The middle Eastern nation of Kuwait is the second most prosperous country in the world. It is the area's third-largest producer of oil, surpassed only by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Kuwait has given and loaned billions of dollars to poorer Arab states, has invested billions in the United States and other industrial countries and purchased planes and other equipment for Arab states opposing Israel.
The government also has used its oil to provide everyone in Kuwait with medical services, education and social welfare. Local telephone service is also free, and almost every family owns at least one car and one TV set. There are no income taxes.
Now I'd like to tell you about the history of Kuwait. In the 1700s Arab nomads founded the town of Kuwait. Under the leadership of Sabah Abu Abdullah Kuwait's population grew to several thousand (now the population of Kuwait is about 988 thousands of people). With the discovery of oil in Kuwait in 1938, and its development after 1945, Iraq decided in 1952 to renew an ancient claim to Kuwait, but it was rejected by the British. In 1961 Kuwait became a fully independent nation. But in 1973 Iraqi troops invaded Kuwait and only after Saudi Arabia had sent more than 15,000 troops to assist Kuwait, Iraq withdrew. In March 1975 the government took complete control of the oil and gas industry from US and other foreign owners, increasing it's annual income to $10 billion or more a year.
Today Kuwait is a monarchy which is ruled by the Emir Sheikh Saban al-Salim al-Sabah (reigned since 1985). It's area is about 7,7 square miles. Official language is Arabic, but Persian and English are also spoken in Kuwait. The official religion is Islam. Places of interest include oil wells, modern city of Kuwait, royal residences and so on.