Evacuate Kuwait

On August 2nd 1990, the Iraqi military invaded Kuwait City overnight, and its residents woke up to a city under occupation. The only airport was put on lockdown, and the Iraqi military set up checkpoints on the city’s streets. The US, UK and Russia condemned the invasion, and some British and American citizens were taken as hostages. But the Indian government had no stake in the conflict, and around 165,000 Indian citizens living in Kuwait were caught up in a situation that didn’t involve their country.

Which left the Indian government with a question that no government had ever had to face before: how do we evacuate tens of thousands of our citizens from a foreign country, all at once?

Today on Kerning Cultures, the story of one family’s escape from Kuwait during one of the largest government evacuations in history.

This episode was written and produced by Alex Atack and Shraddha Joshi, and edited by Dana Ballout with support from Nadeen Shaker, Zeina Dowidar and Abde Amr. Fact checking by Shraddha Joshi, sound design by Alex Atack and mixing by Mohamed Khreizat. Bella Ibrahim is our marketing manager, and Kerning Cultures is a Kerning Cultures Network production.

Support this podcast on patreon.com/kerningcultures for as little as $1 a month.

Transcript

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[KC INTRO STING]

RUTH: The area I grew up in is this area called [Fahaheel]. It’s there even today. And it is not in the center of Kuwait. Kuwait is a very, very small city. Honestly, you can go from the center of city, to the border in exactly one hour.

HEBAH: This is Ruth D’Souza Prabhu. She’s from Mangalore in India, but she was born and grew up in Kuwait City, where both of her parents worked. Her Dad worked at the Kuwait National Petroleum Company, and her Mum at a British machinery company called Furmanite. 

RUTH: So we were living on the outskirts, the where the oil companies were all located since dad was working in that area. And I was actually born in a clinic, which was exactly opposite the apartment building we were living in. 

ALEX: Wow, okay.

RUTH: So when my Mum went to deliver me – my Dad could look out – they were not allowed into the clinic at all when that was happening, so my Dad sat at the window.

ALEX: Oh, how come?

RUTH: They were quiet strict out there, and also my Dad was pretty chicken about it and he didn’t want to be anywhere near. Yeah, so I was born there.

HEBAH: Ruth was born and grew up in that same apartment, in the same building there was another Indian family who lived on the ground floor, and a Palestinian family in another apartment who’d sometimes babysit her when her parents went out. 

RUTH: We had a lot of family friends from India as well as from other countries as well. So we always, growing up, there were always nice, dinners and lunches that were happening. Get togethers, birthday parties. I remember a lot of thematic birthday parties. I seem to have been surrounded by a massive Indian community, but again, looking back now, I realize that what I understood as Indian was also Pakistani Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan. So yeah, there was a certain amount of socializing with other communities or other country nationals as well, but yeah, essentially it was just Indian.

HEBAH: In the 70s and 80s, more and more Indians started moving to Kuwait and other parts of the Gulf for work, her parents were actually the second generation from her family to move to Kuwait.

RUTH: It was during the, you can say the so-called Gulf boom that happened in India, where a lot of people decided to head out of the country to the Gulf countries to be able to work and, you know, set up life. So my parents were among those people. And, yeah, that’s where the story actually began for us.

HEBAH: Ruth’s family lived in the city for 16 years – they’d travel back to India once a year for a visit, but their lives were entirely in Kuwait – they’d built a home and a community in the country. But this story isn’t about how these immigrant communities got to the Gulf in the first place, it’s about how they escaped.

RUTH: What I do remember very clearly was on August 2nd morning, the entire building seemed to tremble and these distant, I didn’t know it was gunfire or tanks, but there was a distant sound of shots booming. And I come out into the living room. My dad was standing at the window. We have these massive bay windows. And so he’s standing at the window and it was very movie-like, because, against his silhouette I could see, you know, billowing smoke from a tower and so I asked Dad, what’s going on? And he says I’m not really sure…

HEBAH: At around 5am on August 2nd 1990, Saddam Hussein’s military invaded Kuwait City almost overnight…

[Archival tape]

HEBAH: And the city’s residents woke up to a city under occupation by the Iraqi army. 

[Archival tape]

HEBAH: Relations between Iraq and Kuwait had recently broken down over disagreements about the two countries’ oil and borders.

