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Kuwait and KAF Celebrate Tenth Anniversary

February 24, 2001 marked the beginning of a celebration representing a decade of peace for a once war-torn country. Since the Gulf War, Kuwait has been able to heal, rebuild, and grow, and ten years later, many important individuals were asked to come and join the Kuwaiti people in marking the anniversary of the liberation of Kuwait.

The Kuwait-America Foundation organized a weeklong series of events to celebrate the occasion, inviting the regional chairpersons of the National Campaign to Stop Violence, with whom the “Do the Write Thing” Challenge Progam is jointly administered, as well as many others. KAF was honored to have General Colin Powell, General Norman Schwartzkopf and President George Bush Sr., all of whom played an integral part in liberating Kuwait, in attendance.

Former “Do the Write Thing” Challenge Program participant, John Bonhom, with General Norman Schwarzkopf.

KAF delegation with Kuwaiti volunteers

Activities for the week included a trip to the newly constructed Scientific Center Aquarium, the Tareq Rajab Museum and the Al-Qurain Martyr’s Museum. Guests were also invited to desert camps to see the Kuwaiti countryside, and to learn about traditional Kuwaiti music, dance and games. They also had the opportunity to explore and shop in Kuwait’s famous Gold Souq (market).

In conjunction with the celebration, a ceremony was held on the front lawn of the United States Embassy in Kuwait, where a wreath laying ceremony was held as a memorial to the soldiers killed or captured during the war. The Marine Forces Pacific Band Jazz Ensemble accompanied the ceremony.

The week’s celebrations not only marked the tenth anniversary of Kuwait’s liberation, but also the tenth anniversary of the founding of the Kuwait-America Foundation. KAF hosted a gala dinner and film screening at the Arab Fund Building, after which President George Bush Sr. gave a speech to commemorate the anniversary. Two former “Do the Write Thing” participants who accompanied KAF to Kuwait also shared how KAF and DtWT had affected their lives in a positive way.

The trip concluded with a feast at the home of one of the Kuwaiti volunteers, where guests were presented with a gift – wildflowers that only grow in the deserts of Kuwait, and a book on Kuwaiti flowers. Dr. Hassan Al-Ebraheem, Chairman of KAF, gave closing remarks to say thank-you and farewell to both the American and Kuwaiti guests and volunteers.

Wreath laying ceremony

President George Bush, Sr. with former “Do the Write Thing” Challenge Program participant, Romina Villasenor