The Diwaniyah

The dewaniyah or parlour has existed in Kuwait since time immemorial. The term originally referred to the section of a Bedouin tent where the menfolk and their visitors sat apart from the family. In the old city of Kuwait it was the reception area where a man resaved his business colleagues and male guests. Today the term refers both to a reception hall and the gathering held in it, and visiting or hosting a Diwaniyah is an in dispensable feature of a Kuwaiti man's social life.

As a social event, adiwaniyah takes place in special room or annex, which is usually separated from the rest of man's house. Only men are present and they sit around on soft benches or cushion, conversing casually, smoking, nibbling snacks and relaxing in the evening, The host's job is to be hospitable and entertain his guests, and the reputation of a man Diwaniyah is one of the prime ways in which he achieves face.

There are also more formal Diwaniyah, which specialize in particular interests, such as politics or science.