Kuwait, officially the State of Kuwait, is an Arab country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of 2014, Kuwait has a population of 4.1 million people; 1.2 million are Kuwaitis and 2.8 million are expatriates. Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with an elected parliamentary system. Kuwait has a petroleum-based economy.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Kuwait was a prosperous trade hub. Starting in the early 20th century, its regional economic importance declined, and by 1934 Kuwait had lost its prominence in long-distance trade. Kuwait's economy was devastated by several trade blockades. During World War I, the British Empire imposed a blockade against Kuwait because its ruler supported the Ottoman Empire. Following the Kuwait–Najd War of 1919–1920, Saudi Arabia maintained a trade blockade against the country from 1923 until 1937. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded by Iraq. The Iraqi occupation came to an end in 1991 after military intervention by United States-led forces.
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- Interviewer: Why was no woman elected in the parliamentary election in Kuwait, or in the other Gulf states?
Kuwaiti MP Ahmad Baqer: In my opinion, a large part, if not the majority, of society believes – and even considers this to be part of its faith and religion – that women should not hold governing positions. A fatwa on this was issued by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Religious Endowment, and by the Al-Azhar University in 1952, as well as fatwas in many other countries...The Prophet sent male governors, judges, and ambassadors, but he never sent women, only men.
- Kuwaiti Politicians Debate Why Women Were Not Elected to Parliament. MEMRI (November 11, 2007).
- What's happened recently in Pakistan, India and Kuwait only goes to show that it's futile to imitate Western democracy. They've ended up exactly where they started.
- Muhammad Reza Pahlavi, as quoted in Alam, Asadollah (1991), The Shah and I, I. B. Tauris, page 506
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