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Poet and Businessman: Abd al-Aziz al-Babtain and the Formation of Modern Kuwait
by Leif Stenberg
Gingko Library, 2022
Paper: 978-1-914983-00-9 | eISBN: 978-1-914983-01-6

A history of contemporary Kuwait as seen through the life of an individual Kuwaiti.
This book reviews and analyzes the modern history of Kuwait through the life of Abd al-Aziz Sa‘ud al-Babtain, a wealthy businessman, philanthropist, and poet. He is the head of a large, influential international cultural foundation based in Kuwait City. Abd al-Aziz’s life story tightly interweaves with modern discussions on the history of the state of Kuwait. There are very few books taking a collective grip on the history of the state of Kuwait. Likewise, there are very few studies about the generation of Gulf individuals who experienced, benefitted from, and even suffered from the discovery of oil, and who has been a crucial part of socioeconomic and cultural developments in countries like Kuwait in recent history. By constructing a cohesive overview of the modern history of Kuwait enriched by the life of an individual that has lived through the better part of that particular history, this book fills a lacuna in contemporary scholarship on the Middle East, and especially the Arabian or the Persian Gulf.

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