إذا إنتوا نسيتوا… ترى إحنا ما نسينا!

ghzo1

I was one of the children of Iraqi Ghazoo. Invasion. This is the way it was called. This is how i explained it to my baby sister then. and this is the way im describing it to every one who asks, and every one who will listen, and to every generation of my future children and grandchildren Insha2 Allah…

I remember the sheer happiness of us returning tommorow to Q8 on the night of 1 August 1990. I remember we spent that night packing and cutting the St Michelle tags off our newly bought clothes from M&S UK… i remember me coming up with a chant for my brother and sister about us returnng to Q8. Mom hates that chant now. Thinks its bad luck.

I remember our drive to Heathrow. I remember my parents and my aunt and uncle looking for Kuwait Airways flight to Q8 counter… I remember the british lady explaining it to us “Kuwait? Now there is no Kuwait. You are Refujees Now, the best you can get is a ticket to Oman or Bahrain…”

I remember our black cab ride back to london, to grandpa’s place. I remember my dad’s grave face, his silence as he has one hand over his cheeks, completly lost in thought. I remember the tearful q8y’s, some with their luggage, sitting outside of NBK Edgeware Road.

I remember moving several times until we settled in our last rented apartment. The estate agent guy was an iraqi names Dhya2… i remember us kids chanting around home “Death to Saddam… Death To Iraq” whenever he showed his face and our parents were not around.

I remember the feeling of being lost forever, not having a place you call home. Not belonging. The sheer meaning of the word Refujee every one so coldly and carelessly threw in our faces. I remember the day it was decided that we resume school in public schools in London, me crying my eyes out on my pillow because… the day i start school here, that’s it, i am not going back home soon.

I remember my fathers tears while listening to a tape sent to him by our family inside Q8. I remember and i remember and i remember.

I remember the ride back home. I remember coming to our ransacked home and our fathers warning not to touch anything in fear of it having mines or bombs. I remember every single thing in our house being strewn around. and i remember never wanting to get out of it again. But we had to spend the night over at grandma’s

I remember the day we had to go back to school. How we heard of the schools having buried mines and how children lost their limps. I was scared to my core and avoided any sand or strange objects for years. I remember my classmates, the girl who couldnt sleep at night, who had to go every other day to some brain clinic to measure something, because she stopped sleeping the day she saw a young q8y man hanged in the space infront of her house.  I remember my other friend who recalls of the day she was sick, her father had taken her in the middle of the night to the hospital, only to be stopped by iraqi troops, him being roughly taken out of his car and threatened to kill him infront of his hysterical girl, just for the fun of it.

and i remember my poor classmate in King Fahad Academy, whose father has went back to Q8 to get his daughters in there, only to never be found again. Until this day. No one every knew what happened to him. Nothing. Nada. I remember her and her other sister, in the playground, imagining what to do if their father suddenly walks through the door. I cannot describe it as i am in tears now.

I remember the destruction. The pain. The emptiness. The loss. The detachment. I remember and i remember and i remember. and i was barely 10 years old then.

and i can never forget. i was one of the luckiest q8y’s out there. I had almost my whole family abroad in UK with me. My dad worked and provided for us. We had a roof. We saw nothing. Yet im still filled with bitter pain.

I cannot even begin to describe how the ones in Q8 felt.

and we are still dealing with the aftermath. People have suddenly woken up to find themselves in the middle of a vicious war with barbaric invaders. Everything was gone. Then suddenly, q8 was back, on 26 February 1991 Kuwait was freed. But broken and bleeding. We had to start from scratch. But that carefree happy go lucky q8y spirit has long gone with the last iraqi soldier out of here. People have suddenly seen death in the face. They have been shocked to their core.

People are not the same people. Q8y’s are no longer the same q8y’s with the old values and virtues and dreams and kindness.

and i for one will never forget what this day means to me.

and none of you should either… even if u were not born yet…

P.S. M&S which all of u know, asked all q8ys in the uk during ghazoo to bring back their clothing for refunds even if it was without reciepts and the st michelle tags cut off… it was their way of helping q8ys during il ghazoo who needed money abroad… just so the future generations know

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15 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Lama on February 26, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    I did not forget !!

