My Father’s Designs in the Free Kuwait Exhibition in the Avenues…

By | February 20, 2011

I was walking in the Avenues last weekend when i saw the blue poster above, which was designed by my father in while we were in the UK during the Iraqi invasion in 1990. When i saw the poster from a far I stopped in my tracks and my heart beat loudly for i began to remember my father drawing the arm in our flat and me watching him draw in fascination. I decided to approach the exhibition and check it out…

It was a specific exhibition dedicated to the 20th anniversary to the Free Kuwait Campaign in London during the Iraqi invasion on Kuwait which i know my father worked on. What is displayed in the exhibition?

Many pictures  of Kuwaiti’s in London during that dark period of Kuwait’s history. People in Rally’s, In Kuwaiti plays and shows, in the Kuwaiti dewaniya listening to political figures, in the exhibitions held by Kuwaitis for Kuwaitis…

Pictures of some of the items worn and used by the Kuwaitis to remember our cause…

Publications and documents printed at that time…

The callighraphy done on the paper below was by my father, he is so good at calligraphy Masha2 Allah he has a masters degree in Arabian Calligraphy and i love watching him write. I however have the worst handwriting in Kuwait :(

Postcards designed for various occasions and used during the Invasion. This one is for Eid Al Fitr and is also designed by my father.

Another postcard, also designed by my father…

Another postcard designed by my father. I remember him clearly watching him while he was drawing this post card in our flat in London and colouring it.

There was also a magazine or a publication that the campaign produced every now and then. Maybe monthly. My father was… what do you call him? The person who designs the cover and cuts and pastes the content to fit into the pages before being taken to the printer. He says the blue magazine below was designed especially to be taken to the Late Emir of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah Allah yer7omah in Jeddah. Also designed by my father…

The NO poster below is also another poster designed by my father… there is another poster showing a Kuwait Airways flight up in the clouds coming back home but it wasn’t shown… i’ll try to locate it in his atelier and show it on the blog…

I found this flag signed by Kuwaitis in 1990…

Now here comes the good part… on the walls of the exhibition they mention the name of the committee who worked on the Free Kuwait Campaign in London. If you want to know my father’s name… well you won’t be able to because he is not mentioned ANYWHERE in the exhibition. His work is shown, his name is neglected.

When i showed my father the pictures of his work shown in the Avenues he asked me “Do they mention my name any where?” and reluctantly i had to tell him no. Maskeen. I told him that i will tell people on my blog that those are YOUR designs. No one can change that. When my father made and designed those and worked in the morning in the King Fahad’s Academy while worked at night for the design of the media campaign and publications, he did it for his own country Kuwait, not to hear a thank you from anyone. But to put up an exhibition 20 years on, put up his work EVERYWHERE,  while neglecting any mention of my father, is just plain UNFAIR.

Plus, do you know how the people who worked on the campaign knew about their exhibition? With one long ad in one lonely newspaper “Alwatan” placed on the day of the exhibition… that’s it!

At least they had the decency to place my fathers name in that ad. This is the closest mention he had… and i am putting it on my blog for whenever i see the blue poster in the Avenues which i am sure 3/4 of Kuwait had seen by now… i remember my father, 20 years ago, drawing that blue hand and that flag while i watched him in fascination and pride!


36 Responses to “My Father’s Designs in the Free Kuwait Exhibition in the Avenues…”

  1. Sn3a says:

    Allah ysallem eeda mn kel shar 3ala hal design l 7lo
    dear laish ma geltay 7g l mot6we3een elly hnak ?!
    7aram yhmlon esm oboch

    • danderma says:

      Sn3a: Mashkoora 7yatee… maskeen he has a bump in his right wrist now et3awrah 3ogob all these years :(
      Shagolohom… intaw nesaytaw oboy? Khalas b3d el ma3rath o in7a6 :(

  2. oleana says:

    I got goose bumps just looking at the pictures. Mashala your fathers work is amazing. I think you should talk to the organizers of the exhibition. Your fathers name has to be mentioned for the great work he did for his country.

