Kuwait in celebratory mood for 50th anniversary of independenceBy Prashant Sood, IANS
Saturday, February 26, 2011
KUWAIT CITY - Homes decked in colours of its national flag, children cheering and waving, women clicking moments for memory - Kuwait was in a festive mood Saturday as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence.
Several homes along the main highways of the city have put up the country’s national flag on the main frontal walls. There are also replicas of the flag that dazzle in the evening sky through delicate white, green and black bulbs.
Roads from the airport have also been decked with lights.
The month-long celebration started Jan 26. The Gulf state is holding celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of its independence Feb 25, the 20th anniversary of Liberation Feb 26 and fifth anniversary of the emir’s accession to office Jan 29.
People came out in large numbers to witness fireworks display near the Kuwait Tower Friday evening, causing long traffic jams.
External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who was on his way back from a community reception hosted by the Indian Embassy here, was also caught in the jam for about half an hour.
Children waved flags and families clicked photographs late into the evening as the skyline was lit with firecrackers. The celebratory mood continued Saturday as people prepared to reach the venue of military parade.
“All citizens are very happy. They are feeling great about the country,” Ali Mohammad, a government employee, told IANS.
He said that there was carnival atmosphere in the city.
The announcement by the government of “emiri grant” of 1,000 Kuwaiti Dinar to every citizen has also added to the sense of celebration.
People have also been given two holidays to mark the celebrations.
Several heads of state and senior ministers from different parts of the world are in the oil-rich Gulf state to celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence.
Kuwait gained independence from Britain June 19, 1961. In May 1964, a formal decision was made to celebrate Kuwait’s National Day on Feb 25, in honour of the late Emir Sheikh Abdallah Al-Salim Al-Sabah, whose rule had began the same day in 1950.
Kuwait was liberated from Iraqi occupation Feb 26, 1991.