[Archival tape]

HEBAH: The American, British and Russian governments were against the invasion, and the Iraqi military took some American and British residents hostage. But the Indian government had no stake in the conflict, and the thousands of Indian citizens living in Kuwait at the time were caught up in a situation that didn’t involve their country.

[Archival tape]

HEBAH: Which left the Indian government with a question that no government had ever had to face before: how do we evacuate nearly 200,000 of our citizens from a foreign country, all at once?

Today, the story of one family’s escape from Kuwait during one of the largest government evacuations in history, and how the family left home for a homeland an ocean away.

I’m Hebah Fisher and this is Kerning Cultures. Stories from the Middle East and North Africa, and the spaces in between.

[INTRO STING]

CAROLYN’S DAUGHTER: It has to be close to your face –

CAROLYN: Why?

CAROLYN’S DAUGHTER: It’s recording your voice

CAROLYN: Oh good lord!

HEBAH: Our story today comes from producer Alex Atack.

ALEX: It doesn’t have to be too close, just like 6 inches, 10 inches, something like that. Perfect. And it’s recording?

CAROLYN’S DAUGHTER: It is now

ALEX: Amazing, thank you so much.

CAROLYN: Not at all.

ALEX: Okay I guess first could you introduce yourself, tell me your name and whatever you do or however you want to be introduced?

CAROLYN: I’m Carolyn Pais, living in Australia right now, came here in 2008 from India. And we’ve been here in Sydney ever since.

ALEX: And Carolyn is Ruth’s cousin.

CAROLYN: She’s my husband’s second cousin, cousin’s daughter. We were together in Kuwait, yeah.

ALEX: I forgot to ask her to wear headphones, so you’ll hear my voice coming through on Zoom from time to time. But anyway, Carolyn was also living in Kuwait – she’d just got married to her husband Oliver, and they moved there together a few months before the invasion.

CAROLYN: My husband, Oliver was born in Kuwait… I joined him in Kuwait in February of 1990.

ALEX: They’d just rented a new apartment, and were planning to move in to it on August 15th.  

CAROLYN: So we had painted it. We had put carpets down, we had gotten things like a freezer, crockery, cutlery, not so much furniture, but some odds and ends.

ALEX: Could you talk – so, what was life like in that short time you were there? What kind of thing would you spend your time doing? What was your life like?

CAROLYN: And I was just a housewife, you know, going about ones daily chores while he went to work. But in the evenings, once he came home, we, you know, would go out would meet –– we had a lot of friends in Kuwait. There were classmates, there were people from Bangalore who we knew, they were old friends, family friends who were there. Yeah, we did a lot, on the weekends. We went out, we were never at home. There was the beach, there were restaurants, there was the entertainment city. There was a lot to do in Kuwait. It was beautiful. Yeah, and we were there, getting our lives sorted out and things like that, and then Saddam Hussein knocked on the doors of Kuwait in August on the 2nd of August.

RUTH: August was just a couple of – a month away from school reopening school generally opens in September.

ALEX: This is Ruth D’Souza Prabhu again.

RUTH: So we had just come back from a trip to Mangalore. We had landed in and were pretty much settling in, and, you know, putting things in place, getting ready for school to start. I remember going shopping for all my school stationary.

CAROLYN: Oliver, my husband, worked for a British company in Kuwait at the time. And they had been warned that there had been saber rattling on the borders and that it wasn’t safe. And they were asked to send, get the families out. So he came home one day and said to me, how would you like a trip to Dubai? And I said, what on earth for? He says, no, there’s, there’s some problems on the border… But what had happened was by the time we got this notification, it was too late.

ALEX: Within a few days of the invasion, the Iraqi military had control of the airports, so they couldn’t fly out of Kuwait, and had no way of getting out of the country to a different airport. Basically, they were stuck.

CAROLYN: I put in a call to my parents in India. I called my father because my father was ex-army and I said, Dad looks like this is the case. Can you put the TV, the news on? So he said, yes, it’s been confirmed in case there’s any problems stay in one place. That’s my father’s advice. He said, stay at home, and if there’s anything else going on, get into a corner or get under a table and just say there. Those were my father’s words to me. And the phone got cut. By the afternoon of the second, the troops came into where we lived.

RUTH: By afternoon, the tanks were rolling into where we were living. And one of the important things at that time was that since we were living in areas that were around the oil companies and the oil tanks, these massive processing tanks, they also set up their base in many of the schools in that area. So my school where I studied was set up as one of their headquarters, which was literally three roads away from where we were living. So we were surrounded by the soldiers at that time.

