KUWAIT CITY, Dec 24, (KUNA): The Kuwaiti Umm Al-Namel island, located in Kuwait bay with abundant ancient relics, is an accessible resting location for fishermen and sea-goers. Umm Al-Namel, the fourth largest Kuwaiti island after Boubyan, Failaka and Warba, with a 568,000-sq-m land, has been named Umm Al-Namel (Arabic for mother of ants) due to existence of plenty of ants during summer, said Khaled Al-Ansari, antiquity researcher, in an interview with Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
In the past, it used to be called “Al- Ghurba island,” after the name of a family, a branch from Al-Awazem tribe, that had lived on it 250 years ago. Relics show that this family built 30 dwellings, a mosque and fishing bamboo stacks’ weirs. The island had been also named “Al- Odah” (Kuwaiti archaic for old) or the Large Island, as compared to an islet, named Akaz, located nearby. Moreover, it had been known as Al-Shuwaikh.
Umm Al-Namel is blanketed with shrubs and its surrounding water locations attract plentiful fish and other sea creatures. Al-Awazem natives used to earn their living by using the mesh weirs to catch fish, crabs and shrimps. The island, located in Kuwait Bay, is very close to Al-Oshairej beach. When waters turn shallow, people can reach it on foot or by vehicles. It is also easily accessible at night time, with visitors guided by a lighthouse at its northeastern corner. Sea goers and fishermen favor the island due to its close location and some have built chalets on it for recreational times.