Iraq/Kuwait: Kuwaiti family faces discrimination
I'm an Iraqi, belonging to the Naphtali tribe, but was born in Kuwait and have lived here since 1956. I have no human rights at all and have had no right to travel out of the country since 1990.
I am a 32 year old woman who has no right to marry and have her own family. My brother was killed by the Kuwait government who burnt his corpse in 1991 during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. My brother was fighting alongside Kuwaiti men in the Kuwaiti national army, fighting for the liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqi regime. Until this day, the courts of Kuwait have made no convictions in my brother’s case; despite acknowledging that my brother, an Iraqi, fought alongside Kuwait, I have been afforded no human rights and have received no compensation.
Lawyers here obey no rules and because I am woman I am unfairly treated and am forced to wear a headscarf. I want the world to hear my voice. I am an educated women who longs to live a free life, but I am restricted from doing so by the government. My family, Al Suwaidi, belongs to the Iraqi government and my uncle Tawfiq Al Suwaidi, was the Prime Minister of Iraq in the 50’s. I feel that my family have since been humiliated by the Kuwaiti government. During the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, three of my brothers were aged 20-25, two were only teens, yet they decided to stand and fight alongside the Kuwaiti people against the Iraqi regime and became involved with the Kuwaiti National Guard. They fought the Iraqi troops and defended their country in order to liberate it from Iraqi invasion.
Yes, we are an Iraqi family but we are also free people who said no to Saddam’s brutal regime. Saddam’s completely wrong invasion of Kuwait changed my live into a nightmare. During Operation Desert Storm, 17 January 1999, a war was waged by a U.N. authorised coalition of 34 nations led by the United States. President George Bush Snr’s administration fought against the Iraqi invasion and annexation of Kuwait and during that time my mother and sister provided the Kuwaiti forces with support and food. On 19th January 1991, members of the Kuwaiti resistance who been hiding were caught by Iraqi forces and arrested. Amongst them were two of my brothers, Qusay al Suwaidi 24 and Derar al Suwaidi, only 13 but a mature young man trying to defend the place he was born in and used to live in. Their arrest came as a massive shock to my mother and father.
My father’s history: My father first arrived in Kuwait in 1956, a period during which Iraq was governed by a monarchy. My father began work within the Ministry of Education. The Kuwait government, especially the Al Sabah family, came to know my family very well and members of the Al Sabah family lived with my uncle’s hospitality in Iraq. My father is a civilian, he did not work in politics, but still the Kuwaiti government continues to limit my families freedoms. My uncle Tawfiq al Suwaidi was one of the founders of the Arab League and my Grandfather Abd Al Rahman Al Suwaidi was an historian and a chief judge in Badhdad. The Kuwaiti government stole historical documents from my grandfather without our permission and continue to threaten my family.
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