Kuwait History FactsKuwaits Failaka Island was originally colonized by the Greeks in the 3rd centuryBC. What did the Greeks call this island? (Hint: feathers, wax, and the sun).Ikaros (Icarus). Ikaros (Icarus) and his father, Daedelus, were in exile on the Isleof Crete. Daedalus made wings from wax and feathers for himself and his son.Ikaros flew too close to the sun, and the wax melted and all the feathers fell off.Ikaros fell into the sea. The reason for this name being applied to this island isnot very clear, but some speculate that it is because of the extreme heat.Starting in the 16th century, Kuwait was influenced by a variety of Europeancountries, which used Kuwait to develop their trade routes. Which was the first
documented European country to use Kuwait for this purpose? (Hint: the nameis the base of the Arabic word for orange).Portugal. From the 16th to 18th centuries, Portugal, the Netherlands, and GreatBritain all used Kuwait as as port on major routes for their trade to the Far East.The Arabic word for orange is burtuqaal - and since there is no "p" sound inArabic, you can hear the similarity more if you pronounce burtuqaal with a "p"at the beginning!In the beginning of the 18th century, the British had major control over thetrade routes between Europe and Asia. What was the name of the Britishcompany that was largest trading company?East India Company. The East India Company traded silk, cotton, tea, andopium, among other things. One of the trade routes between the East and Westwent through the Persian/Arabian Gulf. This influence of Indian trade is stillevident in Kuwait today, as many traditional clothing styles and foods have adistinctive Indian flavor.It is generally accepted that Kuwait officially became a country in 1752, with theappointment of Sheikh Sabah I. When he died in 1762, he was succeeded bywhom? (Hint: who would be the most likely candidate?).
Abdullah I (his son). Abdullah I is considered the true founder of Kuwait, as hewas the one who commissioned the building of the walls around the city.Abdullah also gained a great number of weapons and ships for Kuwait, whichwere used in the battle of Al-Riggae, between Failaka and Bubyan Islands.After a succession of four sheikhs between 1762 and 1892, Sheikh MuhammadAl-Sabah took power in 1892. He only ruled until 1896, when he died. How is hegenerally believed to have died?Assassinated by his half-brother. According to local historical tales, SheikhMuhammad was a kind leader, and beloved by his citizens. His half-brother,Mubarak, entered Muhammads home and assassinated him in his bedroom.Mubarak (also known as Mubarak the Great) was feared by many Kuwaitis, buthad strong control on events and maintained safety and security from foreignsources.Sheikh Mubarak is known as the founder of "modern" Kuwait. Kuwait was smallcountry with a strategic position on the trade routes between India and Europe.Due to increasing instability in surrounding areas, Mubarak sought anagreement of protection from which Europeans? (Hint: they were greatcolonizers).British. On January 18, 1899, Mubarak signed an agreement with the British -while not technically a colony, Kuwait was to be protected. Kuwait couldcontinue to grow, without fear of being conquered by foreign powers, mostnotably the Ottomans or Russians.
Sheikh Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah was the emir of Kuwait when its future wealthwas discovered. What was discovered in Kuwait in 1938?Oil. It was 1934 when the search for oil in Kuwait began and in 1938 largeamounts of oil were found. The first shipment of oil left Kuwait in 1946. Thereare no gold or diamonds to be mined in Kuwait. Pearl-diving was a traditionalsource of wealth in Kuwait until the mid 1900s.Until 1959 Kuwait used the Indian Rupee as its currency, but then the Britishintroduced a new monetary unit, especially for use in the Persian Gulf countries.What was the currency used in Kuwait called from 1959 to 1961? (Hint: where isKuwait located?).The Gulf Rupee. Many of my students in Kuwait do not even know the history ofthe money used in Kuwait. The Gulf Rupee was issued by the Indian governmentand held the same value as the Indian Rupee.The Kuwaiti Dinar was first set-up in 1961. If the Dinar is equivalent to the USdollar, what is the name of their coin equivalent to the US cent?
Fils. There are 1000 fils in 1 Dinar. When the Dinar first was introduced, it waspegged to 1 British Pound Sterling. With a variety of peggings throughout itshistory, since 2007 the Dinar has been pegged to a basket of internationalcurrencies. As of 2010, the Kuwaiti Dinar is the heaviest currency in the world.It is available in 1/4, 1/2, 1, 5, 10, and 20 Dinar denominations.Kuwait took sides during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. Which side did Kuwaitsupport? (Hint: ironic!)Iraq. Kuwait sent billions of dollars of aid to Iraq during their war with Iran. Iranattacked Kuwaiti oil tankers, causing Kuwait to ask the US to send warships toprotect them. Ironically, it was Iraq, under its leader, Saddam Hussein, whoinvaded Kuwait in August of 1990, under 2 claims - that Kuwait actually WAS aterritory of Iraq, and that Kuwait was drilling side-ways into Iraqi oil fields.Guess it just goes to show, be careful who you take as friends!Written ByHussain ALi