Internal Political Situation: Kuwait p.18

FO 371/148911 1960


old-time Kuwaiti merchants with the same words. It is however
very improbable that he would do so. Two hundred years passed
between the original immigration from Nejd early in the 18th
century and the modern immigration stimulated by the development
of Kuwait's petroleum deposits in the 40's and 50's of the
present century. The interval gave the original immigrants a

cohesion and a pride which has served to prevent them from

welcoming and accepting new comers as a permanent addition to

their ranks. Instead there has developed an overweening pride in
Kuwaiti birth, a feeling that the special blessing from the
Almighty, exemplified in His location of petroleum deposits, is
or ought to be extended to other fields, and should give Kuwaitis
every privilege and immunity, and in particular exemption from
the curse of Adam. Kuwaiti wealth must be produced by the sweat
of non-Kuwaiti brows but the wealth itself must remain in the
hands of Kuwaitis.

4. The non-Kuwaiti brows who sweat on the building sites or
unloading cement at the port are mainly Persian and Iraqi.
Alongside them work some Arabs from Oman and other states further
down the Gulf. Those who fit the plumbing and the air-conditioning
units to new Kuwaiti offices and dwellings are Indians and
Pakistanis. The doctors who run the medical services, the civil
servants who are trying to create an administration, the teachers
who man the magnificent new schools and the office managers who
conduct the business of Kuwaiti merchants, are Egyptians and
Arabs from the Levant. A few Kuwaitis are active as merchants
and brokers but even in these traditional Kuwaiti occupations they
tend to rely more and more on others. In the profitable field of
civil engineering contracts the Kuwaiti lends his name and takes
his percentage but contributes little or nothing. In lower paid
occupations the job of night watchman, combining absence of work