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The fear that has arisen from this loss of dominance, compounded by the country's precarious relationship with neighboring nations such as Iraq, has led to extremist policies and practices regarding the assertion of nationality and the rights of Kuwaiti nationals. Ethnic Kuwaitis struggle to maintain their cultural dominance in an increasingly complex society.

Dominant Kuwaiti culture is homogeneous, and adheres to traditional values developed in the desert plains in accordance with the teachings of Islam.

Thus, up until the 18th century, Kuwait was a territory of shifting communities.

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With the advent of urban living, homes were built with what is known as a "double circulation system" so that men and women could avoid contact with one another, and most importantly so that women were not in contact with strange men. After centuries of living as nomads, surviving off of subsistence farming and animal husbandry, the relatively recent increase in the income of many Kuwaitis has lead to a rapid rise in the relative obesity of the general population.

Still operating under the precept that plump children are healthy, Kuwaitis eat a very rich diet, and do not engage in physical exercise like they did in the past.

In the early 16th century Portuguese invaded the Arabian Gulf and built a fort where Kuwait City now stands.

The Portuguese used the area as a base from which to make further excursions north, but their residence in the Arabian Desert was short-lived.

Also, there are restrictions against foreigners owning property and businesses.

These social and economic gaps between nationals and other ethnic groups increases the friction between Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis residing in the country.

Generally homes are clustered together to unite and serve the needs of an extended family.

As family size increases, more rooms are built on to accommodate the new members.

Modern day Kuwaitis are the descendants of several nomadic tribes and clans who ultimately settled on the coast of the Arabian Gulf during the eighteenth century to avoid the persistent drought of the desert.

When they arrived at the coast, the clans built forts to protect themselves from other nomadic tribes who still traversed the desert.

A variety of ethnic groups reside in this country, and only around 40 percent of the population is Kuwaiti.

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