As the Kuwaiti people celebrated the 27th anniversary of liberating the State of Kuwait from Iraqi invasion, yesterday, the world recalled the great heroics and sacrifices made by the Kuwaiti people in defence of their homeland, its sovereignty and freedom.
The Iraqi occupation lasted for seven months during which all Kuwaitis at home and abroad suffered from agonising experiences, which is still engraved in their minds.
During the occupation period, all Kuwaitis either at home or abroad sacrificed their souls for the sake of their dear homeland, in a manner which reflected the great love of the country.
Some of the Kuwaiti citizens joined the Peninsula Shield Force while others joined the ranks of the international coalition forces to liberate Kuwait, including Hamed al-Tawheed, the Director of Information Technology Department at the Kuwaiti Defence Ministry, who was in the United States for a training course in information technology, implemented in collaboration with the US navy.
Speaking to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), al-Tawheed said that in the year 1988, Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah, who was the defence minister at that time, set a plan to help fresh graduates at the ministry be trained on automated systems.
Al-Tawheed said that he finished the course, which was implemented in collaboration with the US navy, in August 1990, but he could not return home as the Iraqi troops had invaded Kuwait the next day.
After the late Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah met then US President George Bush, the formation of international forces was announced, consisting of several countries, to liberate Kuwait, he added.
Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States, at that time, late Sheikh Saud al-Nasser al-Sabah played a key role in the formation of a supportive military force from Kuwaitis in the US, to provide logistic support for the US forces through involving in different American military units, he noted.
After the agreement on forming the logistic force, the Kuwaiti Embassy in Washington announced a voluntary campaign to join the force to take part in the Operation Desert Storm, he recalled.
“After registering our names, we were taken to the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey State to receive military exercises for three weeks on carrying weapons, and using eavesdropping devices and other military skills,” he told KUNA in the interview.
The Director of the Information Technology Department at the Kuwaiti Defence Ministry Hamed al-Tawheed added: “After being trained well, we were taken to a military base in Saudi Arabia on January 17, 1991. All volunteers were distributed to different US and British military units”.
He pointed out that he headed a number of volunteers working with the first corps of intelligence of UN artillery forces participating in the liberation of Kuwait.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Shehab, a Kuwaiti young man who joined the Peninsula Shield Forces during the period of occupation, told KUNA that he was in Britain in June 1990 to study English language until August 2, and indicated that he was shocked when he knew that Iraq invaded the country.
“I phoned my family on the day of occupation, August 2. After that communications with them were interrupted for 10 days. Then they called me and told me that they had arrived in Bahrain. I immediately left Britain and flew to Bahrain to join our family,” he said.
He noted that he joined a secondary school in Bahrain, but at that the same time was thinking of how to serve his country in these difficult conditions.
Shehab said that he joined the Bahraini army as a volunteer to take part in the liberation of Kuwait, but revealed that his request was rejected as he was very young, 17 years at that time, but he insisted on joining the army to achieve this honourable mission. “We obtained a training course for a month and then we moved to Hafar al-Batin, a Saudi Arabian city in the Eastern Province, where a US military base is located. Some days later, the US army needed some new volunteers who spoke English perfectly. I was chosen to work as an interpreter.”
“After working with the US army for a period of time, I returned home on March 22, 1991. I consider this experience as one of the largest adventures in my life as I was very young at that time.”
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