KUWAIT: Photos show some of the activities and attendees at Kisaat Watan organzied in Jahra over the weekend at the Center of Social Development to honor volunteering in Kuwait. – Photos by Abdullah Al-Sherif

KUWAIT: The Ahmadi governorate launched its campaign Kisaat Watan (Story of our Land), to celebrate charity organizations that have made Kuwait a beacon of love and hope for all mankind. Layla, the spokesperson of Kisaat Watan, said in the opening of the ceremony: “On the 28th anniversary of Iraq’s invasion, we see how Kuwaitis are more united for one common goal – Kuwait’s prosperity.” The campaign is in its third year with multiple charity organizations and groups participating.
All around the main venue, I saw carefully decorated tables and signs representing various organizations welcoming visitors from all over Kuwait with the intent of educating them about their causes. Loud and proud, charity representatives shared with me their messages. All of their messages were noble, yet I personally found that CAN (Cancer Awareness Nation) has the most necessary message in our day and age, and may I say, the most urgent. Dr Hussah Al-Shaheen of CAN made the importance of early checkups very clear to the attendees. CAN’s goal is to share valuable information about the many ways cancer can be treated and prevented.

Joy of recycling
Walking to the next hall, I stumbled upon a table occupied by mothers and their little girls facing a pile of empty plastic bottles and colorful strap bands. It was about a project by the Hadiya social development center to make good use of water bottles and other random unwanted household items to create artistic objects that can be utilized as pots for house plants. The two female instructors successfully taught young children the joy of recycling. Laughing and smiling, these adorable Kuwaiti kids decorated their sliced plastic bottles, then filled them with dirt and finally planted flowers to take home.
Going to the main hall, a rather peculiar sign caught my attention that said #Laajlej. Translated as “for you”, it’s a group’s hashtag of their campaign that has a much needed message for all our youth. Its message is that we must fight social media rumors at all costs, and the best way to win this battle is by training Internet users to read every social media post or tweet with sharp and relentless criticism prior to sharing it all around the cyber world. Dr Hussain Folath has given a lot of speeches about this subject matter and is very enthusiastic about the awareness hashtag #Laajlej that serves as a counterattack against cancerous Internet rumors that have plagued our society.

Prince of Hearts
At the far corner of the venue huddled three Kuwaiti adult women with their pens and smartphones in the air, so I began to speculate. They were standing in front of a huge poster of our beloved Prince of Hearts Sheikh Jaber Al-Sabah, pinning tiny square yellow notes on which were written heartwarming words to ‘Baba Jaber’. I wrote a sentence of my own too: “My heart expands with more love for you.” Surely, he was an iconic figure that inspired kindness and generosity. This rather simple and honest idea was by the Grandsons Group to let Kuwaitis express their love for Baba Jaber.
This comforting moment was cut off by a parrot’s screech from another hall. Tens of parrots and owls, perched on a long row of posts were staring and chatting at wide-eyed kids. The Kuwaiti Awareness Team of Birds’ representative Dr Adnan, with a brown owl, was answering children’s questions and educating bird owners about how to keep their pets happy and healthy.
The event concluded with a spontaneous band of youth who sang the national anthem as loudly as possible while roaming the halls to applause and cheers, with a lot of cellphones following them to bid all visitors good night. The center of social development in Hadiya hosted this event from Aug 9-11.

By Jeri Al-Jeri