CAROLYN: We were terrified initially. Basically we were, we were frightened of the unknown. We knew something was going on. 

[Archival tape]

CAROLYN: We had the TV, we had CNN, 

[Archival tape]

CAROLYN: But what was happening, but what was happening on the ground, outside the house? We didn’t know.

RUTH: We’re talking about a time when there was no internet and no mobile phones. And so my grandmother back home in Mangalore actually offered up mass in our names, you know, in case we are dead let their souls rest in peace. And if we are alive, please bring them back safely.

CAROLYN: So in that sense, yes, we were terrified witless. And the rumor mills amongst everybody – the phones were working so everyone was calling and saying this was happening, this is happening, and that was freaking us out.

RUTH: There was this rumor that there was this rumor that came one day saying that there is going to be a chemical gas attack and everyone’s going to die. 

ALEX: Oh my gosh.

RUTH: So, and they told us, you know, wet your wet towels and put them against the door and against the windows and cover your face up with it. And there were a couple of rumors that a teenage boy from one house came out and took a pot shot at a soldier. So in retaliation, they pulled out his entire family from the house and blew up the house with a tank.

CAROLYN: It was frightening, every evening the fireworks would start. So we didn’t know whether we were going to be hit, we just, that was bad. Our building used to shake every evening. But not knowing what they were doing was the terrifying part.

RUTH: I think within a week it was an occupation because they completely took over everything, including Manning the traffic, all of the supermarkets, all of everything came back to functioning pretty much as normal. It’s just that you’d see Iraqi soldiers all over the place and you get stopped everywhere. If you’re driving out, you’ll get stopped. Your ID will be checked.

We also saw a lot of soldiers especially youngsters who looked really, really young, like 16 or 17 possibly with these massive guns. And it’s blazing hot in Kuwait at that time. They would be sitting out in the shade wherever they could see it. And they often came knocking on doors, asking for food. So they were not an army who was very well fed. So they would often come home and say, just give us a cup of yogurt or a tomato or an onion and we’re good to go.

There was absolutely no school that happened, we just stayed in the house pretty much. For me, I was just rewatching the movie tapes over and over again. We had VHS back then, and I think I watched the same movie or record 78 times because I had nothing else to do. And it’s one of the, it’s one of the most silly movies that were made in Bollywood back then, but which became a super hit.

ALEX: What’s the movie?

RUTH: It’s this movie called Maine Pyar Kiya which translates to I fell in love. So my dad told me to write a diary. He said, this is going to be history in the making and keep yourself occupied, write a diary. Just keep in mind what’s happening. Just jot it down…

RUTH (DIARY): August 30th 1990, somewhere last night from the depths of my sleep I felt the bed vibrating. As I started to wake up, I felt the dull thud of explosions and it soon became deafeningly loud. Tanks, grenades, semi-automatic guns all seemed to be pounding the air closr to us, I was terrified and I started whimpering under my covers.

RUTH: Now that I have a daughter who is the same age as I was back then, it terrifies me to think what went through my parents’ minds at that time.

RUTH (DIARY): Soon Mama came and carried me and gently placed me between her and Dad. I remember them both bear hugging me and hearing the constant chant of prayers in my ears. I guess the intention was very clear: if we had to die, we would die together.

ALEX: Was the goal then, how do we get back to India, or was it, let’s wait this out, see what happens?

RUTH: So the goal was always, how do we get out of here? What’s the safest way to do it. But the thing is as with any war or any situation that goes wrong, a lot of people tried escaping right at the beginning. You know, the invasion took place and a couple of days later, people got into their cars, they just piled on everything that they had with them and decided to head to the borders. And a lot of them ran into a lot of  trouble at the borders. There was looting, there was a lot of beating them up. A lot of them were, you know, just left stranded. So a lot of people did suffer, and the Indian government kept telling us through the embassies, you know, stay calm. We’ll figure this out. It’s a huge process to figure out. So stay calm, stay where you are.  

KP FABIAN: We had two concerns: one is that we didn’t want to see a war erupting. We wanted Iraq to withdraw through negotiations.

ALEX: This is KP Fabian.

KP FABIAN: It comes from Massimo Fabio, the Roman general who fought against hannibal. 

