Kuwaiti mother recalls her life’s darkest moments during invasion

KUWAIT: “They invaded our country on a pitch-black night .. My heart was tormented and oozed blood due to the back-stabbing aggression and fears for my children’s safety,” Maliha Al-Ansari said recalling her life’s darkest moments. Ansari, Umm Qassem, recalled, in an interview with KUNA, the first moments of the Iraqi aggression that happened on August 2, 1990, when the Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait under the cover of darkness in a blatant aggression that contradicted all international conventions.

Umm Qassem has remained overwhelmed with deep sentiments of pain and bitterness particularly after the aggressors abducted her eldest son, Qassem, during the first day of the aggression. Qassem, who was an engineer at an oil company, was taken prisoner after he left home before dawn to join his military unit. “Weeks later we learned that he had been taken prisoner and languishing in prisons of the Iraqi regime,” she said. “The piece of my heart did not see sunlight throughout seven months of the flagrant aggression,” she bitterly recalled.

The Kuwaiti mother deeply suffered as she continued to hear horrific stories about merciless killings of the prisoners by the Iraqi regime at the time. “I used to be overwhelmed with fear each night with deep sentiments of pain piercing my soul due to his absence.” Qassem was one of many young Kuwaitis who were kidnapped by the Iraqi forces. Some of them had been freed, others remained missing or were found dead. Ansari’s other son, Hussein, who was studying medicine in Ireland, decided to return home during the occupation and join ranks of the American forces for defending Kuwait.

Within a few days, Hussein was flown on a Kuwait Airways flight with his friends to Boston, where they received military training from a US army unit. Whenever his mother would call to check on him, Hussein told his mother that he was still in Ireland for studies, keeping his military involvement a secret. “I know deep down that he wasn’t in Ireland. A mother’s heart can see through what her children are hiding.” Her third son, Ali, followed his brother’s path, joining the British forces for liberating Kuwait.

Umm Qassem was silent for a moment as she recalled the anguish of being away from her sons. “I was worried I would only see them again in my dreams,” she said. “How could I stop my son, Ali, when he’s a grown man? He was only a baby when my husband died so I named him after his father.” Ansari recalled horrific moments when other Kuwaiti mothers received disfigured corpses of their sons from the occupiers. “I still hear their weeping and moaning after receiving their remains in black bags.”

Umm Qassem found solace when the Kuwaiti forces backed by the allies liberated the homeland. Intent on inflicting harm before their withdrawal, the aggressing forces set ablaze hundreds of Kuwaiti oil wells inflicting one the largest environmental catastrophes on record. “The skies turned pitched black with smoke billowing from the burning wells … however the gloom has tapered off with the relieving sense of restoring freedom,” she said. – KUNA

The post Kuwaiti mother recalls her life’s darkest moments during invasion appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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