Pearl diving trip winds up

By Majd Othman


KUWAIT: Under the patronage of HH the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and in the presence of Minister of Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Mohammad Al-Aiban, British Ambassador Belinda Lewis and Chairman of Kuwait Sea Sports Club Maj Gen Fahad Al-Fahad, the 32nd pearl diving trip concluded on Thursday with the “Al-Qaffal” ceremony.

The ceremony, organized by KSSC’s maritime heritage committee, celebrated the end of the pearl diving season by witnessing the return of the dhows to the shore with art and traditional music. The Al-Qaffal ceremony saw the young divers opening the oysters to harvest pearls. The event was attended by the families of the divers who participated in the trip.

Aiban said the trip simulates the suffering experienced by the old generation and the conditions they faced during pearl diving trips. “It embodies the highest values and meanings derived from authentic national and marine heritage,” he said. He said the event also provides an opportunity to relive the conditions our forefathers experienced to build this country and the horrors and difficulties they suffered to reach the position we are in today.

Aiban stressed the continuous royal sponsorship of this event shows the keenness of the leadership to revive Kuwait’s heritage and highlight the values and struggles of previous generations so that the youth can draw lessons from them to become active in serving their country. “Today, you are captains and sailors on ships, and tomorrow, you will be captains sailing Kuwait and its institutions towards development and a prosperous future,” he told the young divers.

Ambassador Lewis told Kuwait Times it is very important to be able to remember the rich heritage of Kuwait, particularly the maritime industry, which was the foundation of the economy in Kuwait. “It is really heartwarming to participate today by watching old-fashioned boats coming here and traditional crafts, as well as embracing the future, as Kuwait has not forgotten its past,” she said.

Lewis spoke about the importance for the UK to participate in such ceremonies. “I think we will all stay connected through the sea. Both countries love sailing, discovering new places and fishing. Despite the UK not having a pearling industry, I think we appreciate the sense of adventure that we share between the two countries,” she added.

KSSC Public Relations Manager Assad Abdullah said in a press statement the 32nd pearl diving trip was held under the patronage of HH the Amir of the Kuwait Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, from Aug 12 to 17 on two dhows donated by the late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, with the participation 60 Kuwaiti youth including captains, assistants and sailors.

Abdullah said Kuwait, since its establishment, created its own marine industry. The focus of the country was on the sea as a source of livelihood, such as pearling. “The main goal of this celebration is to draw an expressive picture of the extent of Kuwaiti youth’s pride in the heritage of their fathers and grandfathers. The late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah called on KSSC in 1986 to organize such trips by maintaining traditional methods of the past without adding any modern touches. Accordingly, care and attention was paid by late Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, which continues to this day,” he added.

Relatives attending the ceremony expressed their pride for the divers, stressing the importance of these events to embrace Kuwait’s heritage. They told Kuwait Times these events remind divers of the meaning of patience, experienced by our forefathers.

The post Pearl diving trip winds up appeared first on Kuwait Times.

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