Kuwait- flying high

Alfy Rachel Thomas, IIK Young Contributor
Monday, February 18, 2019

Ronald Reagan said,
“We’re more than friends, neighbors and allies: We are kin,We together have built the most productive relationship between any two countries in the world today! “

It is always the little things which add up to make a great beginning. Looking at the history of Kuwait, we see a country which spreads its own light as a beautiful beacon of light to others. The State of Kuwait was formed in the early 18’C when a group of families of Anizah Tribe migrated and settled there. From there, battles and battles were fought, and the vibrant and eminent State of Kuwait was formed. His Highness Sheikh Abu Abdullah Sabah I bin Jaber Al Sabah (c. 1700 – 1762) was the first ruler of Kuwait.

Until 1962, Kuwait celebrated its National Day on June 19, the anniversary of its independence, but in 1963 it changed it to February 25 to avoid the hot weather of June. With the discovery of oil and the consequent rise in living standards, Kuwait acquired a large immigrant population, attracted by jobs, free education for their children, and free medical care. The number of foreign residents more than doubled during the 1970s, and in 1994 they accounted for an estimated 56.4% of the population. After the Persian Gulf War, Kuwait deported tens of thousands of foreign workers from countries whose leaders had backed Iraq in the conflict. Of the estimated 400,000 Palestinians living in Kuwait before the 1990–91 Gulf War, reportedly only about one-sixth were allowed to remain. Only about 120,000 of the 220,000 prewar Bedouins (mostly nomads from Syria, Jordan, and Iraq) were allowed to stay. These stateless Arabs had remained in Kuwait under Iraqi occupation and were suspected of collaboration. Most other foreign workers were able to return to their home countries. By 1996, however, Egyptians, Pakistanis, Filipinos, and others had filled the void that the previous foreign workers had left behind. Kuwait carried out amnesty plans for illegal foreigners in 1988, 1996, and 2002.

In 2000, there were 1,108,000 migrants living in Kuwait. This accounted for 57.9% of the population. The number of refugees that year was 2,800. In 2004, there were 1,519 refugees and 157 asylum seekers. The number of persons of concern to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was 102,676, made up of 80,000 stateless Bedouins, 13,000 Iraqis, 6,000 Palestinians, and 2,000 Somalis. In 2005, the net migration rate was an estimated 14.96 migrants per 1,000 population. the government views the immigration level as too high.

Kuwait is always remarked as “A place of clay between the steppe and the sea” Raunkiaer remarked, “Kuwait is emphatically a town of the desert and the sea, without any arable or garden ground whatever. Green stuff and dates must be fetched from Fao and elsewhere and not a shady or beautiful growth is anywhere to be seen. It has not one single tree, if groups of stunted tamarisk be ruled out. To the mixture of seafaring men and nomads in its population, to both of whom digging and planting are uncongenial, it is owed that Kuwait is just a place of clay between steppe and sea.” Though it’s a small arena, it is always appreciable of the culture, tradition, and moreover, the love this country had for us, as migrants. A number of schools, churches, occupational arenas, etc were equally given to us. The laws were enforced equally and as migrants, we never got the feeling of being a total stranger in this country. The unity and concern Indians and Kuwaitis shared were always unique and worth-feeling.

As it’s a new year’s second month, I would like to wish this country a beautiful year ahead. Thankyou!

Alfy Rachel Thomas
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