Interview with the Jahra Groom from The Kuwait Times

Excerpt from an article entitled "Jahra Fire Death Toll Reaches 46" by A Saleh:

...Sounding distressed and still shocked by Saturday's horrific events, Al-Thefeiri revealed that he had married his first wife in 2004, with the couple having two children, a boy and a girl, in the next couple of years. He said that they had initially been happy, but added that he had been planning to take another wife for some time due to the constant interference in their marriage of his mother-in-law and his wife's aunt, who he said had only recently been naturalized.

I'm 23 years old and I've been unemployed for five years now. I used to be an army soldier and was dismissed for private reasons that I don't wish to discuss," he said before talking about how he and his first wife had grown apart. "[My first wife's mother and aunt] made her refuse to take care of me, to cook for me and spend time with me," he claimed, laying most of the blame on his first wife's aunt, who he said was 40 years old and married to an 18-year-old man. "This led to my wife starting a rebellion and following in [her aunt's] footsteps in being too free!

Three months ago, therefore, Al-Thefeiri got engaged to his bedoon second wife. On the subject of why he did not divorce his first wife before remarrying, he said that he was friends with her brothers and stayed married for their sakes. "Our main problem was her aunt, originally an Iraqi, who only received citizenship through her Kuwaiti husband," he claimed, adding that a maid working for his parents' neighbors had informed him on the day after the fire that she had been called over by his first wife who
was standing outside the wedding tent, along with two other women and two men, and noticed that she was carrying a container of petrol and a lighter. The maid said that the first wife had asked her to bring a newspaper, which he believes was used to kindle the flames. "I'm in deep shock and still can't believe what happened," he bemoaned.

One of Al-Thefeiri's neighbors, whose mother and sister were injured in the wedding tent blaze, however claimed that Al-Thefeiri, who regularly attended his diwaniya, had informed him that his first wife played in a folk music group and that he had divorced her over a year ago. Another neighbor who lives across the street from the Al-Thefeiri family's home, was full of praise for Zayed's father, who died in the 1980s, who he said was a good man who had worked for the police.

Another of the family's neighbors claimed that Zayed was a drunkard with a criminal record who had only recently been released from prison and suggested that he had only been naturalized in recent years, saying, "Zayed used to be a bedoon and only got his citizenship eight months ago." Another resident of the neighborhood said that Zayed had been married more than once previously, stating, "This is his fourth marriage," and claiming that Zayed had already divorced the wife who set the wedding tent on fire.

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