Ashes of Al-Rawdha
by Ekbal Al-Othaimeen
Trafford Publishing

"Had it not been for the quick reactions of Dr. Ghanim, and perhaps divine providence, both of us would have been among the dead."

In her dream she was walking upon the beach. The sunbeams spread out across the calm sea. Suddenly, a storm began to come up, and by the time she reached her home it had become violent, threatening to uproot a tree her father had planted long ago. She, along with the family members and neighbors she had called to her aid, barely managed to tie it down so it could weather the raging tempest. Then the ringing of the telephone woke her from her vision, but the nightmare the dream had heralded was just beginning.

In a poignant story of loss and perseverance, the author gives a firsthand account of the invasion of Kuwait by Iraqi forces which began on August 2, 1990. While many people she knew, including many of her family members, fled the country a few days after the nation was attacked, she stayed through the entire seven months of foreign occupation. Finally, on February 25, 1991, a day which also marked Kuwait's 30th anniversary as an independent nation, her country was liberated by coalition forces. The author speaks candidly of the deprivations and terror of those days, of how Iraqi soldiers firebombed homes while their owners were forced to watch and would sometimes rape women and girls. She recounts the despair and fear of Baba-Oud who had been severely beaten during one of the times the soldiers had "visited" their house. Yet she also recalls with a touch of humor some of the ironies of those times such as the poorly developed and obviously faked programs used as propaganda on television.

The author's book suffers from a lack of proper editing that has resulted in hundreds of words losing the spacing between them. Yet despite this distraction Al-Othaimeen's chronicle sheds new light on some of Kuwait's darkest days.

Return to USR Home