November 17th, 2012| Topic: RaMbLeS | 0


Kuwait is now in the Guinness Book of records.

That’s the place I was born—in دولة الكويت‎ , Dawlat al-Kuwayt (State of Kuwait).

(No, that’s not why it’s in the Guiness book!)

Though I am ethnically Indian, I happened to be born in that country many decades ago, when my father worked for the Kuwait Oil Company. The rest, as they say, is history.

Kuwait gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1961 and, soon thereafter, became a constitutional emirate. And that’s how it got into the venerable book of records. You see, the nation celebrated the golden jubilee anniversary of its constitution last week. Five decades ago, late emir Sheikh Abdullah al-Salem al-Sabah declared Kuwait as the first Arab state in the Middle East to have a constitution and a parliament. Cause for celebration.

And what a celebration it was!

It was the biggest fireworks display in the history of the planet!

Carim Valerio, the representative of Guiness Books, handed the certificate of this luminous distinction to Kuwait’s Undersecretary of the Amiri Diwan Abdulaziz Ishaq during the spectacular event.

A dazzling display of pyrotechnics lit up the capital (Kuwait City) with an astounding 77,282 fireworks. Courtesy of Filmmaster MEA, the Italian advertising conglomerate, that also does live events and multimedia all over the globe.

Costing KWD (Kuwaiti Dinars) 4.5 million = GB£10million = US$16 million.

77,282 dazzlers, sparklers, rockets, fireballs, stars, globes, wheels, waterfalls, snakes, bombs, flares, fountains, strobes, salutes!

Lots of noise, lots of light, lots of smoke, and lots of confetti.

Stunning extravaganza of reds, oranges, yellows, greens, blues, purples, silvers, and every hue, tint, and saturation in between.

US$16 million.

A paltry sum, perhaps,

This small 520 square mile nation hosts the fifth largest reserves of oil in the world. Petroleum products constitute 95% of Kuwait’s exports and 80% of government income. The nation—pop. 3.5 million—is the eleventh richest country in the world with a per capita income of US$81,800.

The pyrotechnic expenditure of US$16 million actually works out to be less than 0.001% of Kuwait’s GDP of US$ US$168 billion. So … a paltry sum of US$16 million was spent on fireworks.

But still! US$16 million on fireworks?

To be burnt up in just 60 minutes?

Gone in a flash. Literally!

I suppose that’s life.

You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
James 4:14

Gone in a flash!

As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years,
Or if due to strength, eighty years,
Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow;
For soon it is gone and we fly away.
Psalm 90:10

So don’t put your US$16 million on this transient flicker. All that glory we think life is, all that luxury that we think life is for—it’s here today, and gone tomorrow.

 All flesh is like grass, and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers and the flower falls off.
1 Peter 1:24

In a flash.

But there is a life hereafter.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, …
And we … will be caught up … in the clouds
to meet the Lord in the air,
and so we shall always be with the Lord.
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17

Always. Always! ALWAYS!

And you won’t need no fireworks there.

And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it,
for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb.
Revelation 21:23–24


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