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Kuwait remembers invasion cultural, scientific aftermath

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‘Iraq tried to rewrite history on Aug 2’

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 1: In memory of 32nd anniversary of the Iraqi occupation, tomorrow, Kuwait notes the cultural and scientific ramifications of the invasion’s attempts to erase heritage and rewrite history. Occupation forces targeted official media outlets in the early hours of the invasion, including the state’s Ministry of Information, radio and TV stations, as well as Kuwait News Agency (KUNA). Seizing control of such instruments granted the perpetrators power to transmit altered truths, spread rumors and dampen hopes, however, employees of these establishments did not heed to such efforts and scrambled to remedy the situation.

They transferred radio station to G1 camp, where the slogan “This is Kuwait” was first launched. After several attempts by occupying forces to break into the radio station, it was finally moved to Saudi city of Al-Khafjy where news of Kuwait continued to be transmitted to the outside world. As for the state-run news agency, its headquarters were relocated to London following confiscation of equipment. KUNA’s work at the time emphasized Kuwait’s political legitimacy and independence as a sovereign state, in addition to covering the Jeddah summit.

Kuwait’s National Museum was yet another prey as its exhibition halls were burned down, and valuable artifacts belonging to prehistoric times destroyed. Additionally, Museum of Dar Al-Athar Al-Islamiya with a rare collection of Islamic art and antiques was also looted. Following the liberation of Kuwait, the United Nations Compensation Commission estimated Kuwait’s losses of cultural artifacts at around USD 19 million, and in 1998, it required Iraq to compensate these losses. In regards to scientific establishments, Acting Director General of Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Dr. Mane Al-Sdairawi added that the perpetrators looted laboratories and stations, stole equipment and destroyed infrastructure. He further expanded that among the destroyed facilities was Doha water desalination plant, research vessels, a submarine, a hydraulic lab, a water pollution lab and many more. Dr. Al-Sdairawi added that the institute achieved positive results through a number of projects aiming to evaluate occupation-caused environmental damages.

The projects were financed by UN’s compensation commission, and the institute’s techniques were adopted to treat oil lakes biologically, the committee also estimated that USD 8.2 billion were necessary to rehabilitate the damaged environment. Meanwhile, the new issue of Kuwait Magazine issued today, Monday, included a file that recalls the memory of the brutal Iraqi invasion of the State of Kuwait and sheds light on the national epics presented by the Kuwaiti people in defense of their homeland and the lessons learned from them. Many writers participated in the magazine issued by the Ministry of Information represented by the press, publishing and publications sector with topics about lessons provided by the Kuwaiti people and learned from them by generations.

These topics dealt with the lessons of national solidarity among the people and their leadership, with the details dealt with the Kuwaiti narrative in literary novels through the creations of different generations of Kuwaiti writers. The issue dealt with the crisis of the brutal Iraqi invasion in 1990 and its impact on the life of the Kuwaiti citizen before and after liberation. It included a statement of the environmental impact of the brutal Iraqi aggression against the State of Kuwait, the nature of the suffering of the environment in Kuwait, its vital field of toxic emissions, and the state’s efforts to confront it.

The issue also included chapters from the struggle of the Kuwaiti people in resisting the occupation through three topics on the Qurain Museum and the role of the State of Kuwait Radio in communicating with the outside world and with the people at home during the crisis. It also included the biography of one of the heroes of the State of Kuwait, the martyr Faiq Abdul-Jalil, who challenged the invaders with poetry and song, with a link through the barcode of a film material shown exclusively through the pages of the Kuwait magazine of the martyr during the Iraqi invasion. The magazine reviewed the great role played by the State of Kuwait in caring for the children of the martyrs, represented by the Office of the Martyr. (By Dalal Sharrar- KUNA)