Kuwait is found at the northwest end of the Persian Gulf. It shares borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Kuwait's location is the basis of its economy, which relies totally on oil and foreign labour.
Population: 2.6 million (2013 est.)
Ethnic Groups: Kuwaiti (45%), other Arab (35%), South Asian (9%), Iranian (4%), other (7%)
Languages: Arabic (official), English widely spoken
Religions: Muslim (official) (85%) Sunni 70%, Shia 30%), other (includes Christian, Hindu, Parsi) (15%)
KUWAITIS IN TORONTO
In Canada: 1,575
In the GTA: 275
In the City of Toronto: 160
Kuwait became independent in 1961. Its economy was able to recover from the Iraqi invasion and the Gulf War due to oil, which today accounts for 95% of Kuwait's export revenues. Sunni Islam is the state religion, but Kuwait is also home to Shia Muslims, Christians, Hindus, and people of other religions. Religious tolerance is relatively high (due to the fact that most of the workforce is made up of foreigners) but it is illegal to try to convert Muslims to a different religion. Kuwait is an Islamic state, so it is unsurprising that its religious holidays are Muslim ones. The Muslim New Year, the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha are all official religious holidays. Most businesses are closed on Friday, which is the Islamic day of rest.
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