Kuwait came to the world's attention in the summer of 1990, when
Iraq invaded the tiny emirate. Though Kuwait was liberated within
eight months, it took more than 10 years and $160 billion for the
country to recover from the devastation caused by the Iraqi occupation.The citizens of Kuwait are among the most prosperous in the world,
thanks to the country's oil wealth. Beneath Kuwait's sands is an estimated
10 percent of the world's oil reserves. After the 1991 Gulf War,
Kuwait's rulers spoke about the possibility of bringing democracy to
their country, but this has not happened?only about one-third of
Kuwaitis are eligible to vote, and the ruling al-Sabah family holds great
power over the nation's elected assembly. However, Kuwait remains a
key U.S. ally in the turbulent Middle East.
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