    Reply

  2. Posted by Mariam on February 26, 2009 at 12:04 PM

    Thank you for that post. I was in the same position exactly… King Fahad Academy, always looking over our shoulders, protesting on the streets of London, getting spit at on the face, my parents were back home, fighting in the resistance movement… we were terrified. No money, no security, no home.
    Oh how mad I get when I see people forget. You should see the happiness in their eyes when they hear Iraqi songs, “Allaah I love this song!” and they would get up and dance. Pisses. Me. Off.
    I hate everything Iraqi, past or present. I don’t forgive easily, and I don’t care what you think Change of regime, bullshit. I especially can’t stand their accent. Graduated late from uni. because I would drop my class everytime I had an Iraqi professor. During a protest against the Iraqi war at uni., I stood alone, surrounded by hundreds, giving them my piece of mind. Thats how raw my emotions are, even after 50 years, I would never forget.

    Reply

  3. Posted by Mariam on February 26, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    oh… and another thing… I can’t stand the whole “Kuwait supports Ghaza” thing… “Palestinian” troops where the first to kill during the invasion, opening fire on innocent women protesting the invasion… and now Kuwaitis want to help them out. funny.

    Reply

  4. loo shino ansa!!!

    Allah la e3eed theech il ayam

    Reply

  5. Posted by Saud on February 26, 2009 at 1:37 PM

    unbelievable! im in tears right now! madre laish innas mu gadra tetaw3eb hal kalam! madre laish taghayarna:/ im sooo angry! o mit7abbi6! a7is we’re never going back! kilshay ga3ed yi9eer mu zain;s

    Reply

  6. God bless you
    And God bless Kuwait !!!

    Reply

  7. No one will ever forget ile 9ar!

    ya7alat lekuwait ;* alla etamem 3alaina aiaman inshala!! Walla ur post brought tears to my eyes!!

    Reply

  8. “Kuwait? Now there is no Kuwait. You are Refujees Now, the best you can get is a ticket to Oman or Bahrain…”

    @@!!! She really said that??

    How cruel. How heartless. What a total bitch.

    It was a life-changing experience, just as you said. You will never be the same. Did your husband have the same experience? Was he out of Kuwait, or in Kuwait?

    Reply

  9. Posted by Zabo0o6a on February 26, 2009 at 10:33 PM

    Kash sh3ar yanbey, well said danderma ..
    I was 4 yrs old back then, sticked around for the whole time..
    Lost an uncle in the process..

    Reply

  10. wow, that was so amazing I almost cried. I for one, will never ever forget. Even though I was too young to remember anything, I can still see the pain in my family’s face every time they talk about it.

    Never

    Ever

    Forget

    Reply

  11. SIJ no one will ever forget!! Khalaytay 3ainy itdami3 ib hal post! e7na dashaina liq8 ib ne9 il ghazoo ;p

    Reply

  12. Posted by SHAIKHA on March 2, 2009 at 2:07 AM

    Thank you! Talking about this from a different perspective adds to the cause we call for.
    What cause? The cause to point out that what happened is WRONG WRONG WRONG, in the face of every person who “thinks” that Saddam is a hero.

    Thank you! I hope this helps people understand.

    Reply

  13. i remember i remember i remember

    and i will never forget

    Reply

  14. Posted by sam on January 13, 2010 at 5:48 AM

    I was there during the whole thing, bes to be honest.. I really get pissed off laman people are like “ee hathool el3rageyeen dameraw deeratna.. alla yakhethom.. “etc etc
    My grandma (allah yer7amha) was 3rageya.. we stayed in her hosue during the whole thing and she was with kuwait 100% lana rayelha (yadi) kwaiti.. anyway.. la yoomich hatha el nas ege6oon na’3zat etc laman y9eer ‘3azoo 7achi.
    you from all people should know that its not nice being discriminated against.
    fair enough.. the ‘3azoo damar 7ayat wayed nas and damar deeratna etc, bes lazem el nas tefham hal shay.. el 3raqeyeen malhom sho’3el! its Saddam! mo ohma ely 6al3aw el 2amer ina ya’3zoon el kuwait.. fa shinoo thanbhom.. oo nafs el shay weya el falas6eeneyeen…. 3aib 3alaikom ya jama3a..

