Saturday, August 02, 2008

Kuwaiti Garbage Collector.....!!!


During the invasion of Kuwait, life on the streets seemed to stop, public necessities became simple, and we were on our own.

the majority of the work force in all the fields had to abandon post, and a huge sum left the country, leaving Kuwait to the Kuwaitis for the first time since the Independence.

people from all sects worked in what we label now as mediocre jobs, and we saw Kuwaitis collect garbage and incinerate them in every area, distributing bread and working in bakeries, in home or at every Iranian bakery that was left unattended, and distributing necessities of food and cash to the neighbors and anyone in need.

these were the best days of my life in the worst days in Kuwait's history, we still saw the beauty of the country and how precious it was and still is.

I'm not a sensitive guy, and I don't post about my personal (don't go to personal tag) life in this blog, for me this blog is a mirror and a reflection to how I see the world and a beacon to my opinions.

today might be an exception..

we used to jump between Qurtuba and Nuzha (my grandparents) where the whole family gathered to face the dilemma, in Nuzha we were too exposed to the Iraqis while distributing Iranian bread (Afghan to be politically correct) to the neighbors and the mosque. we used to do it in a home-made Tan-noor, and we also did amazing home made watermelon Jam Saj sandwiches.



picture taken by Mink



I till this day know by heart how to make Iranian bread how to make Jams of any kind and sorts, I made a sour Lemon-berry mix once and I would have profited from it if I knew how to mix it perfectly again.....!!!

in Qurtuba it was another planet, maybe cause we had more freedom there, but I remember always hanging out in the streets by day, on the roof at night yelling Allah Akbar (Allah the Great), I don't know why, but the neighbor took the trend and many nights were spent Roof-Chatting with the neighbors.

and I had a crush on 3 girls at that time, one in across our house in West Funtas (Jabir Al-Ali now), and two sister in Qurtuba, one older than me by 4 years but was shorter and was the only one who read books and liked to talk about science and space, the younger sister was same as my age, cute and shy, I used to call the kids in the neighborhood to play a large scale war near a deserted incomplete house, I was the leader of the aggressors, and had all the girls to me! I had no trouble talking to the girls while they make me my sand bombs, and water balloons, and me throwing them at the other side whom clustered behind a wrecked car.

of course I was furious when I know the first girl I had a crush on back in West Funtas had a boyfriend, and here is the funny part, all this years I thought he was Omani, and didn't realise that it was his family name until we became friends (keep in mind one of my oldest friends since kindergarten was from the same family, and I didn't connect the dots) so what was the first thing I did when I was in W.Funtas.. I set free a crazy sheep that terrorised the neighborhood for weeks, and had a huge Kuwaiti "Pamplona Bull (sheep in this case) Running".....!!!
the mad sheep used to jump on cars when we tryed to escape him by jumping on them, and no fence stopped him, until he was sacrificed for the day of meat......!!!

all for the sake of impressing her back to me.....?!

back to Qurtuba, our daily work was with my youngest uncle Khalid, he was an amazing guy, and he took a pick up truck (Waneet), and that we used in the daily routines, and to give you a brief intro to the waneet, I'll have to link it to "Sport billy's purse".. it had everything you can think of, even bananas....!!!
he harnessed two gas cylinder in the back that freaked me out each time he hit the pavement or any intrusions with full speed, the cylinders would soar high and bang hard enough to dent the waneet, I asked why he had them, and his answer was that he wanted to have a sheep in the back.....!!!

the Waneet was always loaded with food, and cash, and I swear to God, I was handing him money from every where in the truck, bundles were scattered all over behind anything, he'd take them, place them between the sheets of Iranian flat breads that was either made in Nuzha or picked up from various Iranian Tan-noors managed by his friends, he would also tend to the needs of neighbors, bringing baby milk powder and rice, but used to stash the Tuna, which to this day I can't say no to a treat of tuna cans feast.

after the mourning routine we would gather the whole family in the living room, chatting and hearing news from my grandfather's Leather Radio, watching Iraqi TV and practising absurd languages and inventing new curse words!



















we would have lunch, the old way on the ground, placed on newspapers, we met "drought seasons" where we would only have tuna with bread, and "Marag Adas" (Lentils Broth) with rice if lucky.. I still drive mom insane each time she asks me what I'd like for lunch the answer is always Spaghetti Béchamel or Marag Adas, and she would say that I was born in prison.....!!!




I wasn't introduced to napping at that time, so I used to hang out on the streets playing soccer or planning an attack on the Iraqis, I even had a blade whetted from scrap metal as my weapon, and thought of ways to drag the Iraqis to abandoned house.


uncle Khalid would get a phone call and we're off to go swoop the area, this was my favourite part, and the most cherished during the occupation, I'd climb up at the back of the Waneet, with my brother and cousins sometimes only the two of us, and we'd be picking up the garbage and transferring them to an open area near Qurtuba's CO-OP.


of course the building wasn't there



it could be the Anarchy in me, but I was always the one who throws the flame/torch/match.....!!!
I enjoyed it actually, and was proud of it, I was working and helping others, and if needed be I won't hesitate to do it again.....!!!
the invasion taught us so many things, I before was a believer of Arab solidarity and Islamic unity, but when we woke up at the second day of August, I brushed it all away, and never did I believed this blasphemy ever again.
even to this day I fall bewildered to what happened to us, we were one, all diversities vapourised, but slowly it crawled back for no reason, reform is a must, to state and the people, the freedoms we all proud of is now misused for selfish reasons, relinquish the labels you now hold dear..
No Sunni No Shea.. only Kuwaitis
No more sectarianism
I also extend the concerns of many in the Kuwaiti blogger sphere on the kidnapping of Husain Al-Fudhala by the Iranians for over a week now, and our government and the Parliament is deaf blind at the issue, which force us to rise the issue publicly, all in due time.
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