ALEX: He’s a former Indian ambassador and at the time – the time of the invasion – he was the Joint Secretary Gulf to the Indian government.

KP FABIAN: But you know, when I say, KP Fabian it almost becomes the surname, but actually it’s my first name also. Anyway.

ALEX: Anyway, he ended up being one of the main people involved in the logistics of the evacuation. So once him and his colleagues at the Indian government realised that the occupation wasn’t going to end soon, they started trying to figure out the best way to get as many people out of the country as they could.

ALEX: How many Indians were in Kuwait at the time in 1990? Do you know? 

KP FABIAN: You see, probably 165,000.

ALEX: Plus, he said, about 10,000 in Iraq. So in total, they were looking at around 175,000 people that they’d potentially need to figure out how to help.

KP FABIAN: And then we decided, look, if there is going to be war, then we have to take our people out. And how can we take our people out? Only with the cooperation of Saddam Hussein. After all, Kuwait was in his control. So it was decided that we will take our people out and that we shall seek the cooperation of Saddam Hussein.

ALEX: So India and Iraq ended up signing this pact, which basically agreed that the Iraqi authorities would give the Indian government permission to evacuate and repatriate its civilians from Kuwait. But… they couldn’t evacuate them from Kuwait or Baghdad airport because those two countries were at war and it was risky, so the closest airport that could handle thousands of extra passengers was Amman, in Jordan… 1,400 kilometers away by road.

ALEX: Can I ask like a really stupid question? How come the decision was made to fly people from Amman instead of from Kuwait or from anywhere else?

KP FABIAN: It’s like this. First of all, people had started moving towards Amman on their own. Some people, not all people. Also we thought that the though Saddam Hussein did promise us his help and all that, but, you know, we prefer to work through Amman, we felt more comfortable.

ALEX: So, not in ideal situation, but they decided it was their best option. At first, they were evacuating people on military planes, but they didn’t have enough. And so, Air India had a bunch of aircraft that were grounded because of a recent accident. KP Fabian told us that, because it was an emergency, that ban got lifted and they started scheduling Air India flights between Amman and India.

KP FABIAN: Partly we arranged, we, meaning the embassy and also the Indian community, but quite often, you know, a bunch of business people will get together and hire a bus. You know what I mean, embassy helped, the community helped, but then people did on their own.

CAROLYN: There was this process happening, and we got wind of it through the grapevine saying that there was this process happening where if you were to buy a bus and 50 of you were to get onto that bus. You registered with the organizations and whatever have you, you could go out, you could get out of the country. So Ruth’s father, he and his friends and along with my father-in-law, they  rounded up 50 people, we all pooled in. And we were able to buy this bus, so to say. So it had to be 50 people. It couldn’t be 51. It couldn’t be 49.

RUTH: We were told that we could carry with us in terms of luggage, we could carry only what we could physically carry ourselves, which when you’re talking of a home, that’s been built over the 16 years that my parents were in Kuwait, that’s literally nothing. That’s literally nothing.

ALEX: That’s like a backpack each. 

RUTH: Absolutely. It was just that. Personally, I carried two of my stuffed toys. I distinctly remember the Teddy bear that I had.

CAROLYN: We left everything behind. My father-in-law’s 40 years worth of stuff, went there for about 40 years, everything we lost. What do you take? What takes precedence?

ALEX: And what takes precedence for you?

CAROLYN: Just clothes to the journey and my photographs. That’s it. 

RUTH: I mean, the scene is very clear for me when we stepped out of our house and my mum is very particular before every journey, we say a prayer before we leave, before any journey. And she said, I’m going to say a prayer and she was very stoic if I could say that in her appearance and my dad just looked at it. So it’s this understanding maybe that they had, and he said, listen, just think of it. Like you’re closing the door, you’re headed out to the market and just leave, don’t look back at the house because he knew how much her heart was breaking to leave a house that she has built so beautifully, you know, just to leave behind.

ALEX: We’ll be back after the break.

[MIDROLL]

ALEX: So you get on this bus and what are your expectations for the bus ride? 

CAROLYN: Nothing, we just got onto this bus. And when it started to drive –– when it took off, we said a prayer and said, okay, here it goes. We were driving into the wild blue yonder. We didn’t know a thing.

