Think of August 2, 1990. That's the day Iraq invaded Kuwait.
|Iraqi tank on road to Kuwait.|
Think of mayhem, terror, explosions. Telephone lines cut. Fear. No way for Kuwaitis outside of the country to know how the rest of their family and friends in Kuwait were doing. Were they alive, or were they dead? When would they know? How would they know? How would the world know what was going on?
Now, meet Abdul Jabar Marafie, amateur radio operator 9K2DZ.
From the day of the invasion until the liberation of Kuwait nearly seven months later, Abdul, at great risk to both himself and his family, used his radio EVERY SINGLE DAY to send vital information to the outside world about what was going on in his country.
The invading Iraqis confiscated equipment from all Kuwaiti amateur radio operators, but Marafie was able to thwart their efforts by turning over some of his older equipment, while hiding other gear ... gear he could use to feed real-time information to the rest of the world.
If you watched any news reports about Kuwait during that time and heard a reporter mention "an unknown source" of information, that reporter was talking about Marafie. Although he has received little recognition within his own country for his heroic acts, he received the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) Humanitarian Award in 1992, and is featured in an amazing documentary entitled, The Last Voice From Kuwait. (available on Youtube in three parts)
|Oil fires, set by the retreating Iraqis.|
Clockwise from top:
USAF planes flying over burning oil wells;
View from Lockheed AC-130;
Highway of death;
M728 Combat Engineering Vehicle.
So, yes, think of Kuwait. And when you do, think of Abdul. A single amateur radio operator, who, with the help of a network of other amateur radio operators around the world, made a difference. A real difference.