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name Kuwait comes from the Arabic word akwat, which means "fortresses
built near the water."
Much of Kuwait is a desert and not really suitable for
life. There are areas, most particularly in the northeast, where there is enough
water that food can grow and life can be sustained, but elsewhere this is little
reason for people to have settled the region.
As a desert, the earliest people to the region survived primarily on the sea, dates,
and camel milk. In the modern age the people survive on imports and without these
imports the country would likely still be deserted.
The flag of Kuwait is based on the Arab
Revolt flag used during World War I. The black on the flag originally represented
the Abbasid Caliphate, the white for the Umayyad Caliphate, and the green for
the Fatimid Caliphate, but today the black is for the defeat of the enemy, white
is for purity, and green is for fertile lands. The red triangle was for the Great
Arab Revolt of 1916, but on Kuwait's flag the red represents the blood on the
Name: State of Kuwait
Independence: June 19, 1961
Capital: Kuwait City
Currency: Kuwaiti Dinar
Population: 2,695,316 (2013 estimate)
Ethnicity: Kuwaiti (Arab), Other Arab,
South Asian, & others
Religion: Sunni Muslim
Controlling bits of the Persian Gulf trade and later being a significant player
in the pearl industry, the people of Kuwait gained money
and trading power; this was the greatest shift in the way of life in Kuwait. With
a prized resource, such as pearls, people were willing to trade with the people
so survival, food, and the way of life shifted from being dependent on the land
and sea to being dependent on external products through trade.
This dependency on foreign products continued and was magnified with the discovery
of oil in the 1930s. The population of Kuwait was too
small to take immediate advantage of this resource so began importing technology
and people. This created a movement of people to oil sights and cities and a change
in the daily life from pearl diving and trading to oil prospecting, drilling, production,
sales, and shipments.
Today Kuwait remains fairly dependent on oil and the jobs
that come with it. The economy, jobs, and even education are focused on this industry
and the way people live, what they eat, what they study, and where they live is
all influenced by this natural resource.
In addition to oil making a huge impact on the way of life in
Kuwait, the other most influential cause of their culture today is their
religion. As Muslims, the people have numerous dietary, social, and religious rules
that dictate social behavior, eating habits, and religious rituals.
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