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Kuwait

 

Positioned at the head of the north eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula, and sitting comfortably on top of roughly 10% of the world’s oil reservations, is the relatively small country of Kuwait. Quite a few Kuwaitis track their roots all the way to the Al-Aniza and the al-Utubya tribes of Najd province, an area that covers most of modern day Saudi Arabia. Others came from Iraq and Iran. The name ‘Kuwait’ is drawn from Koot, the Arabic word meaning fortress. It shares a 120 mile coastline with the Persian Gulf on the east, and to the north lies Iraq while towards east and west is Saudi Arabia. Kuwait also owns nine islands with Bubiyan and A-Warbah being the largest, but Failakah being the only one that is inhibited. Additionally and more important historically, Alexander the Great occupied it.

Other than the ridge at Mina’al-ahmadi and another in the southwestern corner of the country, Kuwait is almost totally one huge flat rolling desert. It has no permanent rivers or other bodies of water; there are some wadis in which rain water collects during the rainy season. That is why there is only nominal vegetation like the camel thorn in the desert or the shrubs along the coastal area. Only during the rainy season from October through March does the desert transform, bringing to life foliage, flowers, grass, and variety of other plants.

Kuwait’s booming economy has caught the attention of the leading international hotel chains and luxury department stores with designer labels like Gucci and Prada to set up shops. Other points of interest include the Kuwait Towers, Liberation Tower, the Grand Mosque with its beautiful mosaics and numerous museums show casing the Kuwaiti culture and way of life. There are also many fine beaches along the Persian Gulf that offer a variety of water sports to visitors.

 

Fast Facts:

Official Name:  State of Kuwait

Capital:   Kuwait (Al-Kuwayt)

Government:   Nominal constitutional monarchy

Area:   6,880 sq. Miles

Monetary Unit:   The Kuwaiti dinar (kd), broken down into 1,000 fils

Climate:   Dry desert, very hot summers, short cool winters

Ethnic Groups:   Kuwaiti, other Arab, South Asian, Iranian

Religion:   Muslim vast majority, Christian, Hindu and Parsi

 

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