Thursday, 27 February 2014
We decided to check out the celebrations at Al Kout Mall on Liberation Day. I was a bit worried if we might get stuck in traffic. Anyways, the route my husband took comfortably landed us near the demolished part of Al Manshar right opposite the Kout Mall, avoiding all traffic. We parked our car in the parking area on that side, rather than worry about parking space in the Al Kout parking lot, which was anyway full. We just had to across towards Al out. My husband pointed towards this crane and said, they are having bungee jumping. And yes they were. Right outside the Mall, the side that faces the boat harbor and the Starbucks building. Courageous and adventurous ones took the leap. I don't have a good photo of that, because it was sort of dark by then and my Nikon point and shoot has its limitations capturing pictures in the dark from a distance. The charges were 30 dinars for bungee jumping. They tie your legs securely and take you to a height with the help of a crane. After sunset, there would be this huge spot light focused on the person taking the plunge, and the big number of audience standing below can see and enjoy the bungee jump. So once you reach that height, they ask you if you are ready to jump and if you change your mind out of last minute fear or whatever reason, you don't have to jump. Will you get your money back if you don't jump?. I don't know. And if you are game and ready to go ahead, they help you jump and you just dangle and sway upside down, hanging from the rope for a few moments and slowly the rope is lowered until you reach the ground. Sounds like fun? If my daughter was with us, she would have definitely gone for it.
There was quite a crowd at the mall. As a part of the celebration, there was a tent set up with seating, and people could just go in there and relax. Gahwa - arabic coffee along with assorted dates and black tea was being offered to all the visitors. At the entrance to the tent, to my surprise was two falcons, with their head covered up till their eyes. They looked magnificent and quite healthy. Adults and kids were having fun getting their photos taken and touching the birds. And beside the tent was a nice looking white camel. People and kids were taking photos with the camel. I didn't see any live performances like music or traditional dance yesterday. I knew they had the live performances on National Day though. The part of the Al Kout Mall outdoor food court facing the fountains had national flag colors reflected on them. The fountains looked lovely, they always do. Its so peaceful and soothing to just watch the fountains at Al Kout. And this time, they looked more magical than before. Two huge lights decorations in flag colors adorned the buildings, that looked beautiful. We walked through the mall and down the beach before we headed for home. A lot of shops at Al Kout are having a sale.
Wednesday, 26 February 2014
It was August 2, 1990, around 8 am. I will never forget that day, ever. My colleagues and I were on our way to work , the driver had the radio on in the car. As he drove, he said, 'you shouldn't go to work, we should go to the supermarket and get food and water'. We laughed and asked why. And to which he stunned us with his reply. 'The radio says, Iraq has occupied Kuwait and Kuwait is no more!'. We thought he was saying a mad joke. We told him to drive us to our place of work. We were stopped at a check point as we neared our place of work and told by soldiers to return home. We were not given an explanation. They were armed and there were military trucks and military vehicles and soldiers on the streets, which was such an unusual sight. When I reached home, every one living in the apartment building we stayed, were gathered at the bottom of the building immersed in serious discussion. I stood in utter disbelief when they explained to me how Kuwait was invaded early that morning. It took me a few days to swallow the fact yes Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. I told myself it would all be over in a few days, then a month passed by, then few more months, we became so restless and worried. Our children were so small. I dreamed and envisioned a future for them and a future for us. Somehow my husband and I kept faith that everything will be alright. This will end. Then we were so relieved when the U.S. and coalition forces waged the Operation Desert storm to oust the Iraqi invaders. On 26th February 1991, Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation. Today Kuwait and it's people celebrate 23rd Liberation day.
The construction of the Telecommunications Tower was completed in 1993 and was named Liberation tower symbolizing Kuwait's liberation from Iraq.
Happy Liberation Day Kuwait!
Considering the slow moving traffic, we didn't want to drive too far and get stuck in traffic. We parked close to Salem Mubarak Street near Marina Mall and walked up to the Marina beach near Marina Crescent, yesterday. The gulf road was crowded with cars decorated with flags, children were spread across on the road sides and pavements ready with their water guns of all sizes spraying water on the cars passing by. Young people and children inside the cars would open their windows and reciprocate in kind, or get out of the car and chase them with their water guns. It was quite a sight, fun to watch, children and young men and women in national flag attire, interesting head gears, and masks armed with water guns. Vendors made their business on road sides, selling water guns for those who didn't have any or wanted to buy more! Across the grassy areas of the Marina beach from Marina Crescent and Hard Rock cafe, lots of people were on picnics, fully equipped with chairs and tables, mats, having lunch, snacks and tea, while the children were busy skating, cycling, roller blading, running around with their water guns. I saw some of the small kids spray water on the stray cats that tread on the rocks of Marina beach.
There was an air show, without any aerobatics or colored smoke. It was more of an air parade. I think the airshow was by the Kuwait Airforce along with Turkish Airforce. There were jets and helicopters flying across the Marina beach and Marina Crescent intermittently. The sky was dull and dreary, and the fighter jets flew so fast that it was difficult for me to get any good photos. It wasn't as spectacular as the RAF show. I was expecting the Fursan Al Emarat aerobatic team from UAE to perform, like they did last year on Liberation Day near Marina Crescent. That was really nice.
Anyways, now for some photos I took of National Day celebration and fun time at Gulf Road and Marina beach yesterday. Similar celebrations would continue throughout today being Liberation Day.