"We, in Kuwait, are in the forefront of the community of nations to condemn terrorism."
The State of Kuwait is located at the head of the Persian/Arabian Gulf, surrounded on the north and west by Iraq, and on the south by Saudi Arabia. Its area is 17,820 sq km (6,880 sq mi), including its share of the neutral zone jointly controlled with Saudi Arabia. Its territory is mainly flat desert with a few oases.
Kuwait's population was estimated at 2,111,561 in 2002, a figure that includes 1,159,913 non-nationals, most of whom are expatriate workers. Expatriates (including Palestinians, Indians, and Iranians) meet about 81% of the country's manpower needs. The majority of native Kuwaitis are Sunni Arab Muslim. However, 40% of the total population is believed to be Shia.
The dinar is Kuwait's official currency. Kuwait's economy, which was traditionally based on pearling and trading, is now mainly dependent on oil, which currently accounts for 95% of total export earnings and provides around 90% of government revenue. It has the fourth-largest oil reserve in the world, estimated at about 96.5 billion barrels in 2001. Largely owing to its oil reserves, per capita income was estimated to be US $15,100 in 2001. Its major trading partners are Japan, the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Singapore, and the Netherlands.
Jabir al-Ahmad al-Sabah (Jabir III) was born on 29 June 1926 in Kuwait City. He is the third son of Sheikh Ahmad al-Jabir, who ruled Kuwait from 1921 to 1950. While his father is from the al-Jabir line, his mother is from the al-Salim line of the al-Sabah family. He received his education at Mubarakiya School and later was tutored privately in English, Arabic literature, religion, and basic sciences.