Thursday, December 05, 2013
Happy Birthday, Reyadh-O
I would like to say a special happy birthday to my friend, Reyadh, at Al Boom Dive Center.
I've known Reyadh since I was 18 years old when he was just starting his career as a diver. That was a while ago... (I am not going to date either one of us by revealing HOW long ago, but it has been a little while).
We've been through a lot of ups and downs and we are still life-long friends. He taught me much of what I know about Kuwait through kindness and generosity; as did his family. I sincerely regret never having had the opportunity to meet his mother in person (God rest her soul), but she is someone who has made an impact on my life and I think of her whenever I drive by Daiya. She was a kind woman who welcomed me into their family.
I am still friends with some of Reyadh and my mutual friends. I still see them as young 20-somethings as students; hanging out in clubs, driving cool cars, being cool in general. I was one of the gang. I cooked for them, helped them with stupid things like problems with neighbors or bank accounts, and invited them to meet my family (hopefully extending a little American hospitality).
I was driving down the Gulf Road, many years later, when a ranking officer in a fire truck leaned out the window and say, "(Desert Girl)! Is that YOU?" I see him in the newspapers sometimes these days. The hair is a little different, but they are just older cool guys now.
Reyadh was dear to my family. They all expected him to be part of us forever, but we took different paths in life. I am thankful that he is so happy and he has so many wonderful blessings in his life (hey - including a friend like ME!) He has (Mashallah) 7 children and a job that he loves working on the sea. He's extremely popular in diving circles and (again Mashallah) has many friends throughout the world now.
So to you, Schmed: I will always remember you as that cool 24-year old guy with the sports car and the awesome group of friends. The apartment in Rockville and Saleh's house guest who broke the toilet trying to squat on it Arabic-style. Traveling to see Sami and Talal in LA. Taking the boat to that little island in Hawaii. Bob's Big Boy. Daytona beach. Hanging with my dad in Baltimore. Fetah's major crush on my sister. My mom's fierce loyalty to you. Defending you when your downstairs neighbor said, "You Arabs are cooking in your living room." You defending me from the Monster. Salah cooking mowish and Shannon hating it. ... and many more years of endearing memories that I owe to you.
Happy birthday, dear friend. I hope to be wishing you the same well into our '90's!