Monday, March 05, 2012

Kuwait National Day celebrations without foam sprays ‘the happiest ever’

The National Day and Liberation Day celebrations have ended without the infamous foam sprays that were once used to tease and sometimes hurt revelers on Kuwaiti streets. This year’s celebrations were thrilling, “We really want to see and enjoy these kind of festivities.
There were no reported cases of people being hit. People were just celebrating without hurting each other,” an interior ministry officer commented. He requested anonymity as he was not authorized [by the ministry] to speak to reporters.
Many revelers came to the streets without the fear of being hurt or sprayed with foams, “Last year, we opted not to go out because of the danger of being sprayed with foam. This year, we went out even when it was drizzling (raining). This is because we knew, aerosol foam spray cans have already been banned and forbidden. Previously, we could not go out to celebrate with citizens on the streets. This is because they used it to hurt street revelers. We don’t want that,” said a Filipino expat who evaluat
ed the scale of celebrations held this year.
An Indian expat told Kuwait Times that this year’s celebrations were the happiest ever, “Three years ago, several teenagers forcibly opened car windows and sprayed foam on my car. I was badly hurt. My eyes were sprayed with foam. Thank God, I had some water with me. I immediately used it to wash my eyes. It was really bad. But, I don’t blame them because anyway they are just really celebrating. Now that it has been totally banned, I have a sense of relief and was able to bring my family out to celebrate.
There were a few isolated cases reported on the use of foam sprays this year. Many revelers used water sprays, “Quite a pleasant celebration this time. I want it that way. I hope they’ll ban the foams forever. That is good for the country and our citizens and expats,” a Kuwaiti citizen told this reporter.
Some citizens longed for the return of the now banned substance, “I am a ‘foam spray’ baby. All national day celebrations are incomplete without foam spray. Without it, I will feel incomplete. A terrible component is missing,” a 20 something female citizen commented.
Besides the spray craze, Kuwait’s streets were a parade of colors with yearly car paint-jobs, flags to mark the occasions. The predominant colors of the festival was red, white, and green – the colors of Kuwait’s national flag. One Kuwaiti motorist who spoke with this reporter had decorated his car- from the windshield to its tires. He introduced himself as Khalid, he told Kuwait Times that he designed his car using his own ideas, “I designed this myself on my computer, then brought it to a garage-workshop in Shuwaikh. I am satisfied because what I have on my car is my personal design which I think is gorgeous,” he explained.
Khalid’s design is a portrait of Highnesses the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah and HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah. It also features black-and-white photos of several former Kuwaiti rulers. He added a fireworks design to the background, as well as some evocative pictures of ‘old’ Kuwait. Khalid paid KD 120 to get the design and layout done on his vehicle. The price for a complete car paint job ranges between KD 80 and KD 120, according to a number of garage and specialist workshop owners.
One can buy cheaper decals from as little as 250 fils. A range of paint job designs are readily available at various Shuwaikh car workshops, usually in a handy album offered for customers to choose from. Hamid, a shop-owner who usually trades in car interior accessories said that most customers are overwhelmingly citizens.
They are not bothered by high prices, “They just want (the decoration of) their cars to be designed and carried out properly and attractively,” he said. “They just want people to enjoy the artwork.” Kuwait’s streets were indeed flooded with beautifully decorated cars during the four-day celebration. Most of the painstaking bodywork (car paint) was performed in Shuwaikh Industrial area.
Ben Garcia, Staff Writer

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