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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.
Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:00:13 -0700
China's deployment for the search – 18 warships, smaller coastguard vessels, a civilian cargo ship and an Antarctic icebreaker – has stretched the supply lines and logistics of its rapidly expanding navy, Chinese analysts and regional military attaches ...
Business Insider Australia
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 03:04:47 -0700
When the accident occurred, Bruce was working for United Airlines as a ramp serviceman at Al-Mubarak Air Base in Kuwait. According to the lawsuit, Bruce was handling cargo from a Boeing 747 on a raised belt loader when an employee of CAV moved it, ...
Law Firm Newswire (press release)
Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:33:45 -0700
This vessel arrived just off Kuwait with the commissioning cargo in 2014 March and is currently completing commissioning procedures & it has commenced its service under a 5-year time charter with the Kuwait National Petroleum Company and is supporting ...
Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:07:30 -0700
KUWAIT CITY, April 19: Customs officers at the Shuwaikh Port foiled an attempt to smuggle about 2.4 million narcotic pills that were concealed inside a barbed wire cargo from Beirut to the country. A Syrian expatriate who went to the port to clear the ...
Arab Times Kuwait English Daily
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 03:07:30 -0700
The battalion's Soldiers worked around the clock to ensure the proper and timely transportation of cargo and personnel in Kuwait. “The 53rd played a vital role in this area of responsibility and has done an outstanding job working with military and ...
Mon, 21 Apr 2014 13:10:00 -0700
All shapes and sizes of craft are here, ranging from the small shu'i and sanbuq once used for fishing and pearling to a giant battil, built in Doha in the 1980s and capable of carrying cargo as far as China and beyond, as its ancestors did of old ...
Tue, 08 Apr 2014 04:03:45 -0700
If the rapprochement never materialises, Duqm will be a port of choice for merchant shipping companies that do not want their mega-ships diverted to the volatile Gulf region. Instead, they can make landfall here and potentially take ... And it is road ...
Times of Oman
Sun, 06 Apr 2014 20:22:30 -0700
... are expected to be coming home. The unit is returning from a nine-month deployment to Kuwait. During the deployment, the HHD helped transport equipment and cargo. They also worked to maintain positive relationships with Kuwaiti Ministry of Interior.