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'Gazetteer of Arabia Vol. II' [‎1092] (129/688)

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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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A certain amount of stono is exported from Kuwait. It is extracted from coral roofs
which are actually growing in the shadow waters of the bay. These reefs at low tide
are only from one to two feet below the water. The Arabs go into the water and extract
the blocks by means of crowbar. The blocks are then roughly piled into heaps, and at
high tide a boat Is brought alongside the heap and is loaded. When first extracted,
the blocks are relatively soft, but they harden on exposure to the air. After the upper
two feet or so of any given area of coral reef has been extracted, the Arabs proceed to
another reef, and, after about 15 years or so, the coral is often found to have grown
sufficiently to allow of the previous area again being worked.
Military resources. —The Shaikh's fighting force in war consists of the best levy he can
raise from the tribes subject to his influence ; bat he also possesses a sort of standing
army, armed with rifles, who defend his person, perform his errands in the country and
supply the town guard at Kuwait. These are about 100 in number and are mostly
Revenue. —There is no distinction in Kuwait between the State revenues and the
privy purse of the ruler, nor, of course, are any accounts of revenue and expenditure
made public. The following is a careful estimate by a Persian merchant settled at
Kuwait of the Shaikh's annual receipts, of which a large proportion are in kind :—
Produce of date plantations at Fao .. .. ., 108,000
Rent of shops in the Kuwait bazaar
Zakat on B3douin flocks
Tax on sheep brought into the town
Tax payable by butchers
Tax on camels brought to the town for sale
Sea customs
Duties on exports to the interior
Tax payable by pearl divers* ..
Share of fish brought into Kuwait
Interest on m jney lent to merchants
The Shaikh denies receiving anything from pearl divers or by way of interest on
money lent; but it was generally stated at Kuwait in 1904 that he took one diver's share
fro n each pearl boat and that he had lent a large sum at 23 per cent, interest to a local
Arab merchant named Shamlan. It is believed that the Shaikh is building up a lar<re
private fortune. Bjsid-is valuable plantations at Fao he owns some 300 shops and
warehouses in Kuwait Town.
Singular is Kuwari. A tribe found chiefly in Qatar, but there are a few of them in
^.ahram also, in Qatar they have 250 houses at Sumiismah, nearly 150 at Dha'ain,
100 at Fuwairat and 20 at Dohah ; in Bahrain there are now onlv about 10 houses at
Muharraq Town and the same at Hadd. The Al Bii Kuwarah are divided into four sec
tions, m the Al Abd-ash-Shaikh, Al Kalaib, Al Yaham, and Matawa'ah. In religion
they are Sanms of the Mahki school; by occupation they are pearl merchants, pearl
divers, sailors, and camel and cattle breeders. The Al Bii Kuwarah in Qatar are said
to be closely connected by blood with the Ma'adhld ; both are Bani Tamlm.
KUWARAH (A l B0).—
Afariq, or quartar, of the town of Maharraq {q. v.), Bahrain Islinls.
The singular form of Al Ba Kuwarah {q. v.).
A subdivision of the Hishm tribe (q. v.) of the 'Oman Sultanate.

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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' [‎1092] (129/688), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, IOR/L/MIL/17/16/2/2, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 5 April 2020]

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