A nation balanced between materialism and Islam
Today Kuwait is still a place of extremes: summer temperatures reach record levels and only two per cent of the country’s land is suitable for farming. Oil refineries contribute to the terrible air quality that has a heavy impact on the health of the country’s population. The latter, in fact, is composed of Kuwaiti nationals, who number 1.5 million, and migrant workers (migrants make up the majority and number almost 2.5 million), most of who are Asian or Egyptian. In recent years the country has enjoyed huge economic wealth and developed a rather extreme vision of the capitalist model: a reality in which a materialism of almost dystopian levels blends with strong Islamic traditions. These two morally conflicting forces can cause depression and neuroses: an interior emptiness, often taboo in Kuwaiti society, sometimes finds its response in extreme consumerism.