Despite being Kuwait’s smallest island, Qaruh holds a significant place in the hearts of Kuwaitis for being the first land to be liberated from the Iraqi aggressors in 1991.
Located around 37 kms from the Kuwaiti mainland, the island’s name “Qaruh” was derived from the presence of tar (Qar) residues on the Island. Speaking to KUNA, Kuwaiti researcher on islands affairs Khaled Salem Al-Ansari said that Qaruh, similar to many other Kuwaiti islands, was not inhabited by people, unlike the only inhabited Failaka Island. He added that the island is part of the capital governorate in the administrative categorization.
Al-Ansari said that Qaruh was roughly 275 meters long by 175 in width. Regarding the current status of the Island, the Kuwaiti researcher said that the island had a 15-meter-long lighthouse to warn ships and vessels of the sharp rocks located near Qaruh, noting that in the past, Kuwaiti sailors used to stop at the island and then sail to a nearby location for pearl diving.
Al-Ansari also noted that Qaruh Island was host for different kinds of seabirds, adding that some plants grew on the island. On the most significant historical happenings witnessed in Qaruh Island, Al-Ansari said that in 1949, a foreign oil company was given the right to excavate for a period of 60 years. In 1990, as the rest of Kuwait, the island was subject to the Iraqi invasion; however, Qaruh became the first Kuwaiti land to be liberated on Jan 25th, 1991. (KUNA)