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Al-Ojairi Astronomical Museum launched

Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi and Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed with other guests.

Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi and Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed with other guests.

KUWAIT: After long years of waiting, popular Kuwaiti astronomer Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi witnessed his dream come true when the Al-Ojairi Astronomical Museum opened Monday evening at the Kuwait Scientific Club. Ojairi was born in Kuwait in 1920, the eldest of nine siblings. His father sent him to the desert when he was a kid to learn the life of bedouins, horse-riding, shooting, and other skills..

At 4 his father enrolled him in school to learn reading, the Holy Quran, mathematics and other subjects. His father was the first to encourage him to study astronomy when he was in the desert observing the sky with the sun, moon and stars that that made him love astronomy even more. He studied astronomy at the Abdulrahman Bin Haji school, who was the father of astronomy in Kuwait.

He continued his university studies in Egypt. He got married when he was 20 and has four sons and one daughter. After graduation he worked as a teacher, then as an accountant, then he worked for the government and finally in a bank. In 1971 he retired and spent his time managing his business. He issued his first calendar in 1945 which he printed in Baghdad and was called the Ojairi calendar. Later he issued different publications such as wall calendars, pocket diaries, office diaries and others.

"This museum was my dream for so long time and finally the dream has come true. There are about 400 artifacts at the museum and we hope to increase the number to 500 in the future," said Ojairi. Chairman of the Kuwait Science Club (KSC) Iyaad Al-Kharafi stressed that founding the Al-Ojairi Astronomical Museum was suggested by volunteers working at the Astrology Department at KSC. "The main goal of this museum and the KSC is to fill the free time of the youth with useful activities. We are glad with the result that is more than excellent. The volunteers of KSC worked on this project for more than a year and some have gifted objects from their private collection, and we thank them for this great effort," he said during the launch ceremony.

The most visited section of the KSC is the astronomy section. "This section receives the biggest number of students on school trips. This is a great place to offer information to students" he added. "Ojairi played a key role in establishing this museum. So the launch of this museum is a kind of honoring and rewarding him for his efforts in the field of astronomy. Also during this ceremony we decided to name him the honorary president of KSC as an appreciation for his efforts. We will welcome visitors at the museum very soon, and maybe it will open for the public during Eid," concluded Kharafi. The museum was launched by former Prime Minister Sheikh Naser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah who praised Ojairi. "We are proud of him, and wish him prosperity," he noted.

By Nawara Fattahova, Staff Writer

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This article was published on 06/08/2013