My memories in the State of Kuwait
By Mahmoud A. Suleiman
I spent some of the most beautiful years of my life in the State of Kuwait, which without shred of doubt Have left good memories of the eight years that stretched but passed quickly from the year one thousand nine hundred and eighty-three to one thousand nine hundred ninety. I went to Kuwait on secondment from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Khartoum to work as a lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kuwait where.
The public relations officer received me in Kuwait international airport in the City of Kuwait and he welcomed and took me to the campus where teacher housing in the neighborhood or suburb Shuwaikh where I stayed for a couple of days as a guest to a generous hospitable host. The next morning the car driver took me to the College Administration to be received by a so esteemed Professor, Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Medicine Dr. Sulaiman Falah al-Ali and Ustaz Mahmoud Taha Abdelgader, a senior administrative officer of Sudanese nationality. Professor Mohammed Fakhr El-Islam, head of the Department of Psychiatry, then joined us.
After an interviewing by the key members of the Commission, they unanimously agreed that I join the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Kuwait. I returned to Sudan to free myself from my responsibilities at the University of Khartoum. I handed over my duties to my colleague in the Department of Psychiatry, Dr. Ahmed Osman Siraj who kindly accepted and wished me success and I felt indebted to his goodwill. Within a few days, I managed to arrange my affairs and whisked back accompanied by my family to Kuwait to take up officially my tasks in the Department of Psychiatry. I joined my colleagues Dr. Taha Hassaballa Malasi, Dr. Ali Mustafa Bilal and Professor Muhammad Fakhr Islam and psychology lecturer Ahmed Nashif and the rest of the staff section. I remember one particular individual named Surindran an Indian and a competent typist. All the staff members cordially welcomed me. I took up my timetable, which consisted of teaching and training of fifth year medical students. The timetable as well contained clinical sessions service at Mubarak al-Salim hospital and at the Psychiatric hospital in the neighbourhood of Sulaibikhat and as well as a Community clinic at Maidan Hawalley as well as academic research etc.
The university provided me a full-furnished family accommodation in a flat in the tower block number four, fourth floor in the University campus of Shuwaikh where other University staff lived. The University also provided transport for the schoolchildren of the campus residents. Moreover, the campus residents enjoyed the comfort of using the facilities of staff club in the form of swimming pool, tennis course and other recreation grounds free. Of the advantages for the teaching staff member of the Kuwait University included return air tickets to the respective country annually and a holiday of two months. As well as a paid once a year attendance of an international conference relevant to the staff member’s discipline. However, a staff number who had results of a research project approved by the research board would be given the necessary financial support to attend regional or an international conference to present his/her findings. There was also a research budget available for all the academic staff to apply for a research project. Generosity was unrivalled and rife for the good purposes especially higher education at the State of Kuwait.
. I also met other Sudanese working in different departments of the Faculty of Medicine. They were late Dr. Khatim Yousif, Dr. Khalid Ahmed Jumaa, my former community teacher Dr. Mustafa Khojali, Dr. Awad Ahmed el-Mekki, Dr. Kamal Mustafa El-Haj, my former physiology teacher Professor Nasruddin Ahmed Mahmoud, Dr. Ahmed Mohmed Bahar, Dr. Mamoun Haj Ali, to name a few. Moreover, I also met a good number of compatriots from Sudan who were working at Kuwait University in the various faculties. Of those whom I was honoured to know and befriend were Dr. Yusuf Mohmed Siddiq, Dr. Mohmed Yusuf Jameel, Ali Abdurrahman Ali al-Haj , El-Sadiq Abdalla Abdel-tam, Hamid Omer, Abdul-Aziz Ahmed Osman, Abdelrahim Abdul-Jabbar, Khalid Mohmed al-Hassan, Dr. Ali al-Arabi, late Professor Abdelhafeez Nuraddayim, late Dr. Salah al-Rabaa, Dr. Mahmoud Taha Abdelgader, Dr. Taha Ameer Taha, Dr. Abdalhaleem Obeid, Abdelkarim Zarroug, Professor Faisal Tajeldin, Dr. Kamal Osman Mohmed Salih, Kamal Mahjoub and Dr. Khalid al-Mubarak. The following were some of the Sudanese doctors who worked in the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health: Dr. Fadul Ibrahim Abdelgader, Dr. al-Haj Ibrahim Abdelgader, Dr. Sami al-Khalifa, and Dr. Jamal Suleiman Gurashi.
A photograph of Kuwait University Medical School teaching staff in which I was a member
I spent, in Kuwait, the best periods of my life; and thank God, for the many blessings hegranted me including my two children, my son Osama and my daughter Mona both of whom were born in Kuwait.Furthermore, Kuwait has allowed me the opportunity to obtain the money that enabled me to build the family house in the city of Khartoum neighborhood of the Ma’mura and support the members of the extended family financially. We received a civilized treatment from the University of Kuwait and from the people of Kuwait. We did not face any problems for the duration of my stay in that Gulf State for the nearly six years.
Therefore, I reciprocated by contributing to the best of my capacity with sincerity in the teaching and training of medical students and treating patients who suffered from mental health disorders. Nevertheless, as the age-old saying (parable) goes: wishes and blessings never remain permanent and the winds may blow in the direction the crew of the ship wish not. The Iraqi President Saddam Hussein declared his invasion of the State of Kuwait, announced its annexation to Iraq as a new state, and renamed it al-Nida. On the day that declared on the Iraqi TV, my family and I were visiting Baghdad as tourists and staying in a hotel called Nissan Sheraton. The invasion of Kuwait started on August 2, 1990 andon 28 August 1990, Saddam announced that Kuwait had become the 19th Governorate of Iraq and renamed it al-Nida.The rest as they say a history, but for us it was an ordeal we had to endure. We took a long journey home through Bagdad, Jordan and Aqaba using all types of transport; by means of cars travel through Jordan to Aqaba from where our families flown by Sudan Airways to Khartoum. Whereas Sudanese men who owned cars traveled on a ship loaded our cars to Port Sudan. The details of the long tortious journey to home in Sudan are documented in full in the book authored by me. It is entitled:The Autobiography I wrote begins at a Zaghawa Village in Darfur.
Gone by the good old days; my cherished memories of Kuwait and its good people remained through the decades!
Dr. Mahmoud A. Suleiman is an author, columnist and a blogger. His blog is https://thussudan.wordpress.com/