RUTH (DIARY): 27th September 1990. Today we leave Kuwait. We left out home and headed to [Salmiyah] school where all of the embassy busses were standing. Our bus number was 24. We left Kuwait at 12:45pm, and crossed the border in the evening, and entered the occupying country Iraq, which was our only means of escaping to Jordan.

RUTH: When we reached the border, there is a small checkpoint of sorts. And the bus was stopped, and the bus broke down. And if you stand at the front of the bus, you are in Iraq. And if you go to the back seat of the bus, you are in Kuwait. That’s how the bus broke down.

ALEX: Oh my gosh. Like you broke down literally on the border?

RUTH: Literally on the border.

ALEX: Ruth told us that, eventually the bus got repaired, but they fell behind in the convoy – the rest of the busses went on ahead.

CAROLYN: I knew we were getting to Baghdad at some point in time. And after that, it was anybody guess which route we were taking, where we were going… nobody knew anything.

ALEX: Do you remember what you did to entertain yourselves on the bus? 

CAROLYN: Sang songs, there are lots of elders, so they prayed. We generally chatted. And they were strangers, we didn’t know those people on the bus, but we became good friends by the end of the second day. We were comrades in a crisis. So we got to Baghdad. We left early in the morning and we got to Baghdad that night. 

RUTH: And as we entered the city, there were holdings all over the place with Saddam Hussein’s pictures on it. In many ways his photo was all plastered all over the city and arrangements for that night, the embassy had arranged for us to stay at a hotel, but it’s not a hotel where, you know, you will get a room to yourself or anything like that. 50 people –– one bus of 50 people were given two rooms to occupy,.

RUTH (DIARY): Our room was room number 18 and it was so small. 16 people were in this small room. There was one big double bed with a red mattress. The toilet was small with a broken flush. The central AC did not work, and on the one carpet in the room there was vomit. 

RUTH: The men in the family all went and took turns to be able to guard the bus, and the next day the journey continued. It was again endless desert.

ALEX: The journey took them six days in total to get to these camps that the Indian government had prepared for them near Amman, and when they got there they were registered by the Red Crescent, everyone was given a number. Carolyn was number 75,901, her husband was 75,000. And basically the number system was, when your number came up, it’s your turn to fly home.

CAROLYN: And I must tell you, they looked after us fantastically. They was so good to us. Every morning, a refrigerated truck would come. You queued up in front of the truck and you were given a box. It had your daily rations in that box. They give us things like rice, they give us pulses, they gave us a tin of sardines, there was salt, there were apples. Everything you needed calorie wise to get you through a day in those conditions.

RUTH: And all the children were given a litre of milk, and biscuits, and then they told us that we’re going to be allotted a tent number, and we can go settle in that tent. Now each tent could accommodate around 20 people. So our bus was divided between two tents that were right next to each other, and that was going to be home for five days.

ALEX: In all of Carolyn’s pictures from these camps, you see these tent cities in the middle of the desert: people lining up outside metal cabins for their food and water rations. People cooking sardine biryani crouched over camping stoves. In one picture you see Ruth as a young girl sitting crossed legged on the floor of a tent, writing in her diary.

CAROLYN: I’ll tell you something which the world doesn’t know, when I say the world, I said my, my outside circle and all that, I was pregnant at the time of the invasion. I had just gotten pregnant. And I lost that baby on the way out. It was in that camp that I miscarried. Because being on the bus for so long and all the jostling and the jolting around my –– I got pretty messed up. And, uh, that was a dark chapter in our lives because we hadn’t told anybody. And by the time we needed to tell somebody it was too late.

RUTH: What happened is the next day we went to the airport. 

RUTH (DIARY): 3rd October 1990. Finally in the evening a bus came. The boys loaded the bus and we left [Azrak] camp, thanking the Red Cross and all the people there for their help. After about two hours of driving, we reached Amman. 

RUTH: And you could see these huge serpentine lines of people. Just waiting and waiting. And they had apparently been there for like two days or three days by the time we got to the airport and they were just waiting for their turn to get into planes.

ALEX: All Indians?

RUTH: All Indians, absolutely all Indians. 

CAROLYN: And we learned that some of them had been in those, in that queue for over a week. And I thought to myself, what the hell? What’s going to happen now?

RUTH: And what happened, I think for our good luck at that time, there was –– so the Indian government tried to tie up with as many other governments, friendly governments at that time to bring in their planes as well.

