KuwaitOther News

‘What’s on your mind this Christmas?’

By Ben Garcia

KUWAIT: A Christmas tree set up inside a hotel in Kuwait. —Photo by Fouad Al-Shaikh

KUWAIT: Christmas is coming, but how are people in Kuwait celebrating this happy occasion under the threat of the Omicron coronavirus variant? Kuwait Times spoke to a few of them. Elmer, married with two children who are now settled in the Philippines, said this year was his third year away from his family. “If I could only fly home now, I would do so. I miss my family and friends back home every Christmas. The pandemic brought us all to a standstill. We cannot even take a vacation because we are afraid of getting stuck and not being able to return and work again. So for now, while everything is unstable, I prefer to stay and wait for the end of the pandemic,” he said. “My family back in Bulacan were somewhat affected by the recent typhoon, but life must go on. We are thankful despite the calamities we survived and are surviving,” he added.

But not all Christians will celebrate Christmas this Friday. Egyptian resident Abanoub, from Alexandria, said he will be celebrating Coptic Christmas on Jan 7. “But we celebrate Christmas with our fellow Christians on December 25 too. This Christmas is the saddest because we are all under the pandemic with the Omicron threat on the horizon. It will be a low-key event for Christians,” he noted.

Sajeev Peter said this Christmas will be more special for his family. “It is a happy family reunion for me. My children are coming from India for Christmas and New Year. And they are coming after a lapse of two years.”

Rahul Jahid from Bangladesh said he works at a hotel, and for two years he missed Christmas and yearend celebrations. “In our hotel where I work, we normally celebrate Christmas and New Year together. But for the past three years, we haven’t had any celebrations. But we share the happiness with our Christian colleagues. We celebrate with them at their flats. We join them and celebrate with a happy mood,” Rahul said.

“On Christmas day, because we are at Al-Muthanna Complex, we walk and mingle with Christians in Maliya. It’s really good to see people celebrating, and sometimes I am elated to witness Christians giving foods, gifts or even cash. It’s a happy day indeed. This Christmas will most probably be the same, as we have no idea if the hotel where I work will hold a party for us,” he said.

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