Today 25 February is Kuwait’s National Day
Celebrated today by its population of 1.45 million citizens National Day in Kuwait is celebrated on February 25 every year and the first celebrations were held in 1963.
This special holiday commemorates the day that Sheikh Abdullah Al-Salim Al-Sabah became the ruler of Kuwait in 1950. Al-Sabah was an exceptional leader. During his reign, he signed a treaty that secured Kuwait’s independence from Britain, putting an end to its status as a British protectorate in 1961.
It was also during Al-Sabah’s rule that the Constitution of Kuwait and the Parliament of Kuwait were formally established.
People in Kuwait celebrate this day by going to different places, watching fireworks at night, hanging out with friends, and more. People decorate their houses with colorful lights, flags, and even candles are lit at dinner time. The historical places like Kuwait National Museum, Al Bahhar Entertainment Historical Village, Mirror House, and Kuwait Towers are decorated with light. Flags are hoisted in buildings and displayed in public spaces. The streets are alive to the early hours of the next morning each year. National Day is a public holiday in Kuwait
In 2022, Kuwait has a population of 4.45 million people of which 1.45 million are Kuwaiti citizens while the remaining 3.00 million are foreign national workers from over 100 countries. (thanks to Wikipedia for this information)
The country’s name is from the Arabic diminutive form of كوت (Kut or Kout), meaning “fortress built near water” and the map below shows you why Kuwait has that name.
Since 1961, the official name of the state is the “State of Kuwait”.
Some of the earliest evidence of human habitation in Kuwait dates back to 8000 BC and most of present-day Kuwait was once part of ancient Mesopotamia
Below is a timeline of Kuwait development in more modern times (Thanks to the BBC for providing this data)
1700s – Nomadic tribes from central Arabia settle in the bay of Kuwait City, among them the Al-Sabah family whose descendants now rule Kuwait.
1899 – British protectorate: Britain assumes control of foreign and defence policy amid fears of an expanding Ottoman Empire.
1930s – Oil: The discovery of massive oil reserves revolutionises the country’s economy.
1961– Kuwait gains independence from Britain.
1963 – British military intervention forces Iraq to abandon its territorial claims, and recognise Kuwait’s independence. Kuwait becomes the first Arab country in the Gulf to establish an elected parliament.
1990-91 – First Gulf War
Iraqi invasion leads to a US-led military campaign to liberate Kuwait. A US-led and UN-backed bombing aerial campaign begins in Kuwait and Iraq. By late February 1991, allied forces reach Kuwait City. Iraqi forces torch oil wells as they pull out.
2003 – Tens of thousands of soldiers converge on the Kuwait-Iraq border for a US-led military campaign to disarm and oust Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in Second Gulf War.
2003 – Political reform: Emir issues a landmark decree separating the post of prime minister from the crown prince.
2005 – Kuwaiti women win the right to vote and run in parliamentary elections.
2012 – Unprecedented protests call for government reforms.
2015 – Kuwait and four other Gulf states take part in Saudi-led air strikes on Houthi rebels in Yemen.
2020 September – Sheikh Nawaf takes over as emir on the death of his half-brother Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Jaber al-Sabah.
People will have mixed feelings about the above but I venture to suggest that most Western voters would agree with the point being made below.