In commemoration of the brutal Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, analyses and commentaries by historians and politicians are bountiful about this big historic event.
In reality, my responsibility as a writer obliges me to be absolutely neutral or at least semi-neutral about anything I write. This is to preserve the honesty and integrity of the pen, appreciation of the readers and the fundamentals of sober writing.
Therefore I realized the need to talk about the historic stance of the sisterly country, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, concerning Kuwait’s leadership and people. It is a stance written in letters of light and a stance that enhanced Islamic and Arab brotherhood in its most beautiful form ever.
Saudi Arabia was not alone in this, as even the United Arab Emirates was the Emirates of Kuwait, Bahrain the Bahrain of Kuwait, Qatar the Qatar of Kuwait and Oman the Oman of Kuwait.
During the Iraqi invasion, the entire Gulf region became the Gulf of Kuwait due to the love and generosity of the Gulf people who held stances that no pen will be able to describe. Even words will remain mum because no matter how much they express, they will never reach even one percent of what the Gulf people did for Kuwaiti people.
When talking about Saudi Arabia, I do not want to belittle or undervalue the role of other good Gulf countries. However, it is undeniable that Saudi Arabia was in the face of the invasion and bore the biggest burden. It risked and gambled with her land and her people as well as all of its resources for the sake of standing with Kuwait and liberating it. It gave its all. It was in the forefront of the battle line in facing the enemy and was even hit with Iraqi ballistic missiles, but it did not quiver, bargain or change its position, and it remained firm.
Saudi Arabia became Kuwait for the Kuwaiti leadership and people. Imagine all the people and their leadership moving from their country to another and yet feeling at home away from home. In fact, a Kuwaiti in Saudi Arabia became a special case at that time. All means that were not available for anyone else were made available for him. He was like the owner of the house while the Saudi was the guest. I never heard about any harassment of any Kuwaiti, but the opposite.
Even in other Gulf countries, a Kuwaiti was “babied” and treated as the owner of the house. Every Kuwaiti truly felt like they were among their people and in their country. Financial issues were easily sorted out and the Gulf countries raced to find the best housing for Kuwaitis to such an extent that a Kuwaiti was described as a five-star refugee. All this was the result of the goodness and generosity of the Gulf people who loved Kuwait just like they loved their country. Thereby, a special case was registered which was never witnessed throughout the history of brotherhood and support. They follow none other than the tribes of Aws and Khazraj in the early Islamic days in Madinah Munawwarah.
Saudi’s share in this regard is that of a bigger sister who bore the largest aspects of sacrifices and had the best ever support towards Kuwait. The United Arab Emirates was in the front row while Qatar was in the battlefield in Khafji. Bahrain was in the first line while Oman was in fire line. All of this was for the sake of Kuwait, which was, still is and will always remain faithful to all these historic stances that can never be forgotten by any true Kuwaiti.
May Allah have mercy on the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and the late Crown Prince Sheikh Saad Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah who endured what no human could endure for the sake of liberating Kuwait! May Allah have mercy on the late King Fahad bin Abdulaziz, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Sultan bin Abdulaziz who led sisterly country Saudi Arabia in one of the most expensive battles! King Fahad fulfilled his promise with the return of Kuwait.
Kuwait returned despite the desires of those who wanted it to be a victim. Kuwait was back, free and liberated by the grace of Allah and the efforts of all of its sisterly and friendly countries as well as its allies. Its sisterly countries were led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, and its friendly countries and allies were led by the United States of America, United Kingdom and France.
There are days that should never be forgotten. A single article or even a book is not sufficient to record the events of those days. However, those days highlight the importance of necessary caution when it comes to relations between countries. For Kuwait and her people, they distinguish the Gulf countries among others.
Here I want to affirm the importance of the existence of the Gulf Cooperation Council. This is an institution which we must consider as the most important. We should preserve and protect it from any wind or shakeups, despite our differences. Differences happen but our destiny is one and this is exactly what we should comprehend and hold onto to ensure our unity. We should shun any attempts aimed at dividing us because no one will be beneficiary except the stranger and the enemy.
May Allah protect the Gulf Arab countries from any harm, and unite them with a bond of grace and dignity. We ask Allah help us celebrate the end of the unfortunate crisis between our people in the Gulf region. If not for distracters, this crisis would not have happened.
With a clear heart, I hope the efforts of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait will be crowned with reconciliation, and that the unity of the Gulf returns. We can then get excited again about the return of normal ties among our countries.
By Yousef Awadh Al-Azmi
“We have decided to return Kuwait by peace as long as peace is possible, and by war when there is nothing but war left”. — King Fahad bin Abdulaziz, GCC Summit, Doha (Dec 1990).