Thursday, 11 September 2008


Where had I been 7 years ago? Well, I had been busy the whole day. It was 10 days before my intended significant translocation. In FOD, Kuwait, my new colleagues were waiting for me. I had read a book about the small country’s recent history with the title “A New Beginning,” and I had got a feeling that this might even apply to my upcoming move. I had bought a copy of the Holy Qur’an as well and already tried to read in it.

I arrived at my flat at 7 pm, with cardboard boxes for shipping my personal effects later that week. When I had switched on my TV, I first thought that I was in the wrong movie. The Twin Towers in New York were burning? The news anchor’s voice had a shrill tone. America had been attacked by Islamic terrorists.

Well, I cannot exactly tell what I was thinking, but already half an hour later I got the first telephone call from a friend telling me that I will go to Kuwait and not change my mind! It would be safe whatever is going to happen in the next days.

When bidding farewell that week in September 2001, my friends were in fact disbelieving that I had not revised my decision. And nobody in Kuwait honestly expected me to come anymore. Later I heard from another expat who had lived many years in Riyadh that he and his wife left Saudi Arabia after 9-11 because of hostilities emerging against westerners and Americans, in particular. Fortunately, I’d never experienced any hostilities while living in the Middle East. Even three years later, when the US and allies toppled Saddam Hussein, I felt rather safe (despite a gas mask in my closet, which I had borrowed from my Embassy, and taped windows in my flat).

My immediate feeling that the later declared war on terrorism will inevitably change the world became reality in the meantime. I have left the Middle East last year for mainly professional reasons. But I became also more and more concerned about possible new military attacks in the near future, another war about oil and gas in the region. And this time Iran is going to be threatened. It doesn't bear thinking about!


eshda3wa said...

its interesting how we (ppl of the mideast) sit at home drinking our tea while someone with two brain cells decide hmmm im going to bomb Iran for no apparent reason fighting a phantom ...
disrupting all our lives .. and we have no say in it

Joud said...

i was in the east coast, watching it over and over again on tv, in disbelief
i remember thinking - pls God dont let them be Arab dont let them be muslims

wishful thinking ;)

Intlxpatr said...

The only one talking about attacks on Iran is Ahminadjad (spelling not quite right, sorry). I never heard a word about Iran my entire summer in the US. The only place I see it in the papers is in Kuwait.

The average American doesn't even know about the Israeli hits on Syria last year.

I can only guess that they are afraid nuclear facilities will be bombed by the Israelis, as they were in Syria. Other than that, I can't imagine what he is worried about. If he does NOT have nuclear facilities, he has nothing to worry about.

Muller said...

intlxptr, eshda3wa: they have. I have even seen it in Natanz when visiting Iran as a tourist in 2005. But they claim that it is for peaceful purposes only. And A. uses unacceptable language when talking about Israel (which he doesn't mention by name).
According to President Bush, all options are still on the table. And Israel has done military air force exercises in the Mediterranean in June. And Sarkozy warned them (my interpretation) not to strike on their own when pledging at the Knesset, they are not alone.
There is a lot more which concerns people in the Middle East and those who have friends in Iran. And I know also their fears.