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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1080] (117/688)

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The record is made up of 1 volume (341 folios). It was created in 1917. It was written in English. The original is part of the British Library: India Office The department of the British Government to which the Government of India reported between 1858 and 1947. The successor to the Court of Directors. Records and Private Papers.


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The town and Us surroundings. —The town now measures about 2 miles alon« the shorn
and is rapidly extending towards Ras 'Ajuzah; its depth inland is from one-fourth to threo'
fourth of a mile. Free sites granted by the Shaikh on all sides of the town are, on account of
the increasing prosparity of the place, being rapidly taken up and built upon by enter
prising individuals as a commercial speculation. The land surrounding Kuwait is nura
desert as far as the eye can reach and blonga to the tract called Qra'ah 0 One mile west
of the town, on Ris 'Ajuzah, is a fortified dwelling house, erected in 1904 by the eldest
son of the Shaikh of Kuwait and named after him Qasr-ash-Shaikh Jabir. To the south
of the to vn the land rises for a mile or so and then falls ; consaquently the place is lost
from sight soon after leaving it. On this side, in the cold weather, are pitched many
Bedouin camps, and there is a constant coming and going of camels and of small
caravans. Kuwait was formerly walled and 30 years ago had seven gates on the land-
ward side, but since that time it has doubled in size and the sites of the old gates are
now known to few; of one only, the Drawazat Jana'at, which was the second in order
from the east, do any traces remain. Kuwait is now an open, undefended town. From
the centre of the town on the south side has grown out a long suburb called Murbaq
beyond which is a gypsiferous tract where Juss or gypsum mortar is manufactured by
simply hnng rubbish in broad shallow excavations. The site of the town is generally
flat and sandy; but the south-western quarter stands on somewhat higher ground than
the rest and has steep lanes leading down from it to the beach. The streets are irregular
and winding, many of them are blind alleys, and the town is not laid out on any general
phm ; the only street of apparent importance, besides the main bazaar which runs at
right angles to the sea about the middle of the town, is one which leads from the Sua
or market square, situated at the back of the town near the Murqab quarter, to the north
east end of the town but it has no general name. Most of the houses have only a ground
floor, but appear higher owing to a parapet-wall enclosing the roof; they are generally
built surrounding a courtyard. The better sort are of stone plastered with Juss and have
high arched gateways, sometimes with a wicket-door in the middle of the gate: a few
arches appears also in upper storeys. The system of conservancy is rudimentary; the
bpTwSn^n eP TSi 111 large '. 0 P en P ubllc cesspools in the various quarters. There are
l ^ m03qUeS ' 0 /. Which 4 are J * mi ' s or Frida y congregational mosques;
these are the chief mosque, which stands on the west side of the main bazaar, the
0 -w Sea face . near his residence, the mosque of Haddad, and the
mosque of the Jana at; none of these have any architectural pretensions.
"i! 1 that of raost ^ in
sand desert cools down rapidly at mght. The air, however, exeept ik a breeze ia
beiSh r/e smeared Mr^humanVxeretJ' 0 " WhiCh the b0atS that line tbe ^
Lrdattntffi d 0 ' I h0m th n ^
b^: an tlrr^
mere are also a number of Persians, some Jew, some Jana'at and many
"ThT-nS 2 i™?™' N" Indians are settled here.
ed to be onlyT^u^So'Jfuinf'hpr^a' 1 the f haikh » ° f Wong, but they are reckon-
belong, in part at least to the MahS families. The resident Bani Khalid
tribe. More than 100 Arab hou^hnlH ^ '■ j ra and Bani Nahad sections of that
The Persian eomZit co.^ Zilfi in Najd.
separate quarter hut are scattered thmmrh tV, I ' 9 mem bers do not inhabit a
nentlv settled at Kuw^t ne^rtheSV 6 t0Wn of th <' m ™ Terma-
and the parts of Persia to which they" originlVwonS
about a score ; over 100 Persians are shopkeeiSs 2fJ, nf'.h Pers ' an . ™ erchMfa are
mless labourers who live from hanrl + ' Jy 0 of the remainder are pen-
100 and 200 souls; they have^Tvna^l f ?i, OUth - The J, ' WS ara o™ t ^w^n
they seem to be notorious chiefly for the disUllatTon 0 ^' * K ? n ' shah ; at Kuwait
. aistillation of spirituous liquors which some

About this item


Volume II of III of the Gazetteer of Arabia. The Gazetteer is alphabetically-arranged and this volume contains entries K through to R.

The Gazetteer is an alphabetically-arranged compendium of the tribes, clans and geographical features (including towns, villages, lakes, mountains and wells) of Arabia that is contained within three seperate bound volumes. The entries range from short descriptions of one or two sentences to longer entries of several pages for places such as Iraq and Yemen.

A brief introduction states that the gazetteer was originally intended to deal with the whole of Arabia, "south of a line drawn from the head of the Gulf of 'Aqabah, through Ma'an, to Abu Kamal on the Euphrates, and to include Baghdad and Basrah Wilayats" and notes that before the gazetteer could be completed its publication was postponed and that therefore the three volumes that now form this file simply contain "as much of the MSS. [manuscript] as was ready at the time". It further notes that the contents have not been checked.

Extent and format
1 volume (341 folios)
Physical characteristics

Foliation: This volume's foliation system is circled in pencil, in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1080] (117/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 29 March 2020]

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