Sunday, January 26, 2014


Kuwait was historically part of the site of the Mesopotamian Ubaid period (ca. 6500 BC). The world's oldest reed-boat was discovered in Subiya in northern Kuwait. Mesopotamians first settled in the Kuwaiti island of Failaka in 2000 B.C.
In 4000 BC until 2000 BC, the bay of Kuwait was home to the Dilmun civilization. The bay of Kuwait includes Kuwait City's Shuwaikh Port (formerlyShuwaikh Island), Umm an Namil Island and Failaka island. At its peak in 2000 BC, the Dilmun empire controlled the trade routes from Mesopotamia to India and the Indus Valley civilization.
In 636 AD, the Battle of Chains between the Sassanid Empire and Rashidun Caliphate was fought in Kuwait near the town of Kazma. At the time, Kuwait was under the control of the Sassanid Empire. The Battle of Chains was the first battle of the Rashidun Caliphate in which the Muslim army sought to extend its frontiers. As a result of the Rashidun victory in the seventh century, an early Islamic settlement known as Kazima or Kadhima was founded in Kuwait. Kuwait was controlled by the kingdom of Al-Hirah in Iraq. During the early Islamic period, Kuwait was well known for being a fertile area. During the 7th century, Muslim armies were stationed in Kuwait due to its strategic location. Kuwait became a famous trading station by the 9th century.
In 1521, Kuwait was under Portuguese control. In the late 16th century, the Portuguese built a defensive settlement in Kuwait.
In 1613, the town of Kuwait was founded in modern-day Kuwait City. Kuwait was initially under the control of the Bani Khalid clan, who built fishing villages in present-day Kuwait Bay. In 1650, the Bani Utub clan settled in Kuwait. The Bani Utbah settlers gradually migrated in the sixteenth century from Najd to Basra and Kuwait. The federation had originally migrated to Basra and settled there for many decades, they were prominent in Basra's trade market and owned over 300 ships involved in trade.
Kuwait became a major center of trade and commerce following the late 17th century.[28] Kuwait's economy was based on intercontinental trade, the pearl industry, shipbuilding and fishing respectively. By the mid 18th century, Kuwait had already established itself as a major trading route from the Gulf to Aleppo.[28] Kuwait's location allowed it to benefit from the caravan trade to Aleppo and BaghdadShatt al-Arab trade, and from smuggling trade into Ottoman territory that high tariffs encouraged. The settlers became linked to this trading network that included trade in horses, wood, spices, coffee, dates and especially pearls. Kuwait was located within close sail of the pearl banks that stretched down the Persian Gulf coast. In the summer, boats sailed for pearls; in the winter, they turned to entrepôt trade.
Kuwait controlled the main trade route from India to the Mediterranean.[29][30] Shipbuilding was a major industry in Kuwait. Vessels made in Kuwait carried the majority of trade from India to the Red Sea and Mediterranean ports. Before the advent of Japanese artificial pearls, most of the world's luxury pearls were extracted by Kuwaiti pearl divers from Kuwait's large pearl banks, each year hundreds of pearling ships such as sambuks left Kuwait for trade. The pearl industry was a lucrative business before the Great Depression. By 1760, in addition to pearling and fishing, a fleet of over 1,000 dhow ships traded out of Kuwait.
During the Persian invasion of Basra between the years 1775 and 1779, the Indian trade routes with Baghdad, Aleppo, Smyrna and Constantinople were diverted to Kuwait.East India Company shifted its office, stores and employees to Kuwait.

 In addition, many of Basra's leading merchant families moved to Kuwait. Kuwait's economy greatly benefited from the Persian invasion because most of Basra's trade was diverted to Kuwait. The
Kuwait became rich due to Basra's instability. After the Persians withdrew from Basra, Kuwait continued to attract trade away from Basra, due to Kuwait City's relative security, autonomy and relative low customs duties. The flight of many of Basra's leading merchants to Kuwait continued to play a major role in the commercial stagnation of Basra's trade well into the 1850s.
Kuwait was part of the Ottoman Empire and was governed by Basra, and as a result, tensions occasionally broke out between Kuwait and the empire. These tensions peaked when, in 1896, Sheikh Mubārak Al-Sabāh assassinated his brother, the emir Muhammad Al-Sabāh, over Mubārak's deep suspicion that Iraq wanted to annex Kuwait.
Kuwait's merchants had the most political power and influence in Kuwait before the 1930s.Basra to Kuwait to continue trade. One of the well known merchants, Hussain Al-Roumi, was known as the leader in sea trade throughout the region, sustaining the economy for decades before the discovery of oil. The financial influence of the merchants came from their control of trade and imports, duties on which sustained the Shaikh. Because wealth was imbedded in movable property, refuge was tolerated by neighbouring Shaikhs, and Britain intervened only when important interests were at stake, secession was an effective merchant tactic. A large secession could reduce the area's economic and military power and create a refuge for future dissidents.
 Sabah family rule remained limited until well into the 1930s because the merchants, owing to their financial power, were the primary sources of income in Kuwait Many of the merchants migrated from basra to Kuwait.Al Sabah became Kuwait's monarchy in 1938. One tradition has it that political power went to the Sabahs as part of an explicit agreement in 1890, the heads of the merchant class agreed to give the Sabahs preeminence in government and military affairs, subject to consultation.
The Kuwait-Najd War erupted in the Aftermath of World War I, when the Ottoman Empire was defeated and the British invalidated the Anglo-Ottoman Convention, declaring Kuwait to be an "independent sheikhdom under British protectorate".
Kuwait was recognized as a separate province from Iraq and given autonomy under Ottoman suzerainty in the draft Anglo-Ottoman Convention, however this was not signed before the outbreak of the first World War. The border was revisited by a memorandum sent by the British high commissioner for Iraq in 1923,
The discovery of oil in Kuwait, in 1938, helped Kuwait's economy. In 1941 on the same day as the German invasion of Russia (22 June) the British took total control over Iraq and Kuwait (the British and Russians would invade the neighboring Iran in September of that year.
By early 1961, the British had withdrawn their special court system, which handled the cases of foreigners resident in Kuwait, and the Kuwaiti Government began to exercise legal jurisdiction under new laws drawn up by an Egyptian jurist. On 19 June 1961, Kuwait became fully independent following an exchange of notes with the United Kingdom.
In the 1980s Kuwait, fearful of Iran after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, supported Iraq in the Iran–Iraq War. Kuwait sent large sums of money to Iraq, amounting to approximately $5 bn. As a consequence of this Iran attacked Kuwait's oil tankers and Kuwait was forced to seek protection from the United States, which sent warships to the Persian Gulf.
In 2003, Kuwait served as the major staging base for the coalition forces in the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Sabah IV became the Emir of Kuwait in January 2006.