Today marks 30 years since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Its a date ingrained in the memories of Kuwaitis & Expats alike who were here during that time, it was a time when atrocities such as torture, kidnap & murder were common place, where people stood united against the Iraqi enemy, no matter their race or creed.
Here we share two true stories of a couple of long standing residents in Kuwait, Helen Newton & Alison Shan-Price, we thank them for sharing their stories, (and we know they have many more)…..
Alison Shan-Price M.B.E.
30 years ago, today, Iraq invaded Kuwait. What followed was ‘7 months of Darkness’, no electricity, no water, babies’ incubators switched off by soldiers, and much worse, with the most horrific and evil acts of cruelty and medieval torture, of those we knew. If you think I am exaggerating please feel free to visit the Martyrs’ Museum. We were lucky to have left for the summer to UK, but many of our friends were captured and used as The Human Shield. I salute the bravery of Kuwaitis and ALL citizens of different nationalities, who cared each other, putting their lives online. Their bravery, no matter what their nationality, must not be forgotten as Kuwait moves into a different era. We remember. Do not let history get rewritten. It happened, it was very ugly. We lost everything but we were safe and alive.
30 years ago today, Iraq invaded Kuwait. We had worked at GES from 1985 – 1990. We had signed a contract for the following year.
We had left Kuwait to go on holiday the middle of June that year, and we were due to fly back on August 17th.
We had gone to visit some friends in Wales and I was woken up very early by the sound of a news bulletin interrupting children’s TV to announce that Iraq had invaded Kuwait. I rushed into the lounge where our friends’ children were happily playing with their Lego.
After getting over the initial shock we rang our British friends Mike and Sunni Jennings who were in Kuwait, living in Ahmadi. Mike worked for KOC. His initial words were: “It’s a beautiful day today. We’re thinking of going out in our boat. Wish you guys were here to go out in yours, too.”
I said, “Mike, Iraq has invaded Kuwait! How can you be thinking of going out in your boat?”
To which he replied, “Oh, it will be all over in a couple of days! Don’t worry!”
He contacted the British Embassy later who told him the same advice that you were given; stock up on food and lie low. It will blow over in a couple of days……..
Mike and his family were later captured and taken to Kuwait Regency Hotel then were separated. Mike was taken to Baghdad to become a human shield: he was moved around from place to place and was finally freed in March 1991.
Sunni and their three children were taken by bus to Baghdad and were flown back to the UK. The children were without their father and were aged 5, 7 and 8.
Sunni later travelled to Iraq in the group of 12 women who had gone to plead with Saddam to release their husbands and fiancé. I knew 2 out of the 12. They left without their husbands but with many “gifts” that Saddam had personally given them including a photo album of their stay in Iraq…….
Karen Alanizi M.B.E.
Karen wrote a book about her experience during the Iraqi invasion, for more details, please click [here]
We read today that every household has a story to tell, we have heard stories of diary cows being “gifted” (yes they were stolen), and a thank you letter written from Saddam Hussein for the generous gift…. of Kuwaiti students who were in the US when they heard the news, and made the trip to KSA to fight alongside the US military, even their families didn’t know they were fighting for Kuwait’s freedom….we would love to hear your story, so please do share away and drop us an email with your story, at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll publish your story, including any photos you may have. Even though the world has moved on, we must never forget those who died, who were persecuted and who those who fought for the freedom Kuwait enjoys.
Photo courtesy of TRTworld.com
Kuwait’s accomplishments in the past 30years