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Kuwait is situated northeast of Saudi Arabia at the northern end of the Persian Gulf, south of Iraq. It is slightly larger than Hawaii. The low-lying desert land is mainly sandy and barren. Kuwait is a constitutional monarchy, governed by the al-Sabah family.
Kuwait is believed to have been part of an early civilization in the 3rd millennium B.C. and to have traded with Mesopotamian cities. Archeological and historical traces disappeared around the first millennium B.C. At the beginning of the 18th century, the 'Anizah tribe of central Arabia founded Kuwait City, which became an autonomous sheikdom by 1756. 'Abd Rahim of the al-Sabah became the first sheik, and his descendants continue to rule Kuwait today. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, the sheikdom belonged to the fringes of the Ottoman Empire. Kuwait obtained British protection in 1897 when the sheik feared that the Turks would expand their hold over the area. In 1961, Britain ended the protectorate, giving Kuwait independence, but agreed to give military aid on request. Iraq immediately threatened to occupy the area, and the British sent troops to defend Kuwait. Soon afterward, the Arab League sent in troops, replacing the British. Iraq's claim was dropped when the Arab League recognized Kuwait's independence on July 20, 1961. Historically, Kuwait followed a neutral and mediatory policy among Arab states.
Oil was discovered in Kuwait in the 1930s, and proved to have 20% of the world's known oil resources. Since 1946 it has been the world's second-largest oil exporter. The sheik, who receives half of the profits, devotes most of them to the education, welfare, and modernization of his kingdom. In 1966, Sheik Sabah designated a relative, Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah, as his successor. By 1968, the sheikdom had established a model welfare state, and it sought to establish dominance among the sheikdoms and emirates of the Persian Gulf.
In July 1990, Iraqi president Saddam Hussein blamed Kuwait for falling oil prices. After a failed Arab mediation attempt to solve the dispute peacefully, Iraq invaded Kuwait on Aug. 2, 1990, set up a pro-Iraqi provisional government, and drained Kuwait of its economic resources. A coalition of Arab and Western military forces drove Iraqi troops from Kuwait in a mere four days, from Feb. 23–27, 1991, ending the Persian Gulf War. The emir returned to his country from Saudi Arabia in mid-March. Martial law, in effect since the end of the Gulf War, ended in late June. The U.S. sent 2,400 troops to the country in Aug. 1992, ostensibly as part of a training exercise, though it was widely interpreted as a show of strength to Saddam Hussein. Iraqi “training” maneuvers near the Kuwaiti border in Oct. 1994 renewed fears of aggression in the country. A Kuwaiti appeal brought the quick deployment of U.S. and British troops and equipment.
In 1999, the emir gave women the right to vote and run for parliament, but later that year Parliament defeated the ruler's decree. Kuwaiti society has grown increasingly conservative under the influence of Islamic fundamentalists. In 2003, traditionalists won a sweeping victory in parliamentary elections. The emir and crown prince (who served as prime minister) were elderly and ailing; in July 2003, the country's de facto leader, foreign minister Sheik Sabah, replaced the crown prince as prime minister.
In May 2005, Kuwait abandoned its 1999 ban on women's suffrage, and in June a woman was appointed to the cabinet. In April 2006, women voted for the first time. In Jan. 2006, the emir, Sheik Jabir, died. His cousin, Crown Prince Sheik Saad, briefly became the nation's ruler, but he was forced to abdicate because of extreme ill health. The prime minister, Sheik Sabah, was then nominated and unanimously confirmed by Parliament as emir. Sheik Sabah named his brother, Sheik Nawaf, as crown prince, and his nephew, Sheik Nasser, as prime minister.
Prime Minister Sheik Nasser Muhammad al-Ahmad al-Sabah dissolved the opposition-led parliament in March 2008 and called for new elections. In May's parliamentary elections, radical Islamists took more than half of the body's 50 seats. No women were elected to Parliament. Prime Minister Sabah and his cabinet resigned in November in a dispute with Parliament over the visit to Kuwait by a controversial Iranian cleric. The emir reappointed Sabah in December, and he formed a new government in Jan. 2009, composed largely of previous cabinet members.
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 21:41:15 -0700
“I wasn't on the ship, but got to see a closed caption of an aircraft carrier at sea where Lee Greenwood (performed) 'God Bless the U.S.A.' in the cargo hold. ... Often times, the celebration included a fancier meal at the chow hall and a 5K run in Kuwait.
Yankton Daily Press
Tue, 30 Jun 2015 00:18:45 -0700
KUWAIT, June 30 (KUNA) -- 1946 -- Kuwait exported the first commercial cargo of crude oil, 10,567 tons, aboard a British tanker that docked at Al-Ahmadi Port. An official ceremony was held, with attendance of the His Highness the Amir Sheikh Ahmad ...
Kuwait News Agency
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:41:15 -0700
While many will be celebrating Independence Day watching fireworks and parades, Elk Grove Village resident and retired U.S. Air Force Logistics Master Sgt. Mark Evans will be overseeing another mission, not only to bring pizza to troops serving in the ...
Journal & Topics Newspapers Online
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 06:30:00 -0700
Djibouti (HAN) July 3, 2015 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Security News – Djibouti Minister -Mahamoud Ali YOUSSOUF, Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that Djibouti will be victorious in its battle with militants in Central Somalia Soon, with the help ...
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 04:16:13 -0700
It's not even as though the cargo on the Marianne was necessary to help Gaza; Israel, as has been pointed out elsewhere, routinely supplies more aid to the Gaza Strip than is possible in these attention-seeking flotillas. If the aim of the flotilla is ...
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:11:15 -0700
KUWAIT, July 2 (KUNA) -- The customs department announced today the arrest of a Kuwaiti national importing weapons used for the purpose of assassinations. The discovery of the weapons was made by checking contents of air cargo, said a statement by ...
Kuwait News Agency
Fri, 03 Jul 2015 05:11:15 -0700
Abdel-Majid explained that exportation by air is very expensive compared to exportation goods via temperature-controlled trucks by land, adding that the first truck arrived in Kuwait while another cargo is on the way to Jordon. Sudanese goods are noted ...
Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:07:30 -0700
Tonnage throughput through Doha Port has been forecast to grow by 36% this year and average 24.5% until 2019, BMI Research has said in a report. Air freight tonnes at Hamad International Airport may grow by 4% this year and average 4.7% until 2019, ...