[This is part of the series: A List of Things I Remember About Living In Saudi Arabia.]
When I lived in Saudi Arabia, I remember being evacuated during the first Gulf War.
Thankfully, I never saw the war itself.
We were on vacation in the U.S. the summer after I finished the third grade.
The summer was coming to a close, and the time had come to head back to Saudi for another school year to start.
It was August of 1990.
We boarded the international flight back to Jeddah, after a ridiculously long layover somewhere in Europe.
Customs in Saudi took a long time as usual and we looked for my dad on the other side of the gate.
When we finally found him he said: “Welcome to the war zone.”
It turns out, Kuwait was invaded by Iraq at some point while we were in the air.
One week later, finally coming off jet-lag, the company my dad worked for evacuated all women and children out of the country.
I remember the flight out from Jeddah to Frankfurt, Germany.
It seemed like half the compound was on the same flight, like a giant field-trip.
I remember listening to New Kids On The Block on my walkman.
We arrived in Germany sometime in the middle of the night.
If I remember right, it was raining outside.
Our layover was so long we got a hotel room and caught our flight to Atlanta, Georgia the next day.