It was the second of August 1990, twenty two years ago, when the peaceful little country of Kuwait turned into a battlefield overnight.
I hadn't yet come into this world. Only snippets from here and there complete the story for me: the irony of my mother's family escaping their country's dictator, only to find one fine morning's skies announcing his arrival at their new place- my Kuwaiti relatives on one side facing their new upturned world with grace- my Iraqi relatives on the other side watching truck after truck of stolen Kuwaiti items entering their country.
Burnt buildings, innocent dead bodies, stolen homes, Saddam's men everywhere. And a people refusing to give up their home. Doing whatever they can to keep their world intact- even if it meant having to collect their own garbage from the street after a lifetime of others doing the dirty work for them.
Is anyone watching the drama Saher el Leil, Watan el Nahar? "It contains great offense for us Iraqis" said my dermatologist today morning with a tight face. Only if you want a tyrannical regime like that to represent your nation! "Lots of exaggerations" replies my dad. More like- an understatement. We Iraqis know more than any other victims the extent that the inhumane can reach.
No matter how many years pass by, we must never forget their martyrs. Not to breed hatred, nor to block reconciliation, but as a tribute to those who stood up in the face of oppression, and as a reminder that bravery always pays off in the end.
|Pictures of the Kuwaiti martyrs- by Dhirar al- Fadhala|