‘I am Hisham Al-Malak, a free European citizen’. The family of Hisham was killed by Saddam, threatened him and forced him to leave his beloved homeland. This is my testimony for history.
‘It is the right of any individual whose homeland has been subjected to a brutal invasion to speak about his feelings publicly, and explain his pain and misfortunes and what happened to him and his family and loved ones, and this is what our friend Ahmad Al-Sarraf has done, in more than one article.
‘As an Iraqi, I know with certainty a lot about what the tyrant of Iraq, Saddam, did during his barbaric invasion of Kuwait, since I was there at the time. I saw with my own eyes what happened, and I was personally subjected to cruel and even barbaric treatment by the regime’s followers.
‘I am an Iraqi, so how about a Kuwaiti. The tyrant Saddam fought futile internal and external wars, and the result was the destruction of Iraq, and the ensuing devastation, and subsequently led to the semi-dissolution of Iraq at the hands of those who came after him due to his foolish misbehavior.
‘I have previously felt an unjustified sensitivity of the Iraqis towards Kuwait and the Kuwaitis. I thought that time and historical facts would gradually eliminate them, especially since the Kuwaitis were always loving and brotherly to the people of Iraq, thus large families had migrated to Kuwait since the fifties and became part of their citizens, but I was wrong.
“Although Kuwait never hesitated to embrace large numbers of the Iraqis who were rejected by their country after talking about the regime became a reason for their persecution.
In Kuwait, the Iraqi poet Badr Shaker Al-Sayyab received treatment at the Amiri Hospital, where he died. Lamiea Abbas Omara also lived there for quite some time, and the great poet Nazik Al-Malaika was a professor at Kuwait University, and the poet Saadi Yusef learned in its schools, as well as the poets Abdul Karim Kassid, Mustafa Abdullah and Zuhair Al-Dujaili, and many other well-known writers and artists and prominent academics, and there is no room to mention all.
‘Some of them still live here among their family and friends including the novelist Professor Jamal Hussein Ali, the well-known cultural and political editor in Al Qabas. Saddiq Aziz was also working as a legal advisor for Kuwait Airways and after liberation; the Kuwaiti government did not hesitate to pay his full dues.
‘Likewise, Iraqi citizens’ funds or their deposits in Kuwaiti banks, as is the case with other citizens of other countries, even those whose governments stood against Kuwait were not subjected to any confiscation or delay, rather, all their funds, the end of their services, and their shares in their private companies were transferred to their accounts abroad.
‘I was one of those, and these are facts that the majority do not know. Kuwait has provided opportunities for a decent and stable life not only for Iraqis, but for the citizens of more than 120 countries. It was an oasis of freedom in its surroundings, and this helped unleash creativity in it. The best Arab journalists also worked in its newspapers which formed a refuge for the persecuted.
‘There is no utopia in this world, but Kuwait has always been the place where there is a minimum of tranquility and opportunities for a quiet and stable life, especially for our children, some of whom were born in Kuwait and received education in its most prestigious schools, before they set out for the ‘other’ world.
‘Despite everything that happened between Iraq and Kuwait, tens of thousands of Iraqis still reside there, just like everyone else. I remember all this without hesitation to the honesty and gratitude for the decent life that Kuwait provided me, other Iraqis and our families. We were, with great regret, deprived of it in our homeland, whose borders are only a few kilometers away from it.’
By Ahmad alsarraf