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....
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.