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BEST OF

KUWAIT


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9


CHAPTER 1 The Best of Kuwait


“‫ ﻧﻤﻮﺫﺟﺎً ﻭ ﺭﻣﺰﺍً ﻟﻶﺧﺮﻳﻦ‬،‫”ﻟﻨﻜﻦ ﻣﻦ ﺍﻟﻨﺎﺟﺤﻴﻦ‬ King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques


The State of Kuwait Kuwait constitutes a puzzling but intriguing mix of Western liberalism and strict Islam. The country is also host to elaborate and opulent mosques and palaces, and its religion is an integral part of its affairs.

HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE LIES IN THE GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION OF THE STATE OF KUWAIT AS IT FUNCTIONS AS THE GATEWAY TO THE MIDDLE EAST. Kuwait has drawn upon the accumulated wisdom of countries around the world to power its own growth. In due course with the discovery of oil, within just a few decades a nation of fisherman and traders revolutionised into one of the wealthiest and most established nations of the world. The state is highly esteemed around the world due to enrichments offered by the state-of-art, secure infrastructural facilities and specialisation. The rise in the inimitable identity of the Kuwaitis lies within the historic pride, heritage and national progress - an identity which is worthy of emulation by all nations in the world. The traditions remain the same with the passing centuries. The country has rejuvenated, but the bond with the heritage remains.

It was in the early 1930s when the city commenced its development from a nomadic port town to a thriving Middle Eastern Capital. Maintaining the affluence of the state, the downtown area (Safat) of this city, has lingered into a network of commercial and residential districts. An infrastructure including multi-level highways, facile movement of goods

and services, and international airline connections arose in parallel conjunction with skyscrapers, homes, and increased population. Continuous development takes place providing more accommodation for Kuwaitis. This comprises of up to two-thirds of the State’s population, and in addition foreign residents add to the intensification of Kuwait.


The treasure of the Black Gold may be buried deep in the ground but vibrancy and dynamism prevails.

Kuwait City The capital of the State of Kuwait has numerous sky scrapers, commercial buildings, capacious boulevards, abundantly green, well-tended parks and luxurious hotels and resorts. The allurement of the city lies within the cultural and historic tourism spots, many of which are adjacent to one another, being the major source of attraction and exploration for residents and visitors. The wide boulevards of the city are encompassed through the seven ring-roads. Looked upon as a flourishing oasis in the desert, the Kuwait city offers numerous captivations that combine the ancient Arabic traditions with the presence of enlightened trends of the Gulf.

Salmiya is situated on the south-east border of the Gulf, which is a very well known expatriate housing district where the shopping is as versatile as the multi-ethnic culture. The outskirts of these districts comprise of villas owned by Kuwaitis on governmental plots at various places. Dahiat Abdullah Al Salem, Yarmouk, and Qortuba are considered as some of the most prestigious

neighbourhoods that lie towards the south of Safat. The treasure of ‘Black Gold’ may be buried deep in the ground but vibrancy and dynamism prevail at the surface.


Kuwaiti Flag When Kuwait became an independent State in 1961, the government redesigned the old flag. This was publicised by a law and was issued on the 7th of September 1961. From which some of the conditions were modified on 18th of November, 1961. The first Article predetermined that Kuwait’s national flag should compose of a horizontal rectangle which is twice in length than its width.

Kuwaiti Coat of Arms

The emblem of Kuwait consists of a helmet with a falcon and two overlapping flags over it. It was during the middle of 1963 when the Council of Ministers chose to revolutionise it. The existing emblem of Kuwait has a falcon with unfolded wings incorporating a dhow (boom) sailing on blue and white waves. It is a symbol of Kuwait’s maritime tradition.

