Egypt and Kuwait: A Comparison of Two Arab Countries

Essay by uuomarUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, November 2002

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Egypt and Kuwait: A Comparison of Two Arab Countries

Egypt and Kuwait are both Arab countries, and yet they are very different from one another. Egypt has a culture that goes back centuries, predating Islam, and is considered part of the cradle of civilization. Kuwait is a modern and new country, very wealthy because of its oil, but very vulnerable to its more aggressive neighbors like Iraq. Both have different realities facing them in today's complicated world stage, and their foreign policies reflect their realities. I will compare the foreign policies of Kuwait and Egypt, and discuss any similarities and the definite differences between them.

Kuwait is a small country with a population of just over one and a half million people. It is located at the head of the Persian Gulf, which is strategically a crucial area in the geopolitics of our time, in world affairs. It is precisely because of this prime location that Kuwait is vulnerable.

The advantages of its wealth have also brought some misfortune on Kuwait, in the form of outside attack. Kuwait is bordered by Saudi Arabia on the south, and by Iraq on the north and west. It is a modern and very wealthy nation, but in some ways it still is behind the rest of the modern world in some of its cultural practices, for example equality of women. Although women in Kuwait live light years better than their Muslim sisters in Iran, they are still relegated second-class status and denied opportunities for public roles. Also, Kuwait has been criticized for its treatment of foreign laborers, especially poor women from the Philippines and Indonesia, who come to work as cheap domestics in the homes of wealthy Kuwaitis. In other respects, however, Kuwait enjoys a very important role in world affairs because...