The Gulf War Memories

Kuwait 1990 – 2010

Since the 2nd of August 1990, when Saddam’s troops crossed the thin line in the desert separating their country from the tiny, oil rich emirate in the gulf, two decades have passed. Another, more recent war overruled the dictator, Saddam Hussein is now dead and in Kuwait City only his bronze head remains, cut apart from his statue in Tikrit after 2003 and donated by the Americans to the Kuwaitis. It is located in the Bait Al Watani Museum, which constitutes a summary of the memory of the first gulf war and of how Kuwaitis perceive and remember it. There you find freaky Iraqi dummies torturing civilians, vintage photos of soldiers in chemical warfare suits in the desert as well as dioramas of Saddam’s tanks entering Kuwait city. In the residential area of Al Qurain, between clean platforms and carports protecting limousines from the sunshiny Kuwaiti summer, a red brick building still brings the signs of a fierce battle. It was the base for Messila group, a Kuwaiti resistance unit fighting the Iraqis undercover. The place was spotted by the occupants just some days prior to the February 1991 attack by the allies. A long battle erupted between the Iraqis and the resistant group members. Twelve of them died in the fight, and the place was left as is in memory. Today the place is visited by some young Kuwaiti looking for national heroes.