 12 – 15 hours of training and participate in ongoing seminars. The training covers everything from 6,000 years of history of art from the Islamic world, the evolution of a private collection to a public collection, the story of the Amricani Cultural Centre, and other subjects relevant to being a good host.
Once the training is completed, the docent’ begin the teacher aspect of the position. As a host, the docents share their knowledge with visitors to the cultural centre. Docents are trained to read the guests and offer a tour that’s unique and engaging. The lack of a script makes the task more challenging but also makes the visit more enjoyable for both the docent and the visitors.
Docent training is generally held twice a year – autumn and spring. For CS 26, training will be held in November and March. Please follow our social media (dai_kuwait and dai_education) or check the Participate section of this site for up to date information on the schedule for docent training. Alternatively, you may also email email@example.com for more information.
As the 21st century progresses and companies look to future employment needs, the importance of the 4 Cs (collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking) is growing rapidly. Recognising that many of jobs those currently in elementary schools will compete for do not exist at the moment, it is vital that they are prepared for an environment that values the ability to work with teams, assess material from a critical thinking prospective, propose creative ideas and effectively communicate those ideas with others. All the programmes offered by the DAI Children’s Education team are designed to encourage the participants to further develop these important skills.
Over the course of a year, the participants (ages 7 – 11) will plan, execute and finally launch a new, interactive exhibition of objects from The al-Sabah Collection. This is a challenging project and requires a serious commitment and participation from the entire team. This will be the third exhibition of objects from The al-Sabah Collection curated by children, so CS 26 participants have a tough challenge ahead of them.
Registration for CS 26 CAW is closed.
With a different subject discussed every week, the CAW Juniors programme encourages participants to build both art and cultural understanding and have a good time in the process. Hands-on art projects are married with pertinent information, so provide a programme that is largely driven by the children (with a little help from parents and the teacher).;
Elements of Art: Lines, Shape, Colour, Texture
Children ages 4 – 6, with an adult
6, 13, 20 and 27 November 2021
Art from the Islamic World: Calligraphy, Arabesque, Figurative, Repeating Geometric Patterns
Children ages 4 – 6, with an adult
5, 12, 19, 26 March 2022
Please follow our social media (dai_education) or check the Participate section of this site for information on registering for CAW Juniors. Alternatively, you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
As this goes online, we are still developing the science programme for CS 26. Starting sometime after the 1st of the year, it will target children ages 9 – 12 (with an adult) and feature experiments that build scientific and critical thinking skills. In addition, many sessions will require teamwork and creative solutions. Science is often, after all, often all about trial and error.
Please follow our social media (dai_education) or check the Participate section of this site for information on registering for DAI Science Hack. Alternatively, you may also email email@example.com for more information.
Once a month the DAI will organise a special day dedicated to providing fun day out for the entire family. These will incorporate visits to the exhibitions and theme-specific activities that will engage children of all ages, including the child remaining in the parents!
Below is a list of the dates and themes for CS 26 Family Days. Please follow our social media (dai_education) for specific information on each day or check the Participate section of this site. Alternatively, you may also email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
20 November – Elements of Art from the Islamic World
18 December – International Arabic Language Day
8 January – World Braille Day
12 February – Girls in Science Day
26 March – A Prelude to Ramadan
Storytime is one the DAI’s longest running children’s programmes. Different readers, all volunteers, share a favourite children’s book with the audience. The informal tone of Storytime make it welcoming for children of all ages and usually leads to an interesting discussion of the book – ideally after reading it, but frequently as the story unfolds.
Storytime at Amricani
All ages, with an adult
Saturdays at 3:30, starting 2 October
Storytime at Yarmouk
All ages, with an adult
Wednesdays at 4 PM, starting 3 November
Please follow our social media (dai_education) or check the Participate section of this site for specific information on each storytime.
The DAI Children’s Library at the Amricani Cultural Centre will re-open in December, with a reading challenge for the holidays. The library includes books for kids from toddlers to teens, in Arabic and English and visitors are welcome to relax and read there or check out books to read at home. The hours depend on the availability of volunteers and will be post as they are confirmed.
Please follow our social media (dai_education) or check the Participate section of this site for specific information on library activities.
Also, if you are interested in volunteering to help in the library, please email email@example.com
For many students, school visits provide the introduction to museums. The DAI is committed to offering visits that encourage children to enjoy their visit (while learning something!) and want to come back. To that end, we offer two different school visit opportunities for both government and private schools in Kuwait. This is in addition to the standard tour.
Option one sees the DAI education team working with the teacher in advance of the visit to agree on a focus for the trip. On defining the focus, the team will create and implement a strategy that engages the students while incorporating elements of the exhibitions into a lesson plan to meet the teacher’s objective. In the past, this has included visits built around topics in science, writing, history, Kuwait history, mythology and, for pre-K children, identifying shapes in 3 dimensions.
Option two takes place over two days, again in collaboration with the teacher. So far has concentrated on using art as a tool for developing creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills. However, with sufficient notice, it could be developed for other subjects. The first day happens in the classroom, where the activities to be executed in the museum are introduced. This allows the students to do something new in a familiar environment. The following day (usually a week apart) takes place in the museum. The material is reviewed and the students then execute a familiar activity in a new environment. Experience has demonstrated that students get more out the of the visit when this format is followed.
Harvard University Graduate School of Education Project Zero Thinking Routines feature prominently in our programming. Designed as strategies for using art and art education as learning tools in a wide range of subjects, the routines (selected for their relevance to the subject at hand and the abilities of the students) are fun ways for students to interact with the objects in an exhibition. Simultaneously, they are effective at facilitating development of creativity, critical thinking, collaboration and communication skills.
Unfortunately, COVID restriction mean no field trips this school year. However, we are available to discuss future collaboration with teachers/schools. To arrange a meeting or discuss this further, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
There’s a Chinese proverb that reads: “Don’t listen to what they say, go see.” The DAI actually encourages participants to do both – listen AND go see. Hearing about the history and culture of different nations and eras and peoples is important, not the least because it lays the foundation for better understanding and appreciation when you do ‘go see’.
COVID restrictions and the related uncertainties make it impossible for the DAI to organize any cultural expeditions this season. Please explore the Archive section of this site to learn about previous trips. This will give you an idea of the type of adventure we hope to offer in the future.