The emirate of Kuwait was under the Ottoman Empire before it became a British protectorate after World War I. At around 1930s, Kuwait struck large deposits of oil in its area of responsibility. Although, it was already an independent sheikdom when it was under British protection, it was only until 1961 that Kuwait gained independence and became a sovereign nation. Right after achieving independence, the government immediately saw through to the development of the nation’s petroleum industry and its allied industries and indeed achieved rapid growth unlike any other.
In 1990, Kuwait’s then unceasing progress came to a halt as Saddam Hussein ordered the Iraqi army to occupy this small but very progressive sheikhdom. The annexation of Kuwait however was short-lived. Geopolitically, Kuwait is a very vital cog in the world’s balance of crude oil supply. So, the Americans intervened as Iraq, another major oil player, could possibly dictate oil supply and prices, and worst, discriminate who to sell oil to. However, before the Iraqis relinquished back Kuwait to the ruling family, the al-Sabah family, Saddam Hussein ordered its troops to set ablaze all oil wells it can set fire to. It was one of the worst environmental disasters the world has ever seen as it took nine months just to put out the fire. After 2 years from that dreadful burning of the oil wells, the Kuwaiti government immediately rebuilt all lost infrastructures and oil production was back to pre-invasion levels.
In recent events, although, Kuwait is a Muslim dominated nation, in 2005, Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al Sabah appointed Massouma Mubarak as a cabinet minister. Also, in 2009, four women won seats in the parliament to sit as lawmakers. It was a truly shocking turn of events for its neighboring Arab nations.