It is Kuwait Liberation and National Day coming up. The flags have been out for a couple of weeks now. Lights brighten the normally dull drive around the neighbourhood.
Friends who have lived here for many years all have there own stories of the Gulf War.
I was with my family living in Scotland then, but we were aware what was going on in this far off sandpit. My dad has done work in Iraq before, so Kuwait was familiar. For me, it was just a place near to Bahrain…a name that was used in stories of my past again and again. My mum was driving me to the hospital late one night with stomach pains when we heard on the radio that Iraqi troops had invaded Kuwait...we will always remember that.
Not long after Kuwait was liberated, my Dad returned to the Middle East for work. Shortly after Mum and I joined him. It was not unusual then for strangers to stop British/American men in the street and shake their hands and thank them for their support in the war. This happened.
My friend, a great story teller, spoke the other night of a few of his ‘great escape’ moments, when he was a POW in Iraq, taken when Kuwait was invaded. Stories can’t be told too lightheartedly, as his family and friends were back at home worrying about his safety. However, now, years later and over a good bottle of rioja, we heard of trip to the church with the other prisoners, when once inside, would sneak off to the local bar. In those months in Iraq he became a very devote Christian!
Nothing says ‘Happy National and Liberation day’ like Barney wearing the Kuwaiti flag!