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Ex-Wife Confesses to Setting Kuwait Wedding Tent Fire

From today’s Kuwait Times So like, you are the taxi driver, a woman gets in your cab with two containers full of gasoline, and you drop her off at a wedding tent? (It doesn’t say if he was told to wait) Like wouldn’t that make you a little concerned?

Her maids knew about her threats. Wouldn’t you think someone might warn her family?

I know that there is a way of looking at this that makes it more comprehensible, but it is so far beyond me, except that I have heard multiple times about in-laws interfering in marriages, and I imagine it could make you homicidal. But oh, this is the stuff of legend.

If she was married to the groom in this wedding at one time, isn’t there a likelihood that she is from that same family?

Ex-wife consumed with burning anger
Published Date: August 18, 2009
By A Saleh, Staff writer

KUWAIT: The woman arrested in connection with the Jahra wedding tent fire, which killed 42 people and injured dozens more, some critically, has confessed to starting the blaze. The woman, the ex-wife of the bridegroom, made her confession during police questioning, which began at 2:30 am on Sunday morning. The questioning was personally supervised by Brigadier Sheikh Mazen Al-Jarrah, the Assistant Director General of Criminal Detectives for Governorate Affairs.

Asked about her motives for starting the fire, the unidentified 23-year-old woman said that she had wanted to take revenge on her parents-in-law, whom she accused of destroying her marriage. She added that she had argued continually with them, saying they wanted to “burn” her heart by making her ex-husband marry another woman. Asked by the interviewing officers whether she had experienced problems with her husband, she said these problems had increased because of his family, adding that he had begun to beat her and create problems due to believing what his family told him about her.

She said she had been considering setting the wedding tent alight since she learned about the wedding party, adding that nobody else had known about her plans. Asked if she had intended to kill those in the tent, she told officers, “Of course not. I only wanted to disturb the party.

When the officers questioning her asked if she knew that more than 40 people had died due to her actions and the number may increase, she collapsed and began crying. After calming down, she explained how she had set the tent on fire, telling officers that on the night of the wedding she had taken a taxi to the home of her parents-in-law in Jahra, carrying two bottles filled with petrol. On arriving, she simply walked up to the tent, poured the petrol on it and set it alight before fleeing. She then took an
other taxi and returned to her home.

While on her way there, she received a text message from her in-laws accusing her of starting the fire. She then called her brother and told him that she was going to Rabiya police station to register a complaint about the message. When the officers asked her if her brother knew that she was behind the fire, she said, “Of course not. I told him I was going out and he didn’t know about the fire.

The woman said that once she arrived at the police station to make the complaint, however, she said that the desk officer there refused to register it, telling her that nobody had accused her of anything. After that, she said, she had gone to her parents’ home until “you arrested me and sent me to the Criminal Investigation Department in Salmiya.

A total of 43 women and children have died and 90 other people were injured in the inferno, fire chief General Jassem Al-Mansouri said, the deadliest civilian disaster in the modern history of the Gulf state. Health Minister Helal Al-Sayer said that 38 wounded women have been discharged after receiving the necessary treatment. Of the 52 wounded still in hospital, at least five are in critical condition with extremely severe burns, the minister said, adding that some others have suffered moderate burns.

Thirty-one of the dead were buried on Sunday and yesterday while forensics officials are still busy trying to establish the identities of the other victims. At least seven of the dead are children. Specialized medical teams from Germany and Britain were scheduled to arrive yesterday to treat the injured.

August 18, 2009 - Posted by | Crime, Cultural, Family Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Marriage, Mating Behavior, Social Issues, Women's Issues


  1. Hi, Yes the bride did survive but her mother and sister died. In her confession she said that some of the women who died were related to her.

    Comment by Rose | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  2. She was indignant they accused her of starting the fire, then went to register a police complaint??

    The dead women, dead children, still suffering women in the hospital, the bereaved families…the list goes on. A tragedy beyond tragedy.

    A totally premeditated act. This young lady needs to seriously dig into her conscience and see what her actions have costs so many.

    Comment by Americana | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  3. Oh, Rose. I know there are so many sad families mourning their losses, and I also imagine the family of the woman who set the fire is also grieving. Imagine having a daughter/sister/cousin who had done such a thing. I feel so sorry for them, too.

    Americana – you are right, the tragedy just goes on and on, unending. And when you are young, when you are hurt, sometimes your thinking just goes whacky. It’s never happened to you? I cannot imagine doing something like that, actually going through with it, but I am guessing the woman who did this never anticipated these horrifying consequences. I am guessing she thought she was expressing her pain for what her husband’s family had done to her. She has a very very difficult path in front of her now. I cannot imagine that she is rational.

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  4. Jealous is madaness! How bad one is irritated , one should calculate ones enger before embarking on revenge. Definetely Sharia will not feel sorry for here action and will not spare her. She will have to pay the price of her life ignorantly.

    Comment by Arabiana | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  5. This has really shocked the country. What I found a little upsetting though is that it is being related to “a woman scorned” in a sort of humorous fashion, in line with the stereotype that women are crazy. I noted this specifically in Alwatan channel last night which found it appropriate to mention women throughout history who have done crimes out of being scorned. It was taken with a sense of humor – totally inadequate as far as I’m concerned. So now all us women are lunatics who kill in the name of lost love.

    Comment by 1001Nights | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  6. I hope it does not start a trend!!

    Comment by ansam518 | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  7. Arabiana – It IS madness, and I cannot imagine the ex-wife will be safe, even in prison. Even her own family must be heartsick at what she has done.

    1001 – Interesting point, because when a man does it, it is an “honor” crime (is there an emoticon for throwing up?) I am guessing it is so sensational because it is a woman, and ironically, we control our emotions more successfully. Society almost expects MEN to commit acts of horrendous violence, but is horrified when it is a woman who commits the same kind of act.

    Ansam – Holy Smokes! But I think the groom is right, sometimes when a crime gets a lot of attention, there is potential for copy-cat crimes. Partly, it cracks me up, they SAY there is no problem with taking two, three, up to four wives, but . . . their actions speak louder than words.

    Comment by intlxpatr | August 18, 2009 | Reply

  8. […] View post: Ex-Wife Confesses to Setting Kuwait Wedding Tent Fire « Here There … […]

    Pingback by Ex-Wife Confesses to Setting Kuwait Wedding Tent Fire « Here There … | Kuwait today | August 20, 2009 | Reply

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