Kuwaiti mar­tyred women and chil­dren: A story of sac­ri­fice in home­land’s de­fense

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

Many sto­ries of courage and sac­ri­fice high­light the fight for Kuwait’s lib­er­a­tion from the bru­tal Au­gust 2, 1990 Iraqi oc­cu­pa­tion, where mar­tyr­dom was a shared duty amongst men and women in the re­sis­tance move­ment.

As­rar Al-Ga­bandi, Wafaa Al-Amer, and Suad Hasan are a few of the women known for their heroic and ac­tive stances in de­fi­ance of oc­cu­pa­tion, who ded­i­cated their lives to the free­dom of their home from bru­tal op­pres­sors. Of­fi­cial fig­ures pro­vided by the Mar­tyr’s Of­fice show that 89 women in to­tal sac­ri­ficed their lives amid the ter­ri­ble six-month or­deal, in­clud­ing 67 Kuwaitis, eight bedoons (state­less), two Bahrai­nis and one na­tional from each of Egypt, Jor­dan and In­dia. Ac­cord­ing to Fa­tima Al-Ameer, Amiri Di­wan sec­re­tary and the of­fice’s di­rec­tor­gen­eral, Sanaa Al-Fo­dari was shot dead by Iraqi sol­diers just six days after Bagh­dad launched an of­fen­sive to cap­ture its tiny neigh­bor to the south. Fo­dari is re­garded as the first woman to have lost her life in the oc­cu­pa­tion after tak­ing to the streets to protest her coun­try’s right of in­de­pen­dence un­der the lead­er­ship of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. “She (Fo­dari) was speak­ing on be­half of all Kuwaitis, gen­er­ally speak­ing, and women, in par­tic­u­lar, as she shouted ‘Kuwait is for the Kuwaitis, our Amir is Sheikh Jaber Al-Ah­mad Al-Sabah’,” Ameer said.

Kuwaiti women were mostly in­volved in the ad hoc ad­min­is­tra­tion of sev­eral util­i­ties like hos­pi­tals and gro­cery stores, ear­lier in the con­flict, and later, helped in ef­forts to dis­trib­ute food and money to strug­gling Kuwaiti fam­i­lies. These in­cluded As­rar Al-Ga­bandi, Wafaa Al-Amer and Suad Hasan, said Ameer. The of­fice listed an­other 77 women as mar­tyrs, who died as a re­sult of in­ad­e­quate health­care, ex­plained Al-Ameer.

The mother of Suad Hasan said that she, along with her daugh­ter, a de­vout Mus­lim, were ar­rested by Iraqi sol­diers in Jan­uary of 1991. The Iraqi sol­diers re­leased the mother but kept Suad be­hind bars in light of her role in the dis­tri­bu­tion of food to fam­i­lies. Suad spent a month being trans­ferred across sev­eral pris­ons be­fore she was found dead on the ground in a square in the Kuwait City sub­urb of Kaifan after re­ceiv­ing the penalty of ex­e­cu­tion.

Mar­tyred chil­dren

Twenty seven years after the in­va­sion, Kuwaitis still re­mem­ber the 41 young and in­no­cent souls of chil­dren who were killed by the hands of Iraqi sol­diers. The chil­dren, con­sid­ered as mar­tyrs, were the purest ex­am­ple of how Kuwaitis sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing to main­tain their iden­tity against the Iraqi ag­gres­sion. Speak­ing on the is­sue, Ameer said that the chil­dren were bru­tally mur­dered by in­vad­ing Iraqi troops who did not rec­og­nize the sanc­tity of the hu­man be­ings. Amongst those mar­tyred were Man­sour Al-Ibrahim, Ab­dul­lah Al-Fuzai, Su­laiman Al-Luhaib, Man­sour Al-Man­sour, and oth­ers who were teenagers at the time of their mar­tyr­dom, said Ameer who in­di­cated that some of them were ex­e­cuted sim­ply be­cause they were chant­ing in fa­vor of the late Amir Sheikh Jaber Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and the law­ful Kuwaiti gov­ern­ment.

Chil­dren paid the price of their loy­alty to Kuwait such as in the case of Luhaib who pro­tected a re­sis­tance cell by claim­ing the own­er­ship of arms and thus was ex­e­cuted, said Al-Ameer who in­di­cated that the Iraqi troops did not dis­crim­i­nate be­tween in­fants or teenagers when they com­mit­ted their crimes.

Re­mem­ber­ing the sac­ri­fice made by his brother Ab­dul­lah Al-Fuzai, Ha­mad Al-Fuzai said that Ab­dul­lah was killed on Jan­uary 15, 1991 after being re­cruited by a re­sis­tance group. Ab­dul­lah was 14 when he was killed, said his brother, not­ing that his sib­ling was tasked with help­ing peo­ple in Far­waniya area and also worked at the co­op­er­a­tive so­ci­ety in the area.

The bodies of Ab­dul­lah and his child­hood friend Man­sour Al-Man­sour were dis­cov­ered at Kaifan area, a sight which was very com­mon in Kuwait dur­ing the heinous in­va­sion, said Ha­mad Al-Fuzai. De­spite the pas­sage of time, Kuwaiti mar­tyrs of all ages are still re­mem­bered for their sac­ri­fices by all peo­ple living in the free and sovereign State of Kuwait. —KUNA

As­rar Al-Ga­bandi

Wafaa Al-Amer

Sanaa Al-Fo­dari

Ab­dul­lah Al-Fuzai

Suad Hasan

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