My father had brought enough for all of us. My siblings were playing around with them and putting them on. At the time, they looked quite funny on our faces. Even my father had an uncomfortable grin. Today, looking back, the gas masks don’t provide much humor.
It was 1990. Saddam Hussein had broken the cardinal rule in the Middle East. He decided to enslave, torture, and murder people that were not his own countrymen. Many thought that Saddam wouldn’t stop with Kuwait. He might attack the country in which we resided. Naturally, everyone in Saudi Arabia was scared. There was tremendous fear of chemical weapons. My father had therefore brought everyone a gas mask, and taped shut all the windows in our apartment. All the unused electrical outlets were also taped. We tried to make our apartment as air tight as we possibly could.