Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 Kuwait National Day and Liberation Day Post

Liberation Day is THE day when I feel patriotic towards Kuwait, but I don't celebrate with the masses. I didn't go on Gulf Road. I didn't dance in the streets.

I bought my whole office pizza for lunch in dedication of the holidays.  That made me happy.

I have witnessed the escalation of holiday "celebrations" over the past years into something that has become an event for hoodlems/hywanat;  who (formerly) foamed, (and now) super-soaking people with water guns, throwing eggs at and harassing  people, and genuinely acting like disrespectful animals on the streets.  Where is the fun in that?  (And what the HELL have their parents been teaching them?)  I'm too old for that shit.  I don't want to get stuck in traffic for hours and for what?  I stopped celebrating about 5 years ago when 2 monkey-boys literally catapulted outa nowhere on top of my car to tear down the US flag I had (on one side - Kuwaiti flag on the other), throw it on the ground and stomp on it.  Phuck that.  I don't need to take part in all that.

There are also odd new aspects of the holiday celebrations in Kuwait:  I don't know if anyone else has noticed, but there has been an enormous influx of cars with Saudi, Qatari, Emirati, and even Omani plates on the holidays.  Many of the cars were full of young men; some even driving recklessly between cars or partying like they owned the streets. All the cars were decorated in joint graphics - I guess showing the solidarity between the countries.  [I would really like to see a car like that with American/Kuwaiti graphics (and not have it be pestered by wanna-be convicts for having a US flag on it). A whole lot of people don't remember - and should.]

I celebrate in my own way; by remembering what really happened (because I was participating in the events of 90 and 91);  By remembering people who helped free this country who are no longer remembered by their flags waving on cars.  You don't see British and American flags for sale during the National/Liberation holidays anymore. If you fly them on your car, you become a target of mischief.   That's ridiculous.

Further, it really bothers me to hear Iraqi music being played on Liberation Day (it also bothers The Romanian who was in Kuwait when the Iraqis invaded).  As someone who still bares the psychological scars of those days; this offends me.  It disturbs me that the same people responsible for the deaths of true heros like Asrar Qabandi (and all 600+ Kuwaiti POWs) are still living free and well; while Kuwaiti kids (many who are younger generation relatives of those people) are playing Iraqi music and dancing in the streets.  Sorry to those who might say that, "Let's all just forgive and forget."  or possibly, "It's just music."   I don't forget.  It wasn't very long ago. Out of respect to Kuwaiti brothers and sisters who lost their lives during that time, and many more who are still living with horrific memories of what happened to them and their families - often through torture - I don't want to hear Iraqi music on the 26th of February.  There are MANY Kuwaiti patriotic songs that they can play.

So our group did our own thing - away from the crowds -  and I have been too busy to write about it, but I will later.  We went to the desert and had barbecues and wore things that commemorated Kuwait.  We played music by people like Abdullah Ruwaished who served their country during the occupation through national songs.

I remembered Sheikh Saud Nasser Al-Sabah who we quietly lost this year.  This was the first Liberation Day without him - and HE orchestrated much of the assistance required to allow us to be living now in a free Kuwait; not the 19th province of Iraq.  Where was his photo on cars or placards?  I remembered him on this holiday and how he served his country with dignity and respect.  I quietly thanked him for helping me get here.  And one of the people working for him:  Thank you, Sheikh Ali Duwaij Al-Sabah, for approving my training with the Kuwaiti female volunteers at that time.  I promised you I would get here someday, and here I am.  Your kindness has never been (and will never be) forgotten.

And speaking of not forgetting....

If you are reading this in Free Kuwait, thank an Allied soldier!

Coalition of the 90/91 Gulf War: 
US, Saudi Arabia, UK, France, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Canada, Italy, Australia.

Thank you all for your service and your sacrifice in giving us all freedom to do what we do here now.


Anonymous said...

It was reported in the Arab Times that 38,500 people left Kuwait for National Day/Liberation Day, mainly Kuwaitis and I find this very unpatriotic. I understand the problems that the society faces, in the streets of Kuwait, during this timeframe and it is easier to purchase those 'golden seats' and head to Dubai. People find it strange that you would want to overbook 'The Address' rather than stay in your country and celebrate in your own way as DG states. Emiritis don't flock to the airport, in record numbers since the Gulf War, to leave their country during their National Day, in fact, expats joyfully celebrate UAE National Day beside them. For a nation of people who once lost their country to invading forces, you would think that they would appreciate it more. However, I can't blame them to a certain extent, because Kuwait has a government who boarded those planes and abandoned a nation without massive firework displays, organized parades and fanfare to celebrate this occasion. If Kuwaitis feel that their country does not reflect the level of standard that they desire as in the UAE, then demand that your government perform for the nation and move forward on a development path where everyone can feel national pride for this nation.

Anonymous said...

For those of us that fought for your country's freedom and lost friends and men that served under us, I would like to say," Freedom isn't free."

You have a great country and like most countries and people there are problems,but your freedom from a dictator isn't one of them.

The Mad Hatter said...

DG i couldn't have said it better i wrote a little post about Kuwait National day a few friends of mine were drenched with piss(water pistols filled with urine)i think last year or the year before thats why i chose to hibernate this weekend, i also had a few odd incidents a few year's back when driving some kids flipped my wind shield wipers and sprayed the front rear window with foam HOW THE HELL was i going to drive? they wanted to get me out of my car to fix the flipped wind shield wiper's and clean the mirror i was so lucky to find a police petrol car pull over and spray a water pistol (with water lol) and fix my wiper's back :( i don't want to celebrate if this is what i have to deal with..

Anonymous said...


With all due respect, playing Iraqi music on the Kuwaiti National Day is substantively no different from driving a German or Japanese car on our own July 4th (and yes, we still have WWII veterans alive today).

Desert Girl said...

And perhaps those WWII veterans don't buy Japanese or German to this day for that very reason.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion/belief and I don't play or want to hear Iraqi music in Kuwait on February 26. End of story.

Anonymous said...

Desert Girl,
Thank you and that’s very nice of you . Not too many people relies or know I was here in Kuwait for the Golf War from beginning to end and still to this day visualize “things” I experienced. Thank you from all of “US”.


Anonymous said...

As a Brit who has been going back and forward to Kuwait since last summer, I was appalled at what I witnessed on Liberation Day.
No quiet reverence to thank those strangers who sacrificed their lives to liberate a country and it's people. Instead, I saw trouble-making behaviour (water pistols full of urine I suspect), even more irresponsible behaviour from mostly Kuwaiti men(if that is possible), and a complete lack of awareness about the significance of that day. Myself and other female colleagues were under house arrest for that whole weekend. We felt very unsafe. The atmosphere seemed out of control and lawless.
My father was a Sergeant Major in the British Army, and was on standby for the ground assault to liberate Kuwait. He was willing to sacrifice his life for strangers, in a country far from home. I'm glad that he didn't. My heart goes out to those Kuwaitis and allied forces families who lost loved ones in the war, but it truly sickened me to see the behaviour of Kuwaitis on that day.
Without being too political or critical, what is expected on that day should surely be directed by those in power, or the leaders? Our Queen and leaders across Europe set the example in our country as to what is expected on Rememberance Sunday, and so it has continued for years. What I witnessed on Liberation Day would be the equivalent of Europeans having 24/7 partying on Rememberance Sunday, something that we would never dream of doing, ever.
As I left Kuwait a few days ago, I breathed a sigh of relief and the sickness in my stomach finally passed. I felt truly sad and upset by what I saw. If the rest of the world could see how Kuwait commemorates (or doesn't) such a significant day, I think they would be as disgusted as I am.