In light of the Independence and Liberation Day celebrations happening over in Kuwait, you know I got nostalgic and sentimental because, as I have said time and again, Kuwait is by all means my one true home and, to me, its pretty much irreplaceable.
SO! I thought I would dedicate today’s post to the beautiful lady herself in her silky robes of black, white, red, and green: Kuwait. Here are five things the rest of the world desperately needs, but that no place but Kuwait can really ever give me.
- THE SEA – I have never realized how important Kuwait’s sea was to me until I went somewhere with no beachfront whatsoever. There is really nothing like digging your toes into the wet sand, looking out at the water and breathing in the air that the tide naturally brings in from the four corners of this earth. The breaths I take on Kuwait’s beaches fill me with a clarity and a reassurance that I just can’t quite put into words. Throughout the years Kuwait’s sea has been a comfort and a source of wild inspiration on occasion. To me, there is no sight quite like it.
- AMAZING FOOD – Now, I have got some really limited options over here in Montreal as far as eating variety goes. So much so that I am willing to go into previously nixed territory for a bit of a change. Now, do they have hamburgers in Montreal? Of course. Is it anything close to a Midnight or a West Coast Slider from Open Flame? Not in this world. I have not met one person yet who has tried an Open Flame burger and has equated its OVERALL AWESOMENESS with any other burger on this earth. It’s just that mouthwatering, that well done, and that perfect. So, say what you will about Kuwaiti obesity rankings or their constant rotation of eat, shop, and repeat BUT! there is no denying the fact that the Kuwaiti dining experience surpasses so many others in both its variety and its quality. I literally make a list of all the restaurants I MUST VISIT every single time I come back to Kuwait, because sometimes I miss the food in Kuwait more than I miss some people living there.
- STABILITY – Of course, I’m not saying that people are incapable of leading stable lives outside of Kuwait. But what I am saying is that, as someone who values my routine and attaches sentiment to every familiar thing, I can’t ever say I feel truly stable within myself in any other place but Kuwait. I mean, sure, living somewhere different and exploring the world is definitely fun and worthwhile and eye-opening. All great stuff, don’t get me wrong. But, no matter how used I may get to a new place and a new, exciting pace of life, a little part of me remains unsettled and a little homesick for the inner peace I feel every time I return to all the old familiar places, people, and the everyday humdrum of my life in Kuwait.
- ARABIC (AND ALL IT ENTAILS) – As I’ve mentioned before, it’s become something of a horrible habit for me to forget my Arabic and every other piece of my identity that’s attached to it. And, while I am making more of a conscious effort to speak it, write it, and think with it more, I find that task so much easier in Kuwait. There’s something about being surrounded by Arabs at every turn that, after being so far away from them, puts me at ease. Dealing with store vendors in Arabic, hearing strangers converse in Arabic, seeing Arabic street signs, for whatever reason, makes me feel more Arab. That might sound stupid and illogical but, hell, its the truth. When I speak/hear/see Arabic everywhere I go, I know I’m surrounded by the modesty and the hospitality and the regal Arab tradition which Kuwait easily represents in all its glory.
- GOD – Now, BEFORE YOU JUMP DOWN MY THROAT, I am not saying anything about the existence of God or that God is somehow more present in Kuwait than elsewhere. I believe that God is an ethereal and eternal being and is to be found in every conceivable place and time. That is my religious belief. What I mean by listing God is to say that I do not see the great bounty and grace of God more often than when I find myself on Kuwaiti soil. It makes me want to say mashallah and al-hamdulillah everywhere I turn. Kuwait is wealthy in about a hundred different ways. It exceeds material property and economic prosperity. There is wealth to be found spiritually, culturally, aesthetically, and even educationally. I’m not saying that Kuwait is not behind in more than a few things, because it is. BUT! what I am saying is that there is a blessed harmony and growth to it that just keeps on going despite any obstacles or potential dangers it seems to face from time to time. It’s a kind of harmony and security only God can keep, and sometimes I can’t help but be somewhat in awe of it.
So, beautiful Kuwait? All I’ve got to say is I miss you everyday, my dearest home. I pray that you remain the peaceful oasis you always have been to me and the countless other people who owe their security and happiness to you and the God that has bestowed you with the graceful bounty you rightly deserve.
Happy 51st birthday, lovely Kuwait. And may every year to come be as free and beautiful as the last 21 have been. Celebrate like only you can!
All my love!