By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: A documentary film produced by renowned Kuwaiti Director Dr Ali Hassan was showcased by the US Embassy in Kuwait via Google Meet. ‘The Battles of Sky and Earth’ was presented and reviewed by US Ambassador Alina L Romanowski and Kamel Al-Abdul Jalil, Secretary General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL). Romanowski thanked Abdul Jalil and Senior US Defense Official for Kuwait Brig Gen Darren Slaton for attending the preview.

“We are grateful for the support for cultural and artistic collaboration between our countries. Bonds between the US and Kuwait have existed for over 100 years, and in the next few months, the US Embassy in Kuwait will have events to commemorate the 30th anniversary of one of the proudest moments in the history of our partnership – the liberation of Kuwait, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of our diplomatic ties,” she said.

According to Romanowski, the US and Kuwait have several things to be proud of, including a number of works they collaborated on, especially in the area of arts and culture. “We have more interesting projects and events underway to commemorate the anniversary,” she revealed. Romanowski pointed out that Hassan has produced a well-researched film with detailed accounts on the invasion and information about the international coalition formed to liberate Kuwait.

‘Most amazing coalition’
“It was probably the most amazing coalition that was put together very quickly with the clear and common purpose to liberate Kuwait. The film illustrates very clearly on what the people of the US and Kuwait can achieve when they come together when there are existential crises,” she added.

Romanowski said 30 years ago, the people of Kuwait woke up on the morning of Aug 2, 1990 facing an entirely different scenario – Iraqi military forces had invaded the country. “I too can remember that day clearly – I was a junior officer at the department of defense in Washington DC. Kuwaitis still have a painful memory of that day – things that took place on Gulf Road, the burning of the Kuwait Towers.

So the US, led then by President George Bush, reacted swiftly to build an international coalition at the United Nations to condemn this aggression and demand Iraq to withdraw its forces from Kuwait. On August 7, the US launched Operation Desert Shield in defense of Kuwait and its Gulf neighbors. In January, the US led Operation Desert Storm that succeeded in expelling the Iraqi forces and liberate Kuwait in February 1991,” she noted.

“Kuwaitis worked hard to restore Kuwait’s sovereignty – the struggle and sacrifices of Kuwaitis for their country during the invasion were not in vain and the people of Kuwait should be proud of the country that they have built since the liberation. We should also be proud of the relationship that we have built between our two countries since the liberation. Kuwait is one of America’s most important strategic partners in the Middle East with deep and historic bonds, and these ties were made closer by the late Amir when he served as Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and finally the Amir of Kuwait,” Romanowski said.

Peace and stability
“The US and Kuwait continue to work to maintain peace and stability in the region. In the past two weeks, we have been engaged in a virtual working group that supports our strategic dialogue and the wide range of issues – political, human rights, culture, education, trade, defense and security – and this group will conclude meetings this week in Washington. This film reminds us of our brave leadership and sacrifices that our people made 30 years ago. Whatever challenges may come, Kuwait can always rely on the US as partners and ally,” she affirmed.

Hassan thanked everyone for reviewing his film on the 1990-1991 events. “There is no film like this so far to showcase what really happened, including testimonies from eyewitnesses. Thanks to all the people that helped us make this film possible and to the coalition of nations and the role they played, the Arab League, Desert Storm and the ground battle which led to our liberation,” he said. Hassan is a film director who has worked for Kuwait TV and Al-Rai TV, and Al-Qabas and Al-Jarida newspapers as a journalist.