It all started few days after the occupation. The Iraqis came to my mother's house which is by the sea. They claimed that the house will be a command centre, a good reason to vacate and rob it. The three old maids that my mother was taking care of in their golden years had to leave the house. But they had no place to go. Ghanim who have worked for us for more than forty years, took the old ladies to my sister's house. Ghanim took them there because he thought that there was nobody in the house. All he knew is that my sister was with her husband Sheikh Ali Al-Salem Al-Sabah, who was studying for his Doctorate Degree in the US. Not knowing that Sheikh Ali has smuggled himself into Kuwait and was working with the resistance.


Sheikh Ali

The days pass by. Ali then goes to his house to collect his belongings, but never tells Ghanim where he is staying fearing that might endanger Ghanim's life. Ghanim prays for Ali's safety, because he knew him and his wife since the day they were born. And he continues with Faiz, a Palestinian who used to work as a plumber for us, to take care of the old ladies.



The troubles started when Ali went live on CNN telling the world about the results of the air raids and the atrocities that were being committed in Kuwait. Saddam orders his arrest. So Al-Mokhabarat went to his house and arrested Ghanim and Faiz, and occupied the house.

When the night fell they started, as expected, breaking in into my sisters safe. Hasseenah who always thought of Ezza as her daughter gets mad. So she tells them that looking for the husband is one thing looting the house and stealing her daughters jewellery is something she will never accept. But she was no match to their strength and she along with the two other ladies end in the street in that cold night. They did not have any mercy for their old age and fragile health. Luckily one of the neighbours takes them and hides them in a place far away from Sheikh Ali's house.

Meanwhile Ghanim and Faiz were in the Police Station being interrogated. Both men tell the same story, which is the true story. They did not know the whereabouts of Shiekh Ali. Faiz being a Palestinian is released after two days. But since Ghanim was a Kuwaiti they keep him for no reason other than the sadistic enjoyment of his torture. Ghanim was in his late fifties then. Every night after the Al-Mokhabarat men get drunk they would go to his cell and cane him until dawn.

A month later Ghanim is released from the police station. He could not walk out. They carried him out of the station and simply dropped him on the pavement. He had to crawl on the street begging for help. Some good men of Kuwait came and carried him to his house. Ghanim still suffers in his feet, especially in cold nights. He still dreads the man with the black shirt and his alcoholic smell. He was tortured because he honestly did not know the answers to their questions.

Good prevails and Kuwait is liberated by the noble deeds of the good people of the world. The old ladies witness the joy of their countries liberation. Mom comes back and takes custody of the old ladies and resumes taking care of them. Sister Ezza never got her jewellery but she has her husband which means the world to her.

Life takes its toll Zahra and Hasseenah pass away. But also Ghanim's son gets married and we all enjoyed that night. Ghanim and Faiz resume working for us. Ghanim still suffers from the pain in his feet but he says that he was willing to give more for my family and our loved ones.

A true story I witnessed. A Kuwaiti story of commitment and sacrifice. An Iraqi story of robbery and hate.