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Kuwait is a country in Western Asia. Situated in the northern edge of Eastern Arabia at the tip of the Persian Gulf, it shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. As of 2016, Kuwait has a population of 4.2 million people; 1.3 million are Kuwaitis and 2.9 million are expatriates. Expatriates account for 70% of the population.Oil reserves were discovered in commercial quantities in 1938. From 1946 to 1982, the country underwent large-scale modernization. In the 1980s, Kuwait experienced a period of geopolitical instability and an economic crisis following the stock market crash. In 1990, Kuwait was invaded, and later annexed, by Saddam’s Iraq. The Iraqi occupation came to an end in 1991 after military intervention by coalition forces. At the end of the war, there were extensive efforts to revive the economy and rebuild national infrastructure.Kuwait is a constitutional state with a semi-democratic political system. It has a high income economy backed by the world's sixth largest oil reserves. The Kuwaiti dinar is the highest valued currency in the world. According to the World Bank, the country has the fourth highest per capita income in the world. The Constitution was promulgated in 1962. Kuwait is home to the largest opera house in the Middle East. The Kuwait National Cultural District is a member of the Global Cultural Districts Network. Kuwait is widely considered the "Hollywood of the Gulf" due to the popularity of its soap operas and theatre.Foreign affairs relations of Kuwait is handled at the level of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first foreign affairs department bureau was established in 1961. Kuwait became the 111th member state of the United Nations in May 1963. It is a long-standing member of the Arab League and Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
Before the Gulf War, Kuwait was the only "pro-Soviet" state in the Persian Gulf region. Kuwait acted as a conduit for the Soviets to the other Arab states of the Persian Gulf, and Kuwait was used to demonstrate the benefits of a pro-Soviet stance. In July 1987, Kuwait refused to allow U.S. military bases in its territory. As a result of the Gulf War, Kuwait's relations with the U.S. have improved (Major non-NATO ally) and currently hosts thousands of US military personnel and contractors within active U.S. facilities.The spring season in March is warm with occasional thunderstorms. The frequent winds from the northwest are cold in winter and hot in summer. Southeasterly damp winds spring up between July and October. Hot and dry south winds prevail in spring and early summer. The shamal, a northwesterly wind common during June and July, causes dramatic sandstorms. Summers in Kuwait are some of the hottest on earth. The highest recorded temperature was 54.4 °C (129.9 °F), which is the highest temperature recorded in Asia. Kuwait experiences colder winters than other GCC countries because of its location in a northern position near Iraq and Iran. Kuwait has the highest literacy rate in the Arab world. The general education system consists of four levels: kindergarten (lasting for 2 years), primary (lasting for 5 years), intermediate (lasting for 4 years) and secondary (lasting for 3 years). Schooling at primary and intermediate level is compulsory for all students aged 6 – 14. All the levels of state education, including higher education, are free.
The public school system is undergoing a revamp due to a project in conjunction with the World Bank. In 2013, the government launched a pilot project in 48 schools across the state called the National Curriculum Framework. The curriculum is set to be implemented in the next two or three years.
Tourism accounts for 1.5 percent of the GDP. In 2016, the tourism industry generated nearly $500 million in revenue. The annual "Hala Febrayer" festival attracts many tourists from neighboring GCC countries, and includes a variety of events including music concerts, parades, and carnivals. The festival is a month-long commemoration of the liberation of Kuwait, and runs from February 1 to February 28. Liberation Day itself is celebrated on February 26.
The Amiri Diwan is currently developing the new Kuwait National Cultural District (KNCD), which comprises Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre, Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre, Al Shaheed Park, and Al Salam Palace. With a capital cost of more than US$1 billion, the project is one of the largest cultural investments in the world. In November 2016, the Sheikh Jaber Al Ahmad Cultural Centre opened. It is the largest cultural centre in the Middle East. The Kuwait National Cultural District is a member of the Global Cultural Districts Network.Kuwait's official language is Modern Standard Arabic, but its everyday usage is limited to journalism and education. Kuwaiti Arabic is the variant of Arabic used in everyday life. English is widely understood and often used as a business language. Beside English, French is taught as a third language for the students of the humanities at schools, but for two years only. Due to historical immigration, Persian is used among Ajam Kuwaitis.Kuwaiti Arabic is a variant of Gulf Arabic, sharing similarities with the dialects of neighboring coastal areas in Eastern Arabia. Due to immigration during its early history as well as trade, Kuwaiti Arabic borrowed a lot of words from Persian, Indian, Turkish, English and Italian. The Iranian sub-dialects of Larestani, Khonji, Bastaki and Gerashi also influenced the vocabulary of Kuwaiti Arabic.