T-Shirt, produced for the British ex-pat community in the Gulf states, satirising the effect of the Gulf War on their way of life.
White cotton, crew-neck t-shirt. Printed on it is a comical design in red, blue, yellow and green of a person on a lounger under a sun-umbrella by the sea. Underneath is the legend "IT'S TOUGH IN THE GULF!"
This t-shirt belonged to Penny Hollowell and was regularly used as a 'swimming t-shirt' when covering up in the strong sun at the beach in Doha.
The Hollowell family moved to Doha in September 1990, shortly after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Nigel Hollowell was employed as a contractor by A.K.C., a company owned by Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. His wife Penny was a teacher at the Doha English Speaking School, which their children Clare and Helen attended.
During the months leading up to - and after - the Gulf War in January - February 1991, products such as this t-shirt became available to British ex-pats. It was a satarical expression of how little the emerging crisis had on their way of life. Despite the issuance of respirators, the evacuation of non-essential personnel, and the introduction of a warden system, the British community still resident in Qatar continued their way of life and considered the possibility of hostilities as of litte direct concern.
With the build up of tension and the advice from the British Government to evacuate all non-esential personnel, Penny, Clare and Helen decided to leave their home at the 11th hour, taking the last flight out of the country on 16th February 1991. They retuned to Qatar around six weeks later.