Technology enables war veterans to meet after 25 years

One member of the team created a WhatsApp group and tracked down the other members to organise a reunion

Manama: Modern technology has enabled more than 100 Saudi officers and soldiers to hold a reunion more than 25 years after they parted ways.

“It was a dream come true,” Saeed Bin Mohammad Al Ghamidi said.

“We used to work together in a military maintenance brigade in Khamis Mushait in south-western Saudi Arabia. We were very close and we were together through several eventful times, the latest of which was the Gulf War,” he said, quoted by Saudi news site Sabq on Sunday.

During the preparations for the war that broke out in January 1991, the staff was called to participate in the military operations and help liberate Kuwait from the Iraqi troops who invaded in August 1990.

“After the liberation of Kuwait, we returned to Khamis Mushait, filled with joy and glory. But we soon started to go our separate ways. Some were promoted and shifted to other places while others retired from military service. Although we initially tried to keep in touch, the physical separation and the individual preoccupations and pressures had their toll on us,” Al Ghamidi said.

“However, thanks to the proliferation of social media applications, especially WhatsApp, a member of the team was able to get our individual numbers and set up a group on the application. We all rushed into the collective conversations, recalling with great fondness our memories together and sharing the latest developments in our lives. We then agreed to turn our virtual meeting into a physical one and we eventually met in Aseer.”

The group members agreed to keep in close contact and to hold regular meetings to cherish their togetherness, Al Ghamidi added.

Social media users hailed the reunion of the war veterans, saying that it was a strong indication of their friendship throughout the years.

Some commented that the reunion was a “remarkable use of modern technology” to bring people together despite the passage of time and physical distances.

“Technology should be used to celebrate friendships and not to destroy relations,” Bader said. “These men should be feted as outstanding community examples.”


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