By Ben Garcia
KUWAIT: People enjoyed and celebrated Kuwait’s National and Liberation Days (February 25-26) with exhibitions and car parades after nearly two years of restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. “Thank God we are now almost back to living normally. We can celebrate and can gather, unlike the last two years when everybody was sad because of too many health-related restrictions,” said Dina, a Lebanese expat. She was at Arabian Gulf Road yesterday with her family to celebrate.
The government has declared a weeklong holiday (including the Israa and Meraj holiday), with public institutions to reopen on March 6. The entire Gulf Road was packed with cars on both days, with revelers wearing national colors and carrying national flags. Some even got out of their cars to dance to the tune of Kuwaiti patriotic songs. The ring roads were also full of people celebrating.
“Thank you Kuwait for keeping us safe during the pandemic,” said Filipino expat Loren, who was enjoying her holiday at the seaside near Marina Mall in Salmiya. “For the past 10 years that I’ve been in this country, I feel very lucky to be here. I am very happy to have a stable job in Kuwait,” said Loren, who is a manager at one of the biggest retail stores in Kuwait.
Mohammad Sarfaraz, a taxi driver from Pakistan, said he never stops thanking Kuwait for its generosity.
“I’d like to thank Kuwait for giving me an opportunity to be part of this society for the past 15 years. I was a driver of a Kuwaiti family in 2009, but when my boss passed away, they allowed me to work as taxi driver. They transferred by visa to a taxi company and also sponsored my family to visit Kuwait in 2015,” he said. Sarfaraz was ferrying revelers at the Old Souq in Salmiya. “I have more opportunities to earn money in this holiday, so I am working hard. Maybe after the holiday, I will take a short break too,” he added.
Faye, an English teacher from the Philippines, visited a military exhibition at the foot of Kuwait Towers yesterday. “I saw several tanks, navy boats, various military vehicles and trucks, firefighting equipment, etc. I also enjoyed traditional dances performed in front of visitors. People here are very accommodating. I was happy to take selfies and pictures of the displays,” she added. Faye also celebrated the National and Liberation Days at school with her fellow teachers and students. “Such a celebration is a necessary to remind our youth, especially Kuwaitis, on the sacrifices of their forefathers in the past. It is always good to be reminded of the past,” Faye added.