This interview was conducted with Abdulla Al-Zeyara about the Second Gulf War between Kuwait and Iraq. It talked about the specifics of the war and the wars effects on all GCC countries, focusing mainly on Kuwait and Qatar.
Interviewer: Noor Al-Zeyara
Interviewee: Abdulla Al-Zeyara
When did Iraq invade Kuwait?
Kuwait-Iraq war began on 2 August 1994.
How old were you at that time?
31 years old.
Describe the situation first in Qatar and Kuwait.
When the war started I was in UK for a business course. We were shocked and did not believe that Iraq would invade Kuwait; actually we did not believe the news at first. Constant calls were made to our families telling that Iraq Invaded Kuwait completely and many people have been made homeless. The Amir and government were in danger in such a way that the government moved to Saudi Arabia. The situation was terrifying in the country. The army collapsed and the invasion was extreme.
Were the GCC countries affected?
The GCC countries got affected and some of the Middle East countries. Of course Qatar got affected. The GCC countries usually undergo one fate; if one country got affected, the other countries would get affected as well.
How was the situation in Qatar during the war?
In Qatar, after people have realized the situation, Qatari people started to open their homes for Kuwaiti people who have moved to Qatar and send assistance and support from Qatar government. Also GCC army organization was created. Qatar sent armored battalion weapons and about 5000 Qatari soldiers participated in the war and then moved to Al Khafji area near the Saudi-Kuwait borders
Did you receive any threats? If yes, please mention.
All of the people were living insecurity and afraid from the unknown because at that time, Saddam Hussein (Iraq president) was threatening the GCC by sending chemicals and he actually sent rockets to Qatar and Saudi (Adam, Jubail) in Saudi and some areas in Kuwait. The most memorable thing is when Saddam threatened to attack by sending chemicals to GCC. As precaution, all of us in Qatar closed our windows using plastic to prevent chemicals exposure. The situation was inevitable.
Describe the effects on Kuwait after the liberation?
After the liberation, things have changed. Oil well fires in Kuwait were in control. The war was a major environmental disaster that had been overcome within six months including fires. Kuwait was able to recover in terms of economy in such a way that Kuwait actually owns huge reservoir of oil for the future generations that allowed Kuwait to stand on feet again along with the social life.
Describe the effects on Qatar after the war?
After Kuwait’s liberation, the economy of the GCC was rebounded, in particular; Qatar’s new vision was to focus on new investments for example, concentrate on petroleum products and other industries also the country focused on the Humanitarian aspects and citizens.