The Mirror House is the only one of its kind in the world. It’s a pretty trippy place. It was created by artists Lidia Qattan and her late husband, Khalifa Qattan. It’s their home, but it’s also an art museum where they can exhibit their work. Their daughter even works in the gift shop.
Lidia is an adorble Italian woman with the enthusiasm of an excitable little child. She welcomed us into her home, and seated us in the living room, where she treated us to cake, juice, and tea while she started into her story. Of course, being an old Italian woman, she wasn’t content with me eating just one piece of cake.
Every room in the first floor of the house is covered in beautiful mirror mosaics that Lidia singlehandedly put together herself. She taught herself the process of sticking the mirror pieces onto the walls. She started the process way back in 1966, but had to start over in 1981 because of a termite infestation. Each room has its own theme, such as Zodiac, The Universe, or Sea World.
I found Lidia fascinating in that she is somehow scientific, spiritual, and religious. She is fascinated by space, cosmology, and cosmic energy. For example, the room entitled Planet Earth tells the story of the planet’s creation and its evolution. However, she also has a room dedicated to zodiac signs, as well as a couple meditation rooms. And in the same room where she talked about the formation of the Earth, she also talked about God’s perfect attention to detail in creating all forms of life in this universe.
The second floor was dedicated to artwork–both hers and her husband’s. Her husband was a very politically and socially-driven artist. Much of his work is inspired by his contempt for the greed and corruption he saw in the Arabic world. Being raised by his mother, he was also angered by the poor treatment of women.
As for Lidia, she specializes in recycled art. She uses everything from filters to horns, or even ballcocks from water tanks for her creations. Like this little guy.
After showing us some of her and her husband’s art, Lidia invited Trevor and I to play a couple rounds of a little carnival game she created. There were three long carpets hanging in front of us. She handed us a stack of painted tiles with velcro pieces attached on the back. The aim of the game was to toss your tiles so that they stuck to the carpet upright. If they stuck upright, you got 20 points; if they stuck 45 degrees off in either direction, you got 5 points. We were no match for her.
The tour ended in the Universe. Trevor and I sat down, Lidia turned off the lights, the stars lit up, and the music came on. Suddenly, we were travelling through space, and I felt like I was in 2001: A Space Odyssey. So. Much. Fun. It was like being in a fun house.
After the tour, I ended up chatting with Lidia and her daughter in the gift shop for a while. Of course, Lidia insisted on giving me more tea and a couple pieces of cake for te road. Her daughter was even kind enough to gift me a fridge magnet to commemmorate my visit to Kuwait.
I wanted to stay and chat longer with the ladies, and they were doing their best to keep me there longer, but Trevor and I had to run. We were already running late. We had to get back to Zak’s so we could go watch a documentary Trevor was really excited about. It was called Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi.
Star Wars was followed by some delicious Korean food. And of course, you can’t go out for Korean dinner and not end the night with karaoke.
Thus, my time with Zak ended with a rousing rendition of “Sabotage.” Hadn’t seen the guy in the four years since Korea, but it felt like only four days had passed.
On to Abu Dhabi!