    I started reading this blog a few days ago and really like it and can tell ur an educated girl. Bes seriously?? even the comments.. oo shino ya3ni etha wa7ed 3ejbeta ‘3neya 3raqeya?? shhal 3aqleya ?? oo shinoo ya3ni if we support ‘3aza? hatha el comment min 9ijkom??? i cant even believe some1 would even write that?! ya3ni hatha el yahel el falas6eeni wela hatha el yahel el 3raqee wela hatha el mo’3ani el 3raqee kanaw ohma maskeen mosadasat dasheen byootkom? ohma shako?????? as if anyone can stand up next to saddam!! ana ahal yadetee (3 sisters and their husbands and kids) kilhom alla yer7amhom twafaw min el ‘3azoo el amreeki 3ala el 3rag.. even though i agree that Saddam had to be taken down.. i COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY disagree with what america is doing now..

    oo ba3dain i go to school oo el khara el khama el mayefhemoon ela eb the newest blackberry application ga3ad ygooloon “eee, zain esawoon amreeka bel 3rag… khal yfekoona menhom.. wallah… alla yakhethom… ‘3ezaw deeratna”

    walla madri shagool.. al7amdellah welsheker

    Reply

  15. Posted by danderma on January 13, 2010 at 9:37 AM

    dear sam…

    I agree with you. It is wrong to sentence a whole country’s worth of people by the actions of one person.

    and just so you know, one of my relatives is iraqi. She lived in Q8 since 1900 o madry chm… her whole family was thrown over the Irani border during the Iraqi/Irani war, in the cold with nothing on them… they almost died just because they opposed Saddam and those are the LUCKY ones… some of them didnt make it out of their cells… others had to flee abroad… all of that BEFORE 1990… so i know what you are talking about. Plus, ako wayed q8ys whose origins are infact iraqi.

    So i did not say all Iraqis are bad. and i didn’t even bring ghazza into this conversation. What my commenters said is their own opinion and we are in a Free country so i am respecting that like i am respecting your opinion right now.

    But let me ask you this. If it was *only* saddam that had a grudge against Q8… then who executed, ruthless and destructive, his demands? Who burned my cousins house down? Who looted my home and stole my parents cars? Who put the mines in my school? Who raped the girl next door unnecciraly? Who executed the martyrs? Who took our POWs and put them in Jails and god knows what happend to them? Who stole the q8y weddings video tapes and sold it in their markets? Who stole EVERY THING that there is to steal and used it?

    aren’t they iraqis? they are iraqi people. Sunna & Shia…

    you would say they were b3thyeen? All of them?! Then el sha3b kilah ba3thee!

    There were reports about *some* troops who were nice to q8ys… who refused to torture them needlessly, who had believed they were infact going to free palestine. but these were a few.

    Also, who is always always ALWAYS saying that Q8 is part from Iraq? Isn’t it the iraqi people? Im not talking about the ones in Q8 i know and you know… im talking about the ppl in Iraq… don’t they believe that?! They do.

    Plus, have you heard the latest discussions on Iraqi Channels? the other day Iraqi people, men and women, were calling in for a program that was asking if they were considering doing something against Kuwait. Insabat il Q8 SABBB… il iraqis ma gaseraw… o almost every single one of them DEMANDED another ghazoo… and you understand what anozer ghazoo means….
    So don’t blame people for their hatred. When i see an iraqi that has come fresh from iraq, i always wonder if his father raped someone i know, or his cousin killed someone i know, or has he done something b3d… there is a chance he did it. Not all people have the same degree of forgivness… esp. if they lost a loved one or suffered directly from it. and believe me all of us have suffered from it…

    Ana 3n nafsi, ana ana… i know inah ako good iraqi ones and ako the bad ones. I know inah ako nass malha thanb. I know inah ako nass actually were appalled o opposed to the ‘3azoo… we know iraqis, we have relatives that are iraqis. Yet i can’t tell you i can totally forgive and forget. I treat them like fellow human beings in humanity yet i have no right asking Q8y people to not say ‘i hate iraqis’ … or to forgive them or to be nice to them. I absolutely have no right to do so. Not all people have iraqi family and relatives. not all people know ako iraqis who has not seen iraq in over 30 years. Not all people know. and not all people care.

    Reply

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