A Kuwait Legend

Hip Hop DJ Jack - Kuwait Legend!

This man right here is my man in the Middle East. I'm gonna keep his name under wraps, cos the authorities in the 'wait probably would have his ass but if it were not for this man and Ed, Kuwait would have been unbearable.

You see this man was the organiser of the underground dance parties that I found out about and of the people I met out there, this man was one of the most fascinating. For the purposes of the piece, we'll call him DJ Jack.

I can't remember how I came to hear of DJ Jack and the secret dance parties of the desert nation, but after being there for a few months it was all starting to get to me. I hadn't met anyone but teachers and morons and people who would fit into both categories for months and the loneliness was startin to get a little claustrophobic. Partying in Kuwait is illegal of course, and you could forget about beer, dancing and girls - my three favourite things in the world! Why the fuck had I agreed to come to this god-forsaken shithole anyway...

I'll confess that after 6 months of utter abstinence from the good stuff, I missed dancing more than anything else. Of course I like a nice beer with friends and damn I appreciate a nice pair of titties as much as the next man but there is something about the dance I can't put into words. I just missed it.

I heard it though the grapevine that I could get my fix. Word on the underground was that a fella had organised a party boat that set off and jetted out beyond the coastguards reach and the party was a goodun. I put out the word that I needed the number of the man who organised this clandestine party and I wanted to be part of it. By that time I definitely had no friends left at school, where my unorthodoxy and youth pissed off the establishment so I was more than happy to be breakin out of the mould.

It wasn't long before I tracked him down and we chatted long on the phone and arranged a meet up soon after at the Metro Star cafe down the road from my war-damaged block and we stopped for a few hours to swap stories.

Part of my reason for choosing Kuwait as a place to go straight after my PGCE was because I have a strange fascination with the depths of brutality which mankind can show to his fellow man. I guess this comes from being a child of a war myself, Vietnam having altered the course of my life, and the after-effects of war have always fascinated me.

Mashed up mortared building from the first Iraq war - nice of them to clear it up...

As we swapped stories DJ Jack told me about himself - he was from Nigeria originally and had relocated and loved the country. He then told me of atrocities from the first Iraq War in 1991 and the death of his best mate. Even though I'd seen tanks and the heavy artillery rolling out past me on the way to Basra, it still wasn't obvious to me that actually this is a country that has recently seen war. On the ground which I walked there stood Death and even as we spoke the army was patrolling the streets just a few hundred miles north of where we were. Had I been so naive? The Iraqis had killed his best mate years earlier and while we talked of UN intervention and the US jumping the gun to depose Saddam, the man before me was just relieved that that bastard was finally being brought to justice for killing his friend. I could remain neutral no longer and that's when I started to realise that we victims of war can see things in black and white. We just want justice.

A few days later the first party went down. It wasn't on a ship but in the basement of a large block of flats. It was a weekday night and people would show up and covertly ask where the party was. There was no alcohol which didn't bother me at all, I'd long since decided that this was a dry country and only an arsehole would come over and flaunt the law and anyway I was tehre to dance. And that day I learnt the cha-cha-slide. Well some people call that dancing...

Half way through the night the strangest thing happened when I stepped out into the desert for air. Just standin there and cooling off, I struck up a conversation with the bouncer,

"Be careful in there, kid" he said, "you're new here yeah..?"

I asked him what he meant. I could look after myself and there was no-one in there that I didn't think I could charm out of a fight or kick in the balls and run away from.

"The police are crawlin all over the place" he said

What the hell?! It turned out that while we were in there, the underground party wasn't quite as down-low as we thought, but the police knew about it and were there in plain clothes. They had drove up, changed clothes and come in to watch for anythin untoward, and would just arrest anyone if it got out of hand, probably to throw them into Kuwaiti bum-rape hell.

So what were they lookin out for exactly? I had to know. In the UK you might be lookin out for a gun or knife, a bit of the old illegal drugs, maybe a bit too much sex on the dancefloor that sort of thing.

"They're lookin to make sure that no-one kisses anyone"

Well fuck me. That was pretty unexpected! They were also lookin for any alcohol. Maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan! No wonder they see us Westerners as immoral! They should see Leicester Square on Saturday night with the teenage slappers chuckin up their guts on the pavements and having sex in the phoneboxes.

I went back in, done the cha-cha slide one more time and stayed the hell away from having sex with anyone, then decided that I'd probably be better off dancin around my front room rather than gettin banged up in a Kuwaiti prison. After I left there was a fight with some drunken twats and the place went to shit.

DJ Jack has stopped running parties now and has gone pretty spiritual. We're still in touch and it's all good.

I've just been on msn to him and it seems that over the last few months we've both been unemployed. Whereas I thought that the local gladiator academy was a challenge (I've now found a job in somewhere pretty nice actually - fingers x'ed) DJ Jack has nailed himself a REAL challenge...he's going to Iraq with the British Army to be a translator!!!!

And I thought I was in the firing line! I will never complain of a shit day in the office again!

I'm prayin for you big guy. And believe me, in this godless country where I live, that's a big deal. Take some good pics bro and tell me all about it when you chat up in a month. See ya then.
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