Ya Ahla Balad

One aspect that I missed so much about Kuwait after I moved away (besides the food, good God almighty the food), was being able to partake in it’s National and Liberation Day celebrations. After almost a 7-year hiatus, I was excited to experience the thrill of Kuwaiti patriotism like never before on it’s National Day.

The State of Kuwait recognizes February 25th and 26th as it’s National and Liberation Day, respectively. The particular date of February 25th represents the day that Kuwait’s first Emir (Sheikh Abdallah Al Salem Al Sabah) ascended the throne in 1950. This is the day when everyone joins in on the “maseera” fun. What the “maseera” entails is residents of Kuwait occupying the Gulf Road (and surrounding areas), and celebrating the best way they know how: by throwing water balloons and spraying water guns at passersby. My younger sister and I were victims of several water balloon grenades but we must have been protected by “maseera” guardians since each one of those balloons missed us by mere centimetres.

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View of the “maseera” from the side of the Gulf Road

Although February 25th and 26th gets most of the attention, the entire month of February is a massive party as part of a festival called Hala Febrayer (which translates to “hello February”). The festival provides Kuwait’s citizens, as well as visitors, the opportunity to engage in cultural, religious, entertainment, and educational programs in various areas around the country. Click here to see what the events schedule looked like in 2016.

I was not able to partake in all of Halal Febrayer‘s festivities, but I believe that going out on National Day made up for it. What a great feeling it was to have been surrounded by huge Kuwaiti flags, the noise of cars either honking or blasting Kuwaiti music (or for some strange reason Reggaeton), and young children cluelessly aiming water guns at me. It felt great to have celebrated you, Kuwait; ﻳﺎ ﺃﺣﻼ ﺑﻠﺪ!

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