CAROLYN: Next thing we knew apart from having gone in, we were boarded onto this brand new Emirates jet. Apparently we were on the very first flight, mercy flight, that the Emir of the Emirates had donated. He donated 50 flights. And we were on the very first one. So yeah, we got onto this flight, and the next thing we knew, we were in Bombay.

RUTH: And from there, you could take domestic flights within the country to anywhere you needed to go. So Bombay was the closest to my hometown. And from there, it’s a one-hour flight to where I live.

ALEX: The flights our of Kuwait were covered by the Indian government. And they would’ve also covered train or bus fair from Bombay to Mangalore too, but Ruth’s family decided to buy flights because they were quicker.

CAROLYN: And even in Bombay, we had people waiting for refugees coming back and you were allowed a three minute free phone call to anywhere in the country. So yeah, I called my father at about two o’clock in the morning to say we are home Dad.

ALEX: And I guess by that point they knew you’re okay, right?

CAROLYN: No. Until then they didn’t know. No. 

ALEX: Oh wow. Oh my god.

CAROLYN: They had no news of us at all. They didn’t know whether we were alive, dead, nothing, nothing at all. No communication for 58 days. 

ALEX: So how was your Dad’s reaction when you called him?

CAROLYN: It was like –– my girl! My girl! Is that you? Where are you calling from? I said Dad, we’re in Bombay. He was –– instead of talking to me because I had only three minutes, he was busy trying to wake my mother up saying they’re home! They’re home! And she was in a complete daze. Yeah. And he, apparently after that he went and woke up the whole household. He woke up the street, he woke up the neighbors. Yeah. He was, you know, kind of elated. 

ALEX: Do you remember how long it took to get everybody out?

KP FABIAN: About two months. And there were 500 flights.

ALEX: Wow, 500 flights.

KP FABIAN: I enjoyed every moment, I like tension and like I said we got cooperation from everyone. Not only within the government but also outside the government. 

ALEX: Over the following two months, the Indian government evacuated around 125,000 Indians out of Kuwait. Which, by the way, at the start of the episode, we said it was the biggest ever government evacuation of its citizens from one country. Which is still true. But something worth mentioning is that in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, India’s government ran a similar evacuation mission… with the aim to bring 200,000 Indians back home, from around the world.

As a kind of postscript here to the story: in 2016, there was a Bollywood film made about the evacuation called Airlift. It’s this high production epic that centers around a fictional character called Ranjit. 

[Archival tape] 

ALEX: And I think for a lot of people who were evacuated out of Kuwait at the time, it was like exciting that they were making a movie about it.

[Archival tape] 

ALEX: And I think there was a lot of build up and a lot of anticipation before it came out. But…

RUTH: (Laughs) Okay I had a lot to say about Airlift!

ALEX: Everyone we spoke to told us they were disappointed by it.

ALEX: I wanted to ask you if you’ve seen the movie Airlift? 

RUTH: It honestly was not a true depiction of what happened. I think we were all excited. Everyone was excited and because we thought, okay, wow, someone’s finally going to do a movie about this and it’s going to be so cool. And then we go to the theaters, we went to the theaters to watch that and at the end of it, I was like, what just happened? What was that movie? Because there was no mention of the convoys, there was no mention of the camps. It was, it was at best, it was a takeoff on a true incident and not really a depiction of the true incident at all.

ALEX: So… if you ever watch Airlift – and you can, the whole thing is on YouTube – take it with a pinch of salt.

HEBAH: This episode of Kerning Cultures is produced by the Kerning Cultures Network, which means we’re part of a bigger network. We have 8 shows in total, in Arabic and in English, that are fabulous, and we encourage you to check them out. You can find us at kerningcultures.com.

Today’s episode was written and produced by Alex Atack and Shraddha Joshi, and edited by Dana Ballout with support from Nadeen Shaker, Zeina Dowidar and Abde Amr. Sound design by Alex Atack, mixing by Mohamad Khreizat, and Bella Ibrahim is our marketing director.

ALEX: Thank you to Ruth D’Souza Prabhu, Carolyn Pais and KP Fabian for talking to us for this story. You can see the pictures that Carolyn took along the journey and the diary she kept, we’ll put them both up on our instagram, it’s @kerningcultures.

HEBAH: Before you go, we have 2 things to ask of you: if you liked this episode, please share it on social and with your friends.  We’ll be back with a new episode next week. Thanks for listening, until next time.

[OUTRO STING]