So­cial­iz­ing with two matches

Kuwait Times - - FROM THE ARABIC PRESS - By Dr Saleh Al-Ojairi

Kuwaitis used to mainly de­pend on fish­ing and trad­ing in pearls as the main source of in­come, to the ex­tent that 1912 was called the ‘af­flu­ent year,’ when Kuwaitis had the largest pearl har­vest ever. How­ever, this na­tional in­dus­try was ru­ined in the early 1930s when the Ja­panese started pro­duc­ing ar­ti­fi­cial pearls as well as cul­ti­vat­ing nat­u­ral ones by in­sert­ing glass pow­der into liv­ing shells, which an­noyed them and made them coat th­ese alien bod­ies with the raw sub­stance of pearls, cre­at­ing fine ones. This method helped make sure that all shells would in­clude pearls in them, and thus the pearl mar­ket col­lapsed and prices de­te­ri­o­rated dras­ti­cally.

This shift lead to a pe­riod of dev­as­tat­ing eco­nomic de­pres­sion that co­in­cided with the in­ter­na­tional eco­nomic de­pres­sion to­wards the end of the 1930s, and Kuwaitis had a very hard time pro­vid­ing for their fam­i­lies. How­ever, Kuwaitis man­aged to over­come this ter­ri­ble pe­riod in their history by so­cial­iz­ing, bond­ing closer and as­sist­ing each other, es­pe­cially those worse off.

By re­call­ing mem­o­ries about that pe­riod from the cor­ners of my mind, I re­mem­ber that we ran out of matches and my mother gave me an empty match­box and asked me to go the neigh­bors ask­ing them to lend us only two match­sticks, which I did. This is how we used to so­cial­ize and co­a­lesce to­gether in times of dis­tress. If only peo­ple would com­pre­hend and re­al­ize the mes­sage and learn the moral lessons of those long for­got­ten habits and tra­di­tions. —

Kuwaitis man­aged to over­come this ter­ri­ble pe­riod in their history by so­cial­iz­ing, bond­ing closer and as­sist­ing each other

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.