Here’s a pretty short but informative quick documentary about Kuwait’s history, you’d be surprised how much you didn’t know. At one point most of Kuwait’s population was wiped out. The documentary focuses on Kuwait’s resilience and how they managed to prosper after every crisis. I really do hope there’s an alternative to oil.
Here’s an interesting read I found on the internet by Nadia Nader, a Kuwaiti book writer. Some of the facts she mentions are commonly known but that’s because her post was targeted to those that don’t know about Kuwait or its culture. Number 10 spoke of the ironic reality of this society and who knew what the colors of the Kuwaiti flag meant.
- The official name is “State of Kuwait” but most people refer to it as Kuwait. Kuwait is derived from Akwat (the plural of word “Kout”) and means “fortress built near water”.
- The national bird of Kuwait is a falcon. You can see images imprinted in many places and on many objects. Falcons are trained.
- They only make up a third of the population, a minority within their own country. The other 2/3 are composed of expats from all around the world. Kuwait has an interesting societal structure and international community.
- Family is important in Kuwait. Single men and women are expected to live with their families until they are married. Once they marry, that is when it is acceptable for them to move out and have their own place. However, due to high real estate prices and not many options for rentals, many families choose to remain living under the same roof.
- Kuwait is one of the hottest countries in the world with temperatures reaching up to 50 Celsius in the summer months. That’s 122 degrees Fahrenheit! No one dies during the summer months from the temperature but it advisable not to stay out too long to avoid sunstroke.
- Gas is cheaper than water. Petroleum and petroleum-products make up nearly 85% of export revenues.
- The flag of Kuwait contains four colors: green, white, red, and black. They symbolize “our lands”, “our deeds”, “our swords”, and “our battles” respectively.
- People in Kuwait are early adopters of any technology and trend out there. If something is new, be sure someone in Kuwait already has five of it. It was not a good time when cheetahs were trendy to own.
- Wives do not take on their husband’s name upon marriage. The name you are born with is your name from birth until death.
- Nepotism is a fact of life and “wasta” gets you anything you need to get done.
Since it’s liberation day I thought it would be good to know 10 facts about Kuwait. Express.co.uk does top 10 facts about pretty much everything, this year they decided to do one for Kuwait. That facts are interesting and you’d be surprised how many of them you didn’t know about Kuwait although I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the facts.
- 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.
- February 25 was the anniversary of Sheikh Abdullah becoming Emir of Kuwait in 1950. February 26,
20111991 was the day Iraq’s occupying forces were driven out of Kuwait.
- Kuwait has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves.
- The national bird of Kuwait is the falcon.
- There are 1.43 males to every female in Kuwait.
- In 2006, Kuwait became the first country to introduce the sport of camel racing, with remote controlled robot jockeys.
- When Saddam Hussein occupied Kuwait in 1990 and named it the 19th Province of Iraq some dissidents called it “Wimbledon” which is SW19.
- Kuwait has won two Olympic medals, both bronze for Fehaid Al-Dehani at trap shooting.
- Kuwait is the only country in the world with no natural water supply from lakes or reservoirs but it did open its first grass golf course in 2005.
- Eating, drinking, playing loud music and dancing during daylight hours in public are against the law in Kuwait during the month of Ramadan.
The author of this book just sent me an email to check his book out. I’ve previously reviewed a How to Learn Kuwaiti book before. This one however I haven’t yet, it has 112 pages, is available on amazon and Jarir bookstore. I might grab one for review sometime later.
Here’s what the description on Amazon says about the book:
“This book gives the reader a fundamental understanding of the Kuwaiti dialect. The first part of the book contains some very essential grammar points. The second part of the book contains some vocabulary with example sentences. The last part of the book contains dialogues. All examples are written in English, Transliteration, and Arabic script.”
It’s both funny and annoying having co-workers that want to learn how to talk in a Kuwaiti accent. Funny because of the amount of mistakes and weird vocabulary they come up with in the process of learning and annoying because I have to deal with it for constant hours. I found out about this book a really long time ago but thought it was a good idea to buy a couple and share them at the office.
The book is pretty accurate with more than 600 sentences and 1,000 vocabulary words. It’s not the type of book you buy to learn the basics, it actually has a big portion of Kuwaiti sentences. Speak Kuwaiti is available in most bookstores like Jarir but I ordered it directly from their website for KD 3 per book.[Order]
Some of my favourites that cracked me up:
- you’re boring – haddak maleeg
- I fell down – ana tiht
- You think I’m stupid? – alabaalik ana ghabee?
- What did you just say? – shgilt tawwik?
- she insulted me – sabbatni
- don’t call me anymore – laat dig alai abad