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Sunday 22nd October
Kuwait Facts
Kuwait is located in the north-east of the Arabian Peninsula.

Islands belonging to the State of Kuwait are Auhha, Bubiyan, Failaka, Kubbar, Miskan, Umm Al-Maradim, Umm Al-Naml, Qaruh and Warba.

The island of Failaka was an ancient trading post. Its inhabitants are known to have traded with the Sumerians and the ancient Greeks.

In the seventeenth century the north-east part of the Arabian Peninsula was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire.

In the 1750s Kuwait came under the leadership of the Al Sabah family, with semi-autonomy from the Ottomans.

Threat of Ottoman direct rule led Sheikh Mubarak Al Sabah to enter the Special Treaty of Friendship with Britain in 1899. The British navy protected Kuwait in return for Britain's control of Kuwait's foreign affairs.

The borders between Kuwait, Iraq and Saudi Arabia were agreed in the 1920s and 1930s.

Large oil reserves were discovered in Kuwait at the end of the 1930s.

Oil revenues were used to modernize Kuwait.

The British Protectorate came to an end in 1961 and Kuwait became an independent country.

Kuwait joined the Arab League in 1961 and became a member of the United Nations in 1963.

Iraq annexed Kuwait in August 1990 and refused to obey a resolution of the United Nations to leave the country.

The United States led an international military campaign, known as Operation Desert Storm, to force Iraqi troops out of Kuwait.

Towards the end of February 1991 Allied Forces reached Kuwait City, liberating the country in four days.

The United Nations set a new Kuwait-Iraq border.

In May 2005 women gained the right to vote in elections and stand as candidates for the National Assembly.

In March 2011, at a time of protests across the Arab world, hundreds of young people in Kuwait demonstrated for reform.

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