In the Eighties of the last century, Kuwait Airways was one of our most important clients in Kuwait. We provided them with advertising and public relations services through our company “Fortune Promoseven”.
However, after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990, the chairman of the company called me stressing that he had a fleet of aircraft outside Kuwait’s airports out of work. He asked me to figure out a solution along with him to improve this situation.
At that time, the Kuwaitis needed encouragement and hope. We designed a campaign that delivered both, the slogan: “Until we can welcome you to Kuwait, welcome aboard”. Then we continued the campaign with a very strong retail message under the title “Today we fly to Cairo, London, Bahrain and soon to Kuwait”. We succeeded in advertising Kuwait Airways flights and simultaneously delivering a message to the world about the resilience of Kuwaitis and their love for their country.
The brutal Iraqi invasion of Kuwait ended, and Kuwait returned to the Kuwaitis. This was accomplished with the support of its Gulf brothers and decisive military intervention from an international coalition led by the United States. And Kuwait Airways returned to work.
What did we learn from this harsh lesson? I believe that the most important challenge that we face as individuals, societies and countries is the necessity to adhere to hope and work. This is exactly what we need at all times. We need to show determination, patience and love. To get up from our bed every morning determined to make a better world.
The issue is related to hope and work, and the absolute belief that difficult times are not as difficult as we imagine. But moments of happiness and positive aspects can be seized from them, while appreciating that good times too must carry with them moments of challenge and sorrow. The most important of all is to be ready to go through difficult moments and celebrate beautiful times.
Bahrain has gratefully provided great support to its citizens, even to residents and companies, to help mitigate the effects of the current coronavirus crisis. Employees are now sitting in their homes, receiving their salaries, and they do not have to pay their bank loan instalments, nor the housing instalments, nor the price of electricity and water. Asian workers specifically, live in isolated places on open leave and enjoy meals and healthcare. The companies also obtain financial grants from Tamkeen and do not pay electricity and water and labour market regulation fees, nor do they pay the salaries of their Bahraini employees.
This is all very good and very generous; but it carries a kind of danger at the same time. We must not believe that this situation is a normal situation. We should not think, act and spend as if the government’s grants will continue forever. We must save the money to pay off loans, and companies should not depend on financial grants, because when life returns to normal, laziness should not have infected us and we should not get used to receiving support without work and production.
We must invest from the current coronavirus pandemic in re-arranging our priorities in one way or another. This pandemic has highlighted the importance of caring for our health and food and strengthening our immune system. It has pushed us to strengthen our social relationships more, caring for the family, friends and acquaintances around us. It has given us the strength to overcome difficulties.
You get what you expect. If you really need something, even if it is impossible, dream about it, put it at the heart of your imagination, develop a firm and flexible plan to reach it. And you will get it in the end. Even if you do not get it you will get happiness in your journey towards fulfilling that dream because maybe this journey is true happiness.