    • danderma says:

      Oleana: Thank you hon for your kind words. I was bursting to shout in the exhibition… it’s unfair… and it made my father sad for sure :(

  3. Sara D. says:

    That looks like a nice exhibition, oo mashalla u must have been very proud to have seen ur dad’s work up there…i’m sorry his name wasn’t mentioned…but thats how things are in kuwait…mako shay esma legal rights or acknowledging others :/

    • danderma says:

      Sara: El exhibition wayed wenees… especially when you peer into the pictures o locate people you know… i found my self in one of the pictures :p
      As for the mention that’s exactly it… this is how things work in Q8… who cares he drew them? Elmohim they are up o sawaw ma3rath o khalas…

  4. Alia says:

    plzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz go and tell them who did all this work 7aram ina no one knows oo i think ur dad should be appreciated not only by you but also all the Kuwaities out there. plzz tell them 7aram ppl need to recoginice hes “credibility”

    • danderma says:

      Alia: The people of the exhibition know who did all this work. They don’t need a reminder. They chose not to give him any credit! Shetgoleen lohom b3d? This is how things in Kuwait work lel asaf :( mako fayda

  5. ME says:

    WOW…. your fathers sketches are marvellous. I suggest you have a word with the organizers so that they give your dad his due credibility. I hope and pray it turns out positive.

    I, for sure, am amazed at his work.

    • danderma says:

      ME: Thank you for your kind words. What’s the use? They know it’s his work, they chose to ignore him and the event ends today :(

  6. baglady says:

    Please Danderma, please tell your father thank you from me. His name should be mentioned and recognized. I was in kuwait, just gave birth to my first son, stayed there the entire time till liberation. So big thank you to all the kuwaitis who were out of the country, worked hard 24/7 and campaigned to free kuwait, THANK YOU.

    • danderma says:

      Baglady: Thank you hon, i will insha2 Allah, though he didn’t wait for a thank you in return but it will make him happy i am sure :)

  7. il wawy says:

    this is my fav. post so far.

    you could tell it comes from the heart. Maybe you should have told your father that yes, his name was mentioned :(

    bas mashallah. he is extremely talented. allah ya7futha w y6awil b3omra.

    your heart must have stopped for a moment when you saw those posters. its like nostalgia smacked you in the head. maybe you should have said something to the people organizing that event.

    anyway, it does not matter whether they mentioned your dad’s name or not. what matters is the way you feel for your dad and his work.. and that is love and pride. (bas b9ara7a.. 9ij qahur!!)

    • danderma says:

      il Wawy: you described my feeling exactly… when i saw it i was on my way to the That El Salasil book shop… i didn’t even want to stop… i stood there for a moment with a jumble of emotions… then i took off to the exhibition!

      True… the knowledge and pride i feel for my father won’t change.

  8. il wawy says:

    while we are on the topic of copyrights.. what do you think of this?! (mo awal mara tseer.. i remember a while back alqabas doing something similar)

    http://www.p0ach.com/2011/02/18/duplicate-is-it-my-eyes/

    • danderma says:

      il Wawy: Eeeeee en9edamt yom sheftah!!! Wallah 4th ring road should sue!!! El deniya fawtha eb hal deera! wallah 3aib!

  9. LadyCay says:

    Waaaay min 9igich Danderma ma tklemain, lazim y3arfoon o ykarmona ba3ad, ya3ne 7a6en 9owar shkoborhom bil mall, and they don’t even say the name at least for the person who draw or wrote all that fe theek el ayam el sood.
    ana mar7t bas lazim adawer bil e9war yimkin ashof ro7ee, ri7na el safara o waza3na broshorat yam Harrods, o i remember once they had like a parade in some place ri7na nwaze3 broshorat, o makano el safara ma5theen ta9ree7, 5ithona el shor6a bil underground station o 5alona nroo7 el bait:(
    Allah y7afoth el Kuwait o el Kwaityeen min kil shar, o kil 3am o ento b5air, o 3ain el 7asood feha alf 3oood:)

    • danderma says:

      LadyCay: Shagolohom agolohom intaw ma 7a6aytaw ism oboy? Mako fayda ele yabi ye7e6 chan 7a6 min il awal…
      ana yom 6alait bel 9owar legait roo7ee… o wayed awadm no9 el 9owar feha at least one person i know!

