A New Look at Kuwait

A New Look at Kuwait

A New Look at Kuwait

A New Look at Kuwait


Books about Arabia in general, and the development of the Gulf oil areas in particular, have in recent years sprung up as thickly as desert plants after rain. It may be thought that this particular area has been over-exploited, and I feel some diffidence in producing an addition to the existing literature.

My excuse is that I have known Kuwait both before and after the discovery of oil, through years which have changed not only the appearance of the town but the customs and outlook of its people. I believe also that the circle of my family's friends in Kuwait embraces people who are not often met by journalists or visitors.

This account of Kuwait is inevitably a subjective one. It has to be, since I am emotionally involved with Kuwait and its people. I have tried not to dwell disproportionately on the past. The new Kuwait is a powerful reality, a modern city ready to be judged on its merits, and the new generation who have made the transition into the twentieth century are impatient of westerners who are interested only in the picturesque life of the past. I have tried to do justice to the vitality and achievement of this new generation; I hope they will forgive me if in passing I have also remembered some of the charming features of their parents' days, times which, though primitive, were a part of the history of their country of which they have no reason to be ashamed.

On a more personal note, I hope my readers will be tolerant towards the ubiquitous presence in my narrative of the character I have called V. Without V. there would be no story. V. is my mother.

Z. F.

Mayland, Essex 1971 . . .

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