Kuwait National Day Celebrations at UoA
Kuwaiti community comes together to mark festivities
By Kani Barzani
Photo: Baraah Bader Al-azri
The 25th of February marks the Kuwaiti National Day. However, here at the University of Aberdeen, the first ever celebrations for Kuwait’s national day began on Wednesday the 22nd and were organised by Kuwaiti engineering student representative, Najat Al-Salem.
Kuwait began as a small fishing village that later transformed into a crucial trading point in the Middle East as well as a prosperous country.
Kuwait’s National Day is to honour the day Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salem Al-Sabah became the ruler in 1950. He was a respected ruler who liberated his people by putting an end to Kuwait's status as a British protectorate in 1961, as well as establishing the Constitution of Kuwait and Parliament of Kuwait.
The dynasty of Al-Sabah began in 1756 and rules until this day. The first ever Kuwait National Day was celebrated in 1963. The people celebrate by watching fireworks, spending time with family as well as friends, and decorating their houses and monuments with lights. Kuwaiti flags hang all over the country as the streets buzz with pride and nationalism.
On the 22nd of February, Najat Al-Salem, along with other members of the Kuwaiti and Arab community, came together to bring this joy to Aberdeen. Najat stated, ‘As an international student, connecting with your culture, and remembering your history and background is important.’
She went on to discuss how students and staff here at the university immensely enjoyed the hospitality brought forth by the Arab community at the Student Union Building. Staff and students were enlightened about Kuwaiti cuisine and culture, such as Arabic coffee, dates, and traditional ornaments. Giveaways were also provided, so everyone had an opportunity to immerse themselves into the Kuwaiti National Day celebrations.
‘As a Kuwaiti student living in the UK, celebrating and sharing my culture and tradition with others gives me a sense of belonging,' Najat Al-Salem said while handing out sweets and coffee at the Student Union.
‘As well as for many Kuwaiti students got the opportunity to celebrate their country’s independence and reconnect with their culture and heritage.’
As for AUSA, organisers of the event stated they were very helpful and supportive in promoting the festivities. Najat went on to comment: ‘In conclusion, it was a successful celebration. I'm really proud of how well it turned out. And I’d like to thank everyone who helped and contributed to make this celebration special.’
‘I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity to celebrate my heritage and background. I’m very proud to represent my culture. This event reminded me that I couldn’t be more proud to be Kuwaiti.’