      Enama that story malat il shor6a! Zain wallah ma wadokom el station just took you to the underground! ana the maseera i remember most was the one were we went all to traflgar square ele 7a6a 9oorat.ha bel post…

  10. Ms. Wafra says:

    You can pay tribute to your father by putting his name on top of this post, or publish it anywhere, you didn’t!!

  11. Glitter says:

    As much as i am amazed by his work, as much as i am disappointed by you!

    You always have striked me as outspoken, o etha fe galbich shy etgooleenah, why the heck didn’t you say something to them?

    Don’t tell me there’s no use o mako fayda.. Have you tried first?
    Maybe his name just fell of the chart accidentally, they did mention him bl ad, mo?

    جلّ من لا يسهو

    يمكن اسمه سقط سهوًا بالطباعة

    Have you considered that?

    If it was my father i wouldn’t have left until i clear the situation!

    .
    .

    Ok khalas basny zaf feech, .. now i ask you to please convey my admiration and deepest regards to your talented father. Tell him I love his work and I wish him all the best. 3asa Allah yeshafy eedah o ya7fethah mn kel shar.

    D. dear, It’s not only you who feels pride, he made us all proud.

    • danderma says:

      Glitter: there was no chart hon. There was a wall with pictures and a describtion of people who worked. Person by person. and a full wall of several pictures of a social celebrity who wasn’t even involved in that committee… not mentioning him was not a mistake. He simply wasn’t so important to mention.

      What can i do… walk up to them and demand recognition? What will they say? We will make up a new wall overnight and add a proper mention to your father? or ok sorry we will mention him in the next exhibition held in 20 years time?

      Believe me i wanted to scream but it was of no use! This is how things work here.
      Khoosh zaffa by the way… 6al3a min il qalb :p

      Insha2 Allah hon yo9al… thank you for your kind words :*

  12. 3afeesa says:

    رسومات والدج رائعة ومعبرة جدا
    ذكرتني بقسوة ايام الغزو
    جزاه الله خير على هذا العمل الوطني
    والحمد لله ما ضيع الله شغله
    وشغل كل كويتي تطوع لخدمة بلدنا سواء بالداخل والخارج
    كفايه اننا نشم رائحة الحريه من 20 سنه
    الله يحفظ كويتنا ويأمنا باوطاننا

    • danderma says:

      3afeesa: مشكورة حبيبتي الحمد لله اللي رجع لنا ديرتنا و انعم علينا بالخير و النعمة و الأمن و الأمان… ألف حمد و ألف شكر لك يا رب

  13. ShoSho says:

    Mashallah wonderful drawing your father is a great artist..

    Such memories.. When I look at those drawings, postcards, badges, shirts and umbrella! We still have ours in London.. It seems like yesterday when I was standing by paddington Station and handing our papers to paser-bys.. and Lol that’s my brother’s handwriting on the flag, raj3een insha2 Allah ..

    • danderma says:

      Shosho: you did… wanasa it feels like you did something! lool it’s your brother’s handwriting?! Did you write on that flag?

  14. Shosho says:

    My brother said it was organized by two ppl who were there, forgot their names, when I asked him.. I don’t think anyone else knew they were organising it.. I think if they called up everyone, they would have had a much better exhibition because they would probably have had more things to show.. Pity :/

    • danderma says:

      Shosho: Ee those two people didn’t contact any one. The people who worked on that campaign would only have known about it if they read Alwatan newspaper and saw that one lonely ad placed on the day of the exhibition!!! Imagine!! y3ni mad adry shino hal mo9akha b3d? Imsaween exhibition at least have the decency to tell the people who worked on the campaign with you!!! Or put up their name properly… mo 7a6een li 6ofa kamla feha 9owar wa7da malha 3laqa bel campaign abdan o sowar cham wa7ed o wa7da mini ile worked 3la il campagin o chood magalolhom b3d o baje il nass naseenhom… walla gelt 7g oboy lo hathe rosomate chan i would have sued them for using them without permission. Bs ma retha!

  15. I am a retired Army Sergeant Major who has written about the First Gulf War and recently started a new story about the Free Kuwait movement by those people who were out of the country when the Iraqis struck. I have almost all the pictures you show since I am a friend of Adel Al-Yousifi who took many of them. I have not seen the postcards before. If they were part of the Free Kuwait movement I would love to add them to the story if you could send me photographs at sgmbert@hotmail.com I would appreciate it. If you can translate the text that would be helpful. Also, your fathers full name so I can give him credit.

