Post by Mark
I have two sets of photos to share with you in this post. The first set is taken I think in 1979 on the Gulf Road near the Kuwait Towers. I am assuming they’re taken in 1979 because I was born in 1978 and I think I look like a year old in the pictures. I am not enjoying the fact that I am sharing my baby pictures with strangers but these were the only pictures of a vintage national day parade I could find and I feel its important they be shared.
The second group of photos below were taken in 2005 in Salmiya, Salem Mubarek Street near Sultan Center. The whole street starting from Central Plaza down to Eureka was closed and made pedestrian only. It was like a big carnival mixed in with a parade. Lots of fun and as you can see from the pictures it was pretty packed but not chaotic.
So my question is why have these parades stopped? How did National Day celebration turn from a wonderful event into something that’s gotten completely out of control with foaming. This year I heard a lot of reports of actually spray paint being used instead of foam and I actually saw a car that had been spray painted. Kids and teenagers are still opening your car doors and spraying you and whoever else is inside with you. Many people decide to travel during this holiday so they could avoid this chaos while other people like me try to spend time indoors to avoid being attacked on the streets. And yes I am calling it attacked because when you get foamed against your will that’s harassment. No one has the right to foam you, foam your car and they definitely don’t have the right to open your doors and spray you. I am not even talking about spray paint, urine or any other chemical some kids use.
Can this year please be the last year National and Liberation Day turn into a horrifying foam fest and instead can we please go back to fun for the family street parades?
update: A reader sent me this link to news article on Arab Times, it seems there were 200 injuries and 1 death due to foaming this year. [Link]
update2: Tonight (Sunday 28th) Nat was on her way back from the gym, she was driving on the Gulf Road casually when suddenly just before Texas Chicken a kid jumps out into the street and sprays her while another kid throws a can of foam at the car scratching the paint job. WTF?