April 4, 2012

Pictures from a Time Before Oil Was King

Cara Parks, Foreign Policy


AP Photo

Few things can alter a society as radically as the discovery of oil, and few places prove this as vividly as the Gulf states. The economy of Kuwait, for example, depended historically on its natural harbor in the Persian Gulf, which linked it to the thriving pearl trade and allowed for the flourishing of other maritime enterprises. But that was before oil was discovered in the region in 1938. After the interruption of World War II, Kuwait's economy underwent a massive transformation. Oil revenue flowing into Kuwait City tripled from 1951 to 1952, and then tripled again from 1952 to 1953.

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