Facts and Figures LOCATION: Middle East, bordering the Persian Gulf, between Iraq and Saudi Arabia BORDERS: Iraq 240 km, Saudi Arabia 222 km GEOGRAPHIC COORDINATES: 29 30 N, 45 45 E AREA: TOTAL: 17,820 sq km COASTLINE: 499 km CLIMATE: dry desert; intensely hot summers; short, cool winters NATURAL RESOURCES: Petroleum, fish, shrimp, natural gas


POPULATION: 2,041,961

CAPITAL: Kuwait City

NATIONALITY: noun: Kuwaiti(s)

INDEPENDENCE: 19 June 1961 (from UK)

RELIGIONS: Muslim 85% (Sunni 45%, Shi’a 40%), Christian, Hindu, Parsi and other 15%

NATIONAL HOLIDAY: National Day, 25 February (1950)

LANGUAGES: Arabic (official), English widely spoken COUNTRY NAME: Kuwait OFFICIAL STATE NAME: State of Kuwait CONVENTIONAL SHORT FORM: Kuwait

GDP PER CAPITA: $52,721.96 per capita

LOCAL LONG FORM: Dawlat al Kuwayt LOCAL SHORT FORM: Al Kuwayt

CURRENCY: Kuwaiti dinar (KWD)


HISTORY

THE ORIGIN OF KUWAIT The historic significance of the State of Kuwait and the Arabian Gulf along with the international trade and relations is associated with the ancient times. The existing State of Kuwait was situated within the Mid Arabian territory of the State of Kendah, a state that came into being between the third and the fifth century AD. The existence of an ancient historical civilisation in Kuwait was proven through an archaeological excavation attempt initiated from the Danish Mission in Failaka Island in 1958. The most imperative, inseparable, west portion of the State of Kuwait is connected to the Arabian Peninsula. It takes shape along the coast of the sea shore into the Arabia Gulf Coast, based on which the Arabian Peninsula, its residents and the Gulf region relate to the pre and mid historic times. It was during the period of the Caliphate of Abu Baker Siddiq in 12 AH, 633 AD, when the coasts of the Gulf originally experienced the conflict on the inception of Islam among the Persians and the Muslims. This took place in Kadhima (That Al Salasil), what we call Kuwait today. Through the 9th till the end of the 11th century AD., Kuwait was incorporated as a part of the Arabian Peninsula with the powerful State of Al Karamitah which greatly intimated the Abassied caliphate in Baghdad. “The first socialist state in the history”, as it was described by many historians, collapsed and a troop of local and tribal emirates stepped forward to administer it till the end of the 15th Century. During that period, the port of Kazdhema on the coast of Kuwait, acted as the maritime gateway to the east side of the Arabian Peninsula.

THE DISCOVERY OF OIL The first oil well was drilled at the time of a geophysical examination in Bahrah. It was in 1938 when oil was first discovered in Burgan. Oil exports did not commence until the 1946 which was after the end of the Second World War. A township (Ahmadi) for oil company personnel was created near the oil fields when the oil exports began to increase. This is named after His Highness Amir Sheikh Al Jaber Al Sabah. In 1973 the oil embargo triggered substantial improvements in the oil prices. The government took 100 per cent charge of the State’s oil resources in 1975. A considerable amount of funds flowing in through the oil exports were spent on the development and improvement of the State’s infrastructure and the


living standards. The result of which saw arid barren deserts transformed into factories, ports, roads, desalination plants and power generating stations. The population expanded as numerous foreign technical advisors and workers emigrated to serve the vast development plans. A great number of Kuwaitis, associated with the privileged minority of the state, were designated important jobs as contractors, importers, government officials and landlords. Under the influence of the newfound fortunes and state development, the responsibilities of the government within the administration and the economy experienced instinctive growth. Modern business laws were promulgated. The government developed a new administrative order as it expanded. Even the constitutional rules were improved with the modernising state, considering the Shura (consultation) as a vital part of the Kuwaiti political life since the reign of the first Al-Sabah ruler. It was not until June 1961, when Kuwait gained international recognition as a sovereign state despite the fact of being politically independent since more than two centuries. It joined the Arab League during the same occasion. The country’s membership in the United Nations pursued two years later, in 1963. The Constitution of the State of Kuwait was sanctioned on the 11th of November 1962, under which the National Assembly was summoned on the 29th of January 1963.


BEST OF KUWAIT - Volume 1