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American Cultural Centre

The Amricani was built by the Dutch Reformed Church of America in the early 20th century as a hospital. The local people called it “Mustashfaa Amricani”. Out of respect for the history of the p;ace, we kept “Amricani”.

History of American Cultural Centre

The graceful buildings facing the sea in Kuwait City reflect the commitment to community in the country’s past and future. From medical buildings to cultural facilities, the buildings that make up the Al Amricani Cultural Centre have served the people of Kuwait since the early 20th century.

The Amricani compound was originally developed in between 1911 and 1913. The original buildings included a men’s hospital, women’s dispensary and some administrative offices. A women’s hospital was added in the 1930s and a new men’s hospital was completed in the 1940s. The hospitals were staffed by individuals from the US, Europe and Kuwait. Most of the western employees came as missionaries, regardless of their role in the hospital. Many of the Kuwaitis were hired for entry level positions and trained to fill more advanced roles. In fact, one young man, Haider Khalifa, was hired as an orderly when he was in his teens. He was trained as a radiographer, then a hospital administrator and when the hospitals closed, he became instrumental in the operation of Kuwait’s public hospitals.

The American Mission Hospitals were closed in 1967, when the Kuwait government had established sufficient public hospitals to serve the community. After a period of rehabilitation and renovation, the buildings were re-animated as a cultural centre and museum.

Today, the buildings continue to serve the community. The former women’s hospital, the Olcott Building, is the home of the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah administrative offices and community-oriented exhibition space. The larger building, originally the men’s hospital and named for Dr Stanley Mylrea,, includes exhibition space, an education wing, a conservation lab, and a theatre

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