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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.
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 21:15:00 -0800
The historic evacuation of 1.7 lakh Indians from war-torn Kuwait in 1990 is once again in the limelight, thanks to the recent release 'Airlift', but not many may know about another rescue operation in which 722 refugees sailed to safety on the Indian ...
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 18:37:30 -0800
Bunge challenges Egypt over rejected French wheat cargo. * Egypt's FIHC tenders to buy soyoil and sunflower oil - trade. * Egypt's GASC says fungus ... QATAR. * U.S. judge deports Qatar military officer accused of enslaving servants. KUWAIT. * Kuwait ...
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 02:30:00 -0800
The relatively young company was established in July 1976 by a joint shareholding comprising six Arab states – Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. ... The software aims to verify the safety of cargo loaded on board.
Hellenic Shipping News Worldwide
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 13:00:00 -0800
JEDDAH -- The Middle Eastern & North African countries are forging ahead with plans to establish a strong passenger and freight transport network with 16 major railway projects worth $352 billion currently under way in the region, according to ...
Tue, 09 Feb 2016 04:33:45 -0800
Last month, Government stopped a cargo ship carrying crude feedstock from offloading the contaminated consignment at the point of discharge in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, because of high levels of organic chlorides similar to the cargo received in June ...
Zambia Daily Mail
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 23:17:55 -0800
The year 2015 brought welcome stabilisation and recovery to Egypt, after a difficult post-revolutionary period marked by continued upheaval and sluggish growth. The first part of the year saw a range of encouraging developments, including the ...
Daily News Egypt
Fri, 05 Feb 2016 11:21:00 -0800
... forces in Kurdistan. They claimed the Canadians were carrying supplies and weapons into the region without authorization from Iraq. The Canadian transport plane sat on the ground for four days and was eventually allowed to return to Kuwait with its ...
Sun, 07 Feb 2016 07:00:00 -0800
For a recent Clean Fuel Project in Kuwait, it offered fast and effective customs clearance, despite limitations in port infrastructure. Services included land transport of break bulk and containerised cargo and heavy lifting equipment. Typically ...