    Many thanks,

    Herb

  16. Martha says:

    Salaam aleikum!

    I spent about 50% of my time in Kuwait from 2005-2008. My primary Kuwaiti colleague (not to mention friend) was Jaafar Behbehani. I know that he was very active in the Free Kuwait campaign in London. I have seen just a couple of your father’s designs through Dr. Jaafar, and am so happy to see so many others. They are so beautiful!

    One of Dr. Jaafar’s brothers was held POW by Iraq from the beginning of the invasion until Iraq finally freed all POWs. Another person I knew very well was also a POW. Another family, with two young girls, managed to flee Kuwait into Saudi Arabia fairly early on – because the Iraqis were looking for their mother. She had to hide as the family made their way into SA. Another woman told me about seeing her brother executed and about her experience raising her children while her husband was moving from safe house to safe house because the Iraqis were looking for him. A very good friend my age told me how awful it was to be in London while her two teen-aged sons were still in Kuwait. She thought that they were dead for more than 7 months because there was no communication possible.

    I could go on and on. But one last thing. I spent all that time in Kuwait because my university was studying the effects of living under occupation and in a war zone on civilians. The study started 15 years after the invasion. The impetus for this research came from my colleague, Jaafar Behbehani. He had expected to live in the UK the rest of his life; he had an established scientific career in psychology there. Instead, in 1991, he returned to Kuwait as soon as it was possible after liberation and became an expert in the treatment of PTSD. Much of our project’s work was based on his research in the post-war period. Dr. Behbehani died in 2009 of brain cancer, less than a year after the cancer was found. He is profoundly missed by everyone who knew him.

    I was very proud to be able to work on this research – and even prouder to be able to call Dr. Jaafar Behbehani my friend.

    • danderma says:

      Dear Martha, I am so sorry to approve this comment so late -I found it in the Spam-
      I am also sorry for the passing of your friend, Dr. Jaafar! How sad it was to hear about it. Sadly I’ve never knew him! I must ask my father about him one day!
      The invasion did leave an imprint on every single person who was alive then. I find it very important to relay the experience to the younger generation of Kuwait who were either too young or born after the ordeal. I will never forget the lady at the Kuwait Airways counter in heathrow screaming that we are now refujees as we went to board the plane back to Kuwait on 2 August -we didn’t know about the invasion then-. I will never forget my father’s tears in the cab ride back to London. I will never forget the sight of Kuwaitis huddled up in Edgware Rd. in London in front of the NBK and crying their eyes out. I will never forget my screaming fit when I was told I must start school in London -a public British school-. To me that signified that we were staying knows how long in London without a country.

      I was only 10 but every moment is imprinted in my braind. I have that general feeling in my heart that will never go away. My life timeline has been split to “before the invasion” and “after the invasion”. Even though we’ve gotten out of the ordeal partially unscathed -in comparision to other Kuwaiti families that is- it still did change something deep down. It still had it effects. and it should NEVER be forgotten or swept under the rug!

    • Dear Martha says:

      Hi Martha,
      Do you know how to contact the family members of Dr. Jafaar Behbehani? I have been trying to locate them about unclaimed property for Dr. Behbehani in California. Please have them email me at info@paigeassetlocators.com

      Best,

  17. Martha says:

    PS – I did not mean to ignore your father quite so much, but I believe that Dr. Jaafar Behbehani is another hero of the movement who has not received the credit he deserves for his service to the Kuwaiti people.

    I wish I could enlarge the photos – I can read Arabic a little bit but not well enough at that size! Plus my eye-sight is getting bad.

    Are any of these images available for download? Your father’s postcards are especially beautiful. I already have the Free Kuwait flag image.

    • danderma says:

      Its OK I didn’t think you were ignoring my father at all.
      I am not sure if its available for download or not but you can check Mr. Adel Al-Yousifi’s documentary website http://www.evidence.org.kw/ where you can find many things regarding that dark time in our lives. I know my father’s designs are there with the proper credit given to him.

    • Ali Behbehani says:

      Martha, you never fail to speak of Uncle Jaafar in a positive light. Thank you for the kind words