Kuwait Old History

By | January 3, 2023

Kuwait is an independent nation in Western Asia. With the capital city of Kuwait City, Kuwait 2020 population is estimated at 4,270,582 according to countryaah. Kuwait was founded in the mid-18th century by Arab nomads (Bedouins) in search of water. They settled in the area where Kuwait City is today and depended on trade, pearl fishing and regular fishing. Formally, the country has suffered from many different rulers: from the Caliph in Baghdad beginning around 750, to the Mongols, Ottomans and finally the British until independence in 1961. Oil was discovered in the 1920s.

  • AbbreviationFinder.org: Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Kuwait, covering history, economy, and social conditions.

The country’s earliest history is unknown. The area that today constitutes Kuwait was subject to the caliphate in Baghdad around 750–1258, during the Mongol Empire 1258–1546 and during the Ottoman Empire 1546–1914. The area mostly garnered no greater interest from its rulers. For Kuwait political system, please check carswers.

In the 16th century, Portuguese seafarers anchored at the site of the present capital, leaving behind a small fort; Kuwait means “small fortress”.

The Bedouins from the interior of the Arabian Peninsula who went north and settled in the area belonged to a clan called Banu Utub. From 1756 they were led by a local governor, Sheikh, from the Sabah family – the same family that still governs Kuwait today. A Danish explorer wrote in 1765 about a city with 10,000 residents who lived by trade, pearl fishing and other fishing.

During the Ottoman period, the Kuwaiti paid taxes to the Turks but also had links with the British East India Company (which is known by several names, including the Honorable East India Company). In exchange for trade rights, the company protected Kuwaiti merchants from pirates and warriors from what is today Saudi Arabia.

Pressure from the Ottoman Empire led Kuwaiti leaders to cultivate their contacts with the British. In 1899 a patronage treaty was signed with Britain. The British takeover of control in the area was confirmed by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

Oil discoveries began in the 1920s, and in 1934 Kuwait signed its first state of extraction, but production could not begin seriously until after the Second World War.



Oil field agreement in border areas

24 December

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait sign an agreement on the management of two common oil fields at the border, where production has been stalled for five years. The agreement deals with the Wafra fields, on land, and Khafiji, at sea. Before the extraction was stopped, the two fields produced a total of half a million barrels of oil per day, about half a percent of world production.

Female finance minister in new government

December 17

A new government with 15 ministers takes office, led by Sabah al-Khalid Al Sabah. It is Kuwait’s ninth government in eight years. Foreign Minister becomes Nasir al-Muhammad al-Ahmad Al Sabah. Anas al-Salih becomes Minister of the Interior, the first in the post who does not belong to the royal family. Three women are part of the government, one more than before. Maryam al-Aqil is in charge of the finance department.


Government resignation linked to embezzlement

November 14

The government is leaving. A few days later, the Minister of Defense, the eldest son of the country’s regent, states that the resignation is linked to accusations that large sums must have been misappropriated from funds intended for military spending. The rape must have taken place before 2017, before his own appointment as head of the Ministry of Defense, explains the minister. Unlike other countries in the region, the oil state of Kuwait has an elected parliament that has the power to oust ministers. The Parliament has recently criticized several ministers for their job. There have also recently been demonstrations outside Parliament against corruption.


Stateless hunger strikes

22 August

More than a dozen Bidun, stateless Arabs, arrested in July, start a hunger strike in protest at how they and other stateless people are being treated in Kuwait. Since a stateless 20-year-old took his life on July 7, after being denied public records and ID cards, a bid demonstration has been conducted in the city of al-Jahra near Kuwait City and followed by an arrest wave.


Fifth year of deficit

July 3

Parliament adopts a state budget with a deficit of $ 22 billion, since members opposed government plans to introduce taxes and reduce subsidies. It is the fifth consecutive year of budget deficits. Kuwait’s economy declined for several years after the fall in oil prices in 2014, but turned to plus 2018. The forecast for 2019 (the financial year runs until the end of March 2020) is 2.5 percent growth. Oil accounts for 88 percent of the state’s revenue and when spending exceeds revenue, it is possible to raise money that has been “saved in the barges”: the state’s wealth fund is valued at $ 600 billion.


Disappearance in war is increasing

June 11

On Kuwait’s initiative, the UN Security Council has adopted its first resolution on people who have disappeared during armed conflicts. Kuwait has experience: more than 300 people are still missing since 1990-1991, when the country was invaded by Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces, which led to a war when a US-led alliance expelled the Iraqis. The International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) states that the number of disappearances has increased in recent years. Last year, 45,000 names of missing persons were added as human rights organizations try to track down. Syria is one of the countries where most disappearances occur.


Bridge to wasteland that becomes free trade zone

May 1

A 3.6 km long land connection, consisting of three quarters of bridges built over water, is inaugurated. It unites the capital with a tract that is now wasteland but is about to be transformed into the free trade area Silk City, close to both Iran and Iraq and in collaboration with China. A power plant belongs to what is clear.


US visit support for Kuwait’s mediator role

March 20

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo embarks on a regional tour with a visit to Kuwait. The US is focused on raising support for Iran with Iran’s neighboring countries. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is one of the arenas in which the view of Iran comes into play: A member state, Qatar, is boycotted by the others since 2017 and accused, like Iran, of supporting terrorism. Kuwait is trying, so far without results, to mediate between the other Arab countries to resolve the crisis. The US initially supported the boycott, but now emphasizes “regional unity” – as Qatar hosts US forces, Washington prefers to see US allies in the region agree.

Election of election after cast members

March 17

Two independent candidates are elected to Kuwait’s parliament. 15 of today’s 50 members (the 16 ministers counted) are thus people whom some media consider to be politically oppositional, but that depends on how one counts. If all Islamists, liberals and nationalists are counted as opposition, the number will be higher – but not high enough to have a strong influence. The fact that the general election is taking place is because two former members – both Islamists – were deprived of their seats, sentenced to court for a protest action, a storming of the parliament that took place in 2011.

Kuwait Old History