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'Koweit: A Report' [‎48v] (105/140)

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The record is made up of 2 volumes (60 folios). It was created in 1903. 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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Koweit flies the Turkish fl.ig, and has done so f ir a numbet
cf years. Sheikh Mubarak exp’ains this circumstance bj
claiming that the flag he flies, though similar in design to thai
of Turkey, is his own and that its similarity to the Turkish flag
is fortuitous; or, at the most, that while other Arab tribes have
flags of their own design, his tribe adopted the crescent on tbt
red ground as a religious emblem only He positively asserts that
he flies the flag of his fathers, and has never received one from tbt
Turkish Government, and has never regarded the use of his own
flag as a sign of fealty to the Turk. Perhaps a more probabk
explanation would be that the use of the Turkish flag was adopt
ed, years ago, for convenience by Koweit’s shipping, especialb
in their trade with the Turkish ports in the Persian Gulf Historically used by the British to refer to the sea area between the Arabian Peninsula and Iran. Often referred to as The Gulf or the Arabian Gulf. .
The present position of Koweit with regard to Grea
Britain may be said to have been defined by the Prime Ministet
the Right Honourable A. J. Balfour, in his declaration in tbf
House of Commons, on 2ist April 1903, on the subject of tbi
Baghdad railway, Mr. Balfour, on that occasion referred ft
Koweit as “ within the territories of a Sheikh whom we hav-
under our special protection, and with whom we have specia
treaties," and compared it with othet parts of the Persia:
Gulf where w'e have no such * preferential advantages."
Military Forces of Kovveit.
Sheikh Mubarak estimates the strength of his availabli
fighting force to be—
(a) Fighting men in Koweit ... ... 19,000
(fi) it n w thin 12 miles of Koweit ... 12,000
Total ... 31,000
It is to be feared, however, that these. figures are scarceb
to be relied on. Another estimate, which gives 6,080 men a
available in the town of Koweit itself, appears to be more like!
to be accurate. It is even possible that Sheikh Mubarak him
self has no very reliable data on w’hich to base any clos 1
estimate of his armed following. With the exception of tb
inhabitants of Koweit and Jeliara, and perhaps the tribesme
within a comparatively few miles of the Sheikh’s capital, tit
adhesion of the wandering Bedouin tribes must be a varlabl;
as well as^ an imp>rtant, factor. Hence the importance c
Jehara to Koweit, as a favourite grazing ground, and as su;:
attracting Bedouins to allegiance to Koweit.
In the winter of 1901-02,3 portion of the army was er
campeu just outside Jehara, where I had an opportunity 0
seeing them. The tents were neatly pitched, and the camp wi
clean and orderly. The tents were grouped round standani.
planted in the ground, with some appearance of organizatioi

About this item


Two copies of a report, marked as secret, on Koweit [Kuwait]. The report was compiled in the Intelligence Branch, Quarter Master General's Department, by Captain H H Dowding, The Essex Regiment. It was printed at the Government Central Printing Office, Simla, 1903.

The report contains information on the geography, history, politics, military strength, administration, resources, climate, and communications of Kuwait. It includes appendices on routes and prominent families in the region.

The volume also contains a number of photographs and maps:

  • A photograph of the foreshore of Kuwait (folio 3)
  • A photograph of Mobarek-Bin-Subah [Mubārak bin Ṣabāḥ Āl Ṣabāḥ], Shaikh of Kuwait, and his youngest son Naser (folio 9)
  • A photograph of the residence of the Shaikh of Kuwait (folio 17)
  • A rough diagram of the village of Jehara (folio 31)
  • A map of Kuwait Harbour (folio 32)
  • A map of Kuwait and surrounding country (folio 33).

At the rear of the volume is an index, arranged alphabetically and with reference to the original pagination (folios 26-28).

Folio references given are for the first of the two copies. The second, identical copy runs from folio 34 to 66.

Extent and format
2 volumes (60 folios)

The report contains a table of contents (folio 6) and an index (folios 26-28) which is arranged in alphabetical order. Both refer to the original pagination.

Physical characteristics

Foliation: this file consists of two physical volumes. The foliation sequence commences at the front cover of volume one (ff 1-33) and terminates at the inside back cover of volume two (ff 34-66); these numbers are written in pencil, are circled, and are located in the top right corner of the recto The front of a sheet of paper or leaf, often abbreviated to 'r'. side of each folio.

Written in
English in Latin script
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'Koweit: A Report' [‎48v] (105/140), British Library: India Office Records and Private Papers, Mss Eur F111/383, in Qatar Digital Library <> [accessed 21 July 2019]

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