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The state that became modern Kuwait began in the middle of the eighteenth century when members of the Utub clan from what is now Saudi Arabia settled in the area.
Since those long-ago days, many other Arabs have also settled in Kuwait but in general, it is fair to say that the ancestors of most Kuwaitis come of desert stock. At different points in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, these traditional sons of the desert adapted themselves to a life revolving around the sea: trade, fishing, pearl diving and boat building.
Life centred on the sea was not easy in those days but probably the harshest life of all was that of the desert bedouin. He roamed the desert in search of water and food for himself, his family and his animals. He generally gravitated to the town in the hotter weather and out into the desert in the winter. His life was based on his camels, his sheep and his goats.
After the discovery of oil in Kuwait, many of these people were invited to settle in government-supplied housing and, in the 1950s and 1960s, chose to do so.
In and around Kuwait, the names which are seen on shops and businesses indicate the origins of the owners. Some belong to the original Utub families and others to the great bedouin tribes of the Arabian desert.