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Government / Local politics

Kuwait City celebrates independence day(s)

Today, as any self-respecting global citizen will know, is Kuwait’s National Day.

To be specific, it’s the 54th National Day since the day in 1961 when the small Gulf state gained its independence from the British Empire, of which it had been a protectorate since 1899. (The day that happened was 20 June, rather than 25 February, which is a bit mystifying, but there we are.)

As if that wasn’t excitement enough, tomorrow is Liberation Day, which celebrates the day in 1991 when Iraq’s tanks departed after a six month occupation. (That, unlike National Day, is celebrated on the actual anniversary.)

Anyway, there’s obviously a lot to celebrate, so this Kuwait City woman is firing a water pistol at passing cars. We don’t have anything particularly insightful to say about this fact, we just found the act oddly touching.

Estimates tend to put the wider metropolitan population of Kuwait’s capital at around 4.1m. This, by a staggering coincidence, is also the number of people who live in Kuwait.

Look at the map, in fact, and you can immediately see quite how much the capital dominates. To the south, there are some industrial zones, and a holiday resort; other than that, essentially the entire country is within the sprawl of Kuwait City.

We don’t tend to think of Kuwait as a city state, because of all that empty desert. But it is one, really.


 
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